Fri 13 Oct 2023

Junior ERC round-up: Personal bests and expert tips in Hungary

The 10th FIA Junior ERC Championship season – and the first with Hankook as the official tyre partner – reached its climax on Rally Hungary last weekend. Here’s a reminder of just some of what happened in and around the city of Nyíregyháza, where the event was based from 6 - 8 October.

Podium equals satisfaction for Škulj
Mark Škulj didn’t have to wait long for his maiden Junior ERC podium. Following his category debut on Rally di Roma Capitale in the summer, Škulj finished third in class on Rally Hungary. “We’re happy and satisfied with our performance,” the 19-year-old said. With regular co-driver Pia Šumer unwell, Škulj called on former wingman Matej Čar for support. Škulj will be back in action when he contests Rally Soča Valley in his native Slovenia this weekend.

Zanin gets close to first podium
Mattia Zanin was one place off a Rally Hungary Junior ERC podium when a “stupid mistake of mine” led to radiator damage and retirement from the opening leg of the event. After a spin on Sunday morning following his restart, the ACI Team Italia driver completed his first Junior ERC season with the third quickest time on the Power Stage to underline his potential for the future.

Johansson’s tips from Tidemand
Former Junior WRC and WRC2 champion Pontus Tidemand was a guiding light to Mille Johansson during Rally Hungary. Swede Tidemand is Johansson’s mentor and spent time watching his younger compatriot negotiating the challenging mainly Tarmac stages. “He tells me to trail brake a bit more and roll through the corners rather than just attacking and it’s helping very much,” said Johansson, who was restricted to sixth place due to tyre damage.

Opel switch bears fruit for Nore
Johansson and fellow Scandinavian Ola Nore tried Opel’s Corsa Rally4 for size on Rally Hungary. Nore, from Norway, said: “The car is handling very good, it’s a very nice car to drive. The braking is also so good.” Sadly for Nore, tyre damage on SS2 ruled him out of Junior ERC title contention. He eventually finished fifth to secure third in the final championship standings.

Herczig’s best yet
After a “big moment” on SS3, Patrik Herczig regrouped to place fourth for his best Junior ERC finish so far. Afterwards, the son of multiple Hungarian champion Norbert said: “We didn’t find the right set-up but we enjoyed the rally and we got some experience which is very important for me. We would like to compete again in Junior ERC next year.”

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