Hungary for the ERC: Approaches to the decisive phase – FIA ERC

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Hungary for the ERC: Approaches to the determining phase of the title

The decisive phase for the 2021 FIA European Rally Championship title begins this week at Rally Hungary with the first of two asphalt stages between now and Rally Islas Canarias in mid-November.

The decisive phase for the 2021 FIA European Rally Championship title begins this week at Rally Hungary with the first of two asphalt stages between now and Rally Islas Canarias in mid-November.

After two spectacular competitions on gravel – the 55th Rally of the Azores and the newcomer to the ERC, the Rally Serras de Fafe e Felgueiras – challenging the drivers, the teams and their cars, the closing asphalt heats will be no less demanding or intense.

Based in the town of Nyíregyháza, in northeastern Hungary, the penultimate round of the ERC 2021 campaign has 56 registered crews and similarities to the Barum Czech Rally Zlín with stages contested on a mixed asphalt. , broken concrete and narrow passages in some areas. spectacular countryside.

The event includes a popular superspecial on the Rabócsiring rallycross circuit south of Nyíregyháza, as well as a special on the streets of the host city. The rally also gives the opportunity for competitors in the Hungarian national championship to show their talents at the international level – and to face several leading Hungarian drivers who regularly participate in the ERC, such as the multiple champion ERC2. Tibor Érdi Jr, contender for ERC3 Junior Martin Lászlo, ERC3 marker Adrienn vogel and triple podium in ERC Norbert herczig.

Andreas Mikkelsen is however the man of the moment before Rally Hungary. After clinching the WRC2 category of the FIA ​​World Rally Championship in Spain last weekend, the Norwegian can add a second major FIA title in the space of a week by becoming European champion. After winning his Rally Hungary debut last year, Mikkelsen returns in a Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo with a 71-point lead.

But while his choice of car will be familiar to fans of Rally Hungary, just about everything else has changed since his debut in the event in 2020. Elliott Edmondson replaced Ola Fløene as co-driver after Jonas Andersson initially took over. fulfilled the role on Barum Czech Rally. Zlin. Toksport WRT, who guided Chris Ingram to the ERC title at Rally Hungary 2019, is now in charge of driving Mikkelsen’s car, which uses MICHELIN tires rather than Pirelli coatings, replacing the Topp-Cars Rally team. Team. And the massive blue and red color scheme from last year’s Rally Hungary has been replaced by the traditional green and white Škoda Motorsport for 2021.

“We had a perfect weekend [on the last round in Fafe] so it’s looking really, really good for the championship now, ”said Mikkelsen, 32. “If we can get a good result in Hungary, I hope everything will be fine for us.”

Miko Marczyk ahead of Mikkelsen’s pursuers in the ERC title race after winning his second Polish title at Rally Košice in Slovakia last weekend. The award of MICHELIN tires to the Team ORLEN driver for Rally Hungary is his reward for being the top contender for the ERC-MICHELIN Talent Factory after six rounds. Rally Team Spain Efrén Llarena, meanwhile, is starting his second Rally Hungary third in the standings and determined to fight back after his crash at Rally Serras de Fafe e Felgueiras earlier this month.

In addition to the fight for the overall title, the ERC2, ERC3 and ERC3 Junior championships remain open, as does the first Clio Trophy by Toksport WRT. With double points at stake for the last round of the finish-and-start series of the Renault Clio Rally5 run on MICHELIN tires, four training sessions, led by the leader Andrea Mabellini, are still in contention for the title and the award in a Toksport WRT Clio Rally4 over three rounds of the ERC next season.

Javier Pardo is the man to beat in ERC2 after rider Suzuki Motor Ibérica claimed his fourth victory in four starts in northern Portugal earlier this month, while ERC3 proves to be an exciting battle between Pep Bassas (Rallye Team Spain) and Jean-Baptiste Franceschi (Toksport WRT). In ERC3 Junior, which resumes after a month’s hiatus, Franceschi is only one point ahead of the recent Junior World Champion. Sami Pajari (Porvoon Autopalvelu). Ken torn will aim to maintain its dominance of the ERC Junior class in its M-Sport Poland Pirelli-equipped Ford Fiesta Rally3, while Dariusz Poloński (Rallytechnology) cannot be taken in the Abarth Rally Cup.

With no less than six Renault Clio Rally5 in action, examples of Rally2, Rally3, Rally4 and Rally5 cars – as well as Rally2 Kit machines – appear on the entry list to further underline the important contribution of the ERC by highlighting the pyramid of FIA rally cars and the progression path it offers to drivers aiming for the top of sport having taken the national step. And while the goal of the ERC remains to provide a clear progression path for pilots aiming for the top of the sport, it continues to be open to all comers with a wide range of age and pilot experience. .

Administered by the FIA ​​and promoted by Eurosport Events, the ERC is the set of stages established for the FIA ​​World Rally Championship and is supported by a global broadcast package, which includes extensive coverage across the various Eurosport platforms. Four stages of each ERC round are broadcast live on Facebook and Youtube, while ERC Radio broadcasts all events.

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