Sat 09 Sep 2023

Zanin’s tough Zlín ERC try-out good for the future

Mattia Zanin came through Barum Czech Rally Zlín a better driver after he shrugged off myriad issues to score more FIA Junior ERC Championship points.

ACI Team Italia-supported Zanin completed the Tarmac event’s deciding stage with the second fastest time among in the Hankook-equipped category contenders to secure sixth place in the final Junior ERC classification.

But the euphoria of that achievement was in contrast to his outlook following the opening leg, which the 22-year-old finished in ninth position in class.

“We continue to have the same problem with the throttle as the first night,” Zanin said at the Otrokovicze service park on Saturday evening. “We couldn’t find the problem in the service [on Saturday morning] so it was a tricky condition for us. The last stage [on Saturday] was better but we had a problem with our turbo and the problem with the throttle continued to be present. I am not happy about this day."

Following extensive repair work to his Peugeot 208 Rally4, Zanin was back on form on Sunday’s second leg. He clocked four top-six stage times and was beaten only by Junior ERC winner Timo Schulz on the final stage of the event despite an intercom issue.

“We found the problem and the car was good [for the second day],” Zanin said. “We are here to improve and we are learning but the stages are really difficult. In the [first Halenkovice stage] I was with good pace but in the last kilometre, in a left corner that was slow, I was too fast and had to return back, which is part of the job. I had seen this corner in YouTube videos but I forgot so we need to learn.

“In the last stage we push, not maximum attack but quite maximum attack and the pace was good. We had a small problem with our helmets, I could not hear my co-driver so to be second to Timo with our small problem was good and we understand we have a good pace. For the first year on this rally it’s quite good for the next time.”

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