FIA European Rally Championship returnee Callum Devine believes his confidence is gradually increasing with each stage as he tackles Rally Hungary in his Hyundai i20 R5 for the first time this weekend.
Alongside co-driver Brian Hoy, the Northern Irishman currently lies fifth in the overall classification after four stages so far, just under a minute off the pace of rally leader Alexey Lukyanuk.
Having only tested the car once prior to the event, Devine is happy with the progress made in the opening loop, despite having to tackle difficult driving conditions.
“We’re here to get miles and we’ve got to remember that. It’s a great opportunity to get this chance,” Devine said.
“I’ve never driven in these conditions before and we are building up the pace. This is our first time in the Hyundai so it’s just taking a bit longer for us to get dialled into the car. But the car is good and every time you gain more confidence.
Devine, whose previous experience in the ERC came in the R2 class in 2016, had been as high as fourth following SS2 (Újhuta-Nyíri) but lost valuable ground on the final stage before service following a brief engine cut-out at a junction, costing him “about 10s”.
He said: “We’re getting faster and faster and we thought we’d be a wee bit faster in that last one, but the car cut out so it did. Hopefully it’s nothing too serious but we’ll go out again on the same tyres and see if we can keep up with the rest of the guys.”
“I came down into a junction, came down the box and she wasn’t there, she was cut out. I had to roll her up onto the grass and restart, so I lost about 10s.”