Gilbert: Junior title 'a dream come true'
Frenchman sealed the title in Corsica
The format will remain identical, with all drivers at the wheel of DS 3 R3-MAXs and the winner earning a six-rally WRC 2 programme in 2017.
The championship has provided a WRC foothold for several drivers who have gone on to reach the top level. Previous winners include Sébastien Loeb, Dani Sordo, Sébastien Ogier, Martin Prokop, Elfyn Evans and 2014 champion Stéphane Lefebvre.
“The purpose of this formula is to support and encourage the emergence of new talents,” said Citroën Racing customer manager Marek Nawarecki. “We take great care to ensure that there are a variety of surfaces when drawing up the calendar.
“These demanding rallies give the most talented drivers the chance to show what they can do and give all the competitors the opportunity to acquire experience. The international dimension taken by the FIA Junior WRC is important in our opinion. In the space of two years, we have had drivers from 16 different countries, spread across three continents.”
Quentin Gilbert secured the 2015 title in Corsica this month with his fourth victory in five rallies. The fight for the runners-up spot will continue at Rally RACC Catalunya – Costa Daurada (22 – 25 October), the penultimate round.
All six other competitors in Spain for the mixed surface event can mathematically finish second, but it is likely to come down to a battle between Norway’s Ole Christian Veiby (above) and Simone Tempestini.
Nineteen-year-old Veiby, who claimed podiums in Monte-Carlo and Finland, heads Tempestini by five points. The Italian is the only driver to knock Gilbert off top spot, having won in Poland.
Frenchman Terry Folb struggled to turn his performances into results early in the year but bagged 30 points from the last two rounds in Finland and Corsica. Only Gilbert scored more, but Folb must close a 22 point gap on Veiby.