When he’s not contesting the FIA European Junior Rally Championship, you’ll still find Florin Tincescu with the Napoca Rally Academy team – as a mechanic or making gravel notes.
The talented young Romania driver has embarked on a busy season – contesting both ERC Juniors and the Romanian National Championship. And when he’s not driving himself, he is helping his Napoca Rally Academy team-mate and friend Simone Tempestini.
“Napoca Rally Academy is like my family and every time I’m not racing I play different roles,” said Tincescu. “For example, at Rallye Monte Carlo I was gravel crew and I inspected the stages before the official start, in order to provide Simone Tempestini with updated information about the situation on the stages. At Rally Sweden and Rally Mexico I helped him as a mechanic in service. I enjoy working with cars and these activities help me a lot in understanding how a rally car actually works.”
Poland’s Łukasz Pieniążek has already shown great speed and skill in the opening two rounds of the ERC Junior category, scoring his first ever championship points on the Discover Northern Ireland Circuit of Ireland.
We asked the 24-year-old Peugeot 208 R2 driver from Częstochowa how the first part of his three-year ERC Junior plan is progressing – and what he is looking forward to next.
How have the first two ERC Junior rounds gone for you?
“First of all, I am very happy that I had the opportunity to take part in those rallies! It was an incredible adventure. I am pleased with the progress we are making and we were also able to realise our goals.”
How much are you looking forward to SATA Rallye Açores?
“This will be my first visit to the Azores, but I have followed the reports on Eurosport last year and I can say one thing – it will be the most beautiful rally in the entire series, but also the most difficult.”
What are you most looking forward to in the remaining ERC Junior events?
“I am very curious about Rally Estonia, which last year was given a prize for the best round of ERC, and also Barum Czech Rally Zlín, the closest rally to my country. On these two rallies I expect great interest from the fans and I would like to do our best for them.”
Alexey Lukyanuk, currently third in the FIA European Rally Championship drivers’ standings, won the Rally Masters Show in Moscow last weekend in a Subaru WRX STI.
"This was my first experience of driving a Subaru WRX STI on Tarmac, and I can say that we did it and we won the rally,” said an overjoyed Lukyanuk.
ERC Junior team Sports Racing Technologies sent two Peugeot 208s for Vasily Gryazin and his younger brother Nikolay, with the latter taking the R2 car to a giant-killing second overall – possibly helped by some local knowledge as one of the stages passed his home!