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Furuseth aims for first in ERC Junior

2019-01-23T10:20:33+01:00 January 23rd, 2019|2019|

Sindre Furuseth might have changed tactic for the season ahead but his target remains unchanged: to win the FIA European Rally Championship’s ERC3 Junior category.

Norwegian Furuseth, 25, impressed on a handful of outings in a privateer Opel ADAM R2 in 2018. For 2019, he’s signed with the Saintéloc Junior Team, when he hopes to capitalise on the squad’s expertise and access to more engineering support.

“We have done the best out of the situation as a private team but with a bigger team there will be more people, more engineers so hopefully things will be better,” said Furuseth. “But in saying that I would like to thank Thomas Myhre Hansen, my chief mechanic of six years. He’s been taking care of my cars for all that time. It will be a different story now but I would like to thank him for everything he has done for me.”

Of his ambition to win the Pirelli-supported ERC3 Junior title in a Saintéloc PEUGEOT 208 R2, Furuseth said: “We don’t have experience of all events but on the rallies we have experience, we will definitely fight for the win. We will have to learn fast in the tests on the other rallies and prepare very good to keep up on the rallies I don’t know, like Azores and Canarias. In the end my only goal is to win the championship.”

Furuseth, from Eidsvoll near the Norwegian capital Oslo, will continue his partnership with Swedish co-driver Jim Hjerpe, which began during his British championship campaign in 2016. But while Furuseth’s co-driver is tried and tested, the 2006 Norwegian karting champion’s knowledge of his Saintéloc PEUGEOT 208 R2 is limited to a pre-Christmas test on a Tarmac stage in France.

As well as bidding to win a coveted FIA title, by registering for ERC3 Junior, Furuseth will also be in contention to land the planned prize drive on two rounds of the 2020 ERC in a Motorsport Italia ŠKODA Fabia R5. “The prize drive is definitely the goal because we want to win the championship, but I am 25 and we also want to make the step to R5 as soon as possible,” Furuseth said. “And an R5 campaign in the European championship is a more realistic step for me with the budget I have and my experience.”

Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator, said: “Sindre’s speed really made us sit up and take notice on the events he contested. Had he not been hit by a succession of mechanical problems, I am sure he could have been on the podium on a few occasions. His move to Saintéloc for 2019 can only help his progress and give him the tools he needs to challenge for the ERC3 Junior title.”

Vincent Ducher, Saintéloc Racing Rally Manager, said: “I’m grateful that Sindre and Jim have joined us in the Saintéloc Junior Team.  I was really impressed by his speed last year in ERC Junior and we have already planned some testing and training to be ready for the first round of the championship.”