Wed 03 May 2023

Powered-up Wagner turns taxi driver ahead of ERC island adventure

Simon Wagner kept ‘match fit’ for round two of the FIA European Rally Championship with a spot of high-speed taxi driving.

Wagner, who won the Power Stage on Rally Islas Canarias 12 months ago, was at the FIA European Hillclimb Championship event in Rechbergrennen in his native Austria last weekend before he travelled to Gran Canaria to start his preparations for this week’s ERC qualifier.

The two-time ERC podium finisher said: “I come directly from the European Hillclimb Championship event in Austria where I did the VIP Taxi with a good old Škoda Fabia S2000. I enjoyed myself and the guests enjoyed it a lot.”

Wagner is contesting this year’s ERC alongside his bid to win a third consecutive Austrian championship title.

He started last year’s Rally Islas Canarias with the fastest time on the opening super special stage and was in fifth position when he crashed out after three stages. His restart on leg two netted the Power Stage victory by a 1.7sec margin over ERC champion Efrén Llarena.

“I really don’t know what to expect from this week,” said the 30-year-old. “The test was definitely good to get some more mileage on Tarmac with the new car. We try to enjoy the clean and twisty Tarmac roads and find a good rhythm.”

The Hungarian Eurosol team is responsible for running Wagner’s Michelin-equipped Škoda Fabia RS Rally2. Its repair of Wagner’s previous-model Fabia earned the squad the ERC’s Mechanical Feat of the Year award following a vote by fans of the championship.

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