Mon 30 May 2022

Fotia builds international experience with WRC outing

Anthony Fotia had the best possible warm-up for Orlen 78th Rally Poland next week (11 - 12 June) by taking a class win at Vodafone Rally de Portugal.

Fotia was in action at round four of the FIA World Rally Championship earlier this month and brought his Renault Clio Rally4 home first in the RC4 category, marking his second class win in as many WRC events. 

The Frenchman - who is also a frontrunner in the ERC4 category - explained the thinking behind his Portuguese outing and also revealed that a future switch to a Rally3-specification Clio is on the cards.

“It’s a big opportunity for me [to compete in the WRC rounds] and it’s very, very good for me to get experience on this kind of long rally,” he told 

“It’s fabulous for me also to get more experience on gravel and I think we may have a few more (WRC) rallies planned. At the moment, we will probably do Spain on the Tarmac, and also maybe Greece in September.

“This year is all about learning, because next year Renault will have the Clio Rally3 and we will probably go in the WRC with the car.” 

Fotia trails Clio team-mate Andrea Mabellini by 15 points in the ERC4 standings, but has outpaced the Italian on the previous two rallies. 

While Mabellini is the only driver with past experience of the Polish roads, Fotia reckons the battle will be as close as ever. He also confirmed that the ERC remains at the top of his priorities.

“Right now, ERC is the priority for Renault and for me,” Fotia insisted. “For the moment, we are concentrating on being well-prepared for the championship. 

“I’m looking forward to Poland and I think it will be another good fight with Andrea. On Tarmac, he is a very fast driver. 

“In the Azores, I was faster, but he was also quick on a few of the stages. He’s a good team-mate to have because he always takes a lot of points,” he added. 

  • Full coverage from Orlen 78th Rally Poland will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.
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