Thu 17 Mar 2022

ERC rookie Palomo delivers on potential

Óscar Palomo has staked his claim for FIA Junior ERC Championship glory when the young driver category gets underway on Rally Islas Canarias in May.

It follows the 19-year-old’s capture of ERC4 honours on his European debut during Rally Serras de Fafe - Felgueiras - Cabreira e Boticas last weekend.

Driving a Mavisa Sport-run Peugeot 208 Rally4 under the Rallye Team Spain banner, Palomo shrugged off his lack of experience at international level to overcome challenging conditions and a competitive field to win ERC4 at his first attempt, despite gearbox issues.

“It’s an amazing result because I didn’t think it would be possible,” Palomo said afterwards. 

“I don’t know why but I had a good feeling and my co-driver and I stayed confident.”

Palomo, who is co-driven by fellow Spaniard Xavi Moreno, began rallying before he had a licence to drive on the road and has been under the wing of Spanish federation, Real Federación Española de Automovilismo’s training scheme since 2019.

He scored a breakthrough Peugeot Rally Cup Ibérica victory on Rali Teras d’Abobereira in 2021, one week after passing his driving test, and won RFEDA’s Beca Júnior R2 title later in the year to secure the Junior ERC prize drive for 2022, previously awarded to Efrén Llarena, Pep Bassas and Alejandro Cachón.

The Madrid driver’s outing in Fafe last weekend was his third on the challenging gravel event following his first start in northern Portugal back in 2019.

Prior to his switch to rallying, Palomo was a Spanish Junior Rallycross champion on the back of a prolific career in international karting, which included strong race-winning performances at World Cup level.

While Palomo’s ERC4 rivals will be in action on the Azores Rallye next week (25-27 March), Palomo is already switching his focus to Rally Islas Canarias, which opens the Junior ERC season from 12-14 May. 

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