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Jurgenson takes FIA Rally Star spoils in Austria

Romet Jurgenson emerged on top in the second round of the FIA Rally Star competition that aims to unearth future World Rally Championship talent.

Romet Jurgenson, Oja Siim, Ford Fiesta R3

Six driver and co-driver pairings selected from regional finals held across the world will 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.

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After tackling the gravel of the San Marino Rally last month, the crews competed on asphalt for the first time at Rallye Weiz, which hosted the fifth round of the Austrian national rally championship last weekend.

After suspension damage ended European final winners in San Marino, Jurgenson and co-driver Oja Siim claimed the Rally3 overall honours after finishing the event eighth overall.

The result is the best of any FIA Rally Star pairing in the two events to date after Australian duo Taylor Gill and Daniel Brkic finished 10th in San Marino.

Jurgenson and Siim ended the 13-stage event with a 13.1-second margin over their nearest FIA Rally Star rivals Jose Caparo and Guillermo Sierra Ovalle from Peru, who finished ninth.

“I’m really happy to be honest. The aim for this rally was to get to the end with a comfortable speed and we managed it quite well with no moments,” said Jurgenson, who will contest this weekend’s WRC round in Estonia, driving a privately run Rally4 specification Ford Fiesta.

“It was good to battle with Taylor and Jose for comparing the speeds. When you look at the overall classification we are quite okay in terms of speed so it was good for the competition.

Romet Jurgenson, Oja Siim, Ford Fiesta R3

Romet Jurgenson, Oja Siim, Ford Fiesta R3

Photo by: FIA

“You can get a lot more from the Ford Fiesta Rally3 than you can get from the Rally4. When you really trust the car you can use the rear-wheel support a lot more. It needs some time to get used to it, but during this rally we could improve.”

Gill ad Brkic, competing in the first event on tarmac, finished 10th overall and third in the Rally3 class after scoring two stage wins. The duo were 16.3s adrift of Jurgenson and Siim at the finish.

Oman’s Abdullah Al-Tawqi and his Irish co-driver Ronan Comerford were fourth in class and the only other Rally Star pairing to complete the event.

Annia Cilloniz and Esther Gutierrez held fourth spot in Rally3 before a roll ended their rally prematurely. Both driver and co-driver were uninjured in the incident.

A testing crash, that caused significant damage to their Ford Fiesta Rally3, ruled Max Smart and Lorcan Moore out of the event before it started.

The FIA Rally Star competition reaches its halfway point at Slovenia’s asphalt Rally Nova Gorica event, held from 22-24 September.

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