ŠKODA Rally Team Hungaria’s bid to win its national championship title is back on track following Norbert Herczig’s dominant victory on the recent Veszprém Rallye (July 9-10).

Driving a state-of-the-art Fabia Super 2000 prepared by ŠKODA Rally Team Italia, Herczig and co-driver Kálmán Benics led the gravel event from start to finish to move to within eight points of the lead of the Hungarian championship with two rounds remaining.

The victory was the first for ŠKODA Rally Team Hungaria in the highly competitive series and was the perfect response to Herczig’s unfortunate crash on the previous round, the Bukfurdo Rallye.

“We are absolutely delighted to have won our first rally after two years of working together,” said SRTH team principal Pierfrancesco Zanchi. “It was a great result not just for the team and the drivers but for ŠKODA Hungaria as well. After two years of investment in the sport this is great payback for them. Now they are back in the championship fight so this project takes on added significance for them.”

Featuring a competitive distance of 133.7 competitive kilometres, the Veszprém Rallye included 12 fast gravel stages on mainly open and flat roads. The high-speed nature of the event put the onus on car set-up and reliability, not to mention the skill level required by driver and co-driver.

“We had a successful pre-event test and the car ran faultlessly for the whole rally with no problems whatsoever,” said Zanchi. “There were no mistakes by Norbert, which was particularly pleasing because he was still regaining his confidence after his crash on the previous round and he reacted very well. This was the perfect rally.”

With ‘Asi’, Herczig’s main championship rival, crashing out, just five points separate the pair with Miklós Kazár a further three points ahead of ‘Asi’.

“The championship is open again and that is very important,” said Zanchi. “We have two rallies left, one on gravel, the Raliul Aradului in Romania on August 5/6, and one on Tarmac, the Mecsek Rallye in September, which will also include a round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge.”

Herczig’s victory continues a successful month for ŠKODA Rally Team Italia following Andreas Mikkelsen’s first place finish on Rally di San Marino, a round of the Italian Gravel Trophy on July 2.
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