Josh McErlean will continue his FIA European Rally Championship adventure on Rally Islas Canarias next week, a fitting reward for his fine run to P11 on his ERC debut earlier this month.
As well as scoring points on Rally Hungary, the 21-year-old’s performance on the challenging sealed-surface event left a strong impression on Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy bosses, who handed him the opportunity to step up to international level for the first time in Hungary.
“It was definitely tricky all round, every stage was different in terms of changing grip levels,” McErlean told British weekly newspaper Motorsport News. “Going into the last loop of stages we were in a battle for the top 10 but we were ordered to get the car to the finish. I think by not going into a battle or doing anything silly and making no mistakes showed we drove a mature rally and what we did on that front and was definitely noted down.”
He continued: “We had a steady approach to Rally Hungary and it’s really paid off. To get the phone call that we were going to push forward to go to Rally Islas Canarias is another dream come true, two ERC rallies on the trot is definitely something I never thought of at the start of the year. We’re delighted and we’ll have to start the hard work again and make the most of the opportunity.”
McErlean, who is co-driven by Keaton Williams, will once again partner Callum Devine in the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy line-up, the Irish ASN’s talent-backing initiative. Both will drive Hyundai’s i20 R5 on the asphalt-based Rally Islas Canarias, which is set to take place from November 26-28.