Monday | 01 Feb 2021

Junior hotshots chase new prize package

This year’s FIA Junior WRC champion can choose between driving a Ford Fiesta Rally2 or the Rally3 version next season in an exciting new-look prize package.

The long-standing top prize of the keys to a brand-new M-Sport Ford Fiesta Rally2, 200 Pirelli tyres, free registration for the 2022 WRC3 and free entries for five WRC rounds will be retained, on condition of the champion competing in a minimum of five WRC events.

An alternative prize will offer fully funded drives in a four-wheel drive M-Sport Poland-built Fiesta Rally3 on five selected WRC rallies in 2022, including registration for WRC’s Rally3 category championship.

Junior WRC team director Maciej Woda said the option reflected the difficult conditions currently facing competitors, while still ensuring the champion has the opportunity to move up the sport’s ladder.

“It is of paramount importance to FIA Junior WRC and our stakeholders that drivers are able to develop and progress their WRC careers after winning the FIA Junior WRC Championship,” he added.

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“M-Sport, for good reason, has worked hard to develop its Ladder of Opportunity which reflects the FIA’s Rally Car Pyramid.

“Thankfully we are in a fortunate position to offer a car at every level of the FIA Rally Car Pyramid and, with the introduction of the Rally3 category, there is now a more accessible entry-level tier for four-wheel drive machinery.

“The new Fiesta Rally3 allows us to offer five fully funded prize drives in the WRC in four-wheel drive machinery as opposed to expecting the champion to obtain budget to run a Rally2 car on five WRC rounds.

“Should the champion have the resources in place to run a Rally2 programme, that’s fantastic and we wouldn’t discourage them from doing so.”

This year’s championship features five rounds, beginning on Croatia’s sealed surface roads in April. Gravel events in Portugal and Estonia follow, before the series returns to asphalt for the final two rounds in Belgium and Spain.