Tue 29 Nov 2022

VOTE NOW: ERC Driver of the Year

The time has come to vote for your 2022 FIA European Rally Championship Driver of the Year. Who are you picking?

Efrén Llarena
Here’s a man who needs little introduction. Llarena made his ERC debut in 2018 and won ERC3 Junior the following year - but this season, he’s really hit the big time.

Driving a Škoda Fabia Rally2 for Team MRF Tyres, Llarena and co-driver Sara Fernández romped to the drivers’ and co-drivers’ titles after displaying the perfect combination of speed and consistency.

The Azores Rallye was, undoubtedly, a highlight. Llarena put in a gutsy drive to topple local hero Ricardo Moura, poaching what was a maiden ERC win for both him and his MRF Tyres squad.

Consistent results, including a brace of podiums, followed - leading the Spaniard to be crowned as champion before evening turning a wheel at Barum Czech Rally Zlín.

Javier Pardo
Pardo graduated to the championship’s top-flight this year having won the ERC2 category in 2021 with a Suzuki Swift R4LLY S. This was always going to be a big step for the 26-year-old, but he’s coped with every challenge thrown at him.

Fourth place at the season-opening Rally Serras de Fafe - Felgueiras - Cabreira e Boticas showed Pardo’s capability and, after joining Team MRF Tyres from round four onwards, he went on to make gradual improvements.

Like team-mate Llarena, consistency is what really bolstered Pardo’s campaign: he was one of few drivers to safely navigate all eight rounds. it’s that stability which ultimately rewarded him with the runner-up spot on his debut year in the leading category.

Yoann Bonato
The king of witty one-liners, Bonato’s spirited performance aboard a Michelin-shod Citroën C3 Rally2 rewarded the Frenchman with third overall in the series.

His year was capped off by a breakthrough victory when he kept Llarena at bay on the Catalan roads of Rally RACC Catalunya-Costa Daurada.

That triumph - and the hefty points haul that came with it - was sufficient to vault him from ninth in the championship standings up to third. An impressive performance, having only entered half of the season’s events.

Laurent Pellier
Pellier has been a dominant force in the ERC4 Junior this season, taking five wins from six starts to wrap up the title with a round to spare. The only blot in his copybook was a roll at Tet Rally Liepāja - which happened whilst in the lead!

Equally impressive was the Frenchman’s performance at the season finale where he and co-driver Marine Pelamourgues finished sixth overall. Driving an Opel Corsa, they beat several four-wheel drive cars in the process.

Paulo Soria
Soria missed out on the Clio Trophy by Toksport WRT title by just a handful of points in 2021. This season he made amends - clinching the crown with a mighty drive in the one-make Renault Clio Rally5 series.

Despite having the speed to win four out of five rallies with co-driver Marcelo Der Ohanessian alongside, the Argentine hardly put a foot wrong.

Óscar Palomo
This season was Palomo’s first at ERC level, but you wouldn’t have thought it. Driving a Peugeot 208 Rally4, the Spanish teenager safely completed every rally he started - collecting two wins along the way as he romped to the ERC4 championship win.

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