Wed 15 Mar 2023

Mission accomplished for Armstrong in ERC3

Jon Armstrong’s outing on Rally Serras de Fafe, Felgueiras, Boticas, Vieira do Minho e Cabeceiras de Basto was a case of mission accomplished for the Northern Irish driver.

Armstrong, the Junior WRC runner-up in 2021 and 2022, was contesting the FIA European Rally Championship season opener in a Ford Fiesta Rally3 co-driven by Irishman Andrew Browne.

In addition to winning the FIA ERC3 category, the 28-year-old Armstrong achieved a key target set by car builder M-Sport Poland.

“The main aim was to try to do a good performance with the car and, overall, it wasn’t too bad,” Armstrong said. “The times were quite good, around where we wanted them to be and we’ve helped with the development work.”

Armstrong continued: “It’s a really good car to get more mileage and learn more about four-wheel drive, they’re brilliant little cars to drive and you can push really hard in them, very enjoyable and hopefully we can do more with M-Sport Poland [in the ERC].”

While the prospects of further ERC3 appearances would appeal, Armstrong still harbours ambitions of stepping up to Rally2 level.

“Looking at my times this weekend it would be great to be in Rally2 and that was my aim at the start of the year but I can’t see that happening unless we have some luck with sponsor finding. But we’ll keep pushing and trying.”

The Rally3 category offers a more accessible route into four-wheel-drive competition. Renault is currently in the process of reading its all-new Clio Rally3, which would be a rival to the all-conquering when it comes on stream later in the year.

Igor Widłak from Poland took the Rally3-based ERC3 category title in 2022, also driving a Ford Fiesta.

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