*Double national title winner graduates with ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland backing
*ERC Junior Under 28 Championship awaits rising German star in 2018
*Mixture of asphalt and gravel events to build Kreim’s experience
Fabian Kreim will take the step up from national to international level when he contests the FIA ERC Junior Under 28 Championship in 2018 with ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland.
Following in the wheel tracks of compatriot and inaugural ERC Junior U28 champion Marijan Griebel, Kreim will drive a ŠKODA Fabia R5. Frank Christian, who has previous ERC experience with Sepp Wiegand, will co-drive Kreim, who graduates to the ERC as back-to-back German champion.
The 25-year-old said: “After we successfully defended our title in the DRM, we are looking forward to the new challenge in the European championship.”
Andreas Leue of ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland, said: “Fabian is now taking the next step in his development to become a top international driver. With Frank Christian, he has his experienced co-driver at his side to rely on. Our objective is clear: we are targeting the ERC Junior U28 title and we want to help rallying in Germany gain greater popularity with international success.”
ERC Junior Under 28 will include three events on asphalt and three on gravel in 2018. While Kreim has more experience on sealed surfaces, he finished runner-up in the all-gravel FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship in 2016 driving a ŠKODA. He also tackled the Tarmac-based, ERC-counting Barum Czech Rally Zlín in 2016, finishing a strong fifth overall.
“Having a driver of Fabian’s potential is great news for ERC Junior Under 28,” said ERC Co-ordinator Jean-Baptiste Ley. “With the support of ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland, who we welcome back to the ERC after three years away, Fabian has a fantastic opportunity to prove his talent and gain more experience.”
Introduced for the 2017 season, ERC Junior Under 28 is for drivers born on or after 1 January 1990 in R5 cars. It provides a platform for up-and-coming talent to build their experience and show their skills on an international stage.
The 2018 ERC season gets underway on the Azores Airlines Rallye from 22-24 March with the full calendar due to be announced following the meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Paris on 6 December.