Registrations for the young driver-training series close today (Monday), leaving some of the sport’s hottest prospects with little time to finalise their plans to contest six rounds of this year’s FIA World Rally Championship powered by Nokia in identical Ford Fiesta R2s using Pirelli tyres.
The list of drivers include Yeray Lemes and Brendan Reeves, two of the shining lights from the inaugural WRC Academy season in 2011, plus promising rookie John MacCrone.
“Last year we came so close to success and podiums in the WRC Academy so this year we know what it is going to take to be the best,” said Australian Reeves. “We have been working very hard with our Brendan Reeves Supporters’ Club to raise the funds we need; organising functions, auctions and selling roof stickers. We really have to be out there again - especially now that we can put everything we learnt last year into this year’s campaign.”
Spaniard Lemes, meanwhile, has created a Facebook page to try and secure funding, while MacCrone is appealing to fans and businesses in his native Scotland to invest in his programme.
“We have part of the budget but still need to raise some more,” said MacCrone. “We have started up the Rally Team Scotland Clan, a supporters’ club where people can help us out. We really want to be in the WRC Academy this season. It is the most cost effective way of learning the WRC events. Some of the fastest young drivers in the world will be fighting for the prize at the end of the season, and we want to be a part of that.”