NORBERT HERCZIG, RAMÓN FERENCZ (VOLKSWAGEN POLO R5) No place for tactic at all!
Norbert Herczig and Ramón Ferencz have been permanent participants of the European Rally Championship for years. For them Rally Hungary is the absolute highlight of the year, where there is no place for tactic. Four-time Hungarian Champion has promised to push as much as he can.
Why do you think this year’s Rally Hungary will be different from last year’s one?
Our preparation was a lot more relaxed, thanks to our experience with the car on these stages. No matter that we raced at home, there were some stages last year that we went on for the first time ever. But now we can take the on-board camera videos and every available images. So I can even help Patrik.
It is a kind of historical moment for you, because your own son is in the field, too. Is it strange a bit?
Yes, it definitely is! While we were putting together the plan at the beginning of the year, we knew that we would want to go to Rally Hungary. Then came the pandemic situation and we hoped that our race was to be organized somehow. Originally Patrik was going to go at only the Hungarian Championship race, but it turned out that the field of the national championship would complete only Day 1, so we changed the plan and entered him for the European Championship race. For him gaining experience is first priority. We have never raced together yet, so it will be strange not to be able to keep one eye on him. But at least we are not in the same category.
It may come…
No, I don’t think so. But who knows… Two years ago I thought that rally cross was the final destination for him, because I did not want to let him in the forest. And now he is here. I also said that we would never have a dog. And we have it now, so I try to be more careful with the commitments.
Let’s talk a bit about the season. How do you live through these challenging times as a rally driver?
It is very difficult. We were on standby during the whole year just to keep competitiveness whenever it was needed. Races were cancelled one after another, but we always made the preparation for the upcoming race, even if we did not have any information about it. Rally is about continuous adaptation anyway, and this year has just confirmed it. The suitcases are always in the corner of my room, I did not put them away at all. Racing equipment is being packed in just to be ready, if we can finally go.
How much time did you spend in racing car at the first half of the year?
Not too much. The season started only in autumn, the first race was off, then the Portuguese race went relatively well considering the long hiatus. With regard to the pandemic situation many things have changed in organization, so we keep already one eye on 2021, and we are looking forward to getting back to normal life.
But now let’s look back a bit. How do you remember last year’s Rally Hungary?
We raced in the most difficult conditions here at home, but to tell you the truth, I do love this kind of weather. Among the top drivers, except for Chris Ingram, in whose country it always rains, I think we laughed the most at last year’s race. It was pure rally, even if we had some problems with the gravel parts, and the four punctures we got surely sealed our fate. Though, it was great racing in front of the home crowd, I can tell you that there is no fans like them anywhere else.
What would you be satisfied with this year?
We started the season and collecting the points quite late, so we are not in the position to try any tactics. I think if there is a European Championship race in Hungary, and it is organized even in these challenging times, there is no place for tactics, we must push as much as we can. I hope that we can adapt the experience gained last year to this year’s race, and if the weather is a bit better, nothing wrong could happen.