Ten countries are represented in a strong 13-car entry for the FIA Junior WRC opener at this weekend’s Rally Sweden (14 - 17 February).
Dennis Rådström, championship runner-up last year after losing out to fellow Swede Emil Bergkvist at the final round, returns for another title bid.
Other familiar faces back for 2019 are Estonia’s Ken Torn, Germany’s Julius Tannert, Italy’s Enrico Oldrati and Briton Tom Williams.
A cluster of newcomers step up to the world stage from the European Championship’s under 27 junior category. They include champion Mārtiņš Sesks from Latvia and runner-up Tom Kristensson from Sweden.
Jan Solans, younger brother of 2017 champion Nil, is confirmed after securing a clean sweep of six wins en route to the Junior R2 title in Spain. Estonia’s Roland Poom joins the ranks having finished second to Torn in last year’s Estonian Junior Championship.
Two competitors from outside Europe have signed up, Fabrizzio Zaldivar from Paraguay and Sean Johnston from the United States. Zaldivar will make his debut outside south America while Johnston started his career in Europe last year.
Championship manager Maciej Woda is excited by the strength of the entry.
“With 13 crews from 10 different countries and three different continents, the championship has retained its global appeal and we have more national and European champions within our ranks than ever before,” he said.
“We’re in for another thrilling season and I can’t wait for the action to get underway. I expect the competition to be more competitive and more exciting than ever.”
All entrants will drive M-Sport’s all-new Ford Fiesta R2 and the series winner will be rewarded with a new-specification Fiesta R5 and 200 competition tyres.