The Junior WRC Championship enters a new era in 2014 as the FIA begins the implementation of its long-term strategy to define a pyramid for the sport, from national and international level through to the pinnacle; the FIA World Rally Championship.
As such, the FIA and European Rally Championship promoter have already introduced an exciting new initiative from 2014 for youngsters under the age of 25, enabling them to contest the ERC Junior Championship in an R2 car with control tyres. With the intention being to roll out this initiative across the other regional championships, drivers will have the opportunity to hone their skills on an international stage in a cost-effective formula that enables them to build experience before making the step up to the Junior WRC Championship within the FIA World Rally Championship.
From 2014, competitors in the Junior WRC Championship - with an upper age limit of 28 - will take to the wheel of a more competitive car in the shape of the Citroën DS3 R3. In order to maintain a cap on costs, the cars will all run on Michelin tyres and fuel from the FIA’s designated supplier. Seasonally allocated numbers (51-70) will be given to each driver registered in the Junior WRC.
Importantly, competitors are also permitted to register for the Junior WRC Championship, or individual events, using their own Citroën DS3 R3.
THE ALL-INCLUSIVE JUNIOR WRC CHAMPIONSHIP PACKAGE
In a change to previous years, Citroën Racing has put together an all-inclusive package for competitors, including:
- Participation in the full WRC event
- Car, tyres and fuel
- Team personnel (mechanic and engineer)
- Entry fee for the Junior WRC and the WRC 3 Championship
- Accommodation for the crew
- Overalls for the crew
Note: Any driver registered for the Junior WRC Championship will be eligible for and automatically entered in the FIA WRC 3 Championship.
The qualifying events in the 2014 FIA Junior WRC Championship are:
Rally de Portugal
31 July-3 August
Rallye de France
Wales Rally GB
Registration for the Junior WRC Championship may only be made in the name of a driver. However, entry to individual events may be made in the name of a driver, team or sponsor, or in the name of an ASN designated team, ensuring that competitors do not have to commit to the whole Championship but can be classified in the standings.
Points for each round will be awarded to Junior WRC drivers and co-drivers based on the Junior WRC overall classification (a single point will no longer be awarded for stage wins). All the results will count towards the Championship title.
A Junior WRC Championship Nations Trophy classification will be drawn from the Junior WRC classification and a trophy awarded to the winning nation.
The 2014 FIA Junior WRC Champion will receive a prize that helps further their career in the sport; six rallies counting towards the 2015 FIA WRC 2 Championship driving a Citroën DS3 R5.
Commenting about the FIA Junior WRC Championship, Rally Director Jarmo Mahonen said: “It is our intention to establish this pyramid so that drivers wishing to pursue a professional career in our sport have a clear path, learning on all levels as they progress. Now, drivers can compete for a prestigious junior title in the European Championship in a smaller capacity car, at a very reasonable cost, before graduating to the slightly more powerful Citroën DS3 R3 in the Junior WRC. Here, in front of influential manufacturers, they have the chance to make their mark and with a drive in an R5 car for the winner, this really completes the logical path to the full WRC.”
Competitors wishing to register for the 2014 FIA Junior WRC Championship or receive further information should contact [email protected].