Mon 27 Feb 2023

Weekend round-up: Sesks on fire on ice ahead of new ERC season

Mārtiņš Sesks revved up for the 2023 FIA European Rally Championship in style with victory on Rally Alūksne in his native Latvia last weekend.

Co-driven by Renārs Francis in a Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 entered under the Team MRF Tyres banner, Sesks was resisting a determined challenge from Pirelli-equipped Gregor Jeets until the Estonia driver went off the road on the penultimate stage.

Having been 4.39sec ahead of his rival starting the ninth stage of the winter event, Sesks reached the finish with a comfortable advantage of 1min 26.70sec ahead of fellow Latvian Emils Blūms.

“In the final stages we simply did our job and unlike our fans we didn't think much about our result,” said the 23-year-old from Liepāja. “It was a pity [about Jeets], such a healthy competition.”

Although Sesks could reflect on a job well done after claiming his first victory of 2023, building his experience behind the wheel of Škoda’s Fabia RS Rally2, which he will use during his fast-approaching ERC campaign, was also important.

“Victory came as added value, because the main thing was to get used to the car,” Sesks said. “You can't say that it’s too late to find out everything, but it’s already clearer. That is why we were in Alūksne, practicing and preparing to make these things clear in two weeks in Portugal.”

Rally Serras de Fafe, Felgueiras, Boticas, Vieira do Minho e Cabeceiras de Basto opens the 70th-anniversary ERC season from 10 - 12 March.

Meanwhile, Miguel Correia and Pedro Almeida, who are expected to compete in Fafe next month and both have ERC event experience, placed third and fourth on Rali Vieira do Minho, a regional-level event in Portugal, last weekend. They were using Michelin and Pirelli tyres respectively.

Photos: Raimonds Volonts

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