The previous winners of Mecsek Rally (3.) Norbert Herczig: Here we won the Championship for the fourth time

június 15, 2022

The Mecsek Rally is my favourite event in the Hungarian championship. I have competed here the most times, more than twenty times. I can probably say that I know quite a lot of grass in the area. In 2017, we won the championship for the fourth time on this event. This was the penultimate race and we secured the Championship here. When I was driving home, I remember stopping at Pécsvárad and looking back at the hills of Mecsek, it was very touching for me because in 2017 it was the farewell to the Hungarian Championship – looks back on his successful era in Pécs, the three-time winner of the race (2012, 2014, 2017).

The other, which is also an emotional issue and must be mentioned, is the person of István Jelen, whose name is intertwined with the Mecsek Rally. When he dreamed up the idea of creating an international race in 2010, I remember the energy he put into it and we worked on it together. He made a huge sacrifice for it, but it didn’t end well for him. But he stuck to his dream and in 2011 he organised the first IRC race with big names who went on to do well at the World Championship too. I am sorry he is no longer with us!

After the Hungarian championship, we are now in our fourth year in the ERC, and from this year we are competing for an Indian tyre manufacturer, Team MRF Tyres. It is a great opportunity and an honour to be selected for this team. On the other hand, it has also put us in a difficult situation, because unexpected events have happened that we have never had before in our career. For example, there are team instructions and different tactics, so we cannot necessarily go according to our own ideas, and we do not always know the tyres we are using properly, so we sometimes make the wrong decisions, which is reflected in our results. So I have to say – beyond the middle of the championship – that this year will be a year of getting used to the tyres.

We have had some mistakes, I could call them administrative mistakes, which have also set us back and we are not where we would have liked to be. But we are not giving up, it is a sport. We are not in such good shape now, but we are moving forward.