Hiroki Arai is no stranger to the Barum Czech Rally Zlín stages, even though he’s never contested the FIA European Rally Championship counter before.
Arai was driven through the demanding sealed-surface stages by his father Toshi, when Arai Sr was competing on the event in an R4-specification Subaru Impreza run by Manfred Stohl, who is behind the Team STARD operation responsible for Arai Jr’s ERC1 Junior bid.
“When my father did Barum Czech Rally Zlín in the R4 Subaru I was allowed to be in the back seat of the car of the recce car, so I actually have some experience of the roads but not really much real experience,” said the Japanese driver. “I know they are faster and not as twisty as what we experienced in Rome. If it rains, then I expect the roads to be really tricky and this will make the stages very interesting.”
After missing Rally di Roma Capitale due to a clashing event, Ilka Minor returns to co-drive Arai’s Yokohama-equipped Citroën C3 R5.