*Italian 21-year-old signs up for ERC Junior Under 27 bid
*Former circuit racer has big ambitions for future progression
*ERC Junior Experience training programme will boost knowledge
There will be no shortage of parental guidance for Mattia Vita when he embarks on his maiden international campaign in the FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship in 2018.
Vita’s father won the Targa Florio during his successful career as a rally driver, while his mother was a co-driver in the past. His own career has been varied with stints in karting and Formula 3, making the asphalt rounds of ERC Junior particularly attractive for the 21-year-old, who has never competed on gravel before.
“Family is something that’s very strong, my parents give me the power to cross the biggest steps of my life,” said Vita. “My dad always gives me a lot of advice regarding car set-up but he also knows that I have to grow by myself and he lets me learn. Learning from the mistakes is very important for a driver.”
Vita will drive a Pirelli-equipped PEUGEOT 208 R2 under the G-Force Marketing Solutions banner and explained why he’s made ERC Junior Under 27 his next motorsport challenge. “I have chosen ERC Junior for many reasons but mainly because I really want to compete with the best drivers coming from all over the continent. But another reason is the great media coverage on Eurosport, which can ensure my sponsors a great return on investment.”
He continued: “My target is to have a very constructive season. I don't have any gravel experience so it’s important I get the best results possible on those rounds. Since I was a kid I raced in karting and later in F3. I have interesting Tarmac experience so I will try to be as consistent as possible during Tarmac events.”
Vita’s own career plan matches the strategy set out by ERC Junior promoter Eurosport Events: a platform of progression from national level to the world stage. The ERC Junior U27 champion will receive a grant of 100,000 euros to put towards an ERC Junior U28 campaign in 2019 in an R5 car. The ERC Junior U28 champion will then get a one-off prize drive in a World Rally Car on a European round of the WRC.
“I have no secrets and no doubts – I want to be part of the WRC action,” said Vita, whose ERC Junior adventure begins on the Azores Airlines Rallye from 22-24 March. “But I must not stop to grow mentally and I have to get more consistent every time I sit in the car. My target is to compete in as many ERC Junior events as possible, budget permitting.”
ERC Co-ordinator Jean-Baptiste Ley said: “We’re really pleased to welcome another young driver with big ambition to ERC Junior U27. Given Mattia’s limited experience, the rallies he will do combined with the knowledge he’ll gain from the ERC Junior Experience training programme will allow him to progress as a driver and help him achieve his objective to compete in the world championship one day.”