Reigning ERC1 Junior champion Filip Mareš will be entering the 2020 FIA European Rally Championship season-opener at Rally di Roma Capitale with a new team and also a new co-driver.
Mareš won the ERC1 Junior title last season in a memorable fashion after beating main rival Chris Ingram by just two points and a 0.3 seconds margin on his home event at Barum Czech Rally Zlín in August last year.
He has now signed up with the Laureta Auto Škoda Team for 2020 which is operated by Rexteam. But for the Rally di Roma Capitale, Mareš will still be entered under the ACCR Czech Rally Team banner to underline the long-standing co-operation between the two teams.
“I like this event but it’s very difficult, especially when it’s a hot temperature,” Mareš said who hopes for atleast a top five result this weekend.
“It’s not easy to stay on the road and it’s demanding for the set-up. But it’s a really interesting rally and I will do everything to repeat our result from the previous year, which was fifth place. Hopefully we can fight for the top five.”
“For sure it’s a very good feeling to be back as the ERC1 Junior champion from last season,” Mareš enthused and continued to talk about his home event last season;
“To do this I have beaten Chris Ingram who is the overall ERC champion and this is very good for me. It’s also good to be back in the ERC and to see the organisers of the championship. I am sure it will be a great rally in Rome. Hopefully I can do more ERC events this year but maybe just the Tarmac rallies because it’s difficult for me to collect the budget for all the season. In these difficult times economically it’s not easy.”
As well as a new team, Mareš also has a new co-driver for the season, Radovan Bucha. His long standing co-driver Jan Hloušek has moved over to co-driver the former European champion Jan Kopecký for the 2020 season.
Mareš and Bucha have already done a rally together earlier this season at the Rally Bohemia, which was also the first-time Bucha was co-driver in a R5 car.
“We did Rally Bohemia together, it was the first race for us and my co-driver was in a new situation because it was the first rally he did in the R5 category. We are still setting up together but we are working very hard to be in a good shape before Rally di Roma. It will take some time and there is still a lot of things to work on for us.” Mareš said.
“Many things are new because I have a new team, new co-driver, new people helping me and it’s a quite busy time for me because I am sometimes also the manager of the team as well as being the driver. But it’s also about happiness because I love it and this week I will be 100 per cent a rally driver.” Mareš added.
Filip Mareš is one of the 11 drivers entered in the ERC1 Junior class at the Rally di Roma Capitale. You can follow the latest news from the event on The Checkered Flag all throughout the weekend.