Double ERC Junior champion Griebel to chase outright title glory in all-new Volkswagen Polo
Marijan Griebel will bid for an historic FIA European Rally Championship treble in 2019 as he returns to the international arena after winning his national title last season.
German Griebel claimed the ERC Junior crown in 2016 driving an ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team ADAM R2 before winning the inaugural FIA ERC Junior Under 28 Championship for young stars in R5 cars the following season in a Baumschlager Rallye & Racing ŠKODA Fabia.
Success at home in the German Rally Championship (DRM) with PEUGEOT Deutschland followed in 2018, when he also scored his first points at world level with eighth overall on ADAC Rallye Deutschland, a drive partly funded by ERC promoter Eurosport Events for Griebel’s ERC Junior U28 title triumph the previous year.
For 2019, the 29-year-old has re-signed for Baumschlager Rallye & Racing and will pilot the all-new Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 as he bids to become the first German winner of the FIA European Rally Championship since his mentor Armin Kremer in 2001.
Griebel, a serving police officer whose father worked as a mechanic for Kremer during his European championship-winning season, said: “After a very successful year in Germany, I am looking forward to returning to the international stage. Together with our partners, we have succeeded in creating a first-class package and I am very proud of that.
“The European Rally Championship is a great series with demanding events and strong competition. Two years ago I was able to become ERC Junior U28 champion and of course I want to fight for the big title in the European championship. I know this is not going to be easy, but we have the best conditions and we need to make the most of this opportunity.”
Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator, said: “It’s great news that Marijan will bid to win the FIA European Rally Championship title in 2019 for what will be an historic hat-trick. He has proved his talent in the ERC before and he has what it takes to do it again, only this time by winning the championship outright. It’s also great for Marijan that he can count on the support of Baumschlager Rallye & Racing, his co-driver Stefan Kopczyk and the all-new Volkswagen Polo GTI R5, one of two confirmed for the 2019 ERC so far.”
The 2019 ERC takes place over eight rounds from March to November, starting with the Azores Rallye from 21-23 March. Drivers count their best six scores.