Tue 05 Dec 2023

ERC3 champion Armstrong on top on rallying return

Jon Armstrong is back competing again more than three months since a huge accident on Barum Czech Rally Zlín left him requiring hospital treatment.

Armstrong was left with concussion after his high-speed crash on the penultimate event of the ERC season back in August. His co-driver, Cameron Fair, was uninjured when their Ford Fiesta Rally3 Evo struck a tree, testament to the strength of the M-Sport Poland-built machine.  

The Northern Irish driver’s outing in Czech Republic followed on from his capture of the FIA ERC3 Championship crown prior to the start of the previous round, Rally di Roma Capitale. By finishing the Italian event, Fair became ERC3 champion co-driver.

Out of action since the crash, Armstrong was handed a return to competition on Rally du Var in France from 24 - 26 November. And he made the most of the opportunity by winning the Rally3 category in an outstanding fourth overall, three places behind ERC event winner and five-time French Tarmac champion Yoann Bonato.  

“An amazing result and a massive thank you to M-Sport Poland for giving me the opportunity to get back behind the wheel and show off their Rally3 Evo,” said Armstrong, 28, who was co-driven by 2019 ERC champion Ross Whittock. “Also, thanks to Ross, who done a perfect job from the get-go to until the last stage.”

The twice FIA Junior WRC Championship runner-up claimed five ERC3 event wins in 2023. He joined forces with Fair for the second round of the season, Rally Islas Canarias, where they drove the Pirelli-equipped Fiesta Rally3 Evo in competition for the first time.  

Armstrong also impressed on his Rally2 debut at ERC level when he piloted an MRF Tyres Dealer Team Ford Fiesta Rally2 to 11th overall on July’s BAUHAUS Royal Rally of Scandinavia, his first event with Swede Julia Thulin co-driving (below).  

Following that performance, Armstrong said: “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. Hopefully if we can do something else in the future then we can get even closer because a lot of things were new.”

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