Thu 26 Oct 2023

No such thing as a wasted journey for ERC’s McErlean

Josh McErlean’s Rally Hungary might have lasted for less than a stage, but the Irish star insists it wasn’t a wasted trip to the FIA European Rally Championship finale earlier this month.

The 24-year-old prospect emerged as an early frontrunner for Rally Hungary success after he clocked the third fastest time on the Qualifying Stage. However, his challenge would soon be up due to the damage he inflicted to his Pirelli-equipped Hyundai i20 N Rally2 striking a tyre stack on the opening test.  

“We could have restarted [on the second day] and obviously it would have been nice to get back onto the stages after all the hard work the team had done to get here,” said McErlean. “But to save budget and get to the Central European Rally in one piece the decision was made not to, although it was good to show the pace in qualifying.”

Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy member McErlean and co-driver James Fulton are in the process of contesting the Central European Rally from today (Thursday) until Sunday). Despite his lack of running in Hungary, McErlean believes the experience will help him on the WRC’s all-new asphalt event.  

“The test and the run up to the rally was very progressive with the team,” McErlean said. “We’ve tried to find improvements on Tarmac since the Barum Rally and it was going in the right direction, qualifying showed we were there or thereabouts. We worked a lot with the engineer and we showed we could come back after struggling [in Zlin]. We need to do the same again in Germany.”

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