The ACCR Racing21 team has announced its programme for the 2023 competition season. In addition to this year's starts in the Autoclub MČR historic car championship and the Rallysprint Cup 2+ series, the team is also planning to participate in the prestigious international East African Safari Classic Rally. Navigator Veronika Havelková will rejoin the Racing21 team during the 2023 season.
Celica returns to the fight
The crew of the ACCR Racing21 team Vojtěch Štajf and Vladimír Zelinka will symbolically start this year's season in automotive competitions by taking part in the 31st Historic Vltava Rallye in April in a Toyota Celica GT-Four ST165. The Racing21 team is thus deploying this legendary competition special, which underwent an important development phase last year as well as at the beginning of this year, to most of the historic car events in Group 4 of the Czech Championship. This season of the domestic championship should test Toyota's performance for its future entry in the FIA European Historic Rally Championship in the following season of 2024. Approximately in the middle of this year, Veronika Havelková, who has been fully devoted to her maternal duties, will return to the role of Vojtěch Štajf s navigator. "Verča and I have experienced many nice competitions together, but the victory with Fabia R5 at the Qatar Rally in 2018 was especially memorable. I believe that we will build on all our successes again, and together we will enjoy the second half of this season in the racing Toyota Celica. Thanks to intensive consultations with Jari-Matti Latvala, who himself occasionally competes with the same car, we are now much better prepared for the sharp starts than last year. I am also pleased with the fact that our team will deploy two additional cars in selected events of the domestic historic championship, namely the Ford Fiesta XR2 and the Opel Kadett C GT/E, which won two European championship titles," said Racing21 manager and driver Vojtěch Štajf about the team's plans for this year's Czech historic championship.
Rallysprint redemption with Fabia R5
Just like last year, Vojtěch Štajf will also appear with his navigator František Rajnoha at the start of all competitions in the Cup 2+ of the Autoklub Rallysprint series. The ŠKODA FABIA R5 will fight for the overall victory in this series. "Even though last year in the Cup 2+ Franta and I were still in the lead before the last race, we unfortunately lost the overall victory. We are therefore returning to all this year's rallysprints to fight for the coveted gold again. We will be relying on our long-established cooperation with the Duck racing team and the Škoda Fabia R5," Štajf confirms his goals in the series of one-day contemporary car competitions.
Safari Classic is a new challenge
The highlight of this year's demanding season will be the start of the ACCR Racing 21 crew consisting of Vojtěch Štajf - Jan Bejvl at the international East African Safari Classic Rally 2023. For this challenging competition, which takes place on 9 - 18 December in the African territories of Kenya and Tanzania, the Racing21 team is preparing a new addition to its workshops - the historic Opel Ascona A racing car. The track is over 4,000 kilometres long, about half of which consisting of special stages, and takes place over the course of nine days. The gravel competition, announced for non-turbo and 4x4 cars certified before the end of 1985, has had 10 editions in this format since 2003, but its historical roots go back to the 1950s. It is no surprise then that over the past decade, the East African Safari Classic Rally has been attended by some of the world's most prominent rally racers, such as drivers Stig Blomqvist, Juha Kankkunen, Björn Waldegård, Michéle Mouton, navigators Fabrizia Pons, Stéphane Prévot and this year's WRC participant Nicolas Gilsoul. The tragically deceased Ken Block competed here in the last edition of 2022. "After our participation in two editions of the South American asphalt event, La Carrera Panamericana, the Safari Classic Rally is another of the many challenges I have taken on. Despite the differences, for example in the surface of the tracks, both of these are long-distance, marathon competitions, which I have always been attracted to. Today there are not many such competitions around the world. The gravel track in Africa is of course very demanding, and the cars have to be prepared a bit differently than for classic competitions. That's why we decided to add the legendary 1972 Opel Ascona A to our collection of historic racing cars," commented Vojtěch Štajf on this year's debut start at the East African Safari Classic Rally: "We acquired this car with its original sporting history in February in Sweden and have already started to prepare it thoroughly. At the moment we are also dealing with the logistics processes as well as the marketing cooperation with the partners on this project. In some aspects, we use the experience of Ondrej Coufal, who took part in this legendary African competition in 2015 behind the wheel of a Datsun 240Z. It will be the icing on the cake for the 2023 season and we are looking forward to this African adventure with the whole team."
Details of ACCR Racing21's entry in the 2023 East African Safari Classic Rally will be announced later in the year.
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