Mon 25 Apr 2022

ERC star Cais reveals a “50/50” experience

Erik Cais, a stage winner in this season’s FIA European Rally Championship, rated his third appearance in the sport’s top tier as “50/50”.

After WRC2 podiums in Spain and Monte-Carlo, Cais was primed for more success on his Croatia Rally debut.

However, the combination of co-driver Petr Tesinsky falling ill and a brace of punctures on leg one dropped the 22-year-old out of contention for a podium finish, although he recovered to place eighth in WRC2 Open and fourth in WRC2 Junior.

“It was 50/50 this rally for me, to honest,” said the former downhill mountain bike racer. “I’m really happy we reached the finish and scored some points, that’s the most important thing at this moment. But for sure we wanted a lot more from this rally.

“Since Friday we struggled, Petr didn’t feel well, sometimes I did not trust the pacenotes and I couldn’t always hear the corners. This was a really bad situation and then we get punctures, one for seven kilometres, one a little bit less but we lose so much time on Friday and that was really hard.”

Cais, who was driving a Yacco ACCR Team-entered Ford Fiesta Rally2 for Orsák Rally Sport, continued: “For sure, we were really motivated for Saturday and Sunday because we wanted to fight and we did the best job possible with my team. The car was prepared really well and I tried to slowly get the confidence back. I just had two wet tyres left and it was quite difficult on the final day. But we finished the rally and we are really happy about that with some great experience with a lot of data for the next races. We want to get better and we are really motivated for that.”

Former ERC frontrunner Miko Marczyk was making his WRC debut in Croatia and finished one place behind Cais, while ERC Junior champion Jean-Baptiste Franceschi returned from serious injury to finish third in Junior WRC.

Rally Islas Canarias hosts round three of the 2022 ERC season from 12-14 May.

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