What five ERC Junior champions did next
Winners of the Pirelli-supported FIA ERC3 Junior Championship don’t hang around when it comes to making their next career step. Here’s a reminder of what the first five ERC3 Junior champions did next.
2014: Stéphane Lefebvre
The Frenchman went from winning the ERC3 Junior title in Corsica one week to claiming the world championship equivalent in Great Britain the next. He scored points on his World Rally Car debut the following summer.
2015: Emil Bergkvist
Bergkist finished fourth on his Rally2 debut on the season-closing Rally International du Valais, having clinched the ERC3 Junior crown earlier in the year. After two seasons at Rally2 level in the world championship, Bergvkist returned to two-wheel-drive machinery for 2018 and promptly became the Junior world champion.
2016: Marijan Griebel
This German serving police officer made the most of his ERC3 Junior prize drive with second place in a ŠKODA Fabia on the Cyprus Rally in 2016. He would go on to win the ERC1 Junior title the very next season before claiming the German crown in 2018. He’s also scored points at world level.
2017: Chris Ingram
After beating Jari Huttunen to ERC3 Junior honours on the Rally Liepāja decider in 2017, Ingram narrowly missed out on clinching the ERC1 Junior version on the same event 12 months later. But the Briton made up for that disappointment with the overall title in 2019.
2018: Mārtiņš Sesks
Having belied his lack of experience – particularly on asphalt – to win ERC3 Junior gold in 2018, the Latvian moved up to the Junior world championship for 2019, while also starring on his two ERC3 Junior prize drives, including taking an overall podium on his home event, Rally Liepāja, last May.
And what of the 2019 champion, Efrén Llarena? With the brakes currently on global motorsport due to the coronavirus pandemic, Llarena is waiting for his Rally2 step up and an ERC1 Junior bid in a Rallye Team Spain-supported Citroën C3 R5.
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