Wed 06 Apr 2022

ERC performances help Cais land big prize

Erik Cais has been voted Talent of the Year in his native Czech Republic following a vote by fans and a jury consisting of the country’s leading motoring journalists.

The recognition follows a standout 2021 season when the 22-year-old came within a stage of winning his home round of the FIA European Rally Championship, Barum Czech Rally Zlín, and claimed a WRC2 podium on his FIA World Rally Championship debut in Spain.

Cais, who has stepped up the WRC2 category full time for 2022 in a Yacco ACCR Team-entered Ford Fiesta Rally2, is one of the sport’s brightest young prospects and his potential was recognised during the annual Zlaty Volant (Golden Steering Wheel) poll.

He was a successful downhill mountain biker before injury led to him switching to rallying in 2018. Following in the wheel tracks of his father Miroslav, a successful rally driver in his own right, Cais finished runner-up in the ERC3 class in 2019, his first season of international rallying, before he stepped up to Rally2 level in the ERC in 2020.

With new-for-2022-co-driver Petr Tesinsky alongside, Cais won the first stage of the ERC season-opening Rally Serras de Fafe - Felgueiras - Cabreira e Boticas before a succession of delays dropped him out of contention.

Although his WRC2 campaign is his priority in 2022, Cais is set to contest Barum Czech Rally Zlín, the penultimate round of the ERC season, from 26-28 August.

He received his Zlaty Volant Talent of the Year award during a gala evening at the Autoklub of Czech Republic in Prague last month in the presence of double Formula One world champion Emerson Fittipaldi.

“I would like to thank you all immensely for all the votes you have sent me, and for choosing me Talent of the Year,” Cais said afterwards.

Cais is currently in Slovania preparing for this weekend’s Rally Vipavska Dolina, which he’s contesting as part of his preparations for the WRC-counting Croatia Rally later this month.

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