FIA Junior WRC Team director Maciej Woda has talked of his delight at returning the World Rally Championship’s feeder series to the stages after a four-round 2020 calendar was confirmed on Tuesday.
As expected, the calendar includes Rally Estonia, Rally Germany and Rally Italy to add to the series opening Rally Sweden, which Tom Kristensson won for the second year in succession in February. Originally planned JWRC trips to Finland and Rally GB had to be canned following the cancellation of those two events.
“This is the news that we have all been hoping for and working very hard towards in recent months,” said Woda. “Members from all corners of the FIA Junior WRC team have been affected by the global pandemic and I feel it is safe to say that life has changed for all of us.
“I think this announcement will be very, very welcome to our crews and the team.
“Starting back in Estonia is going to be incredible and I cannot wait. Since starting the championship as a one-make series, I have had the pleasure of working with a range of talented up and coming young Estonian drivers.
“From Egon Kaur in 2011 to our most recent Estonian event-winner, Ken Torn, and more recently a two-time podium finisher, Roland Poom, the support our Estonian drivers have received on the various rallies we have visited has been tremendous and it is about time Junior WRC pays a visit to this rally-mad country!”
With a reduced number of rallies, Woda confirmed a new point-scoring structure – but, crucially, the same prize for the 2020 JWRC winner.
“I cannot express enough my relief and excitement that we have been able to make it possible to maintain the prize package for the 2020 champion despite reducing the length of the calendar by one round,” Woda added. “I must take this time to thank our partners, team and crews for their support and commitment to this very important championship, it is greatly appreciated.”
The biggest prize package in rallying remains with the 2020 FIA Junior WRC Champion taking home an Ecoboost-powered M-Sport Ford Fiesta R5 MkII with 200 Pirelli tires as well as free registration for and opportunities to score points in the 2021 WRC3 Championship.
Even better than that, if this year’s champion goes to win WRC3, they will then tackle two WRC outings in an M-Sport-run car in 2022.
Woda concluded: “We are proposing to amend the double points on offer for the final round to one and half points to reflect our points counting rounds reducing by 25 percent from four to three.”