Bergkvist takes the FIA Junior WRC title with victory in Turkey

Bergkvist takes the FIA Junior WRC title with victory in Turkey

16.09.2018: Sweden’s Emil Bergkvist has been crowned this year’s FIA Junior WRC Champion after a mature and intelligent drive saw him pilot his one-litre EcoBoost Ford Fiesta R2 to victory at Rally Turkey.

Sweden’s Emil Bergkvist has been crowned this year’s FIA Junior WRC Champion after a mature and intelligent drive saw him pilot his one-litre EcoBoost Ford Fiesta R2 to victory at Rally Turkey.



The victory was the Swede’s first of the year, but his championship success is thanks to a highly consistent performance across the entire season combined with impressive speed and talent behind the wheel.



Bergkvist was amongst the front-runners at each rally, and his speed and consistency on every surface makes him a worthy champion with more stage wins than any other competitor.



Claiming one of the biggest prizes in motorsport, the young Swede is now the proud owner of his very own EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta R5 with which to further his career.



The prize also includes incentives with which to contest the WRC 2 category in 2019 – including a generous tyre package from Pirelli and competition fuel from Panta.



Securing a close second in both the rally and the championship was fellow Swede Dennis Rådström.



Giving his compatriot a run for his money, Rådström secured two victories this year and was challenging for a third this weekend before two punctures put him out of the running on Friday afternoon.



Rådström fought back admirably, but there was nothing more he could do with Bergkvist not putting a foot wrong all weekend.



Rådström’s co-driver, Johan Johansson, can however claim the title of 2018 FIA Junior WRC Champion Co-driver as Bergkvist changed navigators throughout the year.



Claiming the final podium position this weekend was Chile’s Emilo Fernández – securing his maiden podium with a fantastic third place overall.



The Chilean delivered a clean and tidy drive through some of the most challenging terrain the FIA World Rally Championship has to offer and should be immensely proud of his performance…



…as should the entire class of 2018 for a fantastic year of close-fought rallying!
 





Emil Bergkvist (1st) said:


“What can I say? This is unbelievable and I am so happy! Everything has been amazing and I want to thank everyone who made it possible. I have no words for this and I am just so excited. To think that this Ford Fiesta R5 is now mine is a little bit unreal and I think it will take some time to realise what has happened and what we have achieved.”



Dennis Rådström (2nd) said:



“Of course we wanted to win, but it was a good fight and I think we proved our speed and consistency. We’re happy with that and will continue to fight – onwards and upwards!”



Emilio Fernández (3rd) said:



“This was a very hard rally but we finished in a really good position. We had some problems here and there, but we did good and tried to push which gave us a great third place.”




FIA Junior World Rally Championship Manager, Maciej Woda, said:



“Congratulations to Emil who is a very worthy champion. Time and again we have seen how important consistency is to winning championships and that is exactly what he delivered alongside his undoubted speed and talent behind the wheel.



“He was amongst the front-runners at every event and competitive on every surface. And this weekend, he didn’t put a foot wrong. He knew what he had to do, and it was an extremely mature and intelligent drive to victory.



“But congratulations really must go to all of the competitors this year. It has been a fantastic season with some extremely close-fought competition. Everyone should be very proud of what they have achieved, as there were some real stars of the future amongst our ranks this year.”


 



ELSEWHERE IN THE FIELD: CREW BY CREW



Callum Devine (4th) said:



Callum Devine was running in a strong second place before a driveshaft issue forced him to retire on Friday’s final speed test (SS7). The Irishman also rolled his Fiesta on SS9, but his never-give-up attitude paid dividends. Showing his speed with two stage victories, Devine claimed his best result of the season with fourth place overall.



“It’s been a challenging event for everyone so it feels good to get to the end, and I was happy to have set some fastest stage times. I think this season has been the most challenging so far, and we have learnt a lot.”





Bugra Banaz (5th) said:


Local hero Bugra Banaz was hoping to challenge for a home victory this weekend, but the treacherous terrain had other ideas – a series of punctures putting the Turkish driver out of contention for the win.


“It is always a good feeling when you finish a rally, but this wasn’t the result we wanted at our home event. But we showed some good pace in places and I am happy to finish the season.”




Tom Williams (6th) said:


Experiencing some of the roughest terrain the FIA World Rally Championship has to offer, Tom Williams progressed through the stages to gain a wealth of experience for the future. The Brit picked up a few punctures along the way, but delivered a clean and composed drive to sixth place overall.


“It’s a big relief to finish the hardest rally I’ve ever done! It was unfortunate I got so many punctures, but it was a great experience to learn these new stages.”





David Holder (7th) said:

David Holder was unlucky to pick up three punctures on what was arguably the roughest and most treacherous stage of the weekend (SS5), but came back to deliver a clean run through Saturday’s stages. He rolled his Fiesta on Sunday’s second stage (SS15), but amazingly only lost 30 seconds to the fastest time!




 Determined to the last, he then went on to post the fastest time through the final two speed tests… and even took a dip in the river to cool down!



“It has been challenging, but it has also been an experience with roads the likes of which I’ve never seen! It is pretty cool to say we have been here and done this event – I swam in the river, rolled the car and even notched up a couple of stage wins!“




Enrico Oldrati (8th) said:

Enrico Oldrati picked up a puncture on Friday morning before being forced to retire with suspension issues on Friday afternoon. Returning under Rally 2 regulations, the Italia was unlucky not to make it past Saturday’s opening speed test (SS8) – a driveshaft issue forcing him to retire for a second time. But he completed all of Sunday’s stages, to bring his Fiesta home in eighth place overall.



“It was a hard rally but we finished and did quite good today. We tried to push hard and the car was working well. We are happy to finish and it has been good to get the experience.”




Ken Torn (DNF) said:


Claiming three stage wins over the course of the weekend, Ken Torn took the lead of the rally on Saturday afternoon (SS10) and looked set to bring home a second successive victory.



That was until the second stage of Sunday morning (SS15) when he rolled out of contention. Determined to complete the toughest test of the season, he made it as far as the penultimate speed test before being forced to retire with an oil leak.



“It’s a disappointing result for us, but it was a great experience and I hope to continue next year.”




Jean-Baptiste Franceschi (DNF) said:


Setting seven fastest stage times, Jean-Baptiste Franceschi had the pace to challenge for the win and the championship this weekend. Unfortunately for the Frenchman, the rough terrain had other ideas – a series of punctures and a broken driveshaft through the opening day of competition dropping him from the fight at the front. The Frenchman then rolled his Fiesta on the penultimate stage of the rally (SS16), but maintained his third place in the championship.


“This was our first year at this level so to finish third in the championship is really good. Of course we could have done better as we were unlucky here in Turkey and also in Portugal.


We could have been in the fight for victory, but that’s rallying. And even though the result this weekend wasn’t what we wanted, we set a lot of fastest stage times and learnt a lot about the rough conditions.”





Julius Tannert (DNF) said:



Putting his experience to good use, Julius Tannert led the rally for much of the weekend. The German even had luck on his side when picking up three punctures on Friday morning but still making it safely back to service.



 Unfortunately, luck was not on his side on Saturday afternoon when he rolled his Fiesta on SS10. He fell to third place before retiring with three punctures on the following speed test. Returning to competition today, a broken driveshaft ended his run on SS15.



“It was a difficult event. We set some good stage times but luck wasn’t on our side and we retired on the last day with a broken driveshaft. Overall I have enjoyed this rally as it was a different experience.”




Raul Badiu (DNF) said:


Making his FIA World Rally Championship debut this weekend, Raul Badiu showed flashes of promising pace but picked up a series of punctures as well as a broken driveshaft on SS12. The Romanian then rolled his Fiesta out of the competition on SS15.


“It was really nice to be a part of this big team. I enjoyed the weekend and set some good stage times. It was really rough, but a new experience.”


 
- Anna Luise Rudd -  photo  @World

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/bergkvist-fia-junior-wrc-title-win-turkey-rallye---180668.html

16.09.2018 / MaP

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