Josh McErlean Rallying

McErlean back With ERC & WRC Outings

  • Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy driver Josh McErlean set to contest Rally Hungary and the Central European Rally this October
  • McErlean is eager to round out his 2023 season with positive results on both the European and World Rally Championship qualifiers
  • The Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Junior Driver will pilot his usual PCRS Hyundai i20 N Rally2 and will be co-driven by James Fulton

Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy and Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Junior Driver Josh McErlean will return to the driver’s seat of his Hyundai i20 N Rally2 for the first time in almost seven weeks as he is set to contest the final round of the FIA European Rally Championship, Rally Hungary [6-8 October].

McErlean’s last outing was at the highly specialist Barum Czech Rally Zlin in August, where he and co-driver James Fulton showed impressive pace against the experienced locals. Now they return to Rally Hungary which was the scene of their FIA European Rally Championship debut back in 2020 and McErlean is very excited to return to the event and the series.

“It feels like a very long time since we were last out so I’m thrilled to head back to the ERC next weekend, especially as it’s where I made my debut in the championship” says McErlean.

“It's one of those really challenging rallies where the roads and their characteristics are very changeable, much like the weather over there so it’s important to be as consistent as possible throughout the weekend. But it’s a great rally and will serve as the perfect test bed for our last WRC outing of the season at the new Central European Rally later in the month [26-29 October]”.

With two, back-to-back sealed surface events, McErlean is eager to showcase the improvements he has made to his asphalt pace. On gravel, the young charger has been at the sharp end of the ERC field and secured a career-best fourth overall at Rally Liepaja on that surface. Now, he aims to replicate that on the tar.

“We have a great opportunity ahead of us to finish the year on a high” he continues.

“Our asphalt pace has been building this season, but I know there is work to be done so have been working really hard in the downtime with the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy to address that. Their assistance has helped transform our gravel pace, and I believe we have the right tools in place to do the same on the tarmac”.

McErlean will take part in the pre-event test in the run-up to Rally Hungary to ensure he can hit the ground running.

“The test will be important to further dial ourselves into the unique nature of the roads in Hungary and it has been a seven-week layoff since Zlin. I`m very eager to get back to the ERC and it has great media exposure as well as top competition so the aim is of course to mix it towards the front. Coming away with a good result is important for us and of course that will put us in a great place as we return to the World Rally Championship a few weeks later at the Central European Rally. It will be a busy but exciting month!”

Rally Hungary offers around 180km of competition spread over three days from its base in Nyíregyháza, whilst the new Central European Rally is an all-new event, held across three countries, Germany, the Czech Republic and Austria at the end of October.

External Credits:

MCR Motorsport Media/Josh McErlean Rallying

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