Introducing the 16-year-old ERC winner

Hubert Laskowski has been turning heads, most recently by winning his class on Rally Liepāja on his ERC debut

Hubert Laskowski Michał Kuśnierz Rajd Lipawy Ford Fiesta Rally3 (2)

What were you doing at 16 years old?

Preparing for school exams? Socializing every night with your friends? In denial that you were about to leave your childhood years?

You probably weren’t winning your class on debut in the European Rally Championship though, were you?

It’s fair to say Hubert Laskowski isn’t your average teenager. He’s been behind the wheel of a rally car since the age of just 13, and last weekend’s Rally Liepāja was the latest peak of a rally career that’s already begun to scale dizzying heights.

Hubert Laskowski Michał Kuśnierz Rajd Lipawy Ford Fiesta Rally3 (4)

Stepping up from Peugeot 208 Rally4 power to a Ford Fiesta Rally3 this season, Laskowski already turned heads back in March when he won Rally Karlovac in Croatia ahead of respected asphalt driver and WRC3 competitor Jan Černý.

But he turned it up a notch on the high-speed gravel roads of Liepāja, dominating the RC3 class to win by over three minutes.

OK, he wasn’t registered for ERC points but to show the best in Europe a clean pair of heels was some accomplishment.

“Rally Liepāja was a very demanding event,” said Laskowski.

Hubert Laskowski Michał Kuśnierz Rajd Lipawy Ford Fiesta Rally3 (1)

“The organizers prepared very fast and difficult stages. They featured many crossings of peaks, a lot of ramps and many very fast sections.

“The competition was slightly more difficult on day one. We were last and had very different conditions than our main rivals but, on day two, we were driving in the same conditions as the best drivers in our class.

“We were fastest in five out of six special stages. We didn’t take many risks and I am very pleased with our pace.”

Hubert Laskowski Michał Kuśnierz Rajd Lipawy Ford Fiesta Rally3 (3)

Laskowski appears to belong to this frightening new generation of rally drivers that knows how to do everything so quickly, and don’t realize just how mind-boggling their skill level and achievements are.

Kalle Rovanperä is flying the flag for Gen Z with an utterly flawless World Rally Championship campaign to-date. We can assume he’ll be fighting at the front for a very long time to come, but by the look of it Laskowski could soon be squaring off against him in a Rally1 car.

But he’s born in 2006. That just shouldn’t be allowed.

Words:Luke Barry