Wed 13 Apr 2022

ERC success paves way for Franceschi's Junior WRC bid

Reigning ERC Junior champion Jean-Baptiste Franceschi will kick off his FIA Junior WRC campaign at the Croatia Rally next week (21 - 24 April).

The Frenchman is preparing to strap himself into an M-Sport Poland Ford Fiesta Rally3 at round two of the one-make series, having missed the season opener in Sweden while recovering from injuries sustained on Rallye du Var last November. 

Franceschi clinched ERC3 and ERC3 Junior spoils in 2021. His prize - courtesy of M-Sport’s ‘Ladder of Opportunity’ in partnership with M-Sport Poland, Pirelli and ERC Promoter - has enabled him to return to the world stage. 

“When I started the Junior ERC last year, I was confident for sure, but I was not expecting to get so quickly back to Junior WRC,” beamed the Frenchman.  

“I was first thinking that, if I win ERC junior, I will stay in the ERC. Now I'm directly to Junior WRC, so for me, it's like a dream. I want to give the maximum and not have any regrets.”

While the 26-year-old is yet to drive the Rally3 car, he does have experience of four-wheel drive machinery having contested several national events in various Rally2 cars. 

He finished third in the Junior WRC in 2018 and hopes that experience gained at events like Rally de Portugal will come in handy. 

“For sure, my experience of Junior WRC in 2018 is important because I know the rhythm and all the risks we can take, especially on gravel,” he explained, “but because I missed Sweden, there is no place for mistakes.

“I haven't done any tests. I tried to do some, but unfortunately there is no car like this in France. This is such a big opportunity, so I need to be at my top level and never give up.”

Latvia
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Italy
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Hungary
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM