Tibor Erdi Jnr and Zoltan Csoko took their debut win in the FIA European Historic Rally Championship in their home event in Hungary but the loss of four-wheel drive on the final two stages nearly allowed the Lancia Rally 037 of Ville Silvasti and Risto Pietilainen to spoil the party. The Finns finished the tenth and final stage just 0.9 seconds behind the Hungarians.
CATEGORY 4 (1982 - 1990)
The first three stages of the day saw Erdi take the overall fastest time on SS5 and SS6 and he finished ahead of Silvasti on SS7, only outpaced by the Category 3 Audi quattro. The three stages were repeated in the afternoon and Erdi went quickest again on SS8.
However, the loss of four-wheel drive saw the Hungarians finish 4th overall on SS9, losing 18.5 seconds to Silvasti. They then lost another 10.6 seconds on the final stage of the day, but it was just enough to clinch the overall victory on the 55th Mecsek Rallye by less than one second.
Mats Myrsell and Esko Junttila finished 3rd in Category 4 and 5th overall in a good day for the Swedes and 52.7 seconds ahead of the Subaru Legacy of Antonio Sainz and David De La Puente.
Power Steering problems saw the Ford Sierra RS Cosworth 4x4 of Anders and Ingrid Johnsen finish 6th in Category 4, just 1.7 seconds behind the BMW M3 E30 of Finns Ari Kirvesmaki and Jukka Jamsen. The Renault 11 Turbo of Carlos Sampayo and Jorge Henriques finished 7th.
CATEGORY 3 (1976 – 1981)
Category champions ‘Zippo’ and Denis Piceno received an overnight time penalty after the Audi suffered a drive shaft failure after the final stage on Leg 1 and, after repairs, they were late for the final time control of the first day. The 2m10s time penalty dropped the Italians from 2nd overall and 1st in Category 3 down to 8thoverall and second behind the Porsche 911 SC of Karl Wagner and Gerda Zauner.
The Audi was fastest on the first three stages of the final day, but the deficit was still 40.6 seconds with three stages remaining. ‘Zippo’ pushed as hard as he dared but Wagner was also pushing hard and keeping the gap as small as possible on the final three stages. The Audi was still 12.2 seconds behind the Porsche at the end of SS10 and the Italian crew had to settle for 4th overall and 2nd in Category 3. It was all smiles on the podium for Wagner, Zauner and the whole team.
After crashing in the Czech Republic, Michael and Elizabeth Putz had a good run in Hungary, finishing the 55thMecsek Rallye 3rd in Category 3 ahead of the Volvo 244 of Siegfried and Renate Mayr.
CATEGORY 2 (1970 – 1975)
Pietro Corredig and Sonia Borghese capitalised on their good first day and brought the no18 BMW 2002 Tii home to take the Category 2 win. The Ford Escort RS2000 of Jesus Eduardo Diez Villarroel and Alejandro Cid Alvarez retired on SS6 after posting the fastest Category 2 time on SS5.
CATEGORY 1 (1969 AND EARLIER)
The no20 BMW 2022 Ti of Finland’s Sverre Norrgard and Ari Koponen held onto their overnight lead to take the Category 1 win, finishing the final stage 2m24.9 seconds ahead of Jari Hyvarinen and Jarno Ala-Turkia in the no21 Volvo 122.
The next event on the 2022 FIA European Historic Rally Championship schedule is the Rallye Weiz in Austria on the 14-16 July.