Defending FIA Junior European Rally Champion Marijan Griebel will move up to the main ERC1 class of the ERC in 2017 driving a Skoda Fabia R5 for Baumschlager Rallye and Racing with the aim of winning the inaugural ERC Junior Under 28 title.
German Griebel who beat Chris Ingram to the Junior title last season will enter the new for 2017 ERC Under 28 class for drivers born on or after January 1 1989 who use R5 machinery in the championship.
And the 27-year-old is aiming to replicate what his mentor Armin Kremer did back in 2001 by winning the championship and become the first German in 16 years to do this; Kremer will provide much needed sponsorship funding as well as advice and support for Griebel throughout the season.
Griebel is excited for the season to start and thinks the ERC is the place for him this season. He said: “The ERC is a good championship with good rallies and a really good TV package on Eurosport. It’s better for me to drive an R5 car in the ERC and be a main player than go to WRC2 to drive for 16th overall. The ERC is the best place to show my skills and develop in an R5 car.”
He added: “The main target is the ERC Under 28 championship and to do as many rallies as possible, and I must thank Armin Kremer for his support… As well as helping me financially, he’s giving me really good advice. It’s really good to have a friend like Armin in the background.”
Meanwhile ERC Co-ordinator Jean-Baptiste Ley commented on the deal: “Marijan’s announcement is not only great news for him but also for the ERC. It’s fantastic to have a young driver with big talent – the reigning ERC Junior champion no less – competing in the new ERC Junior U28 category, which was established to provide promising drivers the opportunity to showcase their skills against other drivers with similar experience and ability.”
The FIA European Rally Championship gets underway with the Azores Airlines Rallye in Portugal between 30 March – 1 April.