*Bryan Bouffier provides asphalt driving technique training
*Estonian federation-backed Poom joins scheme in Czech Republic
*Peugeot-supported Pellier: “The training was instructive and interesting”
Several promising drivers and co-drivers continued to build their knowledge and equip themselves with some of the skills necessary for international competition when they enrolled in the latest ERC Junior Experience training course in Czech Republic last week.
Helping youngsters progress from national to international level, the ERC Junior Experience consists of a number of practical and theory-based workshops ranging from asphalt driving tuition, tyre strategy, vehicle extrication, first aid tips, social media dos and don’ts, fitness training and nutrition, sponsorship acquisition advice, media interview techniques and pacenote making.
Participants also undertake reconnaissance for the ERC rounds in Gran Canaria, Czech Republic, Italy and Latvia and receive free registration for next season’s ERC Junior Under 27 Championship.
Bouffier on-call on Czech Tarmac
After factory Citroën world championship star Craig Breen took part in a question and answer session ahead of Rally Islas Canarias, where respective co-driver Bjorn Degandt offered pacenote advice, Bryan Bouffier became the latest rallying professional to support the ERC Junior Experience initiative. Bouffier, a multiple international rally winner and national champion, offered advice on asphalt driving technique during a day-long session on a stage close to Zlín. After co-driving the six participating drivers, Bouffier took over driving duties. “Some of the drivers had more or less no experience driving on asphalt so I did my best to explain driving on asphalt from my point of view,” said Bouffier. “Most of them were more or less the same age as when I was starting. The target was not to go as fast as possible but to improve by being smoother and more precise, not aggressive by braking too hard, for example. I was trusting them, they were a good group and it’s always nice to be able to share my experience.”
Estonian federation-backed Poom signs-up
Young Estonian Roland Poom and co-driver Ken Järveoja joined the ERC Junior Experience in Czech Republic as part of the Estonian Autosport Union’s alliance with ERC promoter Eurosport Events to assist Estonian R2 Challenge competitors take the step from national events to international competition. The EASU is funding their participation in the scheme as well as covering all travel and accommodation expenses. A second EASU-backed crew will join the training programme in Italy next month.
From training to winning, ERC Junior Experience a big hit with Pellier
Laurent Pellier went from training to winning during an exciting six-day period last week. After completing the latest ERC Junior Experience session, Pellier returned to his native France to win Rallye Terre de Lozère, round five of the Peugeot 208 Rally Cup following a dramatic final stage showdown. “The session was good experience for a young crew like us,” said Pellier, who is co-driven by countryman Benoît Neyret-Gigot. “Everything was focused on performance and the topics will help us to progress. It was both instructive and interesting, and I loved the atmosphere. My run in the Peugeot 208 R2 with coaching from Bryan Bouffier helped me to improve my driving and we also received instruction on how to help someone who is hurt on a stage. That was very useful. The highlight was taking part in the recce for the Barum Czech Rally Zlín. The stages were superb but quite complex and we were able to put some technical aspects into practice. We were also filmed speaking English in a press conference situation, and I enjoyed being with the Peugeot Rally Academy as they prepared the Peugeot 208 T16s for the weekend. Our next objective is to compete at European championship level and our time in the Czech Republic did us a world of good.” Pellier has been enrolled into the ERC Junior Experience as his prize for leading the junior section of the 208 Rally Cup at the halfway point of the season.
Safety first in the ERC Junior Experience
Four local experts hosted a first aid and safety training session during the Czech leg of the ERC Junior Experience. Dr Lubomír Nečas, the Chief Medical Officer of Barum Czech Rally Zlín, Veronika Havelková, Pavel Valoušek’s co-driver and first aid trainer with the Czech national federation, the ACCR, Jan Regner, the Chief Safety Officer of Barum Czech Rally Zlín and Martin Konečný, ACCR’s specialist extrication trainer, guided the intake through a number of practical exercises as well as offering essential advice on what drivers and co-drivers should do to assist others in the event of an on-stage accident.
The 2017 ERC Junior Experience intake are:
Sébastien Bedoret/Thomas Walbrecq (Belgium)*
Dominik Brož/Petr Tĕšínský (Czech Republic)*
Filip Mareš/Jan Hloušek (Czech Republic)*
Catie Munnings (UK)/Anne Katherine Stein (Germany)
Laurent Pellier/Benoît Neyret-Gigot (France)**
Roland Poom/Ken Järveoja (Estonia)*
Martinš Sesks/Andris Mālnieks (Latvia)
Javier Pardo Siota/Adrian Perez (Spain)
Ken Torn/Kuldar Sikk (Estonia)*
*=Participation supported by national ASN; **=Participation supported by Peugeot Sport