ERC1 Junior attack tempts Tempestini
World title-winning rally driver Simone Tempestini will bring his considerable talent to the FIA ERC1 Junior Championship in 2020.
Italy-born Romanian Tempestini, the Junior World Rally champion from 2016, is set to contest the eight-event European championship season with fellow Romanian Sergiu Itu co-driving. The 25-year-old’s choice of Rally2 car and team will be made at a later date.
Why wins won’t be enough for ambitious Tempestini
“I’m not only interested to compete, but to also race for the win of the championships, ERC and ERC1 Junior,” said Tempestini. “We want to be fast and fight for the victory at every rally and if we are able to do that, it means that we could fight also for the overall championship. For sure it won’t be easy as the competition in the ERC is quite strong and this year it looks to be even stronger.”
Fifteen and counting
Tempestini has 15 ERC starts to his name having made his European debut on Rally Liepāja in 2013. After initially campaigning production machinery, Tempestini sampled Super 2000, R3 and R5 power before a three-event programme in an Abarth 124 rally in 2018. His best ERC event finish to date remains the fifth place he scored on Rally di Roma Capitale in 2017 at the wheel of a Citroën DS3 R5.
“I haven’t had the opportunity to run for a full season in ERC, but I’m quite familiar with most of the races,” Tempestini said. “Competing in rallies where you’ve already been clearly makes things easier, but our mindset to stay highly competitive, in order to fight for the win, must be from scratch. I have been closely watching the ERC competition, both the overall championship but also the Junior category and I found it very interesting, with many very fast drivers from all over Europe. On top of that, I believe that Eurosport Events, as official promoter, does a great job and gives a lot of visibility to the championship.”
Success at home and abroad
As well as winning the Romanian championship on four occasions, including becoming the youngest driver to do so aged 21 in 2015, Tempestini claimed a WRC3/Junior World Rally Championship title double in 2016. “We’re aiming to race all eight ERC events and we will try to be at the start also in some rounds within the Romanian National Championship, which we will use as testing for our main goal – the ERC,” Tempestini said.
World championship ambitions remain
Tempestini will join a long list of drivers who have used the ERC as a springboard to even greater success in the future. “The world championship remains my main goal,” he said. “After winning the JWRC in 2016 we have increased our pace with R5 cars and last year, even though we had some bad luck, we were constantly fighting to be in top of our category. The ERC will help us lift our performance level even higher.”
Did you know?
When he’s not competing, Tempestini works as a safety driving instructor and promotes campaigns aimed at improving road safety.