Mon 10 Apr 2023

Home success fires up Mares for ERC Canarias battle

Filip Mareš will have that winning feeling inside when he attempts to get his FIA European Rally Championship challenge back on track on Rally Islas Canarias next month.

The 31-year-old Czech took victory on his home round of the FIA European Rally Trophy earlier this month, beating former ERC champion and multiple national title winner Jan Kopecký in the process.

“The fight was really tight from the very first stage, and I was very satisfied with our pace over the weekend,” Mareš said following his triumph on Kowax Valašská Rally ValMez alongside co-driver Radovan Bucha. “The only moment we were losing more time to our main rivals was the end of the first day. I risked with a full wet tyre choice and last two stages were completely dry. We were the only crew with this package, but we managed it quite well despite this disadvantage.

“Sunday was quite clear in terms of tyre choice as it was constantly raining. We managed to extend our advantage to Kopecký in the morning loop with two stage wins. That was a really good start of the day for us and our main goal was completely fulfilled. We also launched our official partnership with Pirelli Czech Republic in the best possible way and I am very happy for that. Our tyres were working very well over the weekend.”

Mareš, whose Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo is prepared by PMX Rally Management and run under the ACCR Entry Engineering, is playing catch-up in the ERC title fight after a frustrating Rally Serras de Fafe, Felgueiras, Boticas, Vieira do Minho e Cabeceiras de Basto last month.

However, with only one Rally Islas Canarias start to his name – dating back to 2017 in a Peugeot 208 R2 – Mareš will be short of experience when the Tarmac event takes place from 6 - 8 May.

“I hope these asphalt kilometres [from Kowax Valašská Rally ValMez] will help us to fight for the top result [on Rally Islas Canarias],” Mareš said.

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