After a 2018 season in which, on board of a Suzuki Swift Sport together with Gabriel Lazar, he managed to win the Romanian competitions he participated in, Raul Badiu is ready to step into the international rally world. With a rich experience in the national championship and after several national titles in the category of two-wheel drive cars, Raul and Gabriel will participate in the 2019 edition of the World Rally Championship for Juniors.
Joining the JWRC comes after last year’s participation in the Rally of Turkey, the last round of the junior season. It was a tough and difficult rally that brought both positive feelings and minor disappointments to Raul and Gabriel, the end result being below expectations due to technical problems. “It was a very demanding rally, every day of the race being longer than a 2-day rally in Romania. The temperatures in the car have exceeded 50 degrees, the rhythm has been very high throughout the rally, so it has been an intense experience of which I have learned a lot. That experience in Turkey and a series of competitive test results give me confidence to participate in the 2019 JWRC. ”
The Junior World Rally Championship is a competition reserved for pilots under the age of 30 and a launch ramp for the higher categories. The competition has had illustrious winners since it’s debut, including Sebastien Loeb (2001), Dani Sordo (2005), Sebastien Ogier (2008), Craig Breen (2011) and Raul’s compatriot Simone Tempestini (2016). The cars used are all identical – Ford Fiesta R2 front-wheel drive, prepared by M-Sport Poland. The winner’s prize will boast fierce duels, being a Ford Fiesta R5, a tire and expense coverage, to take part in the 2020 WRC-2. “In 2019 I will start the JWRC to measure my strength with the best young rally drivers in the world. It’s a challenge I’ve always been waiting for and finally I have the chance to get started in this project, bringing Gabriel Lazar as a co-pilot for the fourth consecutive year, “says Raul.
The first stage of the JWRC 2019 is the Rally of Sweden. Raul Badiu has already begun to get acquainted with a surface he has never competed on, spending a day in Norway where he piloted the new Fiesta R2. “We will continue to practice on snow by participating in the Winter Rally “Covasna” in Romania on February 1-3, and in the Latvian “Sarma” Rally, on February 9th, a week before the start in Sweden. We will prepare the other stages in the same manner, trying to start at stages technically close to those in JWRC. ”
Finally, Raul impatient but enthusiastic looks forward to this year’s participation in JWRC, this being the most important step for Raul in his sports career so far. “Worldwide participation in any sport requires sacrifice and is a maximum demand in all respects. The chance of facing the best involves considerable human and material efforts, which I am convinced that we are going to accomplish, “concluded Raul.
The Junior World Rally Championship 2019 Campaign of Raul Badiu & Gabriel Lazar is possible thanks to their partners: Ion Mos, Omniasig and Smart ID Dynamics, and with the technical support of Lufthansa City Center and Sports HUB.
Calendar Junior World Rally Championship:
1. Rally Sweden 14.02 – 17.02.2019
2. Tour de Corse 28.03 – 31.03.2019
3. Rally Italia Sardegna 13.06 – 16.06.2019
4. Rally Finland 01.08 – 04.08.2019
5. Wales Rally GB 03.10 – 06.10.2019
Palmares Raul Badiu:
- 2018, National Rally Championship – National Champion 2WD Class 9 (Suzuki Cup) and National Vice-Champion in Team Rankings
- 2016, National Rally Championship – National Champion 2WD Class 9 (Dacia Cup) and National Champion in Junior rankings
- 2015, National Rally Championship – National Champion 2WD Class 5 and National Champion in Junior rankings
- 2014, National Rally Championship – National Champion in Team Rankings and National Junior Champion in Junior rankings
- 2013, National Rally Championship – National Champion Class 9 (Dacia Cup), National Champion in Team Rankings and National Champion in Junior rankings
- 2012, National Rally Championship – National Champion Debutants and National Vice-Champion in Junior rankings and Class 9
- 2011, National Parallel Slalom Championship -National Champion Class 4
- 2010, National Parallel Slalom Championship – National Champion Class 2
- 2009, Debut in the National Parallel Slalom Championship
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