FIA Junior World Rally Championship - Tour de Corse preview

FIA Junior World Rally Championship - Tour de Corse preview

30.03.2018: The FIA Junior World Rally Championship crews will get their first taste of Tarmac next week, when Corsica Linea - Tour de Corse hosts the second round of the one-make series

The FIA Junior World Rally Championship crews will get their first taste of Tarmac next week, when Corsica Linea - Tour de Corse hosts the second round of the one-make series.



M-Sport Poland’s fleet of one-litre EcoBoost Ford Fiesta R2s have been transformed into their asphalt specification and shod with Pirelli’s Pzero tyres – ready for the latest crop of youngsters to tackle one of rallying’s most challenging asphalt tests.



Known as the Rally of 10,000 Corners, the clue is in the name with corner after corner on a mix of smooth and abrasive asphalt.



The 333.48 competitive kilometres are split into just 12 speed tests, putting the emphasis on endurance and testing the crews on everything that goes into becoming a top-flight driver.



Pacenotes, focus, precision and speed – next week’s victor will have mastered them all on route to collecting the coveted trophy.



As the championship’s resident Frenchmen, Jean-Baptiste Franceschi and Terry Folb will be hoping to emulate what Dennis Rådström and Emil Bergkvist did on home soil in Sweden two months ago.



During the opening round of the season, the two Swedes were locked in an intense battle for a home victory. Franceschi and Folb weren’t far behind – fighting for fourth and fifth places respectively – but this time they’ll be hoping that the battle of the Frenchmen is the battle for the win.



Julius Tannert could well challenge the prospect of a French winner on home soil. The German is well versed in the art of asphalt rallying, and will be keen for another strong result following his podium finish in Sweden.



Ireland’s Callum Devine is also considered an asphalt specialist. The youngsters kept his cool in Sweden, and could be one to watch when the championship turns to his preferred surface next week.



Emilio Fernández proved himself a fast learner in Sweden. The Chilean secured a stage win on his snow debut, and shouldn’t be discounted when it comes to delivering a similarly impressive performance on his asphalt debut next week.
 


Italy’s Luca Bottarelli will certainly be feeling more at home on asphalt and could well be a dark horse for a strong result.



David Holder is keen to show what he can do on his asphalt debut and will be determined for a strong showing – as is Tom Williams who travelled to Mexico to compete in the WRC 3 category with the Fiesta R2 earlier this month.



Estonia’s Ken Torn has already proven his speed – four fastest stage times seeing him challenge for the win in Sweden before a roll dropped him out of contention.



With a new co-driver in the form of Ken Järveoja – cousin of WRC front-running co-driver Martin Järveoja – the pairing will be looking to combine their speed with consistency when they tackle their first Tarmac rally next week.



Enrico Oldrati also showed his potential during what was only the second ever rally of his career in Sweden. The Italian’s progress was cut short when he became a victim of the snowbanks on the opening day, but he’ll be keen to demonstrate his ability once more in Corsica.



Next week’s event also welcomes some new faces to the Junior WRC service area in the form of Bugra Banaz and Burak Erdener from Turkey, and Umberto Accornero and Barone Maurizio from Italy.



The two crews may have missed the opening round in Sweden, but that won’t stop them challenging for one of the biggest prizes in motorsport when the second round of the FIA Junior World Rally Championship gets underway at the legendary Tour de Corse.





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



“We had such a fantastic opening round in Sweden, and now I can’t wait to see what the crews can do on asphalt. The competition was extremely close, and there were a few surprises along the way which could well be the case when we head to Corsica next week.



“The Tour de Corse is a legendary rally, and a win here carries a lot of weight. It’s truly unique and its character sets it apart from all of the other FIA World Rally Championship events. Here, the emphasis is on endurance, focus and precision – and our crews will have to manage every aspect of the event in search of a strong result.



“With the Ford Fiesta R2, and Pirelli’s Pzero tyres, they’ll have everything they need to succeed and I’m looking forward to seeing who gets it right next week.”





Anna Louise Rudd- photos M-Sport

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/fia-junior-world-rally-tour-de-corse-preview---174346.html

30.03.2018 / MaP

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