Umea, Sweden, February 21 2022–Following a successful WRC debut at his home Safari Rally Kenya last year, McRae Kimathi will begin his Junior WRC career in Sweden on February 24, 2022.
Trading the rough gravel tracks of Africa for the snow-covered roads around Umeå could be an interesting experience for the rookie, who is targeting valuable experience in his maiden season.
Kimathi is targeting experience in 2022
“It’s the first time for me, a new experience and adventure,” enthused Kimathi. “I hope I can get as much mileage as I can in the WRC and continue from there in the hope of becoming the first African to become Junior WRC champion.”
Kimathi and navigator Mwangi Kioni will be presented to the press today after receiving practical and theoretical training in Norway and Sweden in the last one week.
They are sponsored by M-Sport Poland with a car and technical support, Safari com, Kenya Airways, Sparco and Pirelli.
Estonian Robert Virves is gunning for his maiden victory after netting three podiums in 2021, whilst familiar faces Lauri Joona and William Creighton have also registered.
WRC.com and WRC Safari Rally understand both Joona and Creighton have purchased their own Fiesta Rally3 cars and may tackle further WRC3 outings in addition to their Junior WRC campaigns.
Jean-Baptiste Franceschi will be another driver to watch. He finished third in 2018 and will compete courtesy of his prize package for winning the 2021 ERC3 Junior championship.
Greek hotshot Panagiotis Roustemis is another newcomer. He has only ever driven four-wheel drive cars and steered a Citroën DS3 R5 to fifth in WRC3 at EKO Acropolis Rally Greece last year.
The Junior WRC calendar features five rounds and begins at Rally Sweden next month (24 – 27 February).
The champion will receive four arrive and drive rallies on 2023 European WRC rounds in an M-Sport Ford Fiesta Rally2 car (the next step up from Rally3). They will also get the chance to test the Monday before each event to gain more experience.