Mon 04 Apr 2022

Torn turns on the speed in ERC

Ken Torn, the first driver to win an FIA European Rally Championship Power Stage, was fast but out of luck on the Azores Rallye last month.

After completing leg one 11.7sec off the lead in fourth position, the double Junior ERC champion underlined his threat by winning Sunday’s opening test to move into third place and close to within 0.4s of eventual winner Efrén Llarena.

Unfortunately, a spin on Sunday's second stage, Feteiras, dropped him 12.6sec off third spot and 32.0sec adrift of the lead.

And it would get worse for the Estonian on the following Sete Cidades test when he was forced to retire his Plon RT-entered Ford Fiesta Rally2 with a mechanical issue.

“Unfortunately, the rally that started well for us came to an end because of a technical problem,” said Pirelli-equipped Torn, who was making his Azores Rallye debut alongside co-driver Kauri Pannas. “I don't know exactly what happened, but the car filled with smoke and we stopped.”

Torn’s early exit was a major blow to a driver who has excelled on his step-up to Rally2 level in the ERC. Despite his lack of experience, Torn has scored stage wins on the two European championship events he’s contested so far in 2022.

“It’s going quite okay, but there is still a lot to learn so let’s see,” Torn said. “The [first] morning was difficult [because of the weather]. The beginning [of the first stage] was fully fog and you could not see. Sometimes you have grip, and sometimes you don't. It's really tricky to understand.”

“I enjoyed the driving, but the grip was changing a lot. There was lots of standing water in the ruts, but when you get to drive the Rally2 then you are just smiling and driving.”

Torn will be back in action when the 2022 ERC resumes at the 46th Rally Islas Canarias (12-14 May).

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM