Erik Cais returns to Rally Hungary this week with a winning feeling following back-to-back triumphs on two practice events last month.
Downhill mountain bike racer turned ERC1 Junior contender Cais used the gap between Rally Fafe Montelongo and Rally Hungary to win the Dolomiti Rally in Italy and Rally Kipland in Poland at the wheel of his Michelin-equipped Ford Fiesta R5 MkII.
“It always helps you in the car if you are on the limit on some rally,” said the 21-year-old Czech star. “It’s better than on a test because on a rally you need to do many things and if you are on the limit for sure it’s the best test. And every kilometre in the car is really important for the future.”
Apart from Callum Devine, Cais is the only ERC1 Junior contender with Rally Hungary experience. Like Devine, who finished third overall, Cais also impressed on last year’s event by winning ERC3 in a Ford Fiesta R2T.
“Hungary is really special,” said Cais. “There was a lot of mud and slippery roads and also some gravel sections so really difficult. On these conditions the four-wheel-drive-car will be completely different than the R2. It can help me that I was in Hungary last year but these rallies [in Italy and Poland] were also helpful to get the speed into my body and feel the car. The conditions can be tough but these are the conditions I like most.
“It’s getting to the end of the season and everyone will be at 110 per cent. I will try also but I will also try to stick to the road because a mistake in Hungary can be your rally over in seconds. You have to be really smart but push just what you can.”
Cais’s victory on Rally Kipard came after a close battle with Grzegorz Grzyb, a podium finisher in the ERC, which he won by 3.0s. Polish promise Kacper Wróblewski was close behind in third place.