Wed 03 Jul 2024

Bertalan is back, boosted Oprea in ERC4 points bid

Márton Bertalan’s return and news of crucial support for Cristiana Oprea are just some of the FIA ERC4 Championship highlights ahead of this week’s Delfi Rally Estonia.

Bertalan (below) is back in action following his impressive run to second place in ERC4 on V-Híd Rally Hungary in April, while Oprea has secured a key partnership as she bids for her first points of the season following a luckless start to her campaign alongside co-driver Alexia Parteni.

Oprea has been announced as the new ambassador for the Autovit.ro brand, part of the OLX Group. According to the Romanian driver, “her ongoing participation in the FIA European Rally Championship is now possible thanks to this new digital content project in the automotive industry”. It also brings Oprea “one step closer to achieving the ambitious goal set at the beginning of the year: participating in six out of the eight scheduled rounds”.  


Andrei Dumuța, General Manager of Autovit.ro, said: “The remarkable achievements of Cristiana Oprea at rallies, along with her passion for cars and spirit of self-improvement, make her the perfect representative of our brand. Her journey from a motorsport enthusiast to a professional rally driver and a trailblazer for women in Romanian motorsport is a powerful example of determination and innovation that Autovit.ro supports.”

Flying Finn Välilä doubles up
Like Márton Bertalan, Delfi Rally Estonia is Tuomas Välilä’s second appearance of the season following his outing in Hungary. The gravel event was Välilä’s first ERC start and his 60th competing alongside co-driving mother Päivi, his navigator since 2014. The Finns, who consider the ERC to be the “next level in our racing path” finished runners-up in their national SM3 class last season but were out of luck in Hungary due to an overheating engine. After registering for ERC4 points only in Hungary, Välilä will also be eligible for the Hankook-supplied FIA Junior ERC Championship in Estonia.  


Junior ERC stars well represented in ERC4
Of the 15 ERC4 contenders on Delfi Rally Estonia, 13 are registered for Junior ERC. They include Opel-powered Mille Johansson, who leads both championships and is a double winner in 2024, and Max McRae, the ERC4 and Junior ERC4 winner in Hungary. ADAC Opel Rally Junior Team’s Calle Carlberg (below) will also be in the hunt for victory in Estonia, while other contenders include Estonian pair Karl-Markus Sei and Jaspar Vaher, Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy’s Aoife Raftery, ACI Team Italia duo Davide Pesavento and Mattia Zanin, Czech Daniel Polášek, Germany’s Timo Schulz and Hungarian Patrik Herczig. Teenage Swede Adam Grahn makes his ERC debut in Estonia.

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.   


Delfi Rally Estonia 2024: the key numbers 
Stages: 14
Competitive distance: 187.79 kilometres 
Total distance: 757.41 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