Josh Moffett has chosen the FIA ERC Junior Under 28 Championship to help him achieve his aim of competing in the World Rally Championship in the future.
The new-for-2017 category offers a one-off drive on a European round of the global series in 2018 to its eventual champion, and Moffett, from Monaghan, is ready to take on a host of fellow young and talented rally drivers in his quest for glory alongside co-driver and fellow Irishman James Fulton.
Moffett’s ERC adventure has been made possible, in part, through his capture of the prestigious Billy Coleman Award – a major incentive for young Irish rally stars – and the cash prize of €50,000 that goes to the recipient. He plans to contest a minimum of four events, starting with the all-gravel Azores Airlines Rallye from 30 March-1 April.
“I’m delighted to get this opportunity to compete in the ERC and chase this very important prize drive,” said 24-year-old Moffett, who has five ERC starts to his name and is a multiple champion in his homeland. “I have previous experience of some of the events but I’m expecting the competition to be even higher than before. The ERC is a high-profile international championship that’s accessible financially and comes with lots of media coverage and a great reward, so I can’t wait to get started. Now I have to put everything into practice that I have learned competing in Ireland and do my best to take my career to the next level.”
Fulton added: “Although I’ve only been working with Josh for a short time, he’s impressed me with his progression and ability behind the wheel and has clearly got talent. It’s going to be a tough but enjoyable season and we’re ready for the challenge.”
ERC Junior U28 is for drivers born on or after 1 January 1989 competing in R5 cars. Crews count their best four scores from a possible six starting with the Azores Airlines Rallye and finishing on the Latvia-based Rally Liepāja in October.
Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Josh and James to the ERC. They have shown their ability on what are very competitive national events in Ireland and Josh impressed on the ERC events he has tackled in the past. It’s great he has chosen ERC Junior U28 to prove his talent on an international stage.”
Moffett and Fulton will begin their ERC campaign in the Azores and are committed to the next three ERC Junior U28 rounds in Gran Canaria, Poland and Czech Republic.