Rally / 11 November 2014

Second European 2WD Title for Honda Civic Type R drivers Zoltan Bessenyey and co Yulianna Nyirfas (*)

FIA ERC - Tour de Corse - Race Report

The champagne was flowing for Zoltan Bessenyey and Yulianna Nyirfas in Corsica this weekend after securing the 2014 European Rally Championship 2WD driver and co-driver titles at the final rally of the season.

With stiff competition from the likes of Stéphane Lefebvre throughout their 2014 campaign, the race to take the titles went right up to the wire.   But after eleven gruelling Special Stages on the lightening-quick tarmac mountain roads of the “Tour de Corse”, the Hungarian duo emerged victorious.

The 2014 ERC 2WD driver and co-driver titles build on Honda’s growing success in international rallying. In 2011 Honda won the 2WD Manufacturer’s Cup in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, the precursor of the ERC, and last year the Hungarian pair of the Eurosol Racing Team and J.A.S. Motorsport, who operates Honda Racing Customer Support, won their first title in the 2WD Championship.

Zoltan Bessenyey and Yulianna Nyirfas’ second championship winning season behind the wheel of their Civic Type R began in Austria at the Jänner Rally, the opening round of the ERC. They finished second and then went on to repeat the performance at the Acropolis Rally in Greece, moving the Hungarian driver up to third place in the 2WD standings.

Their debut at the Circuit of Ireland Rally followed, where they were rewarded with fourth place. Then there was a third place at the Rally Estonia, which edged the pair to the top of the leadership board. Their lead was strengthened by an important win at the Cyprus Rally, but at the start of the final rally on the French Mediterranean island this weekend, everything was still to play for.

Despite this, Zoltan was confident of his chances due to the challenge that his closest rival, Lefebvre, was faced with …

“From the first stages on Day 1, I had a good feeling about it because I could see that Lefebvre wasn’t able to fight for 1st or 2nd place, which he needed if he was to take the title away from us.“ said the Hungarian. “From that moment we knew that the title was ours for the taking; our car was perfect and we were in a good rhythm.”

The Hungarian took the overall title with a total of 111 points, ahead of runner-up Stéphane Lefebvre  (104) and Italian Andrea Crugnola (90) who claimed third.

For Zoltan and co-driver Yulianna the second title is the most beautiful!

“Compared to 2013, the competition this year was a lot stronger – with Crugnola, Cerny and especially Lefebvre pushing us at every stage. So that makes the victory very special. When I look back at this campaign, the 3rd place in Estonia, and especially the victory in Cyprus, were the key moments for us in this incredible season.”

(*) Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA