Dream debut: Westlund on ERC Junior podium
Adam Westlund produced a hugely impressive performance on his debut in the FIA ERC3 Junior Championship, finishing on the podium on PZM 76th Rally Poland last weekend.
Swede Westlund, 18, who previously competed against Mārtiņš Sesks and Oliver Solberg in the Latvian Rally Championship, drove with great maturity aboard his Saintéloc Junior TeamPeugeot 208 R2 to place third in the Pirelli-supported category on the high-speed gravel event, making the most of co-driver Joakim Sjöberg’s experience and support.
“I dreamed about being on the podium in my first ERC rally but I did not think I could be on the podium so I am really happy to be here,” Westlund said at the finish of the Mikołajki-based event.“I was trying to do my own rally, trying to avoid punctures. We had some luck as well. We were improving all the time, so I was happy with that for my first time on this rally. We did some small mistakes but we’re still learning.”
To underline his potential, Westlund scored a stage win in the fiercely competitive ERC3 Junior division on the rally’s penultimate run.
“We were quite controlled, but I was trying to push on the fast parts,” said Westlund, who began his career in a budget rallycrosss category in his homeland.“On Sunday we were setting some better times than yesterday, and we were feeling good. We found some better pace and we were more confident, just getting used to everything and the roads, having fun and doing good stuff in the car. The last loop was about survival because of the ruts, but we made it.”
Saintéloc Junior Team’s Vincent Ducher said: “It’s in the Saintéloc DNA to support and help young drivers grow. He joined our squad for the test before the rally and we helped him to get confident in the team and with his car on the event. We were glad to welcome him for his first appearance in ERC3 Junior.”
Westlund has yet to finalise further ERC3 Junior Championship appearances but will be among a number of young stars aiming to prove their talent at international level when he does.
Meanwhile, the all-asphalt Rally di Roma Capitale is next up on the ERC3 Junior roster from 19-21 July.