Mihnea Mureșan will experience international competition FIA European Rally Championship-style for the first time when he contests Rally Hungary from November 6-8.
The Autoflux-supported Romanian, 26, is highly rated in his homeland after capturing a succession of titles in two-wheel-drive machinery.
For the Nyíregyháza-based Rally Hungary, round four of the 2020 ERC, Mureșan will try a Bernini Rally-run Abarth 124 rally for size as he takes part in the one-make category, which uses Pirelli tyres as standard.
His compatriot, Alina Bianca Pop, will co-drive having partnered Andrea Nucita to an Abarth Rally Cup double in last year’s ERC, two victories that were crucial in the Italian’s successful title chase.
“I am very glad to be able to take part in my first European event at Rally Hungary,” said Mureșan, who began his partnership with Pop last season. “Due to its location, it was the obvious choice for my first rally in ERC and a great way to gain some experience at this level. Also, I am glad to have Alina as my co-driver, as her experience in European events will prove to be very valuable.”
After spending 2019 competing in a Peugeot 208 R2, Mureșan stepped up to a Hyundai i20 R5 for the Romanian championship-counting Total Transilvania Rally last month, his only outing so far in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He explained why he’s chosen the Abarth Rally Cup for his ERC debut.
“We chose to compete in the Abarth Rally Cup, due to the exciting challenge to drive a high-powered rear-wheel-drive car on the rally stages. It will require a lot of patience and precision, but I think it’s a good way to become a more experienced driver in every condition with all types of cars.
“Being our first event at this level, we will not think too much about the outcome of the race. I think that if we learn the car quickly and will have a clean drive, the results will be satisfactory.”
Future ERC ambitions
“Of course, the long-term goal is to be able to compete in more ERC rallies, but right now we are taking it one step at a time,” Mureșan, who has received additional support from Romania’s Ministry of Youth and Sport. “We hope that once the global situation improves, we’ll be able to have a more significant presence in European events.”