Race Track / 18 April 2014

Zoltan Bessenyey wants to score valuable points in Ireland

FIA ERC - Circuit of Ireland Rally ? 18 & 19 April 2014

After clinching another podium finish in the Acropolis Rally last month, Hungarian Zoltan Bessenyey currently sits in third place in the 2014 2WD ERC Driver’s Championship. It’s been a strong start to the season for the Eurosol-Civic Type R driver and it’s down to these early results that he’s chosen to participate at the Circuit of Ireland Rally, the fourth round of the 2014 ERC, this Easter weekend.

“Ultimately we fell short of our competitors on the Greek gravel last month, finishing second. But there were a number of positives to take from the rally too. On the first day for instance, which was driven on tarmac, we were completely dominant. So that’s why we’ve chosen to compete on the asphalt course of Ireland this weekend.

“With our experience in Greece to draw upon, we’re also going into the rally full of confidence and have set ourselves the goal of finishing on the podium and scoring big points.” explained Zoltan.

It won’t be an easy mission for Zoltan Bessenyey and co-driver Yulianna Nyirfas though. This is the first time they have competed in the Rally of Ireland, one of the oldest rallies in the world and renowned for its bumpy and narrow special stages.

“I’ve been looking at onboard footage from previous years and one of the first things you notice is how much air the cars get, due to the fast asphalt and uneven roads! That’s why we need to know exactly what we’re up against and find the right suspension set-up during the shakedown. A lot depends on the weather conditions too. In Northern Ireland it’s so unpredictable and can even be sun shining and raining at the same time.”

Adding to the challenge for the Hungarian duo is the stiff competition competing in the 2WD category.

“There are at least nine junior drivers coming this weekend – including current 2WD points leader, Czech Jan Cerny. Then there’s Fin Jukka Korhonen in a DS3 and of course a lot of local drivers as well, who know the Irish classic very well. After the Geko Ypres Rally last year, this is probably one of the hardest assignments we’ve had to face on a tarmac rally!”

The Circuit of Ireland Rally starts on Friday April 18 at 09h13 in the city of Belfast and finishes after ten stages and 113 kilometres. On Saturday April 19 the drivers will compete on another eight special stages against the clock (117,14 kilometres), with the first contestant expected at the finishing line in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter around 17h28.