Rally / 01 July 2013

ERC: Mission accomplished for Zoltan Bessenyey

Zoltan Bessenyey and co-driver Julianna Nyirfas finished 9th in the 2WD class of the Geko Ypres Rally this weekend, the 6th round of the European Rally Championship. The result means Bessenyey remains leader in the ERC 2WD Driver Championship, 22 points clear of compatriot Lukacs Kornel.

The Geko Ypres Rally lived up to its reputation as one of the most strenuous asphalt classics on the ERC calendar.

?The rain made it very slippery,? commented the Hungarian Honda driver. ?The roads in and around the area of Ypres were especially challenging.?

Competition was also stiff, with a large number of candidates entering the 2WD class. The enlarged field meant Zoltan chose a cautious strategy, realizing that he didn?t need to attack from the start.

?Completing the first day, that was the first target, but I was too careful in the last stages and lost some time. Being leader in the championship, surrounded by so many experienced competitors and also making my debut here ? I perhaps let some of the pressure get to me.?

After the first leg, Zoltan found his Honda Civic Type R in 9th place, in front of Belgian ace Mathias Boon.

The rain caused havoc for a number of the other 46 competitors too. One of them was Lukacs Kornel, the 22 year-old fellow Hungarian, who currently stands in 2nd place in the 2WD Driver?s Championship. In a hurry to close the gap with the Hungarian Honda, he slipped off the track in the last stage of the first day of competition.

?When the challenge of Lukacs disappeared, our aim was to score as many points as possible,? said Zoltan.  ?I got in the rhythm on Saturday and found more self-confidence and fought constantly for every position. It wasn?t easy with so many competitors and I think that I could have finished a couple of places higher if the rally would have been completely on a dry road paving. I learned a lot though and I?m still leading the 2WD Championship, so, yes, mission accomplished. This is also a great result for the guys from the Eurosol Racing Team and J.A.S. Motorsport. They worked really hard to prepare us for this weekend and the car performed perfectly.?

For Szabolcs Varkonyi, the other Hungarian Honda driver competing in Ypres for the first time this weekend, his adventure drew to a close after stage six.

?We were possibly a bit reckless and entered the bend too fast,? explained Szabolcs. ?I definitely want a second chance in the ERC though and will be back for the Porec Rally in Croatia later in the year, which I know very well from my time in the Croatian championship.?

The next round of the ERC remains in Eastern Europe, with the Sibiu Rally in Romania on the 26 and 27 July. After Romania the ERC stays in the East and travels to the Czech Republic, Poland and Croatia. It returns to Western Europe in October for the Rally of San Remo on the Italian Riviera.  

More: www.fiaerc.com