Thu 07 Mar 2024

Llarena plans “reset” for ERC success

Efrén Llarena is targeting a second FIA European Rally Championship title in 2024 – and reckons a “reset” is the best formula for success.

The 2022 ERC champion with Team MRF Tyres endured a challenging 2023 campaign with a podium on Rally Islas Canarias his best result on his way to fourth position in the final standings alongside co-driver Sara Fernández.  

Although Llarena has yet to announce his plans for 2024, the 28-year-old is intent on getting back on top in the ERC.  

“We are all the time working, there is still work to be done but it’s the plan for sure to be back in ERC and we want to fight for the championship again,” said the Spanish driver.

“Last year was a bad season for us but we have worked really hard during this winter just preparing everything and I am sure we will be fighting for the top positions since the first rally in Hungary.”  

To capture his lost form, Llarena explained that he is changing his approach for 2024.  

“In previous seasons I was thinking overall for the championship, but now I will change my plan and we will do rally by rally,” he said. “The target will be to be as fast as possible everywhere. Okay, we were fighting before, we were fast, but we were also thinking for the championship to not have problems, to not have accidents with the tyre. For me it will be different [in 2024 with no pressure]. We did a reset in our minds and we will change the way to compete. We have the speed and we want to show the speed since the beginning [of the year].”

He continued: “We have one championship in our books, but our only target is to win again. So we want to be free and fight for every rally, not thinking about winning the championship but thinking about winning the rallies. Before that I was thinking if we crash maybe I will not have the budget to do the next rallies but these thoughts were with me every season. Sometimes it was good because we were driving at 95 per cent and we were fast and we got a lot of points. But now I want to show my speed because people I know think we don’t have the speed. Okay, we have the consistency but we have the speed also and now we want to show it.”  

The fifth edition of Rally Hungary forms the opening round of the eight-event ERC season from 12 - 14 April. The event has relocated to the city of Veszprém for 2024 and will use all-gravel stages having run on asphalt previously.

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