Wed 17 Apr 2024

Sesks explains heart-breaking exit from ERC lead

Mārtiņš Sesks has explained the cause of his agonising exit from the lead of V-Híd Rally Hungary – on the penultimate stage of the challenging FIA European Rally Championship season opener.

The Latvian had been in front by 6.8sec prior to his retirement, which occurred after he got out of shape on a high-speed left-hander and struck an object on the side of the road.  

He was 7.8 kilometres from the start of the penultimate stage, the 10.25-kilometre Tés run, when he was forced to park his Team MRF Tyres-entered Toyota GR Yaris Rally2.  

“On a fast left corner I lost the rear and the car ended up in a half spin,” the 24-year-old said. “I tried to get it back, but we hit a pole hidden by the bushes with the rear left on the outside of the next corner and damaged the suspension.

“I’m sorry, we were having a good race, the whole team had worked consistently to give us a competitive car, the feeling with the MRF Tyres was perfect. We’ll try to turn the page now and get ready for the next round.”  

While there was disappointment for Sesks and team-mate Efrén Llarena, who retired on the opening morning, Andrea Mabellini registered his best ERC finish to date in seventh place aboard the third Team MRF Tyres entry.  

“In the end we can be satisfied,” Mabellini (below) said. “It was not easy for me to find the rhythm, but we got better kilometre after kilometre and collected the first points of the season. This is my best result in the ERC so far and it must be a starting point to continue improving. The feeling was positive throughout the weekend, we worked well with the MRF Tyres, with the whole team and despite the difficult surface we finished without any problems. The next round will be on Tarmac, a surface that I definitely prefer, and we will try to continue this growth with even more determination.”  

Rally Islas Canarias hosts round two of the 2024 ERC season from 2 - 4 May.

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