The FIA Junior WRC Championship has attracted another strong entry and 13 all-new EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta R2s will line up for the start of the season at next month’s Rally Sweden.
The exciting 2019 line-up sees drivers representing 10 countries across three continents, and the competition is expected to be stronger than ever as they do battle for one of the biggest prizes in motorsport – ownership of a brand-new Ford Fiesta R5 expected to launch this summer and 200 competition tyres from Pirelli.
A number of familiar faces are back and more determined than ever – not least Sweden’s Dennis Rådström who was last year’s runner-up with two victories to his name.
Estonia’s Ken Torn proved he has the speed to win and will be looking for more of the same, as will Germany’s Julius Tannert who puts his experience to good use in pursuit of a return to the top-step of the podium.
Italy’s Enrico Oldrati and the UK’s Tom Williams are keen to show their progress over the past 12 months, and Romania’s Raul Badiu is returning for a full season having enjoyed his taster at last year’s Rally Turkey.
The 2018 FIA European Under 27 Junior Champion and Vice Champion are stepping up to the world stage – Latvia’s Mārtiņš Sesks and Sweden’s Tom Kristensson both signed up for the year.
Jan Solans – younger brother of 2017 Champion Nil Solans – is confirmed having secured six wins out of six on his way to the Junior R2 Championship title in Spain.
Estonia’s Roland Poom joins the ranks having finished second only to Torn in last year’s Estonian Junior Championship, and Nico Knacker makes his WRC debut after competiting in his native Germany.
Two competitors from outside Europe are also signed up – Fabrizzio Zaldivar from Paraguay and Sean Johnston from the United States. Zaldivar will be making his debut outside South America next month, whereas Johnston started his career in Europe last year.
The championship is still taking entries for the following rounds in Corsica, Italy, Finland and Wales and all those interested are encouraged to contact Michał Moździerz (firstname.lastname@example.org).
FIA Junior WRC Championship Manager, Maciej Woda, said:
“It’s fantastic to see such a strong entry for this year’s FIA Junior WRC Championship and I can’t wait to see what this year’s crop of talented young drivers are capable of.
“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!
“I’m extremely proud of the all-new EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta R2 that we launched at the end of last year, and I’m thrilled to have 13 of these fantastic new cars lined up on the start line in Sweden.
“These young guys are going to have a lot of fun behind the wheel of this car, and the prize is bigger than ever – ownership of one of the very first Ford Fiesta R5s which is due to launch in the summer as well as a generous tyre package from Pirelli.
“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, and there’s still time for further drivers to get involved so I’d encourage any interested parties to get in touch without delay!”
FIA Junior WRC Championship entries:
Raul Badiu (ROU) Sean Johnston (USA) Nico Knacker (GER) Tom Kristensson (SWE) Enrico Oldrati (ITA) Roland Poom (EST) Dennis Rådström (SWE) Mārtiņš Sesks (LAT) Jan Solans (ESP) Julius Tannert (GER) Ken Torn (EST) Tom Williams (GBR) Fabrizzio Zaldivar (PAR)