*German is provisional winner of coveted title
*World Rally Car prize drive awaits young talent
*ERC propels Griebel from national level to global stage
Marijan Griebel is the provisional winner of the inaugural FIA ERC Junior Under 28 Championship following his third victory of the campaign in the Czech Republic today.
Griebel, who won the ERC Junior crown in 2016, has stepped up in style to the European championship’s new category for young stars in R5 cars on Pirelli tyres, winning his class on the Azores Airlines Rallye, Rally Rzeszow and now Barum Czech Rally Zlín.
A serving police officer, Griebel will get a drive in a World Rally Car on a European round of the world championship in 2018 as his prize. That will enable him to complete his progression from national level to the WRC via the ERC, which is in accordance with the European championship promoter Eurosport Events’ mission to provide a structured path for young drivers aiming for the top of the sport.
“I didn’t really expect we can be champion after four out of six races but every race in the ERC went nearly perfect with three wins and third place in Canarias,” said Griebel. “It was very good so thank you really much to Baumschlager Rallye & Racing who gave me a perfect car every time. We had no issues and no problems all season and I’m just really happy.
“The ERC is really cool. We have really challenging and different rallies where I could learn a lot. Also the promotion of the ERC is really good with a lot of TV time, which makes it easier to find some sponsors. Everything came together for me and this is another big step in my career.”
Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator, said: “Many congratulations to Marijan for his excellent performances and for all he has achieved by winning the inaugural FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship. Since stepping up from national level to the ERC in 2014, Marijan has always impressed and has never stopped working in his pursuit of success. He underlined his potential when he finished second in Cyprus last season on his debut in an R5 car, his prize for winning the 2016 ERC Junior title. He’s a great professional and we hope his prize drive in a World Rally Car will give him the springboard to climb the rallying pyramid and showcase the vital role the European championship is undertaking to help young drivers progress from their national championships to the global stage via the ERC.”
Stefan Kopczyk co-driove Griebel’s ŠKODA Fabia R5, which was run by Raimund Baumschlager’s BRR Rallye & Racing operation from Austria. The 2017 ERC season resumes on Rally di Roma Capitale in Italy from 15-17 September.
*Subject to FIA confirmation