Fri 01 Mar 2024

ERC Take Five with Andrea Mabellini

Having been voted as’s Most Improved Driver of 2023 via an online poll, 24-year-old Italian Andrea Mabellini is back for a full FIA European Rally Championship campaign in 2024 with MRF Tyres. This is what he’s had to say ahead of the new ERC season getting under way in Hungary from 12 - 14 April.

You have exciting plans in place for 2024, what’s in store?
“It will be a full ERC season for us, we changed the team, we moved to Delta Rally, the Italian team where Alberto Battistolli was racing the previous years. So it’s a full Italian team but nothing has changed for the tyres, we are still with MRF Tyres and we will be racing for the full eight rounds. That will be fantastic, it’s a good thing for us and it’s very important to be part of this. It’s a great championship, we started from the bottom of the ERC, from Rally5 and now we are in Rally2 and we move from the Evo to the RS. I already tried the car in Monza last year when we won the Italian championship race. It’s a great car. For the ERC it will be much more difficult, but we will see.”

After showing so much potential in 2023, what can you achieve this year?
“Last year was difficult because it was our first year in Rally2 but I hope this year will be different. We will work even harder than the previous year because of how we are preparing the season, MRF is preparing the season, everything is going by the plan so it’s nice, it feels very good for us. We are glad for the support from MRF but Scuderia Mirabella Mille Miglia, Northon Racing and also Delta Rally are helping us. It’s very important to have the possibility to prove our talent.”  

Do you have a target in mind for 2024?
“For sure we have to have some results at the end of the rally, not just special stages like last year or some Power Stages. For us it will be important to prove that we have the possibility to go and be fast and to be on top of the category. For sure we have new events, but we have five Tarmac events. It’s not easy but it’s easier for us because we have much more experience on Tarmac.”

Virginia Lenzi, your long-term co-driver, will continue to partner you, how important is that?
“Virgi will always be by my side. We always said it’s half a job from me and half a job from her because I am 100 per cent sure she is making everything perfectly and I am trying to do also the same. It’s very important to have her by my side, inside the car and outside the car. She knows me perfectly, she knows when I breathe and what I am thinking. It’s also important at the beginning of the stage to calm me down or to push me a little bit.”  

And you’ve already got the first event under your belt this season when you finished second on Rally of Nations Guanajuato 200 Años last month?
“It was an amazing experience, we really enjoyed it and were P2 at the end of the three tough days. Nice stages and nice practice for cleaning roads.”

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