Emil Bergkvist makes JWRC-debut on home soil

This year's Junior World Rally Championship starts this weekend in Rally Sweden. Swedish Emil Bergkvist is set to make his debut in the JWRC, at his fourth straight Rally Sweden. Although it is the first rally in both JWRC and the new car, Ford Fiesta R2T, Emil has high goals.

Emil has run the World Rally Championship in recent years in a four-wheeled Citroen DS3 R5 in the WRC2 class. But after two seasons with great struggle and unsuccessful results, Emil now chooses to take a step back to the junior class in hope of re-finding the joy and fight at the top.

- This feels like the right step in my career. Now I can focus more on myself and my driving than before. We know it's a tough championship, but we have high ambitions and want to fight the title, says Emil.

The Junior-WRC is run by the British Ford Team M-Sport, and all participants drive in identical Ford Fiesta R2T. A new car for Emil, who however, competed a lot in R2 cars earlier. Especially in 2015 when he competed for Opel Motorsport and won the European Championship for Juniors. Emil thinks that the front-wheel drive will fit him well.

– I had a test the in Ford together with Anders Grøndal, and it felt good. So there should be no trouble getting into the car.

Emil and co-driver Ola Fløene have high goals with the season and aim to be in the fight for the title, and to start the season at home, Emil sees an advantage.

– It’s my fourth year running Rally Sweden, and I won the 2015 rally in the R2 class. But it's a tough class with many good drivers, so we are humble about the task, concludes Emil.

Rally Sweden 2018 is decided over 4 days and 19 stages. Emil and Ola go out as the first car in JWRC, where also Swede Dennis Rådström competes. This year's edition seems to have perfect conditions with over a meter of snow and a lot of ice in the road.

Junior WRC 2018 is determined over five competitions; Sweden, Corsica, Portugal, Finland and Turkey.