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Wed 20 Sep 2023

ERC’s Wagner has WRC ace Suninen for company as he takes third Austrian title

Simon Wagner is not only a podium finisher in the FIA European Rally Championship, he’s also a triple Austrian champion following his victory and fastest Powerstage time on OBM Bucklige Welt Rallye last weekend.

The 30-year-old has been combining his ERC campaign with a bid for a third consecutive national title, a feat he achieved with a last-gasp win alongside co-driver Gerald Winter on Sunday.


Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team driver Teemu Suninen was also competing on the event as a testing exercise but ran outside the main classification.


“We, and by that I mean us, as well as the team around Hermann [Neubauer] and Ursula [Mayrhofer], have performed at a really strong level throughout the season and especially here in Hartberg,” said Wagner following his Austrian title hat-trick. “The title fight, but also every single rally, was extremely exciting and therefore extremely interesting for all spectators and fans. That’s great for our sport and, last but not least, makes it even more interesting for partners and sponsors.”

Wagner, who was driving a Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 for Eurosol Racing Team Hungary, continued: “Counted per kilometer, we were just 1.25sec behind Teemu [Suninen] over the course of the rally. That’s really not much compared to the results of world championship races and is a great exclamation mark for our local state championship.”


After taking the title by winning the final stage, Wagner said: “It’s great to see that when it comes down to it, we’re able to step up our pace.


“Such successes in a discipline like rallying are only possible through perfect teamwork and with the right support in the entire environment. It is something very special that I can share and celebrate all three previous titles not only with the same co-driver but also with the same team, car and tyre manufacturer.

“From my first outing in the Rally2 category, I have trusted in the perfect work of the Eurosol Racing Team Hungary around team boss János Puskádi and Škoda Motorsport. Everyone involved, including my entire family and my sponsors and patrons, worked incredibly hard for this title, especially this season, and I am proud and happy that this work was finally rewarded.”


Meanwhile, Junior ERC podium finisher Fabian Zeiringer claimed the RC4 class win driving an Opel Corsa Rally4.