Mon 20 Mar 2023

Weekend round-up: Wagner the big ERC winner at home

With the dust still settling following a high-action FIA European Rally Championship season opener in northern Portugal earlier this month, here’s a summary of how several ERC stars performed over the weekend.

In Austria, Simon Wagner hit back from his Fafe frustrations to boost his hopes of a third consecutive national title with victory on the Rebenland Rallye. The 29-year-old was behind the wheel of the same Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 he used on the previous weekend’s ERC-counting Rally Serras de Fafe, Felgueiras, Boticas, Vieira do Minho e Cabeceiras de Basto.

“My second overall win at Rebenland Rallye and the first for my co-driver Gerry [Winter] as his daughter was born last year at the same time,” said Wagner. “It was also the first one for us with the new Fabia.”

Wagner added: “The car is getting better with each kilometre and we are learning a lot. We had a great battle with Hermann Neubauer, which shows how high the speed is. It was good to be back on pace after Fafe and I am very much looking forward to the next event in Austria and Rally Islas Canarias afterwards.”

Martin László was also in action on the Rebenland Rallye and hit back from his spectacular Fafe crash by finishing ninth.

Fifth in Fafe, Yoann Bonato placed fourth on the opening event of the French Tarmac championship, Rallye Le Touquet - Pas-de-Calais.

There was a top 10 finish and a WRC2 Challenger victory for three-time ERC champion Kajetan Kajetanowicz on Rally Mexico (pictured above celebrating on finishing ramp), where Oliver Solberg, the 2020 Junior ERC title winner in Rally2 cars, impressed by finishing third in WRC2 (pictured bottom).

Junior ERC graduate Óscar Palomo took a strong sixth on his first start in a Hyundai i20 N Rally2 when he contested the Supercampeonato-counting Rallye Sierra Morena in Spain.

The 2023 ERC season continues with Rally Islas Canarias from 4 - 6 May.

Simon Wagner photos supplied by Simon Wagner

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