It’s Czech mate as national federation backs ERC team

It’s Czech mate as national federation backs ERC team

07/03/2017 at 10:00Updated 07/03/2017 at 11:04

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Czech Republic’s motorsport federation, the ACCR, will support a three-car team of young talents in this season’s FIA European Rally Championship in a move that further underlines the importance of the ERC to major organisations.

The ACCR follows Opel Motorsport and Peugeot Sport in committing to the ERC – the oldest international rally series in existence – for 2017 and is giving significant career progression opportunities to Dominik Brož, Jan Černý and Filip Mareš.

Černý, a double ERC 2WD champion, will compete in the new-for-2017 ERC Junior Under 28 Championship in a ŠKODA Fabia R5. Based on his experience and previous results, the 26-year-old is expected to be a contender for the prize of a World Rally Car drive on a European round of the world championship in 2018.

Meanwhile, Brož, 20, and Mareš, 25, will chase success in ERC Junior U27 driving Peugeot 208 R2s and, like Černý, will compete under the ACCR Czech Team banner. The ERC Junior U27 champion receives 100,000 euros for their ERC Junior U28 campaign next season, a major incentive for young, career-focused drivers like Brož and Mareš.

Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator, said: “We are very pleased to welcome the ACCR Czech Team to the ERC for what we hope will be a long-term partnership. The ERC and Czech Republic are intrinsically linked through Barum Czech Rally Zlín and the ACCR’s decision to support a team for a full season only strengthens the association. We’re also very pleased to announce the latest contender for the European Rally Championship for Teams, which is being revamped for 2017 with the results of the two highest-placed cars from each team being taken into account regardless of two- or four-wheel-drive configuration.”

Tomáš Kunc, Vice President for Automobile Sport, AUTOKLUB Czech Republic, said: “We have been considering possible ways of supporting the growth of junior drivers for quite some time, and for this season we have decided to create a special project for young drivers and their navigators to support them in ERC Junior. This championship is an ideal platform for young drivers, as it can help them gain valuable experience and provide a springboard for their future careers.”

ACCR Czech Team’s first event is the all-gravel Azores Airlines Rallye from 30 March-1 April.