2019 Junior British Rally Champion Josh McErlean will step up to a FIA World Rally Championship programme in 2022, tackling seven events in the WRC2 category behind the wheel of a Hyundai i20 N Rally2.
The 22-year-old will be co-driven by James Fulton in the PCRS Rallysport run machine and the duo will take the next step of their dynamic careers by mounting an assault on the prestigious WRC2 championship, starting on the snow and ice-covered forest roads of Rally Sweden at the end of February.
The 2019 Junior champ and Billy Coleman Award winner has enjoyed an impressive rise towards the top echelons of the sport after netting a prize drive with Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing at Wales Rally GB later that year as his prize for winning the hotly contested series.
A further outing at Rally Monza saw McErlean develop a strong relationship with the Alzenau based squad and along with the efforts of the MI Rally Academy, saw him become a Hyundai Junior Driver in 2021.
Overall podium finishes in the Olympus Rally in the USA and Rally Alba in Italy were bolstered by contesting selected events in the WRC, with McErlean netting a sixth place, two fifths and a third in the WRC3 category.
Now McErlean will aim to build on his experience by contesting the WRC2 championship in 2022, the principal support category of the World Rally Championship and McErlean is understandably delighted at the prospect of the forthcoming season.
“I am truly privileged to be in this position and announcing a WRC2 campaign for 2022,” he says.
“I’ve dreamt of this moment from a very young age and to see it actually happening is such an incredible feeling. Since winning the Junior BRC in 2019 I have focused fully on the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy program and I hugely appreciate the guidance and support I have received from the Academy, PCRS Rallysport and Hyundai Motorsport.”
“Their logical step by step approach to increasing my knowledge, experience, and pace over the last two years has been invaluable. I’m eagerly looking forward to taking this next step in my career on the path towards the top level of the World Rally Championship.”
“We have a very strong team around us going into 2022, and I feel everything has come together just at the right time” continues McErlean.
“James and I have a huge year ahead and of course, it’s undoubtedly our biggest challenge to date. I am fully aware that this campaign will be a tough one and I`ll be going up against the best in the business so it will take hard work and dedication to excel at this level. I’ve put my whole life into getting this far and I am fully prepared for the exciting challenge that lies ahead.”