Stengg embarks on ERC Junior learning mission
Roland Stengg has chosen the FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship for the “competition and coverage” it delivers as he embarks on a two-year European campaign.
Stengg, a 24-year-old from Austria, will make his category debut on next month’s Rally Islas Canarias (3-5 May) before contesting the remaining four rounds of the Pirelli-supported series in Italy, Czech Republic, Poland and Latvia.
Germany’s Tobias Braun will co-drive Stengg’s Opel ADAM R2 for the bulk of the season but Claudia Dorfbauer (Rally Islas Canarias) and Jürgen Heigl (Barum Czech Rally Zlín) will also support Stengg, whose first experience of rallying came while co-driving his father in 2013.
“From a learning standpoint it’s the best series a junior can drive,” said Stengg, who hails from the Austrian city of Graz. “It has the biggest competition, amazing rallies and very good coverage. I want to gain as much experience as possible and my main goal should be to score points and learn about the different rallies. I want to have two good years in the ERC.”
Stengg is the son of Wilhelm Stengg, the 1995 Austrian champion, while several other family members, including his great grandfather, have rallied over the years. “My father tries to give me tips on my driving style and the set-up, while everybody else tries to help me on the mental side,” said Roland Stengg. “I am very glad for their advice as there is always something to learn from the vast amount of experience.”
By entering ERC Junior U27, Stengg will automatically be enrolled into the ERC Junior Experience training programme and will also be in line to win a 100,000 euros grant to be put towards an ERC Junior Under 28 campaign in 2019, the prize for winning the ERC Junior U27 crown this season.
To date, 26 drivers have registered for ERC Junior action with 13 entering the ERC Junior U27 section and 13 in ERC Junior U28 for young stars in R5 cars.
Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator, said: “We’re very pleased to welcome another young talent from national level to the European championship and we wish him well in making this transition. With 26 registrations received so far and the prospect of more to come, ERC Junior is clearly proving popular for drivers aiming to progress up the rallying pyramid.”
Stengg is the second Austrian mounting an ERC Junior U27 bid with Simon Wagner also in action in a Saintéloc Junior Team PEUGEOT 208 R2.