Fri 26 Jan 2024

ERC Take Five with Maciej Woda

A long-term supporter of the FIA European Rally Championship through M-Sport Poland, Maciej Woda, the company’s driving force, is working hard to increase the number of Ford Fiesta Rally3s participating in the ERC through the new-for-2024 Fiesta Rally3 Trophy.

He spoke to about M-Sport Poland’s exciting initiative for the upcoming season, the importance of the ERC in general and his hopes for Jon Armstrong, who won the FIA ERC3 Championship in 2023 driving an M-Sport Poland-run Fiesta Rally3.  

Given you’re also busy running M-Sport Poland and the FIA Junior WRC Championship, how much attention are you able to pay to the ERC?
“I must say since it got a promoter and became simpler than it was before with the coefficients, the ERC has become a really interesting championship. Obviously, we had very good memories winning the title with Kajto [Kajetanowicz] three times in a row and doing the championship for four years together [below]. This was an amazing experience and an amazing championship to be a part of. Since then, M-Sport Poland has always tried to be around the ERC, whether with Rally2, Rally3 or Rally4 cars. The WRC is the pinnacle and for sure everybody wants to be a WRC driver but not everybody can be a WRC driver. The ERC is good for the rising stars and for the drivers who don’t have the time to be professional drivers. Also, what is extremely important for the European championship is you can use a car that is readily available, a Rally2 car, and be a star because you get a lot of promotion and attention when you win in the ERC.”

How does M-Sport Poland plan to be involved in the ERC in 2024?
“We will support the customers running the Fiesta Rally3 through the Fiesta Rally3 Trophy. I want to encourage more people to start doing the European championship with this car and this is why we created the Fiesta Rally3 Trophy for the ERC.”  

What’s the level of interest so far?
“The interest is very good. There won’t be a registration fee or anything like that but when you enter one of the five rallies you declare your participation in the Trophy and that’s when the support package will become available. Quite a few people came to me and said, ‘it’s a great idea, we are really interested and we have customers for it’. I hope we are going to see a few more Fiesta Rally3s competing in the European championship this season because it’s a competitive car with massive potential, as we saw with Jon Armstrong last year.”

On the subject of Jon Armstrong, he’s a driver you know well so what could he achieve if he got to drive a Rally2 car in the ERC on a full-time basis?
“I personally am a big believer in Jon and this is why he had the chance to have good support from us last year with the Fiesta Rally3 programme. I have to say he definitely delivered and, if anything, definitely exceeded expectations. I really, really wish Jon all the best. I strongly hope he will have the chance to show his potential in a Rally2 car in the ERC this year. There are some talks between Jon and some teams so I keep the fingers crossed on both hands for Jon.”

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