Sun 07 Jul 2024

Jürgenson lands debut ERC3 triumph

Romet Jürgenson celebrated a debut FIA ERC3 Championship victory on Delfi Rally Estonia to continue his fine run of recent form that has also taken him to the FIA Junior WRC Championship summit after three rounds.

The FIA Rally Star driver got the better of the changeable weather conditions and his fellow Estonian Patrik Enok to complete leg one by 11.1sec.

And, although Enok registered two stage wins during the course of Sunday for a total of seven fastest times across the event, Jürgenson reached the finish in his home city of Tartu with a winning margin of 17.6sec.

“The aim was to bring the victory home together with testing for [WRC] Finland and we achieved both, so it was a really successful weekend,” said the Pirelli-equipped Ford Fiesta Rally3 driver. “But what I am really happy about is that we’ve had to push from the beginning. I’ve not made any major mistakes and it shows that the basics are there and the basics are working for us and we can only build on it.”

Enok, who was also making his ERC3 debut, was firmly in the victory fight until a high-sped spin four kilometres from the finish of SS6 cost him vital time.

“The car just switched off under the braking and I had a really high-speed spin,” Enok said of the incident on Saturday. “I was fortunate not to end up in a ditch. It was a shame because we couldn’t turn around quick enough and the time was lost. We tried to stay on it because you never know what can happen and seven wins means the speed was very good although the luck was maybe not on our side. But overall it was a very positive result.”

Joosep Ralf Nõgene completed the podium on only his second outing behind the wheel of a Renault Clio Rally3 and impressed by taking two stage wins. “Some stages were quite good, some stages were less good but in the end it was okay,” Nõgene said.

Turkish teenager Kerem Kazaz claimed ERC Fiesta Rally3 Trophy honours for the first time in fourth position followed by Filip Kohn, Igor Widłak and Martin Ravenščak, who recovered from an off on the Power Stage.

Having claimed ERC3 and Fiesta Rally3 Trophy victories on his two starts to date, Kohn started Delfi Rally Estonia eying a hat-trick. But a troubled SS2 dashed those hopes as the Czech driver explained. “I went a bit wide in one of the first corners, didn’t feel an impact or anything but we got a slow puncture on the rear left and we had to change it on the stage. Everything was going okay but three kilometres before the end of the stage we got a big impact on the left front and the brake caliper broke and I had no brakes.”

Ex-circuit racer Tristan Charpentier, who was competing with new co-driver Alexis Maillefert for the first time, retired on SS11 with a technical failure having started leg two in fourth position.

While Jürgenson celebrated winning FIA ERC3, his younger Estonian Jaspar Vaher won FIA ERC4 to go with his FIA Junior ERC victory. Of the ERC4 drivers not eligible for Junior ERC points, Tuomas Välilä finished seventh but Márton Bertalan and Cristiana Oprea both retired.

Rally di Roma Capitale hosts round five of the FIA ERC3 Championship season from 26 - 28 July with the event also forming the penultimate event of the inaugural ERC Fiesta Rally3 Trophy season.

Latvia
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Italy
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Hungary
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM