ERC Junior champions* have big opportunity, says double title winner Griebel
Marijan Griebel believes the provisional ERC Junior champions for 2019 – Filip Mareš and Efrén Llarena – both have a “big opportunity” to progress following their capture of their respective prize drives.
Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA, ERC1 Junior champion* Mareš will contest the upcoming Cyprus Rally and Rally Hungary with the full support of ERC promoter Eurosport Events, which will also fund ERC3 Junior champion* Llarena’s two outings in a Motorsport Italia-run ŠKODA Fabia R5 in the 2020 ERC1 Junior Championship.
Griebel progressed to R5 level via a prize drive for winning the ERC3 Junior crown in 2016 before landing the ERC1 Junior title the following year to earn 100,000 euros of support from Eurosport Events for 2018. He placed a season-best fifth on Barum Czech Rally Zlín and watched the Mareš versus Chris Ingram battle for glory unfold with interest.
“It was really incredible,” said Griebel. “Both those guys deserved it because they had great pace and for sure it’s a big opportunity for both champions now. The ERC is helping a lot the young people and with the prizes it’s a good step for their career. I wish them all the best.”
Of his own performance in the Czech Republic, Griebel added: “I was driving at 80 per cent without mistakes and on this very difficult rally, with these tactics, you can get a very good result. Rallye Deutschland is next for me and it was really important I didn’t risk too much. I will drive the ŠKODA Fabia R5 Evo for the first time [in Germany] so it’s something new for me, but doing this rally was good preparation.”
*Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA