Tue 12 Sep 2023

Vote Now: ERC Most Improved Driver

Voting has opened for the ERC Most Improved Driver of the Year award with four talents shortlisted for the coveted accolade decided by FIA European Rally Championship fans.

The ERC Most Improved Driver of the Year award recognises championship regulars who have made significant progression behind the wheel during the season.   Voting is available via the dedicated section below and will close on 20 September.   The ERC Most Improved Driver of the Year nominees are as follows:

ROBERTO DAPRÀ

Having impressed during several strong showings in 2022, the ACI Team Italia member has emerged as a contender for the FIA ERC4 and FIA Junior ERC titles this season, such has been his level of progression. While he switched from Ford to Renault and then to Peugeot power in his pursuit of gaining more experience last year, Daprà has relied on Peugeot power only in 2023 and the continuity has clearly made a difference. His category victory on Rally di Roma Capaitale following a car-wrecking testing crash was standout stuff from the 22-year-old second-generation rally driver.


MIKKO HEIKKILÄ

Cruelly denied victory on the season-opener in Fafe by a damaged tyre while he was leading on the final stage, the outgoing Finnish champion was hard to beat when his car worked as he wanted. He also impressed by persevering on Tarmac – on which he has little experience – and when things weren’t going as he liked. And even when there were struggles, the 31-year-old Heikkilä always remained positive.


ANDREA MABELLINI

In his first year of top-flight ERC action, Mabellini won stages and battled for top-five places. And while his final results didn’t always reflect as such, his level of progression from Rally4 to Rally2 power alongside emerging co-driver Virginia Lenzi was exceptional. A shortage of budget unfortunately ruled him out of Barum Czech Rally Zlín but if he can raise the funds to contest Rally Hungary next month, the 24-year-old has what it takes to impress on an event he’s tackled twice previously.


MĀRTINŠ SESKS

The Latvian possessed winning pedigree when he embarked on his first full ERC campaign at Rally2 level. Although his dominant win on his home event, Rally Liepāja, was somewhat expected, his triumph on the previous round in Poland, where his stage knowledge was significantly limited, underlined an obvious talent. His performances across the season helped Team MRF Tyres captured the FIA European Rally Championship for Teams for a second year running, while the 23-year-old remained in contention for the Drivers’ crown starting the penultimate round in Zlín.


Voting continues tomorrow (Wednesday) and continues to 20 September with fans able to choose the driver who produced the save of the year following an on-stage moment.

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