Erik Cais will make his second Barum Czech Rally Zlín start this week – one year on from a debut performance that signalled his emergence as a rally driver following a prolific career in downhill mountain bike racing.
Cais was leading the RC4 category until a puncture on the penultimate stage dropped him to fifth in class.
It led to him being called up by his national federation-backed ACCR Czech Rally Team to contest this season’s Pirelli-supported FIA ERC3 Junior Championship and he starts his home event boosted by a breakthrough podium on the last round in Italy and a strong showing on the Polish championship Rally Rzeszów last weekend.
“Rally Rzeszów was my test for Barum and for sure it helped to work on the set-up,” the 20-year-old Cais explained. “It was going pretty well, and I had good speed before I had to stop with damage to the car. But everything is fine for Barum.
“It’s going to be little stressful this week because there are a lot of people I know, and people expect. It was going well on my debut in Zlín last year, but I think it will be much harder this year because there will be more competition and a lot of really fast guys. I am hoping for rain because I know the roads and I know what to expect in difficult conditions.”
Ahead of this week’s Barum Czech Rally Zlín, Cais, co-driver Jindřiška Žáková and team boss Jaroslav Orsák took part in a promotional video filmed at his school, the Střední průmyslová škola polytechnická – Centrum odborné přípravy Zlín. Watch the ERC’s Facebook Live from 15h30 CET to find out what happened.