McErlean’s Pole position

Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy driver Josh McErlean turned plenty of heads with a standout performance on the FIA European Rally Championship-counting Rally Poland at the weekend.

McErlean and co-driver John Rowan arrived in the host town of Mikolajki, in the Masurian Lake District, on the back of an impressive 12th overall on the previous weekend’s World Rally Championship event in Portugal.

It was the first time that the PCRS Rallysport run crew had competed on back-to-back high-profile rallies and the experience gained in Porto was put to immediate good use in Poland.

They ran as high as third overall – in amongst some of the ERC’s most-experienced campaigners for much of Saturday and ended the day in fourth place.

The Hyundai i20 N Rally2 crew started Sunday’s action 1.5sec ahead of Mads Østberg in the battle for fourth, only for a high-speed spin 1.6km from the start of SS13 to drop him to seventh – such is the tight competition in the ERC that one small mistake is severely punished.

However, they were more than happy with their performance.

“What an experience,” he said at the finish on Sunday evening.

“To be right in the mix for top positions is a really encouraging sign and so many positives to take away. Sadly we were caught out in a rut in the first stage after service, dropping us out of contention for that fourth place. Really happy with the speed we have shown and the team have done a tremendous job on back-to-back weekends.”

Report (C) Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy – Kerry Motorsport News is an official content supplier to the Rally Academy.

Photo Red Bull Content Pool/ FIA ERC Media services

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