M-sport se­cures con­tract to run re­vamped Ju­nior World Rally Cham­pi­onship in Fi­es­tas

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

The Ju­nior World Rally Cham­pi­onship will be run for Ford Fi­esta R2s again next sea­son, fol­low­ing a de­ci­sion from last week’s World Mo­tor Sport Coun­cil to award the ten­der to M-sport.

The Cum­brian firm ran JWRC as a sin­gle-make series for three years (two of which when it was called WRC Academy), be­fore it switched to Citroen’s DS 3 R3 for the last three sea­sons.

M-sport’s Mal­colm Wil­son said he was de­lighted to have it back and con­firmed it would be run in the same style as the Drive DMACK Fi­esta Tro­phy.

“We’ll com­bine the two into one cham­pi­onship,” Wil­son told MN, “so the Ju­nior WRC will be more or less what Drive DMACK has been. This is fan­tas­tic news for M-sport – we have a real pas­sion for de­vel­op­ing young drivers and of­fer­ing a lad­der of pro­gres­sion through the sport, this is key to that.”

Most likely the DDFT for­mula of pair­ing the ral­lies will re­main for next sea­son. That means crews have the chance to win two drives in a Ford Fi­esta R5 car by scor­ing the most points on a pair of events.

“We don’t see any ma­jor changes com­ing,” said Wil­son, “we want this to re­main the most cost-ef­fec­tive way into the WRC. What we will do is prob­a­bly give the over­all sea­son cham­pion an­other drive, to give them some­thing a lit­tle bit more.”

The JWRC sea­son will start in Por­tu­gal in May with the re­main­der of the cal­en­dar still to be de­cided.

Among the other de­ci­sions to come from WMSC was the con­fir­ma­tion of run­ning or­der changes, with the series leader first on the road on day one be­fore the pri­or­ity crews are run in re­versed clas­si­fi­ca­tion or­der on Satur­day and Sun­day.

The 2017 WRC cal­en­dar was also rub­ber-stamped as Monte Carlo (Jan 20-22); Swe­den (Feb 10-12); Mex­ico (Mar 10-12); Cor­sica (Apr 7-9); Ar­gentina (Apr 28-30); Por­tu­gal (May 19-21); Italy (Jun 9-11); Poland (Jun 30-Jul 2); Fin­land (Jul 28-30); Ger­many (Aug 18-20); Spain (Oct 6-8); GB (Oct 27-29) and Aus­tralia (Nov 17-19).

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