Sat 13 Apr 2024

McRae mighty in the Hungarian heat to lead Junior ERC

Max McRae made it through a demanding opening day to lead the FIA Junior ERC pack on V-Híd Rally Hungary by more than half a minute in his Hankook-equipped Peugeot 208 Rally4.

McRae, the nephew of the late rallying legend Colin, was 19.3sec down on Jasper Vaher in third place with two stages of leg one remaining.

 

But when Vaher and second-placed Mille Johansson both suffered significant delays on SS6, McRae seized the initiative to take top spot ahead of Junior ERC rookie Calle Carlberg and the recovering Vaher.

 

“It was as challenging as we thought it would be,” McRae said. “We made a good choice of tyres for the afternoon in that we only used four tyres in the morning, which left us with more tyres for the afternoon. On the long stage this morning the car just nose-dived and we overshot the next corner but other than that the pace was good. It’s been positive so far.”

Opel Corsa Rally4 driver Carlberg said: “It’s better than expectations, my ERC debut on such a tough event. I’m not 100 per cent confident with the car yet because it’s the first time but everything is a compromise on a rally like this. It’s a rally for me to really learn.”

 

Behind Vaher, Aoife Raftery has been on impressive form for the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy with Mattia Zanin fifth after the ACI Team Italia driver was delayed by a broken driveshaft, bent rear suspension and brake issues this morning.

 

Aleksandar Tomov, Jack Brennan, Johansson, Davide Pesavento and Alfred Kramer complete the top 10. However, Patrik Herczig, Liam Muller, Leevi Lassila, Karl-Markus Sei, Timo Schulz, Geronimo Nerobutto and Daniel Polášek all failed to complete today’s six-stage leg but are expected to attempt to restart on Sunday.

Polášek was the first Junior ERC driver to hit trouble, stopping on SS2 with a broken wheel. He said: “I cut a corner which was a no-cut in the notes and there was a stone and the wheel broke up so we finished on the sixth kilometre of the first stage. We had a good speed, the feeling was great but I was too fast in one corner. It was my mistake.”

 

The 15.34-kilometre Iszka stage will mark the resumption of the battle for Junior ERC glory from 09:27 local time tomorrow (Sunday, 14 April).

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