Thu 18 Aug 2022

Mareš keen for full 2023 campaign

Filip Mareš has hinted at a full FIA European Rally Championship campaign in 2023 after showing strong pace in his sporadic outings this season.

Mareš will contest his third ERC rally of the year on home soil at next week’s Barum Czech Rally Zlín (26 - 28 August) - an event which could be the prequel to a full title effort next season. 

The Czech driver returned to the series at ORLEN 78th Rally Poland in June where he finished seventh overall after a long time away on gravel. 

On the sealed surface roads of last month’s Rally di Roma Capitale, he stormed to three fastest times and is hungry for more of the same in Zlín and beyond with his Škoda Fabia Rally2.  

“It’s definitely my target to come back to the ERC for a full season in 2023 and at the moment we are trying to find the budget to do a full campaign,” he explained.

“We will see about Barum, but we managed to finish on the podium last year so that will probably be our target again this season. 

“The stages will be very different to Italy,” he continued. “In the Czech Republic they are much faster and Rome was more about managing the tyres and the technical driving. We definitely improved my driving style over that weekend and that’s why we were able to win some stages."

In addition to their speed, Mareš and co-driver Radovan Bucha also had the chance to display their mechanical prowess in Rome when their Fabia sheared its wheel studs. Unfortunately the roadside repairs were in vain and they had to retire on Friday night.

“It was bad luck,” Mareš reflected. “On the exit of a highway we broke the wheel studs - we don’t know why - and we almost lost the wheel. We tried to find a solution to get back to service, but it was still 20km away.

“We changed the rear upright to the front and the front to the rear because I didn’t want to damage the gearbox and I would rather damage the rear differential instead. 

“We removed the driveshaft and brakes into the back of the car and tried to continue, but we did just 2km. It was almost on fire because the wheel was vibrating and it was dangerous, so we decided to retire.”

Mareš has contested Barum Czech Rally Zlín six times, finishing on the podium twice.

  • Full coverage from Barum Czech Rally Zlín 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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