Fri 20 Oct 2023

Marczyk: Hungary ERC restart vital for CER WRC2 prospects

Miko Marczyk has explained why he needed his mechanics to miss out on sleeping during the deciding round of the 2023 FIA European Rally Championship.

The double Polish champion crashed on the final stage of Rally Hungary’s opening leg with his Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 sustaining significant damage after it rolled off the road at high speed.  

But with the ORLEN-backed driver using the event primarily to prepare for the upcoming FIA World Rally Championship-counting Central European Rally, he identified a Sunday morning restart as being vital to his chances of WRC2 success on next week’s cross-border event.

“I’m really thankful to the team for repairing the car, they finished at 04:30 and the scrutineering was at 07:30,” Marczyk, 27, said. “It was a big luck there was no tree, just bushes and we managed to come back for the final day.   

“It was important for the psychological point of view, for the confidence after such a big [crash]. I wanted to know if I could stay with my pace and my pace was good. We were in the third place in the classification of the day, five seconds behind Mads Østberg, who won the rally.”  

The one-time ERC event winner continued: “I was not fast enough to fight with Mixi [Csomós] and Mads for my first Tarmac event with the new car but the 0.3sec [per kilometre gap] I need to appreciate because two or three years ago I was a much slower driver.”

“Two wheels were on the grass, everybody saw what happened”
Miko Marczyk explained what caused him to crash out of fifth place on Rally Hungary aboard his Michelin-equipped Škoda.  

“We were driving with quite a stable pace, 0.3sec per kilometre slower than Mads and 0.4sec slower than Mixi,” he said. “That was our pace and our target was to somehow catch a little bit Erik Cais and maybe be closer to fight for a podium on the final day.   

“On the last stage [of the first leg] I decided to push myself a little bit harder. The stage was good but just in the last left corner I had too big speed in the previous right corner. Finally I did not get the place to brake on the Tarmac because two wheels were on the grass and everyone saw what happened.”  

Although Marczyk and co-driver Szymon Gospodarczyk where uninjured and their Topp-Cars Rally Team-run Škoda repaired sufficiently to enable their restart on leg two, Marczyk explained afterwards that his Fabia was not exactly in pristine condition.  

“We didn’t have [windscreen] wipers but finally it was just small drizzle on one of the stages,” he said. “Our [rear spoiler] was a little bit down because we fixed it with stickers and it was not working. In the fast places the car was bouncing a little bit but it was okay.”

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