The Rally Hungary at the start of October brought to an end an exciting first season for Hankook in the FIA Junior European Rally Championship (JERC). Success on the final special stage saw Romanian siblings Norbert and Frencesca Maior not only secure their first win of the season, but also the title in the European rally championship for juniors. “We fought hard all season for this success. It feels incredible to have won,” said an overjoyed Norbert Maior at the finish. Since 2014, FIA Junior ERC has been an extremely important pillar in the development of youth on the rallying scene. Four different manufacturers from the Rally4 class feature in this championship. The production-based cars have front-wheel drive generating roughly 210 hp, and all start on Hankook tyres.
In the 2023 season, the young drivers in FIA Junior ERC started in six different countries and, with a host of different winners, demonstrated its strength in depth. Norway’s Ola Nore Junior started the season strongly, winning the rallies in Poland and Latvia. In Sweden, victory went to local favourite Isak Reiersen. Roberto Daprá also won his home event in Italy, while Germany’s Timo Schulz dominated in the Czech Republic. Coming into the finale in Hungary, Maior topped the overall standings with 106 points. Just four points separated him from second-placed Daprá. Even Nore Junior was poised to pounce, just twelve points behind the leader. In the end, the Maior siblings won the rally and the championship by a mere 7.1 seconds.
Hankook performs strongly on all surfaces
As exclusive tyre partner of FIA Junior ERC, premium tyre maker Hankook embarked on a new chapter at the start of the year. To cope with the different surfaces, Hankook supplied the competitors with the Hankook Ventus Z215 (asphalt) and the Hankook Dynapro R211 (gravel). The two premium tyres showed no weaknesses in diverse conditions, providing perfect grip on every special stage.
Manfred Sandbichler, Hankook Motorsport Director Europe: “Congratulations to the worthy winners, who once again showed their strength at the finale in Hungary. However, I would also like to thank all the other competitors and the organisers of this year’s FIA Junior ERC. They showed the quality of young rally crews in Europe. We at Hankook are delighted that the drivers consistently benefitted from the high performance of our premium tyres on such a wide range of surfaces. The trust in this quality is hugely important for all drivers, but particularly the youngsters, and that will continue to be the case in the coming season.”
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