Franceschi up for ERC Junior chance
Jean-Baptiste Franceschi has signed up to prove his talent in the FIA ERC3 Junior Championship and will make his debut in the Pirelli-supported category on this week’s Rally Islas Canarias.
The 23-year-old Frenchman will compete in a Ford Fiesta R2T from the M-Sport Poland stable with compatriot Anthony Gorguilo co-driving.
He becomes the latest young star to choose ERC3 Junior to build his experience of international competition, which has already included a class-winning stint in the FIA World Rally Championship with the support of his national federation, the FFSA.
“I have been given this opportunity by M-Sport Poland and my sponsors following last year’s cooperation,” said Franceschi, who was third in the Junior world series last season. “It’s an interesting championship for young drivers and, like all drivers, we have one target to aim for. At this moment we are thinking about Rally Islas Canarias and we are fully focused on this event. Let’s see where we are afterwards.”
Franceschi, a former kick-boxing champion in his homeland, joins the Pirelli-supported ERC3 Junior category with a strong reputation to uphold. After winning his country’s junior title in 2017, he was fast-tracked into the world championship with the support of the Equipe de France FFSA scheme. He was a class winner in Corsica and Sardinia and a podium finisher in Finland and Great Britain.
Ahead of what will be his Rally Islas Canarias debut, Franceschi said: “Historically ERC Junior has always been very strong on Rally Islas Canarias. I’m sure on top of the drivers we have seen in Azores, we will see some fast Spanish drivers who know the stages and specification of the rally. I don’t expect it will be an easy fight in Gran Canaria.”
Of the new-for-2019 Ford Fiesta R2T, Franceschi added: “I have been testing the car at the late development phase last year and have been really impressed with it. For sure this is the completely new generation of the R2 cars and so much fun to drive. Honestly speaking I can’t wait to push it through the twisty stages of Rally Islas Canarias.”