*Young Pole to drive Tagai Racing Technology ŠKODA
*Full eight-event campaign planned with co-driver Szczepaniak
*Rally Poland forms part of exciting 2018 ERC schedule
Hubert Ptaszek has become the latest young prospect to choose the FIA European Rally Championship to grow his experience of international competition.
Aged 24, Ptaszek is planning a full eight-event ERC campaign in 2018 in a Tagai Racing Technology ŠKODA Fabia R5. He will decide in the coming weeks whether he registers for the ERC Junior Under 28 Championship or chases ERC1 honours only. Fellow Pole Maciej Szczepaniak will co-drive.
Ptaszek, who has two ERC starts to his name, has rallied extensively at world championship level. But after an accident curtailed his 2017 programme, he’s hoping a season in the European championship will get his career firmly back on track.
“This season will be a bit different from what we have been doing for the last few years and all but one event will be new for me, which gives me a kind of motivational kick,” said Ptaszek. “The ERC is very interesting with a strong level of promotion and logistical support for some events. Also, there are a large number of Polish drivers taking part so it will be an exciting challenge.”
He continued: “Of course the World Rally Championship will always be the top priority for the future but I am very happy with what awaits me in 2018. Personally, I am interested in competition on every front, so it's time to try something different. There’s a lot of work to do in terms of learning the new events but I will be ready and keeping my fingers crossed for the upcoming season.”
Szczepaniak added: “The ERC is a very good option for Hubert and it will be an interesting challenge competing against the Polish champions from the last three seasons – Łukasz Habaj, Grzegorz Grzyb and Filip Nivette – who, as far as I know, have plans to start in the ERC this year.”
Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator, said: “It’s great to welcome Hubert and Maciej to the ERC for what we hope will be a highly successful campaign. The ERC receives lots of interest from Polish drivers and fans and we look forward to that continuing this year when Rally Poland makes a long-awaited return to the championship schedule.”
The 2018 ERC season begins with the Azores Airlines Rallye from 22-24 March. Ptaszek’s home event, Rally Poland, takes place from 21-23 September. TRT Europe Ltd, Krezus, Karo, Boryszew, Pickup-Design.com, Globodera Group and Brebeck Composite will support his ERC campaign.