Sat 13 Apr 2024

Kohn on course to be ERC3 king, McRae heads ERC4

Filip Kohn enjoyed a perfect day on his first FIA European Rally Championship appearance as a registered ERC3 driver with a clean sweep of stage wins aboard his Ford Fiesta Rally3.

Leading the Rally3-based category after Friday evening’s super special stage by 2.9sec, the Czech grew his advantage to 2min 29.2sec after a dominant performance in the Hungarian heat.

 

He said: “Nice stages for me, we tried to do it clean with no punctures at all, that played out well and I’m looking forward to the second pass to maybe be a bit faster and just enjoy the stages. It’s rough but I’m used to it because I did Sardinia in the World Rally Championship last year. It’s not easy but I know what I need to do.”

 

Eighteen-year-old Turkish prospect Kerem Kazaz, who was only able to apply for his driving licence in January, is second having been hampered by a brake issue on his second outing in a Fiesta Rally3.

 

Pole Igor Widłak, the 2022 ERC3 champion, and Croatian Martin Ravenščak are third and fourth respectively with all four drivers eligible for the incentives on offer in the ERC Fiesta Rally3 Trophy from Gulf Race Fuels and tyre manufacturer Pirelli.

As well as leading FIA Junior ERC, Max McRae heads the FIA ERC4 runners one place ahead of fellow Junior ERC driver and championship newcomer Calle Carlberg.

 

Ex-professional league fusbal player Bertalon Martón took two stage wins on his first ERC4 start. He’s third overnight followed Jaspar Vaher and Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy-backed Aoife Raftery.

 

“Absolutely good,” Martón said. “The first stage not so but the second and the third for us were really good. We won those stages so we are really happy because it’s our first ERC event.”

 

Vaher, meanwhile, had led the front-wheel-drive category before he was forced to change a damaged tyre on SS6.

Behind Raftery, Matia Zanin is sixth with Aleksandar Tomov seventh, Jack Brennan eighth, Mille Johansson ninth and Cristiana Oprea in 10th.

 

“I’m happy to be here,” the Romanian driver said. “For sure the car was much faster than I was on the first loop, but it’s important to do all of the kilometres and get more experience. My last gravel rally was in 2021 and I did only one back then and before that was in 2018. This is why I am okay with where we are right now, I am still here. It’s important.”

 

Making his ERC4 debut alongside his co-driving mother Päivi Välilä, Tuomas Välilä was forced to retire on SS3 with an overheating engine caused by a blocked radiator.

 

V-Híd Rally Hungary continues tomorrow (Sunday, 14 April) with the 15.34-kilometre Iszka stage from 09:27 local time.

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