Thu 09 Mar 2023

Recharged Bonato ready to face “toughest competition” in ERC

Yoann Bonato and co-driver Benjamin Boulloud might have had time to “recharge our batteries” for the upcoming season but, as Bonato concedes, that might not be enough to stave off the tough competition in the FIA European Rally Championship.

Bonato is the form driver in the ERC having claimed his breakthrough victory in the series on last season’s Catalunya finale. However, the 39-year-old is under no illusions that a repeat result will be easy to achieve.

“We have had time to recharge our batteries and prepare for this season, everything is fine,” said the Frenchman. “With only four events [on our ERC schedule], the approach will be different and we will set goals race by race. After tasting success in Spain last year, it is obvious that we would like to shine again on certain rallies but the list of contenders for victory is impressive, which today makes the ERC the toughest competition in Rally2.”

Bonato will drive a Michelin-equipped Citroën C3 Rally2 run by CHL Sport Auto for what will be his second appearance on Rally Serras de Fafe, Felgueiras, Boticas, Vieira do Minho e Cabeceiras de Basto.

“Fafe will be our only appearance of the season on gravel and our goal will be to continue our learning of this surface with the C3 Rally2 and get back to the rhythm of the competition,” Bonato said.

Bonato, a four-time French Tarmac champion, will contest the ERC rounds in Canary Islands (Rally Islas Canarias), Italy (Rally di Roma Capitale) and Hungary (IV Rally Hungary) in addition to tackling a nine-event programme in his homeland.

“We are extremely grateful to our partners and we are also delighted to continue our collaboration with CHL Sport Auto for the ninth consecutive season,” said Bonato. “In short, everything is presented under the best prospects for a great season with the C3 Rally2.”

Latvia
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Italy
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Hungary
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM