Tue 13 Jun 2023

ERC Take Five with Martins Sesks

Mārtiṇš Sesks will carry the hopes of a nation on his shoulders when he contests his home round of the FIA European Rally Championship this weekend (16 - 18 June).

But while the Latvian could be forgiven for being on a confidence high after winning Tet Rally Liepāja in 2022 by going fastest on all 12 stages and taking victory on last month’s ORLEN 79th Rally Poland, the 23-year-old Team MRF Tyres driver is treating round four of the season just like any other event. The Liepāja-born talent explains why in ERC Take Five.

How you are feeling about your prospects for the weekend?
“I’m feeling quite okay. I was in radio silence for the last weeks, living quietly with an easy preparation, trying to hide a little bit because everyone is talking and I want to talk with the results after the rally. But we’ve been preparing in lots of ways, everything has been good.”

Your confidence must be high after your outstanding victory in Poland last time out, to what extent do you agree?
“I am actually trying not to think about Poland because that has been in the past and this rally is again different. There are lots of new things, new stages, no big service between the stages on the first day, lots of stages with just one pass so you have to be 100 per cent concentrated all the time. It will be a challenge, definitely.”

Despite you wanting to keep a low profile, people are expecting you to win. Does that trouble you?
“That actually is the point why I’ve been in radio silence. There is just one question from the media and one topic and it’s about [winning]. I’m staying low on this point with no big expectations. For sure we will do our best as we do for every rally and prepare as we are doing for every rally. It is the fourth rally of the championship in the middle of the season so we are now in a good place in the overall standings as well. We will do our job and enjoy the rally, enjoy the roads and then the results will come.”

Tet Rally Liepāja begins with 27.56km Tukums stage run consecutively. What will that be like for a driver?
“It actually should help a little bit for the overall pace for everyone because you have a fresh memory from the stage and everybody should remember the places where something didn’t work out well so you know not to repeat the same mistakes. We also get to do the stage in Liepāja and it’s always nice to be in front of the home crowd.”

How special is it to be competing at home in the ERC?
“For sure there are lots of good things about your home rally, the knowledge, the people around us, the dream about the WRC for the next year. For sure it makes everything really, really special. But I am a driver for the full ERC season this is one of eight rallies and we have to do the best that we can and look for the big picture.”

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