Rally Hungary hosts the penultimate round of the FIA European Rally Championship this week. Here are some of the main talking points.
*European championship leaderAndreas Mikkelsen, who secured the WRC2 title in Spain last weekend, is in contention for a second successive Rally Hungary victory and a first ERC title for Škoda-powered Toksport WRT thanks to his 71-point advantage.

*ORLEN Team’sMiko Marczyk, the winner of the ERC-MICHELIN Talent Factory top prize of his full tyre allocation for the next two rounds of the ERC, starts Rally Hungary for the second time fresh from clinching the Polish championship for a second time following his victory on Rally Košice in Slovakia last weekend.

*Rallye Team Spain’sEfrén Llarena, meanwhile, took his maiden ERC podium in Hungary in 2020 and is third in the standings. He’s also determined to hit back from his crash on Rally Serras de Fafe e Felgueiras earlier this month.

*Norbert Herczig(Škoda Rally Team Hungaria) claimed ERC podium number three on Rally di Roma Capitale and will do all he can to add a fourth on home soil.

*Czech youngsterErik Caisstarts his third Rally Hungary having once again underlined his star qualities by placing third in WRC2 on his world championship debut in Spain last weekend.Nikolay Gryazin, who returns to ERC duty in Hungary, also impressed in Spain by finishing 10th overall.

*NorwegianMads Østberghas been combining his WRC2 programme with a Hungarian championship bid in 2021, while FinnJari Huttunenreturns to the Team MRF Tyres line-up alongside ItalianSimone Campedelli. CountrymanUmberto Scandolawill also be in action for Hyundai Rally Team Italia.

*Yoann Bonato(CHL Sport Auto Citroën C3 Rally2) has previous Rally Hungary experience to call on and is a known quantity on asphalt. Six-time Romanian championSimone Tempestiniappears on the entry list but his participation is uncertain.

*Italian youngster Alberto Battistolli has been building his pace and confidence in recent events, while CzechPetr Semerádis another rising young star having graduated from ERC3 Junior.

*A quartet of Hungarian drivers complete the Rally2 entry headed by reigning national championAndrás Hadik.Frigyes Turán, who won the first Rally Hungary in 2019, will also be in action along withMiklós Csomós, who has triumphed twice in his national championship this season, andÁdám Velenczei.

*Ken Torn looks set to continue his ERC Junior dominance in his M-Sport Poland Ford Fiesta Rally3.Zoltán Lászlois also Fiesta Rally3-mounted.

*Young SpaniardJavier Pardocan make it five consecutive ERC2 victories but will face tough opposition from home heroTibor Érdi Jr. AndorranJoan Vinyespartners Pardo at Suzuki Motor Ibérica, whileDmitry Feofanovwill also be Suzuki powered in Hungary.

*Poland’sDariusz Polońskiis the driver to beat in the Abarth Rally Cup, which also features class rivalMartin Radafrom Czech Republic. Local driver Csaba Juhasz completes the ERC2 entry.

*Jean-Baptiste FranceschiandPep Bassasare locked in a close battle for the ERC3 title, while Franceschi is in a fight for the ERC3 Junior crown along withSami Pajari, the new Junior world champion.

*PoleŁukasz Lewandowskidrives the lone Opel Corsa Rally4 in the ERC and is points-scoring regular.

*Norbert Maiorexcelled on his ERC3 Junior debut in Hungary last season and the Romanian has repeated that speed this season.

*Hungarian,Martin Lászlówill be in the mix for an ERC3 Junior podium as will Rallye Team Spain’sAlejandro Cachónand Belgian prospectAmaury Molle. Ola Jr Nore finished third in class on his Rally Hungary debut in 2020.

*Adrienn Vogeltook a class win on last weekend’s Kazincbarcika Rally and has a new livery for his Ford Fiesta Rally2.

*Jon Armstrong, an expert esports competitor, is registered for ERC3 Junior having just missed out on the Junior world title last weekend. FrenchmanAnthony Fotiais new to the ERC in a Renault Clio Rally4.

*Bendegúz Hangodi,Gábor NémetandGábór Szauerare frontrunners in Hungary’s one-make Peugeot series and will all be competing in ERC3 for the first time on their home round of the championship.

*Patrik Herczig, the teenage son of Norbert Herczig, makes his second Rally Hungary appearance but his first in a Toksport WRT Renault Clio Rally4.

*Bastien Bergounhe,Andrea Mabellini,Paulo SoriaandGhjuvanni Rossiare all in contention for the Clio Trophy by Toksport WRT.Yigit Timurwill join them in chasing the class win in Hungary.
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