FIA European Rally Championship promoter Eurosport Events has joined forces with the Estonian Autosport Union to help propel young rallying talents competing in the Estonian R2 Challenge on the road to the world championship.
It is upping the current prize fund of 32,000 euros to more than 46,000 euros through the provision of several incentives designed to assist drivers progressing from national championship to world level via the ERC’s three-tier ladder of opportunity: the ERC Junior Experience, the ERC Junior U27 Championship and the ERC Junior U28 Championship.
Eurosport Events will provide the following support to the Estonian Autosport Union:
*Top three Estonian R2 Challenge competitors at mid-season will be enrolled into the ERC Junior Experience training programme, which normally costs €2550 per driver (EASU will cover travel and accommodation costs for the trio)
*Top three in final Estonian R2 Challenge standings get free ERC Junior U27 Championship registration for 2018 (normal cost: €1500 per driver)
*Estonian R2 Challenge champion’s entry fees for the first four ERC Junior U27 rounds in 2018 will be covered (normal cost €1000 per rally). Should the champion expand their schedule to include all six rounds, the EASU will cover the entry costs for the last two events
Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator, said: “Estonia and the Baltic region have a long history of producing talented drivers but it’s vital this continues long into the future. Under the stewardship of the EASU rallying in Estonia is in very safe hands, but we wanted to make an important contribution to help the sport’s continued growth and provide an opportunity for young drivers to showcase their abilities on an international stage.”
Margus Kiiver, General Secretary of the Estonian Autosport Union, said: “The effort ERC is making to assist young drivers progressing from national championship to world level is just great. We have many talented young drivers in our region and the the support offered by Eurosport Events will definitely help them to take this big step. We also see the ERC’s three-tier ladder of opportunity as one the best solutions to make it to the world championship. We are honoured to be a part of this cooperation.”
The Estonian R2 Challenge is for drivers aged between 17 and 26 of all nationalities and takes place over six rounds, including a season-opening winter event in Latvia. It continues on the Harju Ralli from 26-27 May. Meanwhile, ERC 2017 gets underway with the Azores Airlines Rallye from 30 March-1 April.