FORMER M-SPORT FORD WORLD RALLY TEAM DRIVER ERIC CAMILLI WILL REDOUBLE HIS EFFORTS TO FIND A WAY BACK TO THE WRC’S TOP TABLE FOR NEXT SEASON.
Camilli has led four of the last five WRC 2 rounds he’s started and believes he has done enough to deserve a second chance in a World Rally Car.
The 31-year-old drove a factory Fiesta RS WRC through the 2016 season but has dropped back to an R5 car for the last two years.
While he remains contracted to Volkswagen Motorsport, having completed much of the Polo GTI R5 development running and given the car its WRC debut in Spain last year, he has permission from the Hannover factory to chase a full-time drive elsewhere.
“It’s fantastic to drive and do some testing with Volkswagen,” Camilli told wrc.com, “but because they can’t offer a programme, they told me they would not block me and they are open if I can find an opportunity to drive elsewhere.
“I have such a big passion to come back and to come back strong. I know I can still improve as well. I only did 60 rallies in my career and with more experience is coming more speed.”
Camilli dominated the last WRC 2 round in Corsica, winning 10 of the 11 stages he completed, before his BMA-run Polo was burned out on the second run at the 47km Castagniccia test.
“Corsica was my first rally since Spain last year, so it was good to come and do the times we were doing. I know what job I can do and I want to be back at the top. I am fighting and pushing as hard as I can for this. I’m talking to lots of teams about more rallies this year and we have to see what’s possible,” he added.
Camilli admitted the cause of the fire which destroyed the Polo remained a mystery.
“The team is investigating still,” he said. “I don’t know what happened, there was no warning. After 25km, I could smell some fumes. I slowed to try to look in the mirror. As soon as I took the car out of ‘stage’ mode, the fire came and there was no way to stop it.”