Wed 11 Oct 2023

Junior WRC chief Woda keen to welcome latest Junior ERC champion Maior

Maciej Woda says Norbert Maior should look to Laurent Pellier’s achievements when he steps up to the FIA Junior WRC Championship in 2024, his prize for winning this season’s FIA Junior ERC crown*.

Pellier graduated to Junior WRC for the 2023 season – and to a four-wheel-drive Ford Fiesta Rally3 – after he won the Junior ERC title the previous year.  

Despite his lack of experience of four-wheel drive and World Rally Championship events, Pellier (pictured bottom) excelled from the outset, missing out on winning the Rally Sweden opener by 0.6sec before going on to take third in the final standings.  

Woda, whose M-Sport Poland operation runs the JWRC, said: “Norbert will experience four-wheel drive and more demanding rallies but one thing for sure he is already familiar with is the pressure of the competition because the competition in Junior ERC is very good.

“It’s going to be a different environment also because he will be working with a new team, a bigger team. But if you look back in 2023 we had Laurent Pellier, who won the Junior ERC last year and, honestly, he was straight away very competitive, despite not having any experience with the Fiesta Rally3.”  

Woda (pictured above) continued: “It’s a big step up for Norbert but it’s an amazing opportunity. It’s very unique in the rally world that you win something that lets you step up in your career.  

“I have seen Norbert’s results during the season and he looks quite consistent, which is good. He was on the podium on all but one round so he should have a good season in Junior WRC. I think we’re going to have a bigger field next year than we had in 2023 so he should be looking forward to the new season as I am.”

Maior, a 25-year-old talent from Romania, beat Roberto Daprà to the Hankook-equipped Junior ERC title on Rally Hungary last weekend by a slender winning margin of 7.1sec.  

He admitted afterwards the realisation that he will be a Junior WRC driver will take some time.  

“It’s unbelievable,” Maior said. “I am not prepared for the moment that next year I will participate in Junior WRC. It’s a dream for sure but this year has been so difficult that we need a few days before we can really think about next year and the incredible opportunity we have.”   

*Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA

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