ERC family ties for former Fourmaux fighter Franceschi
Mathieu Franceschi, who once battled FIA World Rally Championship star Adrien Fourmaux during the early stages of their careers, is preparing to follow in the wheel tracks of his older brother Jean-Baptiste by contesting the FIA European Rally Championship in 2021.
The French Franceschi siblings will be eligible for ERC3 points. However, Mathieu Franceschi’s alliance with tyre company MICHELIN means he won’t be a contender for the ERC3 Junior Championship, which mandates the use of Pirelli covers. He will drive a Peugeot 208 Rally4, while Jean-Baptiste will compete in the all-new Renault Clio Rally4.
“We chose the ERC because it’s the next step for drivers coming from my country and the championship is well publicised,” said Mathieu Franceschi, who has secured support from Peugeot Sport. “I have been following the ERC for a long time being a young motorsport enthusiast, I have always seen wonderful fights in all categories. The level seems to be very high and we are really looking forward to being able to measure ourselves.”
Following his ERC debut on ORLEN 77th Rally Poland from June 18-20, Franceschi is planning to contest Rally di Roma Capitale, Barum Czech Rally Zlín, Rally Hungary and Rally Islas Canarias. “Like everything it will depend on the budget which at the moment has not yet been completed so we hope for good results to stimulate interest towards us,” he said. “We want to gain as much experience and enjoyment as possible. We will try to get closer to the best each time to finish the season in a fight for the podiums. But let’s not forget we are still very young.”
Franceschi began competing in 2018 and finished second to Adrien Fourmaux in the French Junior Championship that year, while new ERC2 recruit Victor Cartier placed fourth in the final standings. He then joined PH Sport for 2019 and claimed the French 2WD crown in 2020.
Lucie Baud, who co-drove her father Lionel to the French Gravel title in 2019, will partner Franceschi for what will be their first seasons of ERC competition.