Semenuk to make WRC debut in Latvia

Fresh from another Subaru win in Ohio, the Canadian will cross the Atlantic for next month’s Rally Latvia

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Two-time American champion Brandon Semenuk will make his World Rally Championship debut at next month’s Rally Latvia.

The Canadian will drive a Toyota GR Yaris Rally2 on the Liepāja-based event and heads to Europe in search of more experience and even more speed to further his American campaign.

“This is something I’ve been thinking about for a while,” this month’s Southern Ohio winner told DirtFish. “Competing in Europe is obviously going to be different to what I’m used to. Latvia is a good event – it’s obviously new to the WRC, so it does bring a little more of a level playing field. That said, there’s so many fast drivers in that area, like even the national championships are really strong.

“And we know that a lot of these WRC crews [competing in WRC2] have done events out that way already, so they’ll know the stages a bit, but hopefully not as well as some of the other world events.”

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Two names, long overdue in the World Rally Championship, will compete in Latvia next month

Semenuk’s objective for his debut at the sport’s highest level is to use the event to further refine his skills ahead of the remainder of an ARA season where he’s chasing his third straight title with Subaru.

He added: “I want to learn and to get the experience. Regardless of where I sit on the times – and I really don’t expect a whole lot – it would be nice to find progress throughout the event. And to leave with a bit of an understanding of where I still need to develop as a driver and find more speed.

“I just think it’s a good tool to continue to develop my skills as a racing driver. I mean, if there’s a moment throughout the event where I have some sort competitive time or show some pace then great – but the focus here is on making me a better driver for the ARA and other Subaru Motorsports USA efforts.”

Semenuk will be co-driven, as usual, by Keaton Williams. The Englishman is not short of Toyota experience at the highest level, having previously competed alongside Takamoto Katsuta in a factory Yaris WRC.

Semenuk’s Rally2 is a completely private entry, with the car expected to run a plain white livery.

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Semenuk has won two American titles with Subaru and is chasing a third this season