FIA Junior WRC returns to Secto Rally Finland in exciting 2024 calendar reveal


MOTORSPORTS FIA Junior WRC returns to Secto Rally Finland in exciting 2024 calendar reveal

Festus Chuma 16:36 - 23.10.2023

FIA Junior WRC's 2024 calendar unveiled, featuring a thrilling return to Secto Rally Finland, with Tanzania Prince Nyerere poised to represent Africa.

The FIA Junior WRC class of 2024 is set to make a triumphant return to the legendary Secto Rally Finland, marking a significant milestone for the one-make series.

The highly-anticipated calendar for 2024 promises five iconic rallies across diverse terrains and showcases the talents of drivers aged up to 30, all behind the wheels of Ford Fiesta Rally3 Evos prepared by M-Sport Poland.

The highlight of the calendar is undoubtedly the return of Secto Rally Finland, renowned for its lightning-fast roads and stomach-churning jumps. 

The gravel extravaganza, absent from the Junior WRC since 2019, will take place from August 1 to 4, forming the fourth round of this thrilling championship.

The season, however, kicks off amidst the snowy wonderland of Rally Sweden, set in the charming university town of Umeå from February 15 to 18. With its icy terrain, Rally Sweden promises an exciting spectacle, though Pirelli's studded Sottozero tires ensure that traction will be the least of their worries.

Croatia Rally (April 18 - 21) presents an entirely different challenge as the only all-asphalt test of the year. Featuring blind crests, fast corners, and varying road surfaces, this event will demand ultimate precision in pace notes.

The action then moves to Rally Italia Sardegna (May 30 - June 2), a unique test with its soft and sandy gravel tracks that become progressively rougher with each passing car. This Mediterranean showdown has delivered Junior WRC drama aplenty in recent years, requiring a strategic approach from the competitors.

The EKO Acropolis Rally Greece (September 5 - 8), with iconic stages like Tarzan and Bauxites, once again takes the spotlight as the season decider and offers double classification points for added excitement.

Notably, the eventual champion will secure a coveted place in the history books alongside luminaries such as Sébastien Loeb and Thierry Neuville. 

Additionally, they will receive a career-defining prize package that includes four fully-funded WRC2 drives in an M-Sport Fiesta Rally2 for 2025, along with 200 Pirelli tires and a pre-event test day before each competition.

FIA Junior WRC championship manager Maciej Woda expressed his enthusiasm for the upcoming season, saying, "I think this calendar offers the best way to sample almost every surface the WRC has to offer, which is designed to help nurture young talents who are focused on growing and developing on the world stage."

Woda added, "I am particularly looking forward to turning our attention to next season now as we are already speaking with numerous interested competitors. The calendar is the final piece in the puzzle for those who had one or two question marks over their plans for next year."

In a parallel development, Prince Charles Nyerere, the current leader of the African Rally Championship, is poised to represent Africa in the World Junior Championship. Nyerere, navigated by Yusuf Shameer, is currently in the pole position, with Hamza Anwar of Kenya trailing closely in second place.

Nyerere showcased his prowess by securing a second-place finish in the Zambia Rally, leaving him needing just one more podium finish in the upcoming Rally Tanzania to clinch the ARC Junior championship crown in his very first year of rallying.