This season’s new-look FIA Junior WRC is gearing up for a strong campaign with more than 10 drivers from across the globe signing up since entries opened a month ago.
Some familiar faces will be joined by new names as the DMACK-supported series switches to M-Sport-prepared turbocharged Ford Fiesta R2T cars.
Frenchman Terry Folb, who finished fifth in last year’s Junior standings, returns while fellow countryman Nicolas Ciamin (below) steps up after showing strong pace in the 2016 Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy.
British junior champion Rob Duggan will start as one of the favourites and Germany’s Julius Tannert, who finished fourth in last year’s European Championship junior standings should be prominent.
Sebastian Careaga from Bolivia and Mexican Miguel Medina represent south and central America, while Swede Denis Radstrom, Miko Niinemae from Estonia, and Georgia’s Shalva Tsikhelashvili add to the diverse mix of countries.
M-Sport Junior WRC manager Maciek Woda is looking forward to an affordable competitive series across the six rounds.
“We’ve established a successful format with the Fiesta R2T, it has proven to be a fantastic platform for young drivers to showcase their skills. The new format has sparked interest from around the world and, with this year’s Junior WRC set to be even more cost effective, the competition will be fierce,” he said.
The series will be split into paired events with two 2018 WRC 2 prize drives awarded to the driver scoring the most points in each of the three pairs. The overall champion will win a similar drive. However, competitors can simply tackle one or two selected events to chase the prize drives.
The series is seen as the perfect platform for rising young stars to get their first taste of WRC action. Previous winners include Sébastien Loeb (2001), Dani Sordo (2005), Sébastien Ogier (2008), Craig Breen (2011) and Elfyn Evans (2012), all of whom progressed to the sport’s highest level.
More information is available here.