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Fri 16 Jun 2023

Champion Llarena explains ERC car switch

Efrén Llarena will be back behind the wheel of an old favourite on Tet Rally Liepāja, round four of the 2023 FIA European Rally Championship, this weekend.

Having contested the first three events of his title defence in a Škoda Fabia RS Rally2, Spaniard Llarena is returning to the Fabia Rally2 Evo for Latvia’s high-speed gravel contest.

Explaining the move, the 28-year-old said: “We start the first rallies with the new Škoda RS and honestly I didn’t feel really well with the car and it was tough for me to get a proper set-up so I decided to come back to think only on the rally, the pacenotes and going flat out.

“The [old] Škoda is an amazing car, a lot of drivers are running with it [still] and the feeling in my body during the test was now I can relax and drive how I want so it was perfect.”

“We did really good results here in 2022 and 2021 and I feel really confident in this rally even though the route is really brand new for this year. But we are trying to get as fast as possible and during the test I was so confident with the car.”

Llarena and co-driver Sara Fernández finished second for Team MRF Tyres on Tet Rally Liepāja last season. They are currently fifth in the provisional ERC standings after three rounds having placed third on Rally Islas Canarias last month.