Fri 08 Sep 2023

Mabellini vows to come back stronger in ERC

Andrea Mabellini intends to use the disappointment of missing last month’s Barum Czech Rally Zlín as a positive while he works on a return to FIA European Rally Championship action.

Mabellini scored points and stage wins during his first season in the ERC’s Rally2-based top tier but was a non-starter in Czech Republic after running short of funds.

However, the MRF Tyres Dealer Team driver is already looking ahead to 2024 – and this weekend’s Rally 1000 Miglia, a round of the Italian championship.

“It’s simple, our budget is finished and we cannot continue [in the ERC],” Mabellini said during a visit to Barum Czech Rally Zlín last month. “It’s not easy to stop our programme but it is like it is. We are trying to work for next year. Hungary will be very tough [for the budget]. We will try [to be there] but maybe it’s a good point to stop and start thinking to 2024.”

He continued: “Some things were going well this year but some things not. We had some good results, not overall results, but sometimes we were quite fast so we improved a lot and that’s the important thing. We will do some Italian races to stay in the car to not stop totally our programme this year and maybe next year we can come back stronger.”

Last year’s ERC4 runner-up, Mabellini stepped up to Rally2 level for this season alongside co-driver and partner Virginia Lenzi aboard a Škoda Fabia Evo.

“It was not easy to start in Rally2 with these [strong] opponents but at least we made a good job,” 24-year-old Mabellini said. “Sometimes we were in the top level and it was very important for me and for Virgi to try to push ourselves to our limit. One time we reached it and we rolled but it’s part of the game and if you don’t overtake this limit you can never say [where the limit is] so it’s important for me to have found this limit on gravel. But our year was really good and we can be proud of what we did and hopefully we can reach the budget to finish next year with a bit more experience and with a goal that’s a little bit higher than this year.”

Mabellini and Lenzi will start the Brescia-based Rally 1000 Miglia – once a regular on the ERC calendar – this evening (Friday) fresh from winning Rally Piancavallo, an Italian asphalt championship round, on 2 September.

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM