The 2014 FIA Junior World Rally Championship kicks off this week in Portugal, with fourteen youngsters ready to prove themselves in this year’s revised competition.
This year’s JWRC will enter a new era with Citroën Racing, and all competitors, who must be aged 28 or under, will drive 1600cc, two-wheel drive DS3 R3 cars instead of the Ford Fiesta R2 cars used in recent seasons.
The six-round championship has attracted a strong list of entries, each eager to emulate the success of former champions like Dani Sordo (2005), Sebastien Ogier (2008) and Elfyn Evans (2012).
The adoption of Citroen power should benefit a number of drivers with prior experience of the 210bhp turbo-charged DS3, in WRC3 or national trophy competition.
Tipped to do well in Portugal are Christian Riedemann, Federico Della Casa, Alister Fisher and Simone Campedelli – all of whom contested Citroen’s Top Driver series in 2013.
A number of former WRC Academy drivers are back too, including Martin Koci, Jan Cerny and Molly Taylor.
This year’s JWRC drivers will tackle all the stages of each round, rather than the shortened itinerary of recent years.
The action starts on Thursday afternoon, (3 April) with the Super Special stage in Lisbon.