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Tue 28 Feb 2023

All about seven as Tempestini aims high in ERC

Seven-time Romanian champion Simone Tempestini is aiming high ahead of what he hopes will be a seven-event FIA European Rally Championship challenge in 2023.

After placing a fine fourth in last year’s ERC standings despite missing the final two rounds due to a shortage of funds, Tempestini is returning this year to build on his successful 2022 season.

“Participating in as many rallies in the European Rally Championship is one of our goals for the 2023 season,” said the 28-year-old, who will be co-driven by compatriot Sergiu Itu. “We would really like to be able to be at the start of all seven rallies that are not clashing with the Romanian championship, which is another goal of ours. We will certainly try, but we know it will be a difficult challenge to pull off.”

Up first on Tempestini’s schedule is Rally Serras de Fafe, Felgueiras, Boticas, Vieira do Minho e Cabeceiras de Basto from 10 - 12 March. The Italy-born driver was in a strong fifth overall on the event last year when an unfortunate crash on the deciding Power Stage put him out.

“I am happy to start in Portugal, a rally that I like a lot and that reminds me of my successes in the JWRC and WRC2 championships,” said the Napoca Rally Academy member. “It will be a tough rally with many top competitors, where the pace will be very high. It’s not a very long rally either, so it means we’ll have start very well, and be able to face the challenges of the route, kilometre by kilometre. We’ll try to be as efficient as possible in the preparation of the rally and if we succeed, we will have the opportunity to fight for the leading positions.”

For organisational reasons, Tempestini has not competed for four months, but he will have the opportunity to conduct two days of testing ahead of the 70th-anniversary ERC season getting underway in northern Portugal next week.