*Radomír Kupec follows in the wheel tracks of older brother Karel
*Czech joins Klausz and Wagner as new ERC Junior U27 recruit
*Initial three-event campaign gets underway on Rally Rzeszow
Radomír Kupec will be counting on advice from older brother Karel when he makes his FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship debut on Rally Rzeszow, which takes place in southeast Poland from 3-5 August.
Karel Kupec began his ERC Junior campaign on the Azores Airlines Rallye at the start of the season, while Radomír Kupec joins the action at the halfway point. Initially a three-event campaign in an Opel ADAM R2, the younger Kupec is combining his ERC Junior programme with his university studies and a Czech Rallysprint series bid.
Like Karel, Radomír was a successful skier at junior level in his native Czech Republic before he followed his sibling into rallying. “A few years ago there was a firm rivalry between us, but in all crucial moments we helped each other and I am sure it will be the same this time, because he is now the one who is more experienced and faster and I will be there to learn something new from him and the others,” said Radomír Kupec, 23. “I am hoping I will get good advice from him.”
As well as Rally Rzeszow, Kupec will contest the ERC Junior events on home soil (Barum Czech Rally Zlín) and Italy (Rally di Roma Capitale). An appearance on the season-closing Rally Liepāja is not currently on his schedule due to financial constraints. “Rally Rzeszow will be my first race longer than 70 kilometres except the Lausitz Rallye in 2015, so I hope that I will see the finish line and gain some experience of a big event,” he said. “Thus, my main objective is to finish the race.”
Of his longer-term plans, Kupec is contemplating contesting more ERC events in 2018, education and budget considerations permitting.
ERC Co-ordinator Jean-Baptiste Ley said: “It’s great that not only Karel Kupec is building his experience of international competition in ERC Junior Under 27 but now his younger brother Radomír as well. While it creates an obvious story-telling and publicity opportunity, Radomír will be able to learn from Karel and I am sure they will work well together to prove their talent and maximise their knowledge of the events and the various challenges they will encounter.”
ERC Junior U27 is for drivers born on or after 1 January 1990 competing in R2 cars on Pirelli tyres. Competitors count their best four scores from a possible six with the eventual champion receiving 100,000 euros to use for an ERC Junior U28 campaign in 2018 when they will step up to R5 machinery. Stéphane Lefebvre, Emil Bergkvist and Marijan Griebel are among the notable ERC Junior graduates. Fourteen drivers are currently registered for ERC Junior U28.