Callum Devine might not have repeated his debut Rally Hungary podium heroics of 12 months ago but his performance on this year’s FIA European Rally Championship counter was arguably better.
Driving a Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy Hyundai i20 R5, Devine and stand-in co-driver James Fulton placed seventh overall and fourth in ERC1 Junior in a hugely competitive field with a class stage win another highlight for the Hyundai Junior Driver.
“It was the first ERC event I’ve done twice and that took an element of the unknown away that has been there with other events this season,” said Devine. “It sounds a very simple thing, but staying out of trouble in Hungary will always mean you have a chance, it’s such a difficult event.
“Last year’s Rally Hungary was extremely wet. This year it was much drier but that meant a lot of the mud on the road wasn’t washed away, it just kept getting compacted into the road and that actually made it more slippery than last year. We had an eventful opening day with a puncture and a short visit to a field on the night stage but our times were competitive and we were able to refine the set-up of the Hyundai i20 R5 as the day progressed.”
On day two, Devine was second fastest of all on stage 11 and spent much of the leg locked in battle with double ERC Junior champion Marijan Griebel.
“It’s always good to be trading seconds with someone like Marijan,” said Devine. “To overhaul him and take seventh place at the finish was a good feeling.”