Talaš aims to learn first but fast in ERC3
What Jan Talaš lacks in experience he will more than make up for in talent and determination when he begins his FIA European Rally Championship adventure on the Azores Rallye later this month with support from his national federation, the Autoclub of the Czech Republic.
Talaš, the reigning Czech Junior and 2WD champion, has never competed on gravel before. And while he has contested Barum Czech Rally Zlín – his home round of the ERC – on two occasions, he was not registered for European championship points on either occasion.
“My main target for the Azores Rallye will be to gain experience on loose surfaces,” said the 23-year-old, who will be co-driven by Ondřej Krajča in 2019. “I hope we will be able to make a decent result but the most important target will be to learn unknown roads in co-operation with my new co-driver.”
Talaš is highly regarded in his homeland but has also been dogged by a lack of finance for much of his career, which began as a nine-year-old in rallycross, albeit on a purely-for-fun basis. But his obvious ability prompted a Czech championship campaign before he stepped up to the Central European Zone equivalent. As soon as he was old enough to do so, Talaš then switched to rallying, the realisation of a childhood dream.
Starting out in a Ford Fiesta ST in 2010, Talaš rallied a ŠKODA Fabia in 2011 and 2012, both in Group N and Group A specification. Following a year out of action in 2017, Talaš secured a Czech championship campaign in 2018, which marked a lift-off season with the Peugeot Rally Cup CZ and Czech Class 6 crown added to his Czech Junior and 2WD awards.
Despite an ongoing financial struggle, Talaš is embarking on his first season at international level with a campaign in the Pirelli-supported ERC3 category with new co-driver Ondřej Krajča, who has previous ERC experience co-driving Karel Kupec, including one Azores Rallye start. Talaš will drive for his family-run team in a 208 R2 he has built by himself.
ERC Co-ordinator Jean-Baptiste Ley said: “We are delighted to welcome Jan to the ERC. He has a strong reputation based on his impressive results competing in the Czech championship and he’s clearly a driver with talent, given the fact the Autoclub of the Czech Republic is getting behind him during his first international campaign. He doesn’t have much experience but he clearly has ability and enthusiasm in ready supply.”