Thu 30 May 2024

Junior ERC champion Maior’s gravel quest

Norbert Maior will put his gravel-driving skills to the ultimate test when he battles for more FIA Junior WRC Championship success on Rally Italia Sardegna from tomorrow (31 May).

The 25-year-old is contesting the five-event Junior WRC season as his prize for winning the FIA Junior ERC title in 2023.  

After scoring Junior WRC points and a stage win on Rally Sweden in February, Maior excelled by completing the Croatia Rally podium in a fine third place alongside his co-driving sister Francesca.  

“The podium was fantastic and a nice memory for the second rally [in Junior WRC] but we know we need to work a lot for our pace,” Maior said during a visit to the ERC-counting Rally Islas Canarias earlier this month. “But now we are improving, we have our own [Ford Fiesta Rally3] in Romania so we have the opportunity to test more and to prepare more. This is the most important thing we did for the moment for this programme.”

Maior put his Napoca Rally Academy-run Fiesta Rally3 to good use by winning the RC3 class in fourth overall on the Romanian championship-counting Raliul Harghitei last month, beating several Rally2 cars in the process.  

He plans to build on that result, which was hampered by a damaged tyre on the opening stage, when he makes his Rally Italia Sardegna debut.  

“I know one thing about Sardinia, because everybody told me, that it’s one of the rougher rallies in the world,” Maior said. “But we can’t wait to start on gravel with the Fiesta Rally3. It should be a good experience and good fun.”

Rally Italia Sardegna begins with the first of 16 stages from 14:33 CET tomorrow (31 May). The compact format features a competitive distance 266.12 km with the event-deciding Wolf Power Stage due to begin at 12:15 CET on Sunday (2 June).  

Roberto Daprà, who Maior beat to the Junior ERC title in 2023, will also be in action on Rally Italia Sardegna as part of his FIA WRC2 programme aboard a Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo.

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