Wagner: I am here to win in ERC Junior
Simon Wagner is targeting wins ahead of his upcoming FIA ERC3 Junior Championship campaign, which has a distinctly Austrian flavour to it.
Wagner will join compatriot and class rival Roland Stengg’s family team, Stengg Motorsport, as he switches from Peugeot to Opel power for his second season in the Pirelli-supported category.
After impressing with his speed in a Saintéloc Junior Team Peugeot in 2018, 25-year-old Wagner hopes luck will be on his side when the 2019 title battle begins on the Azores Rallye from 21-23 March.
“Last year was for learning and building experience,” said Wagner, who will continue his partnership with co-driver and fellow Austrian Gerald Winter. “I know the speed is there but we just had really bad luck. But we didn’t stop working hard and this year we are here for winning rallies, as many rallies as possible.”
Although it’s very much all-change for Wagner in 2019, he does have previous experience of driving an Opel ADAM R2 from the Stengg Motorsport stable.
“I did one rally back in 2017 to help my brother Julian win the Austrian 2WD title when we finished first and second,” Wagner explained. “It was a great experience and, of course, these great memories are still here. As I said I only drove one rally with this car but I totally enjoyed it and it has been the benchmark car for the last few years in the R2 category.
“Stengg Motorsport has huge experience with the ADAM R2 as they have worked with this car since 2014. I will bring two of the best mechanics with me and together with this team I really don’t need to think about anything, just focus on driving. There is no doubt we will have success – it definitely will be successful.”
Wagner is planning to contest all six ERC3 Junior rounds and is scheduled to complete a one-day test ahead of the new season getting underway.
Roland Stengg, meanwhile, is also returning to ERC3 Junior action in 2019 and details of his plans for 2019 will be announced in due course.
Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator, said: “Simon proved his talent on a number of occasions last season, showing the kind of pace that’s needed to win in the very competitive ERC Junior category. We would be very surprised if he was not among the title contenders in 2019.”