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FIA Rally Star finalist claims maiden outright podium

FIA Rally Star finalist Romet Jurgenson scored a maiden outright rally podium finish in Slovenia last weekend to boost hopes of netting a prize World Rally Championship drive next season.

Romet Jurgenson

The 23-year-old Estonian and co-driver Siim Oja claimed third at Rally Nova Gorica, which also hosted the third round of the inaugural FIA Rally Star talent search competition.    

Organised and funded by the FIA, six driver and co-driver pairings have been selected from regional finals held across the world to tackle six European rallies this year behind the wheel of an M-Sport Ford Fiesta Rally3 car

The best four crews at the end of the six rallies will receive a fully funded two-year programme in the Junior WRC beginning in 2024. If one of the finalists wins the JWRC title, they will earn a coveted WRC2 campaign for 2026.

After winning the Rally3 class and finishing eighth overall on tarmac at Rallye Weiz in Austria in July, Jurgenson - the European finalist - underlined his credentials on Slovenia’s asphalt roads. 

Jurgenson and Oja finished third of the 69 finishers (+1m18.6s), beating six crews driving much faster and advanced Rally2 machinery. The pair also claimed the Rally3 class honours.     

He took the lead of the Rally3 class when he set the fastest time in the category on Saturday’s first stage. 

Jurgenson clocked a further six quickest stage times to claim the class victory by 1m13.6s ahead of Rally Star rival Jose ‘Abito’ Caparo. Australia’s Taylor Gill finished fourth ahead of Oman’s Abdullah Al Tawqi in fifth, while Annia Cilloniz, from Peru, completed the Rally Star field in eighth.

Romet Jurgenson

Romet Jurgenson

Photo by: FIA

“Finishing third overall is something you dream of and I really have to think through what just happened," said Jurgenson, who only competed in his first rally last year.   

“When I said in Weiz that I was going to take it more easy there and then try to push on this event, I was a little bit afraid if I say that and I don’t deliver then it’s a bit embarrassing, but now I can be really happy. 

“For sure there are improvements that can be made but the development that Siim and I have done during the year is really amazing.”

The FIA Rally Star competition returns to gravel roads for the fourth round at Rally Saarema from 6-7 October.

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