Wed 10 Jul 2024

Firsts aplenty as Junior ERC talents battle the elements in Estonia

The FIA Junior ERC Championship contenders switched to survival mode to make it through Delfi Rally Estonia’s rain-hit stages. While there was disappointment for some, there was elation for others, including 17-year-old winner Jaspar Vaher. Here’s a brief reminder of some of what happened when the Hankook-equipped category visited the Baltics last week.

Pesavento at last: Try as he might, ACI Team Italia’s Davide Pesavento had failed to finish the previous two Junior ERC rounds. But the 2023 Italian Junior champion’s frustrating run ended when he made it across the finishing ramp in Tartu on Sunday evening in ninth position.

Rookie Grahn fights back to score: Teenage Swede Adam Grahn was making his Junior ERC debut in Estonia. And the second-generation driver, who turned 18 in January, completed the Junior ERC top 10 for his first points. His achievement followed a determined fightback from two damaged tyres on stage nine.

Sixth appeals for Herczig: Hungarian hopeful Patik Herczig finished a strong sixth for the second event running having worked had on improving his pacenotes during the event. His father Norbert Herczig, the multiple national champion and ERC podium finisher, was in Estonia to provide a supporting role for the 21-year-old. 

Carlberg gets the party started: Calle Carlberg (main image), who turned 24 yesterday (Tuesday), said his final-stage capture of second place kept his title hopes alive. “Normally I would never smile being P2 but after all the effort we put in and all the problems we had, to keep the championship alive is so important,” the ADAC Opel Rally Junior Team driver said.

Johansson still on top despite late slip: Mille Johansson (above) maintained his championship lead but third place in the final Delfi Rally Estonia classification could so easily have been second had it not been for a spin on the Power Stage. “This rally was really hard and now on the last stage it was quite muddy and we spun and stalled the engine and lost a lot of seconds and the second place as well,” the 19-year-old said.  

The FIA Junior ERC Championship resumes on Rali Ceredigion in Wales, an all-new addition to the European calendar for 2024, which uses Tarmac-only stages from 30 August - 1 September. Keep visiting for more Junior ERC driver news.

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