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The FIA Junior World Rally Championship (also known as the Junior WRC) is a complementary series to the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) and is specifically aimed at offering young drivers a chance to gain experience and notoriety at an affordable cost. The category has been a stepping stone in the career of many current WRC drivers including Sébastien Loeb, Dani Sordo, Sébastien Ogier, Jari-Matti Latvala and Thierry Neuville.
The championship was first held in 2001 as the FIA Super 1600 Drivers' Championship, and included six events in Europe. Sébastien Loeb became the series' first champion, driving a Super 1600-class Citroën Saxo. The series became the Junior World Rally Championship the following year.
In 2007, the championship did not include events outside Europe, and was known as the FIA Junior Rally Championship (JRC) for one season only. In 2011, the FIA replaced the Junior WRC with WRC Academy, a single specification championship running Ford Fiesta R2 vehicles. In September 2012 it was announced by the FIA that the WRC Academy would be renamed the FIA Junior World Rally Championship.
At the 2018 season the number of rallies were reduced to 5, while the last rally gives double points.
The Junior WRC is open to drivers under the age of 30 who have not competed as a Priority 1 (P1) driver in an FIA World Rally Championship event. In 2018, competitors drive in identical Ford Fiesta R2Ts using Pirelli tyres.
The point-scoring system is the same as in the WRC, WRC-2 and WRC-3 championships, with points allocated to the top ten classified finshers as follows:
Unlike the other categories however, Junior WRC competitors score championship bonus points for each stage win during the season.
- The 2011 and 2012 championships were run as the FIA WRC Academy.
- The 2007 championship was run as the FIA Junior Rally Championship.
- The 2001 championship was run as the FIA Cup for Super 1600 Drivers.
- Updated after 2018 season.
Fiat Punto S1600 at the 2001 Rally Finland.
2004 Suzuki Ignis S1600 at an auto show in 2003.
Opel Corsa S1600 driven in 2005.
- "Exciting changes for 2013 WRC". WRC.com. WRC Official Website. 21 September 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2012.