Wed 02 Nov 2022

Mabellini looking forward, not back, after ERC4 blow

Andrea Mabellini will not languish on his RallyRACC Catalunya - Costa Daurada disappointment after missing out on the ERC4 title to Óscar Palomo.

Mabellini won the Clio Trophy by Toksport WRT in 2021 and, as part of his prize package, stepped up to the ERC’s Rally4 category for 2022 with another Toksport-prepared Renault.

He finished third overall in the Junior ERC and settled for the same result in ERC4 after a three-way title scrap at last month’s finale in Spain. Mabellini’s partner Virginia Lenzi narrow missed out on the ERC4 co-drivers’ crown - ending on an identical score to Marine Pelamourgues, who took the win on countback.  

It’s been, overall, a promising year for the Italian driver with several podiums and stage wins across both categories. Having had the chance to reflect, Mabellini believes mechanical woes in Poland plus a final day puncture in Latvia were the major flaws in his campaign.

“Trust me, we are really proud of what we have done this season with the Toksport team,” he said. “If you look, we were setting good pace at almost every rally within our category. 

“The low points of the season were of course our Poland retirement with two broken driveshafts - one on Saturday and another on Sunday in the Power Stage. We also had a bit of bad luck in Latvia, and that’s probably the reason we lost the championship - but that’s part of the game.

“For the rest of the season we were always battling with [Junior ERC champion Laurent] Pellier, and he has a lot more experience than me.”

Mabellini is still working towards his 2023 plans - which include a full campaign aboard a top-flight Rally2 car. The 23-year-old drove a similar Fabia at Rally Valle Imagna earlier this year and impressed everybody by winning the asphalt event. 

“We are working really hard on 2023,” he continued. “We’re trying to be part of the full season with a Rally2 car. It’s not easy for the budget but I’m sure we can do it - I am thinking positive!”

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