Sat 15 Jul 2023

Armstrong keen on more ERC Rally2 action

Jon Armstrong is keen on a Rally2 future in the FIA European Rally Championship – once he’s completed his mission at Rally3 level.

The 28-year-old stepped up to the ERC’s top tier on BAUHAUS Royal Rally of Scandinavia last weekend and finished in a points-paying 11th overall aboard his MRF Tyres Dealer Team Ford Fiesta Rally2.

What’s more, he did so with a new co-driver, Julia Thulin, and a new team, GN Motorsport.

Despite his impressive showing in Rally2 machinery, Armstrong has a title to secure with the FIA ERC3 Championship crown his to settle on Rally di Roma Capitale later this month following a run of four back-to-back victories earlier this season.

But asked about the prospect of more Rally2 action in the ERC, the Northern Irishman said: “I’m not sure this year but next year I’d like to move up.”

Reflecting on his performance on Sweden’s ERC counter, Armstrong said he was “happy”, adding: “The pace improved throughout the rally and we got closer and more comfortable with that pace. Of course there’s always part of you that wanted to be a bit closer but, realistically this is where we were going to get. Hopefully if we can do something else in the future then we can get even closer because a lot of things were new.”

Of his next event, Armstrong said: “We’ll know when the entry list closes but it should be really nice to get back in [the Fiesta Rally3 on Rally di Roma Capitale] as we’re in a championship hunt. This rally made me think I need to increase my pace personally so it will be a chance to learn and develop even more. Hopefully we’ll have some good competition.”

What’s in a number? Armstrong gives his Fiesta verdict

Jon Armstrong got the opportunity to step up from a Ford Fiesta Rally3 to the big brother Ford Fiesta Rally2 when the ERC returned to Sweden after a 20-year break last weekend. This is the two-time Junior WRC runner-up’s verdict.

“For sure you’re coming into stuff faster so maybe you have to hold back a little bit more in some corners, in some situations,” he said. “The suspension is probably the biggest difference because the Rally2 car has a lot more travel and the movement is more pronounced, it’s a totally different chassis movement and that’s the most difficult thing to learn.”

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