Tue 09 Apr 2024

New ERC3 recruit Kazaz hoping to keep up family tradition

Kerem Kazaz begins his FIA European Rally Championship adventure in Hungary this week boosted by a famous mentor.

Kazaz’s father Erkan is not only a three-time ERC event winner and multiple Turkish champion, he’s also well known for having established Turkey’s first international motorsport team, Atölye Kazaz.  

The squad ran cars in the WRC during the 2000s and Erkan’s enthusiasm – and aptitude – for rallying has rubbed off on his 18-year-old son.  

Back in February, Kazaz Jr became the youngest event winner in the Turkish championship when he took victory on Sarikamis Rallisi driving a Ford Fiesta Rally2.

He’ll switch to a Fiesta Rally3 for his ERC debut on V-Híd Rally Hungary from 12 - 14 April, competing in the FIA ERC3 division.   

“It’s a really nice car,” Kazaz said of his Fiesta Rally3 at the completion of Rally Tierras Altas de Lorca in Spain last month, which he contested in preparation for his first ERC start alongside Latvian co-driver Andris Mālnieks. “We were good, we overtook a lot of Rally2s, that was nice. We were leading our category but the stage before the last one we had a puncture half or maybe more of the stage [to go]. We didn’t stop and lost a lot, a lot of time.”  

Kazaz, who was only able to apply for his driving licence in January, will go up against three more experienced rivals in the ERC3 category, which Jon Armstrong won last season driving a Fiesta Rally3 run by M-Sport.

Filip Kohn, a 21-year-old from Czech Republic, has been building time behind the wheel in the FIA World Rally Championship’s WRC3 category (above). Croatian Martin Ravenščak, 27, who is co-driven by his sister Dora, has competed in a Fiesta Rally3 since 2022, while Igor Widłak, 31, is the 2022 ERC3 champion.  

Pole Widłak (below), who is co-driven by ERC event winner Daniel Dymurski, starts the 2024 season making up for lost time having competed only once in 2023. However, that appearance, on Barum Czech Rally Zlín, proved memorable when he bagged the category win in a Fiesta Rally3.  

ERC3 competitors count their best seven scores from eight rounds with a driver and co-driver title up for grabs. An article looking ahead to the inaugural Fiesta Rally3 Trophy event will be published later this week.

How to watch?
Fans across the globe can experience the excitement and drama of the ERC with every stage of every rally broadcast Rally.tv platform. In addition, the ERC is broadcast in a number of countries around the world and fans are advised to check local listings for details.   

V-Híd Rally Hungary 2024: the key numbers
Stages: 13
Competitive distance: 192.43 kilometres 
Total distance: 794.74 kilometres

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