History made: ERC3 Junior champion Torn impresses on Rally3 world debut
Ken Torn turned history-maker yesterday when he became the first driver to compete in a Rally3 car.
The FIA’s next-generation category aims to bring accessible, four-wheel-drive rallying to the masses and will be adopted as standard in the Pirelli-equipped FIA ERC Junior Championship from this season.
On the SM O.K. Auto-Ralli in Finland yesterday, Torn gave M-Sport Poland’s Ford Fiesta Rally3 its competition debut and finished an impressive P11 overall alongside co-driver Timo Taniel.
But as well as his high overall placing, Torn produced a number of notable stage performances to underline the pace and potential of the Fiesta Rally3 and the category in general. These included a standout effort on the 14.37-kilometre fourth stage, which he completed just 18s down on a pacesetting Rally2 car.
“The rally was fierce,” Torn wrote on Facebook afterwards. “The last tests were in heavy snowfall and at least 5-10 centimetres of snow had fallen, which made life quite difficult. We lost some time with a spin on stage five, but, in the end we got the car nicely to the finish and it seemed that the team was satisfied with our performance.”
Mikko Heikkilä, who made his ERC debut on Rally Liepāja last August, won overall, while ERC1 Junior contender Emil Lindholm placed fourth.
Photo: Taneli Niinimäki / AKK