Fri 02 Sep 2022

Dominant Soria hopes to inspire next generation of Argentines

Paulo Soria hopes to encourage fellow Argentine youngsters to venture into Europe after wrapping up the Clio Trophy by Toksport WRT title at Barum Czech Rally Zlín.

Soria and co-driver Marcelo Der Ohannesian capped off a dominant season at last week’s Czech fixture, wrapping up the one-make Renault Clio Rally5 series crown having won four out of five events in impressive style. 

The 27-year-old, who started competing on entry-level local rallies in 2014, talked of his pride at becoming the first Argentine to win an ERC category since Juan Carlos Alonso’s ERC2-winning run in 2019. 

Now, Soria hopes his performances in this year’s championship will inspire more young drivers from Argentina to reach for the stars. 

“For me, of course it’s a proud moment,” he smiled. “But it’s also amazing for the guys that are competing back home in Argentina for them to see that it’s possible to come and do a good season in Europe.

“As long as they are willing to work for it, anybody can come and achieve good results here and make it happen. It’s important for us because Juan Carlos Alonso the last person to win an ERC championship in 2019, and now it’s us - that feels really special.”

Asked what was the secret to his superior pace, Soria put the success down to hard work and determination. 

He finished runner-up to Andrea Mabellini in last year’s series and explained how he and Der Ohannesian stepped up their preparations in 2022.

“It’s definitely not a coincidence,” said Soria. “We worked a hell of a lot for this - that’s the truth. 

“Okay, we won four out of five rallies, but we were also being consistent all year without making any real mistakes or having any dramas. Behind all of this was a lot of hard work and I’m really happy that it paid off,” he added.

Soria is already working on plans for 2023. His championship prize includes three ERC drives in a Rally4-specification Clio, although he is understood to be considering additional options. 

Clio Trophy by Toksport WRT highlights
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM