Current European ERC2 champion Juan Carlos Alonso has announced that he will change to a Škoda Fabia R5 in the coming season to enter the ERC1 category.
Alonso began his career in rallying in 2002 an in the 2013 season he made his debut in the world FIA World Rally Championship; three years later he entered the ERC.
The 2019 season ended with the Argentinean’s greatest season so far; together with Juan-Pablo Monasterolo they won the championship title in the ERC2 class.
Before the season-opener in less than three weeks, Alonso announced he will replace the old Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X with the all-new Škoda Fabia R5. The car will be operated by The Racing Factory.
The 50-year-old has already competed in this category in the past. In 2015, he entered for first time at Rally Finland in a Ford Fiesta R5.
“We are very excited with this challenge for 2020, it’s a real dream for me and my co-driver to be in ERC1,” Alonso said.
“The last time I drove R5 machinery was in 2017, too long time, but that is a challenge I want and like. It will be fun to be with the big boys in a fight.”
“This will be my last season in the ERC and I want to have fun and have more memories. But when you have passion with motorsport, real passion like me, you never retire. I need to look to new challenges and objectives. Maybe I retire from this level because it is too demanding, but I think I will still be rallying in my country with my beloved Evo X.”
Alonso will be entering the Azores Rally, with further plans on to enter Rally Islas Canarias and Rally Poland.
“These are rallies that I love and I want to get at least one experience with an R5 on Tarmac. By winning the championship in 2019, all our dreams came true. We did things with passion and commitment and for sure you will have more achievements. But for 2020 my only goal is to have fun and maybe a top 10 in ERC1 will be the cherry on top of the pie!” Alonso added.