*Young prospects learn plenty during busy training week in Czech Republic
*Newcomers join existing intake for knowledge and skills-gathering sessions
*Sordo: “It was nice to meet these young talents and help them”
Tarmac-driving coaching from Marijan Griebel and a question and answer session with world championship star Dani Sordo equipped the ERC Junior Experience intake with more vital knowledge when the latest training sessions took place during Barum Czech Rally Zlín week (21-24 August).
Established in 2016 to provide drivers and co-drivers with the myriad skills required for their step up from national to international level, the ERC Junior Experience is open to competitors in the Pirelli-supported FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship, plus other drivers aiming for the top.
Erik Cais (Czech Republic), Hugo Margaillan (France) and Grégoire Munster (Belgium) have recently enrolled into the comprehensive programme that includes Sébastien Bedoret, Filip Mareš, Catie Munnings, Laurent Pellier and Mārtiņš Sesks among its graduates.
Training week #2 curriculum: Zlín, Czech Republic (21-24 August)
*Tarmac-driving coaching from double ERC Junior champion Marijan Griebel
*Pre-event testing session
*Car set-up advice from ŠKODA Motorsport engineer Yannick Willocx
*Tyre-changing practice with a target time of 1m20s
*Sport vision (eye) training with Sofie De Witte
*Reconnaissance of all Barum Czech Rally Zlín stages, round six of the FIA European Rally Championship
*On-stage first aid provision training
*Question and answer session with factory Hyundai driver Dani Sordo
*Media training with ERC Radio and Eurosport TV reporters Julian Porter and Chris Rawes
Griebel on hand to teach ERC Junior Experience intake
The current ERC Junior Experience intake benefited from Marijan Griebel’s considerable expertise when the double ERC Junior champion provided Tarmac-driving tuition during a special session on 21 August.
Fresh from scoring world championship points for the first time on ADAC Rallye Deutschland, Griebel accompanied the rising stars on a test stage and provided crucial advice and detailed feedback ahead of Barum Czech Rally Zlín, round six of the FIA European Rally Championship.
He said: “I grew up in ERC Junior and got all my international rallying experience in the ERC and so many great memories. This is why I didn´t hesitate to come to the Barum Rally and teach some young guns.”
Griebel continued: “For rally drivers the opportunities are quite rare where you have a driving coach and can get some thoughts and input from another experienced person. So I hope I gave them some suggestions of how to improve their driving style and teach them things like risk management of punctures and accidents and how to do a long rally like an ERC event.
“The ERC Junior Experience is a great opportunity for young talents to start their international rallying career. It’s a unique project in our sport which is really helpful to develop and get one step closer to a professional career.”
Sordo becomes advocate of ERC Junior Experience after Q&A session
Dani Sordo, part of Hyundai’s factory team in the world championship, believes training programmes such as the ERC Junior Experience need to be rolled out across the sport after hosting a question and answer session during Barum Czech Rally Zlín, where he was making a guest appearance in the FIA European Rally Championship.
Sordo spent 90 minutes with the ERC Junior Experience intake on 23 August and answered numerous questions about his career and also gave crucial advice to the emerging talents enrolled in the training programme, including his fellow Spaniard Efrén Llarena, Czech federation-backed Dominik Brož, plus newcomers Erik Cais (Czech Republic), Hugo Margaillan (France) and Grégoire Munster (Belgium).
“It was nice to meet these young talents and to try to help them by having a nice chat,” said Sordo, who went on to finish his ERC debut in third position. “We need more of this type of school for the young drivers. It’s like a chain because we need these people to come in with their new thinking and new style of driving.
If you have the talent and want to achieve something, then you need to follow your dreams [by learning].”
What the ERC Junior Experience drivers said?
Erik Cais (Czech Republic): “I really enjoyed this experience. It gave me a lot new impulses in how to improve my driving and communication with my fans through social media. It was also very nice to meet Dani Sordo and the other guys from ERC Junior.”
Hugo Margaillan (France): “The ERC Junior Experience is amazing. We’re learning a lot of things for the future. The workshops are very interesting and allow us to see what are our weak points. I’m very happy to have been able to participate."
Grégoire Munster (Belgium): “It was a really nice experience. We learned different aspects of rallying like the technical parts but also the importance of the media around this sport. We also learned to train some particular parts of our body, like the eye training. And to end this course on a perfect way, we even had the amazing opportunity to meet Dani Sordo and ask him some questions about his career.”
Training week #3: Liepāja, Latvia, 9-12 October
Curriculum to include fitness training, gravel-driving tuition and event reconnaissance. To enrol or for more information contact Evelien Deschuytter, All In Motion, +32 473990342, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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