Mon 23 Oct 2023

Finland return confirmed for FIA Junior WRC

A return to Secto Rally Finland lies in store for the FIA Junior WRC class of 2024 after the one-make series’ calendar was revealed today (Monday 23 October).

Open to drivers aged up to 30 and driving Ford Fiesta Rally3 Evos prepared by M-Sport Poland, the Junior WRC calendar for 2024 boasts five iconic rallies spread across a variety of surfaces.


A major change for the new campaign is the return of the legendary Secto Rally Finland with its lightning-fast roads and stomach-churning jumps. Not used in Junior WRC since 2019, the gravel event forms round four and takes place from 1 – 4 August.


But the season starts slightly further north in the snowy surrounds of Rally Sweden. Based in the university town of Umeå, the 15 – 18 February fixture will likely witness several crews’ ice-driving debuts but, thanks to Pirelli’s studded Sottozero tyres, traction will not be a worry.


A completely different challenge awaits at Croatia Rally (18 – 21 April), which hosts the only all-asphalt test of the year. Blind crests, fast corners and a surface which varies from smooth to badly broken will demand ultimate pace note precision.


Rally Italia Sardegna (30 May – 2 June) requires a unique approach with its soft and sandy gravel surface that becomes rougher as each car passes. The Mediterranean counter has served up endless Junior WRC drama in recent years and requires a tactical approach.


EKO Acropolis Rally Greece (5 – 8 September), taking in famous stages such as Tarzan and Bauxites, again forms the season decider and boasts the additional allure of double classification points.


The eventual champion will not only join a roll of honour which includes the likes of Sébastien Loeb and Thierry Neuville, but they will also receive a career-defining prize package featuring four fully-funded WRC2 drives in an M-Sport Fiesta Rally2 in 2025, plus 200 Pirelli tyres and full pre-event test day before each event.

"I think this calendar offers the best way to sample almost every surface the WRC has to offer which is designed to help nurture young talents who are focussed on growing and developing on the world stage," said FIA Junior WRC championship manager Maciej Woda.


“I am particularly looking forward to turning our attention to next season now as we are already speaking with numerous interested competitors. The calendar is the final piece in the puzzle for those who had one or two question marks over their plans for next year."


2024 FIA Junior WRC calendar:

 

Date Event Surface
15 - 18 February Rally Sweden Snow
18 - 21 April Croatia Rally Asphalt
30 May - 2 June Rally Italia Sardegna Gravel
1 - 4 August Secto Rally Finland Gravel
5 - 8 September EKO Acropolis Rally Greece Gravel
Latvia
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Italy
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Hungary
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM