Sun 24 Sep 2023

ERC @ 70: The Junior ERC champions so far (part two)

With Rally Hungary preparing to celebrate the 10th winner of the FIA Junior ERC Championship – and the first of the Hankook-equipped era – when it hosts the title decider from 6 - 8 October, here’s a refresher of who won the title between 2019 and 2022.

2019: Efrén Llarena

stepped up to Junior ERC for the 2018 season as part of the RFEDA-supported Rallye Team Spain initiative, his prize for winning the Beca Júnior R2 title in his native Spain in 2017. After finishing third in year one, Peugeot 208-driving Llarena returned in 2019 and beat Ken Torn to the title with his second victory of the campaign on the season-deciding Barum Czech Rally Zlín.

2020: Ken Torn

Estonian Torn used his late-season defeat to Llarena in 2019 as the ultimate incentive to push for the title in 2020. With the championship run over five events as a result of restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Torn drove his M-Sport Poland Ford Fiesta Rally4 to four wins and one second place.

2021: Jean-Baptiste Franceschi

Driving a Renault Clio Rally4 for Toksport WRT, Franceschi landed the crown on the Rally Islas Canarias finale courtesy of three wins and two podiums after he hit back from retiring on the first round in Poland. Sadly for the talented Frenchman, a huge crash on the French Tarmac championship-counting Rallye du Var one week after Rally Islas Canarias left him hospitalised for several weeks although he since made a full recovery.

2022: Laurent Pellier

Having won four times, Pellier added a fifth victory to his impressive tally on the final round in Catalyuna to underline an impressive campaign for the Opel-powered Frenchman. Pellier’s season-long drive was his prize for winning the ADAC Opel e-Rally Cup in 2021.

The Junior ERC champions revisited

2022: Laurent Pellier (France) Opel Corsa Rally4
2021: Jean-Baptiste Franceschi (France) Renault Clio Rally4
2020: Ken Torn (Estonia) Ford Fiesta Rally4
2019: Efrén Llarena (Spain) Peugeot 208 R2
2018: Mārtiṇš Sesks (Latvia) Opel Adam R2
2017: Chris Ingram (Great Britain) Opel Adam R2
2016: Marijan Griebel (Germany) Opel Adam R2
2015: Emil Bergkvist (Sweden) Opel Adam R2
2014: Stéphane Lefebvre (France) Peugeot 208 R2

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