Tuesday | 10 May 2022

Jam-packed entry for Junior ERC opener

A whopping 14 young hopefuls will fight for victory at Rally Islas Canarias this week (12 - 14 May), round one of the FIA Junior ERC.

The six-round series is open to drivers aged 27 and under on 1 January 2022 in Rally4 and Rally5 cars using Pirelli tyres. Up for grabs is a huge prize for the eventual champion. 

If the title winner competes in a Ford Fiesta Rally4, they will get a prize drive in the full five-event FIA Junior WRC Championship in 2023 plus a full day of pre-season training at the John Haugland Rally School in Norway. 

Should the Junior ERC champion use a car from another brand to take glory, a four-round Junior WRC prize drive awaits them in 2023.

Mabellini wheels out his trusty Clio

Reigning ADAC Opel e-Rally Cup champion Laurent Pellier tops the entry in an Opel Corsa. His appearance marks a return to the FIA European Rally Championship for the first time since Rally Liepãja in 2018. 

Hot on Pellier’s heels will be Peugeot 208 driver Óscar Palomo - who won the ERC4 category in Fafe - as well as Andrea Mabellini, another ERC4 frontrunner in his Renault Clio machine. 

Brother-sister duo Norbert and Francesca Maior have switched to a Corsa for round one, while German hotshot Nick Loof is the leading Ford Fiesta entrant. Daniel Polášek, Ola Nore, Mattia Vita, Victor Hansen and Roberto Daprà will also represent the blue oval.

Armstrong has swapped his Rally3 Fiesta (above) for its Rally4 counterpart

Other entries include Martin László in a Clio plus Raúl Hernández, René Noller and Alex Español in a trio of Peugeot cars.  

Clio star Anthony Fotia is the highest-seeded Rally4 driver, although he is ineligible for Junior ERC points. The same can be said for Jon Armstrong, who has switched from a Fiesta Rally3 to a Fiesta Rally4 for the Las Palmas fixture. Both drivers will fight for ERC4 honours. 

  • Full coverage from Rally Islas Canarias will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.