ERC drivers


Alberto Battistolli

Nationality: Italian
Date of birth: 26/07/1997
Co-driver: Simon Scattolin (Italien)
Team: Delta Rally
Car: Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo

Career in short: The university graduate followed his father and historic rallying ace Luigi
‘Lucky’ Battistolli by launching his motorsport career, initially in previous-era machinery.

With the support of the ACI Team Italia talent-backing initiative, Battistolli made more progress and gained more experience in 2022 scoring a career-best fifth in Fafe.

Yoann Bonato

Nationality: French
Date of birth: 13/05/1983
Co-driver: Benjamin Boulloud (French)
Team: CHL Sport Auto
Car: Citroën C3 Rally2

Career in short: A four-time French Tarmac champion, Bonato completed the 2022 ERC season in style with a first victory in Catalyuna to add to podiums in Gran Canaria and Rome.

Along with co-driver Boulloud, Bonato planted a tree for every fastest stage time during their combined French and European campaigns in 2021.

Simone Campedelli

Nationality: Italian
Date of birth:
Tania Canton (Italian)
Team MRF Tyres
Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo

Career in short: Campedelli’s 2021 ERC bid marked a return to international competition after several seasons focused on events closer to home.

And he liked it so much that he continued in the championship in 2022. In addition to his ERC campaign last season, Campedelli – who has considerable support category experience at world championship level – claimed the Italian Tarmac title.

Miklós Csomós

Nationality: Hungarian
Date of birth: 10/06/1993
Co-driver: Viktor Bán (Hungarian)
Team: GR Motorsport Kft.
Car: Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo

Career in short: Despite only stepping up to Rally2 level full time in 2020, Csomós – who tackled selected events in the ERC in two -wheel-drive machinery in the past – produced a hugely impressive 2021 season in his homeland by finishing runner-up in the national

That was the launchpad to a major ERC programme in 2022. He wasn’t eligible for points then due to his use of a tyre not provided by a registered supplier, but he begins ERC
2023 with Pirelli covers and a more up-to-date car.

Erik Cais

Nationality: Czech
Date of birth: 05/08/1999
Co-driver: Igor Bacigál (Slovak)
Team: Yacco ACCR Team
Car: Škoda Fabia RS Rally2

Career in short: Cais was a downhill mountain bike world cup racer before injury stopped him in his tracks. He’s since taken international rallying by storm in the ERC and, more recently, WRC2, where he’s been a podium finisher.

Cais, who won the FIA Central European Rally Trophy in 2022, switches from Ford to Škoda power for 2023. 

Bogdan Cuzma

Nationality: Romanian
Date of birth: 20/01/1990
Co-driver: Ilka Minor (Austrian)
Team: Keane Motorsport Kft.
Car: Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo

Career in short: A former Romanian hillclimb champion, Cuzma has made rallying his focus since 2021 and steps up to the ERC after placing fourth in his national championship in 2022.

Competing under the CB Rally Vest banner, Cuzma hopes to switch to a Fabia RS Rally2
during the year

Mathieu Franciaschi

Nationality: French
Date of birth: 201/05/1999
Co-driver: Jules Escartefigue (French)
Team: ALD Motorsport
Car: Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo

Career in short: The younger brother of former Junior ERC champion Jean-Baptiste Francheschi, Mathieu Franceschi began competing on major events in 2018 and finished second to Adrien Fourmaux in the French Junior series that year.

He joined PH Sport for 2019 and claimed the French 2WD crown in 2020. A builder by profession, Franceschi made has ERC debut in Poland in 2021 and won all 10 rallies he started in 2022 to clinch the French Gravel Rally Championship title. 

Mikko Heikkilä

Nationality: Finnish
Birth of date: 17/01/1992
Co-driver: Samu Vaaleri (Finnish)
Team: The Racing Factory
Car: Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo

Career in short:Heikkilä brings form and pedigree to the ERC for 2023 when he will mount his first full campaign at European level.

With a podium on Tet Rally Liepāja last season, Heikkilä is the reigning Finnish champion following a standout 2022 campaign.

Gregor Jeets

Nationality: Estonian
Date of birth: 16/12/2000
Co-driver: Timo Taniel (Estonian)
Team: Tehase Auto
Car: Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo

Career in short: A second-generation driver – Jeets handed his 2021 Rally Liepāja entry to his father Raul when a back injury meant he couldn’t compete – the younger family member scored an ERC career-best fifth on the Latvian event last season.

He’s hoping to make at least four ERC appearances this year. Jeets is combining his rallying career with a university degree in the city of Tartu, home of Rally Estonia.

Jarosław Kołtun

Nationality: Polish
Date of birth: 27/02/1978
Co-driver: Ireneusz Pleskot (Polish)
Team: Plon RT
Car: Ford Fiesta R5 Mkll

Career in short: Kołtun, a regular in the European and Polish championships over the years, is a successful businessman in his native Poland when he’s not competing.

Tom Kristensson

Nationality: Swedish
Date of birth: 30/04/1991
Co-driver: Andreas Johansson (Swedish)
Team: Bilteknik TRT Citroën Rally Team
Car: Citroën C3 Rally2

Pályafutása röviden: Kristensson stepped up to Junior ERC for 2018 as his prize for winning the ADAC Opel Rallye Cup in Germany the previous year. After finishing runner-up to team-mate Mārtiņš Sesks, Kristensson made the move to the Junior WRC, finishing second in the standings before going one better in 2020.

After a tough first season in Rally2 machinery, Kristensson became Polish champion in 2022 and also won the FIA European Rally Trophy Final in Germany.

Martin László

Nationality: Hungarian
Date of birth: 18/12/1996
Co-driver: Dávid Berendi (Hungarian)
Team: Topp-Cars Rally Team
Car: Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo

Career in short:An ERC regular in two-wheel-drive machinery, László stepped up to Rally2 power in the ERC on last August’s Barum Czech Rally Zlín and impressed by finishing ninth overall in a Škoda Fabia.

He built on that performance by placing fifth on the 2022 ERC finale in Catalunya, a result he matched at the FIA Motorsport Games the following week while representing his native Hungary. And he completed 2022 by winning the annual Szilveszter Rallye at the Hungaroring

Georg Linnamäe

Nationality: Estonian
Date of birth: 08/07/1998
Co-driver: James Morgan (British)
Team: RedGrey Team
Car: Hyundai i20 N Rally2

Career in short: Linnamäe made his top-level ERC debut on Rally Liepāja in 2021 and finished in the points. His return to the championship in Fafe last season was even more impressive as he completed the podium on the back of a stage-winning display.

Linnamäe, who has switched to Hyundai power for 2023, also competes in WRC2.

Efrén Llarena

Nationality: Spanish
Date of birth: 26/05/1995
Co-driver: Sara Fernández (Spanish)
Team: Team MRF Tyres
Car: Škoda Fabia RS Rally2

Career in short: Llarena, who claimed an ERC3/ERC3 Junior title double in 2019 with backing from the Spanish ASN RFEDA, finished runner-up in the overall standings in 2021 before becoming champion last season.

It was co-driver Fernández’s second ERC crown after she became the ERC’s first female co-driving champion in 2021. Llarena builds and maintains rally cars when he’s not driving them

Andrea Mabellini

Nationality: Italian
Date of birth: 10/08/1999
Co-driver: Virginia Lenzi (Italian)
Team: MRF Tyres Dealer Team
Car: Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo

Career in short: Mabellini, a qualified plumber, started competing online before doing so for real, albeit in circuit racing. The Italian’s capture of the inaugural Clio Trophy by Toksport WRT in 2021 was his second major award in the ERC in as many years after he claimed the Abarth Rally Cup crown in 2020.

His Clio success earned him a three-event prize drive in a Renault Clio Rally4 in 2022. Having impressed in two-wheel drive, Mabellini gets his big
chance in four-wheel drive in ERC 2023.

Miko Marczyk

Nationality: Polish
Date of birth: 24/10/1995
Co-driver: Szymon Gospodarczyk (Polish)
Team: Orlen Team
Car: Škoda Fabia RS Rally2

Career in short:  Marczyk raced karts indoors before he got the chance to go rallying in 2016. Three years later he became Polish champion and took the title for a second time in 2021,
when he also placed third in the final ERC standings.

He finished the season as the leading ERC-Michelin Talent Factory member and used his achievements as the catalyst for step up to WRC2 in 2022.

Filip Mareš

Nationality: Czech
Date of birth: 22/08/1991
Co-driver: Radovan Bucha (Czeczh)
Team: ACCR Entry Engineering
Car: Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo

Career in short:  Runner-up in the Czech championship for the last two seasons, Mareš returns to the ERC in 2023 for a full-season programme.

An office worker by profession, Mareš, who beat Chris Ingram to the 2019 Junior ERC1 title by 0.3s, is from Mladá Boleslav,
the home of Škoda. 

Josh McErlean

Nationality: Irish
Date of birth: 06/07/1996
Co-driver: Brian Hoy (Irish)
Team: Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy
Car: Hyundai i20 N Rally2

Career in short: A winner of the prestigious Billy Coleman Award in Ireland, McErlean made his ERC debut on Rally Hungary 2020 as part of his Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy training.

A Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Junior Driver, McErlean is combing his WRC2 efforts with a selection of ERC appearances.

Andrea Nucita

Nationality: Italian
Date of birth: 02/10/1989
Co-driver: Elio De Guio (Italian)
Team: Racingnetwork
Car: Hyundai i20 N Rally2

Career in short: Sicilian Nucita, who won the ERC-based Abarth Rally Cup in 2019, is back in the European championship for 2023 armed with a Hyundai i20 N Rally2 from Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing outfit Friulmotor and overseen by Franco Cunico, the 19-time ERC event winner and triple Italian champion, who was appointed Team Director of Racingnetwork by Team Principal Alessandro Furci last December.

Mads Østberg

Nationality: Norwegian
Date of birth: 11/10/1987
Co-driver: Patrik Barth (Swedish)
Team: MRF Tyres Dealer Team
Car: Citroën C3 Rally2

Career in short:While Østberg might lack ERC event knowledge, his experience is vast having made his World Rally Championship debut back in 2006. During that time the Norwegian was a factory driver for Citroën and M-Sport (Ford), clocked up 65 stage wins,
finished on the podium 18 times and claimed victory on Rally de Portugal in 2012.

He won the WRC2 title in 2020 before claiming the Hungarian national title in 2022. Østberg is also a four-time Norwegian champion

Patrick O'Brien

Nationality: Irish
Date of birth: 22/04/1997
Co-driver: Stephen O’Brien (Irish)
Team: Motorsport Ír Rally Academy
Car: Škoda Fabia R5

Career in short: The 2022 Irish Forestry champion turned to watching ERC All Live plus former European champion Chris Ingram for vital tips ahead of his ERC debut in Fafe.

A rally car mechanic, who is co-driven by older brother Stephen, O’Brien competes in the ex-Toksport WRT Škoda Fabia R5 Ingram used during the 2018 ERC.

Hayden Paddon

Nationality: New-Zealander
Date of birth: 22/04/1987
Co-driver: John Kennard (New-Zealander)
Team: BRC Racing Team
Car: Hyundai i20 N Rally2

Career in short: A WRC event winner during his stint with the factory Hyundai squad, Paddon has chosen the ERC for his latest rallying challenge having tried the series for size in Latvia last season. Paddon is a six-time winner of the New Zealand championship and claimed the FIA Asia Pacific title in 2022.

As well as chasing success in the ERC, Paddon will contest several rounds of the New Zealand championship in his in his Hyundai i20 AP4+, plus an expanded schedule of events with the Hyundai Kona EV rally car. This season will be his 18th with co-driver Kennard.

Mārtiņš Sesks

Nationality: Latvian
Date of birth: 18/09/1999
Navigátor: Renars Francis (Latvian)
Team: Team MRF Tyres
Car: Škoda Fabia RS Rally2

Career in short: Sesks is the son of ex-rally driver Uldis Sesks, the former city council chairperson of Liepāja, venue of round four of the 2023 ERC, where Sesks was born and still lives.

He’s also a former Junior ERC champion and claimed his maiden outright win on his home
event last year

Rachele Somaschini

Nationality: Italian
Date of birth: 18/02/1994
Co-driver: Nicola Arena (Italian)
Team: FPF Sport
Car: Citroën C3 Rally2

Career in short: A former class champion in hillclimb, Somaschini combines rallying successfully at Rally2 level in the ERC and her native Italy with raising awareness of cystic fibrosis, a condition she suffers from, through the #CorrerePerUnRespiro campaign.

Simone Tempestini

Nationality: Romanian
Date of birth: 12/08/1994
Co-driver: Sergiu Itu (Romanian)
Team: Napoca Rally Academy
Car: Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo

Career in short: Italy-born Tempestini followed his father Marco into rallying. He used experience gained in the ERC to step up to the WRC and claimed the Junior WRC and WRC3 titles in 2016. A seven-time Romanian champion, Tempestini has made the ERC his focus
again in 2023 after he placed fourth in the final standings.

His long-term co-driver Itu won a silver medal in the 2010 European Junior Swimming Championship

Pontus Tidemand

Nationality: Swedish
Date of birth: 12/12/1990
Co-driver: Julia Thulin (svéd)
Team: MRF Tyres Dealer Team
Car: Ford Fiesta Rally2

Career in short: Tidemand’s ERC campaign in 2023 represents something of a career renaissance for the Sweden, whose last major programme was in 2020 when he finished runner-up in WRC2, a feat he also achieved in 2018 having won the title in 2017.

Henning Solberg’s stepson’s CV also includes the 2013 JWRC title and the 2015 Asia-Pacific championship.

Robert Virves

Nationality: Estonian
Date of birth: 08/07/2000
Co-driver: Hugo Magalhães (Portuguese)
Team: RedGrey Team
Car: Ford Fiesta Rally2

Career in short: A protégé of former world champion Ott Tänak, Virves achieved initial success in Estonia and Latvia before he made the move to international level with a one-off JWRC run in Estonia in 2020. He finished fifth in the JWRC the following season before
claiming the crown in a final-round decider on EKO Acropolis Rally Greece last September.

Virves also managed to make two ERC appearances in 2022, taking ERC3 class honours on each occasion.

Simon Wagner

Nationality: Austrian
Date of birth: 18/04/1993
Co-driver: Gerald Winter (Austrian)
Team: Eurosol Racing Team Hungary
Car: Škoda Fabia RS Rally2

Career in short: With previous experience in the Junior ERC, Wagner returned to ERC duty on the 50th Barum Czech Rally Zlín in 2021 fresh from landing a hat-trick of Austrian championship event wins. Having claimed two ERC podiums in 2022, he starts what he hopes will be an expanded European campaign in 2023 as the back-to-back Austrian champion.