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ERC3/ERC3 Junior champion Q&A: Ken Torn

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After missing out on glory in 2019, Ken Torn claimed an FIA ERC3/ERC3 Junior title double in the Pirelli-equipped Ford Fiesta Rally4 he shared with co-driver and fellow Estonian Kauri Pannas.

Having claimed class wins in Rome, Liepāja, Hungary and on last weekend’s Rally Islas Canarias, the 27-year-old Estonian Autosport Junior Team driver naturally considers his achievements in 2020 represent a job well done, particularly as three of those victories came on asphalt, his least favoured surface.

TORN Ken (EST), PANNAS Kauri(EST), Team Estonian Autosport Junior Team, Ford Fiesta Rally4, portait conference de presse, press conference,during the 2020 Rally Islas Canarias, 5th round of the 2020 FIA European Rally Championship, from November 26 to 28, 2020 in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain – Photo Grégory Lenormand / DPPI

Four wins and the FIA ERC3 and ERC3 Junior titles is some achievement. How happy are you?
“For sure we are happy. When we started the season, the target was the title and the season has been good that we had this in our hand before the final race. But this is like a dream come true for me, I cannot think of a better way to finish the championship. We have fought hard for this championship as a team, it has been difficult but we didn’t let that stop us.”

How much of a role has M-Sport Poland played in your success?
“M-Sport Poland have done brilliant work and the Ford Fiesta Rally4 has worked really well with no issues. It’s a strong car and when you come to the ERC you want to compete in the top position. To deliver the results we have had needs more than just good driving, you need a good co-driver, good car and a great team, which we had all year. Thank you to everybody for the support.”

Last season ended in frustration for you. Does what you’ve achieved this season make up for what happened in Zlín, when you initially won the ERC3 Junior title only for a time penalty for another driver to alter the result?
“That’s one reason why we didn’t celebrate [the title] at home when we heard the Spa Rally was cancelled because we wanted to compete, do our thing and end the season with a good result.”

You also targeted building your experience further on Tarmac when you entered Rally Islas Canarias. Did that go to plan?
“It was another hard lesson for us on Tarmac and we have to take all the information for the future because we miss so much experience. We have seen the things we need to improve in the future and we are happy for this. We had some issues with the pacenotes and with the heavy rain it was not so easy.”

Winning the ERC3 Junior title gives you the chance to step up to four-wheel-drive machinery on two European championship rounds in 2021. How excited are you about this opportunity?
“For sure all young guys want to drive [Rally4] and then the first dream is [Rally2] and then hopefully step up some more. I dream of doing something with the [Rally2] next year. I hope I will be ready but for sure I will need plenty of practice.”

Recent ERC3 Junior champions
2020: Ken Torn (Estonia)**
2019: Efrén Llarena (Spain)
2018: Mārtinš Sesks (Latvia)
2017: Chris Ingram (Great Britain)
2016: Marijan Griebel (Germany)
2015: Emil Bergkvist (Sweden)
2014: Stéphane Lefebvre (France)