Callum Devine will be aiming for a strong result this weekend as he embarks on the second round of his Junior World Rally Championship (JWRC) campaign, on the Mediterranean island of Corsica. The current Motorsport Ireland Young Rally Driver of the Year got his season off to an encouraging start in Sweden where the young Derry driver belied his lack of experience on snow and ice by taking 6th place in his Ford Fiesta R2T with his co-driver, Keith Moriarty.
Corsica however, is a much different proposition to snowy Sweden. Bumpy, narrow asphalt roads snake around the island making up the 333km competitive route and the events relentless nature has earned it the nickname of “the rally of 10,000 corners.” Despite its fearsome reputation however, Callum is looking forward to the challenge at hand and is hoping to put his previous sealed surface to good use over the weekend. Speaking ahead of the rally Callum said; “This is the only tarmac round in the championship and as that is my preferred surface, I have to be aiming for a strong result here in Corsica. Even though it’s my favourite surface, it is going to be a very demanding rally because of the constant cornering. With very little distances between the bends, Keith and myself have worked hard on our pacenotes to make sure we can be committed and as smooth as possible because with 14 of us in identical cars, every little bit extra will count. We had a very successful test run on the recent West Cork Rally and while it was very different to Corsica, it was valuable seat time in the car. I’m seeded 6th behind 4 drivers who have previous experience of the event and the current French Junior Rally Champion so hopefully I can make an impression. I didn’t manage a fastest stage time in Sweden and would like to try and rectify that in Corsica, especially as there are only 12 stages in this event.”
Callum and Keith’s adventure will begin on Thursday morning with a short shakedown stage before the rally gets underway in earnest on Friday where the pair will tackle 2 stages which will be repeated once including a fearsome 49km stage before the crew return to Bastia to end leg 1. Leg 2 consists of a loop of 3 stages which will all be repeated once while the final leg of the rally on Sunday may provide the sting in the tail with the penultimate stage totalling just over 55km, the longest stage Callum will have ever done!
The 2018 JWRC is run in association with M-Sport and each competing crew uses identical Ford Fiesta R2T cars. Points are awarded for overall places as well as for each individual stage win. The remaining rounds on the series will see the JWRC circus descend on Portugal, Finland and Turkey, all gravel events, with Turkey being of particular interest as double points will be on offer. The prize at the end of the season will be an R5 Ford Fiesta along with support to tackle WRC2 rounds in 2019.
Callum’s season in the JWRC is supported by Motorsport Ireland, Sport Ireland, the Team Ireland Foundation, Fyth and Premier Car Parts.