Mon 13 Feb 2023

Junior ERC champion Pellier stars on mission of discovery in Sweden

High flying Junior ERC champion Laurent Pellier made an instant impact as he began his FIA Junior WRC Championship campaign with a fine second place on Rally Sweden yesterday.

Pellier has stepped up to Junior WRC this season as his prize for winning last year’s FIA Junior ERC title.

Despite his lack of time behind the wheel of his Pirelli-equipped Ford Fiesta Rally3 and his absence of snow and ice driving experience, Pellier was a mere 0.6 seconds away from winning the category, just losing out in a thrilling final-stage showdown to William Creighton, another driver with Junior ERC knowledge.

“It’s an excellent result for sure but, in the meantime, we are a little bit frustrated because of this little, little gap [to Creighton],” Pellier said. “But, okay, we were in the battle for the victory in Sweden and at the same time we were discovering the car and it was my first ever competition on snow and ice so I think we can be very proud.”

Co-driven by Marine Pelamourges, Pellier claimed six bonus points for his six stage wins to underline an impressive debut at Rally3 level.

“We made a really great job, we took lots of points for the championship with the second place and also with the scratch points so it’s really important for us,” said the 27-year-old. “It’s a really good job this weekend.”

Pellier was among a large contingent of drivers with FIA European Rally Championship experience competing on the Umeå-based Rally Sweden. They included the top 12 overall finishers plus all category winners, with the exception of the WRC3 class victor.

Five-time ERC event winner Craig Breen, who will return to the championship on next month’s season-opening Rally Serras de Fafe, battled for the outright win before settling for second position behind Ott Tänak, who scored his one and only ERC victory on Rally Estonia in 2014.

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