Wed 10 Apr 2024

Bertalan planning to put his best foot forward on ERC4 debut

Márton Bertalan used to play alongside professional footballer Dominik Szoboszlai when they showed off their skills in Hungary’s national futsal league as youngsters

While Szoboszlai is a shining light in Liverpool’s midfield, Bertalan is making a name for himself in rallying.  


Having won the Hungarian 2WD and Peugeot 208 Cup titles in 2023, Bertalan is now preparing to take on the FIA ERC4 Championship contenders on his home event, V-Híd Rally Hungary, which is based in Veszprém from 12 - 14 April.  


“Unfortunately, we crashed in Veszprém during the Mikulás Rallye, so I'm really looking forward to Friday and to start again,” the 22-year-old said. “I really like gravel, it's a great experience to drive on it, maybe even more than on asphalt. I’m more comfortable on gravel, even though I don't have much knowledge.”

Having competed in Veszprém previously, Bertalan has given an insight into what lies in store for his ERC4 rivals, the vast majority of whom have never competed in the region before.  


“The stages are classic Veszprém, but the organisers have made sure to add something new to each one, because they all have a little trick,” Bertalan explained. “It will be a tough race, the key to a good result will be who can avoid punctures better, especially for us in the two-wheel-drive category. You have to be very careful where you drive.”  


Despite his previous experience of the Veszprém terrain, Bertalan is keeping his expectations firmly in check.  


“It would be difficult to talk about expectations,” he said. “The field is terribly strong, there are 20 of us and, realistically, if we can get into the top 10 in some way, we can be satisfied with that. It means a lot to be able to compete on home soil against the best in Europe, we're curious to see where we are.”

The opposition Bertalan is preparing to take on 
Romania’s Cristiana Oprea (above) and ERC newcomer Tuomas Välilä, from Finland, are among Márton Bertalan’s ERC4 opposition. Välilä, who was runner-up in his class in the Finnish championship last season, is co-driven by his mother Päivi Välilä. Along with co-driver Alexia Parteni, Oprea forms part of the ERC’s only all-female crew with V-Híd Rally Hungary marking her first start on gravel at European championship level.  


The 17 Junior ERC drivers are also eligible for ERC4 points. In seeded order, they are: Timo Schulz, Mattia Zanin, Max McRae, Mille Johansson, Jaspar Vaher, Leevi Lassila, Karl-Markus Sei, Calle Carlberg, Liam Müller, Patrik Herczig, Alfred Kramer, Daniel Polášek, Davide Pesavento, Geronimo Ermanno Nerobutto, Jack Brennan, Aoife Raftery and Aleksandar Tomov.  


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

Latvia
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Italy
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Hungary
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM