Sesks wins big! Teenager gets 100,000 euros grant for ERC Junior U28 bid
Mārtiņš Sesks has been given the perfect opportunity to further demonstrate his huge potential with two fully-funded FIA ERC Junior Under 28 Championship outings in 2019 in a ŠKODA Fabia R5 run by Motorsport Italia on Pirelli tyres.
Sesks, the 19-year-old rallying sensation from Latvia, is the beneficiary of a career-progression incentive worth 100,000 euros, pledged by FIA European Rally Championship promoter Eurosport Events as his prize for winning the Pirelli-supported FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship in 2018*.
His first of two prize drives will be on the second round of the 2019 ERC season, Rally Islas Canarias (2-4 May), with the second coming on Rally di Roma Capitale (19-21 July), the all-asphalt event in Italy where Sesks claimed the first victory of his 2018 ERC Junior U27 title-winning campaign driving an ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team ADAM R2 last July.
“This is a fantastic prize for any young driver to receive and Eurosport Events is delighted Mārtiņš will get this chance as a fitting reward for his fantastic season in ERC Junior Under 27, his first at international level,” said ERC Co-ordinator Jean-Baptiste Ley. “As a graduate of the ERC Junior Experience training programme, Mārtiņš is very much a product of the ERC, so we’re really excited he will be able to showcase his talents in a top-of-the-range R5 car in the FIA ERC Junior Under 28 Championship next season.”
Ley continued: “Obviously the hope is that Mārtiņš will be able to add to his prize and secure the necessary additional funding to complete a full ERC Junior Under 28 campaign. And based on the potential he’s shown so far, there’s no reason why he can’t challenge for the title in 2019 and a further career-progression prize-drive opportunity for 2020, details of which we’ll be announcing soon.”
As part of his prize, Sesks will be entered into the 2019 FIA ERC Junior Under 28 Championship, while his registration means he will receive FIA priority status on all European championship rounds he contests, making him eligible for outright points and other incentives such as entry into Free Practice and the Qualifying Stage as well as additional television coverage and social media opportunities.
“I am very happy that winning the FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship gives me this opportunity and proves that hard work pays off,” said Sesks. “The prize gave me more motivation to step up to an R5 car and we now have the ERC Junior Under 28 Championship to show ourselves in the best way, as we did in ERC Junior Under 27.”
For his two ERC prize drives, Sesks will get a test in the week leading up to the event in question, plus full support and guidance from Bruno De Pianto and his expert team at Motorsport Italia, which has a strong reputation in helping to develop young talent.
“Me personally and all at Motorsport Italia would like to welcome Mārtiņš and his co-driver to our team,” said De Pianto. “We will do everything necessary to help Mārtiņš showcase his talent in a ŠKODA Fabia R5. Motorsport Italia has a great history in promoting young talent, guys like Ott Tänak, Hayden Paddon, Jarkko Nikara, Marijan Griebel, Gigi Galli and Dani Solà are just some examples of those who have driven and won with us in the past.”
Sesks will be presented with this FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship trophy at the ERC Awards Ceremony in Paris on 3 December.
*Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA. Please note ERC 2019 calendar dates remain subject to FIA World Motor Sport Council approval.