*Exciting transition begins on next week’s all-gravel Rally Liepāja
*Tarmac outing also planned as preparations for 2019 get underway
*Double ERC2 title triumph prompts quest for increased performance
Tibor Érdi Jr will step up to the FIA European Rally Championship’s big league when he contests the season-closing Rally Liepāja in a ŠKODA Fabia R5.
Hungarian Érdi Jr claimed the ERC2 title* for the second year running with his fourth victory of the campaign on Barum Czech Rally Zlín last month.
And with championship honours secured, the 35-year-old Érdi Jr will switch from Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X to ŠKODA Fabia R5 power in Latvia as part of preparations for 2019 when a full season of R5 action is being targeted.
“We skipped Rally Poland to collect our ŠKODA Fabia R5 and we’re very excited to have this opportunity at the end of a great season for us,” said Érdi Jr. “We drove a ŠKODA Fabia R5 on the Mikulás Rally in Hungary two years ago and now we’re beginning our preparations for next year by doing as many kilometres as possible. I learn a World Rally Car for many years so it’s not a problem to drive this faster car, which opens a new feeling for me.”
Érdi Rallye Team collected its all-new Fabia R5 from ŠKODA’s Mladá Boleslav headquarters in Czech Republic last month. A period of testing – plus two two rallies – is now planned in readiness for next year.
“It’s really good news that Tibor and the Érdi Rallye Team will be graduating to R5 on the final round of the FIA European Rally Championship,” said Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator. “Tibor has established himself as a leading exponent of Group N production machines but it’s great he’s prepared to take on a new challenge and prove his talent in a faster and more advanced rally car.”
Following their outing on the all-gravel Rally Liepāja from 12-14 October, Érdi Jr and co-driver György Papp will switch to asphalt for Nyíregyháza Rally from 9-11 November.
Rally Liepāja features 12 mainly high-speed stages over a competitive distance of 204.41 kilometres and forms part of of the FIA European Rally Championship schedule for the sixth time. Érdi Jr and Papp have taken part on two previous occasions, including in 2017 when they secured the ERC2 title in a final-day showdown with Zelindo Melegari and Maurizio Barone.
*Subject to confirmation of results by the FIA
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