The exciting battle for the ERC2 title went down to the final round, with a truly fantastic second half of the season seeing Dávid Botka overtake arch rival Vojtěch Štajf and become champion. Fiaerc.com caught up with the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX driver, following his triumphant return home to Hungary.
You’ve had a great battle all season with Vojtěch Štajf. Did you think halfway through the year that you would overtake him and win the title?
“Yes, we had a great battle with Vojtěch, right up to the end of the season. He was better on Tarmac and we were better on the gravel events. We were waiting intently for the Barum Rally because this was a Tarmac rally and this was also his home rally, but finally we could win on this event and we were very happy. We didn’t think halfway through the year that this fight will be easy for the first title in ERC2, but we decided we will try to do our best to get this title.”
You won three out of the last four rounds of ERC2. What made the difference in those events?
“From the technical side we changed the tyres to Pirelli. We also changed the fuel to Carless, and with this fuel we could run a more advanced ignition system, which meant more torque. We learned a lot about how to make good pace notes from just two recce runs and I learned to trust these pace notes during the stages. At the beginning it was really strange how we can make a well and exact pace note only from two recce runs per stage, especially because we had never been on any of these rallies in the last seasons. Sometimes, we had not even been to the countries where the rallies took place before!”
What, apart from clinching the ERC2 title, has been your 2015 highlight?
“On the Acropolis Rally we set two third overall fastest times on two stages – we are proud of those stage performances and stage results.”
What are your plans for 2016?
“An R5 car. We are working hard on this project and we hope we can find a solution to buy an R5 car for the 2016 season!”