Fri 12 Apr 2024

Marczyk sets the ERC Qualifying standard in Hungary

Miko Marczyk is the driver to beat in the FIA European Rally Championship following his Qualifying Stage win on V-Híd Rally Hungary this afternoon.

The ORLEN Team star from Poland clocked a 3min 05.432sec on the 4.60-kilometre Gyártelep to set the benchmark time in the heat of the Hungarian spring.  

Romania’s Simone Tempestini was second fastest on the first Qualifying Stage of the 2024 season, 0.5sec down on his fellow Michelin-equipped Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 driver Marczyk, with Mathieu Franceschi making it an all-Michelin-shod Škoda top three.   

“Good run, very good tyres, Michelin,” Marczyk said afterwards. “We can be happy with the run but it’s just the start of the race. It’s good because we will have a better position for tomorrow’s stages but this year I hope we will be good on the rallies because in the past we did a couple of good Qualifying Stage times but now it’s time to be competitive also on the Saturday and Sunday stages with the other guys.”

Behind Franceschi, Mikko Heikkilä was fourth fastest on his first ERC start aboard Toyota’s new-for-2024 GR Yaris Rally2. Erik Cais was fifth as 2022 ERC champion Efrén Llarena completed the top six for Team MRF Tyres.  

Mārtiņš Sesks brushed off a moment in a left-hand corner to go seventh quickest, one place ahead of home hero Miklós Csomós, the leading Pirelli-equipped driver.  

Andreas Mabellini was ninth followed by Hayden Paddon, who is starting his ERC title defence aboard his Pirelli-equipped Hyundai i20 N Rally2.

Jon Armstrong, who steps up to ERC1 as the ERC3 champion from 2023, was 11th quickest driving a Ford Fiesta Rally2. Filip Mareš reported making “one small mistake” in his Hankook-equipped Yaris Rally2 on his way to the 13th quickest time behind Simon Wagner, who is competing on his first gravel event in 10 months.  

Martin László and Frigyes Turán, the 2019 Rally Hungary winner, rounded out the top 15.   Mads Østberg, a pre-season title favourite, was unable to start the Qualifying Stage after falling ill.   

Rather than selecting their road order for leg one, the eligible drivers will start V-Híd Rally Hungary in a reverse of the Qualifying Stage classification. The Start Order Selection event no longer takes place.   

The 2024 ERC season begins for real with SSS Királyszentistván, a 2.05-kilometre super special stage, taking place from 18:05 local time today.

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