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Mon 01 Aug 2022

McErlean ready for Finland after Hyundai rebuild

WRC2 challenger Josh McErlean’s Hyundai i20 N Rally2 has undergone a complete rebuild in preparation for this week’s Secto Rally Finland (4 - 7 August).

It’s been a hectic few weeks for McErlean’s PCRS Rallysport mechanics after the 23-year-old rolled the car on the final day of last month’s Rally Estonia. 

McErlean was able to continue the event - minus the front windscreen - and finished third overall in the WRC2 Junior category, although his Hyundai was displaying its fair share of battle scars at the finish. 

Since then, the car has been stripped down to a bare bodyshell before being rebuilt and is now ready to go for the championship’s eighth round this week. 

“The guys and girls at PCRS have done an incredible job of getting the car re-prepared in time,” explained McErlean.

“Every one of them has worked in overdrive mode and I’d like to say a huge thanks to them for all their efforts. Behind the scenes, we have all been working hard to be as prepared as possible for Finland as we know that we can’t afford to be complacent.

“James [Fulton, co-driver] and I have been putting in plenty of hours too. The whole team have put serious effort in for this coming week and we are all eager to reap the rewards of our energy,” he added. 

The entry for the Jyväskylä-based fixture is awash with flying Finns, including the likes of Emil Lindholm, Eerik Pietarinen and Sami Pajari. 

McErlean currently holds eighth in the WRC2 Junior standings. The Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy driver remained realistic on his Finland prospects and admitted he will be achieving a childhood dream by simply competing on the superfast stages.

“It’s a childhood dream to compete at Rally Finland,” he smiled. “It won’t be easy, but I want to enjoy the challenge ahead and keep building the experience and mileage as part of my career progression.

“The rally is one of the toughest in the world and we will be lucky to get another podium on my first ever trip to Finland. The guys competing at home have a huge advantage here, but we have some testing planned to get bedded into the unique nature of the roads.”

  • Full coverage from Secto Rally Finland will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.
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