Neu-Isenburg, Germany, 6 March 2023 – Hankook has added another top-class cooperation to its portfolio as a global player in the world of motorsport. As of this season, the premium tyre maker is the exclusive tyre partner of the FIA Junior European Rally Championship. The championship for highly-talented young rally drivers is held as part of the FIA European Rally Championship. From the coming season, Hankook high-end rally tyres will be used on the powerful vehicles with front-wheel drive and around 210 hp. The cars of Rally4 category are kept visually very close to the production model. In this way, the company is remaining true to its corporate philosophy and carrying its consistent programme of youth development into the rally scene.
The FIA European Rally Championship made its debut in 1953, making it the oldest ongoing rally series in the world. Many renowned drivers have used this championship as a springboard to the World Rally Championship. One prominent example from Germany is Walter Röhrl, who was crowned European champion in 1974 and world champion in 1982. This season’s ERC calendar consists of eight rallies in eight European countries.
The FIA Junior ERC was launched in 2014 as a platform for talented youngsters, on which young drivers can develop and gain valuable experience. This season, the competitors in the Junior ERC will contest six rounds. The season kicks off on 20th/21st May in Poland and concludes in Hungary on 7th/8th October. The young drivers aged up to 27 will take on very fast stages in Poland and Latvia, as well as demanding asphalt routes in Italy and the Czech Republic. The prize awaiting the winner is a start in next season’s FIA Junior World Rally Championship, which for years has been a hotbed for the next generation of rally stars.
Manfred Sandbichler, Hankook Motorsport Director Europe: “With this new cooperation, we are consistently continuing our approach of supporting youth in all areas of motorsport. The FIA ERC is the strongest rally series in Europe and has produced many stars. Against this setting, the FIA Junior ERC offers young drivers the unique opportunity to prove themselves at the highest level and in professional conditions. I look forward to following the development of the individual drivers on our high-end rally tyres, which have been tried and tested in all conditions, and to an exciting season together.”