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Alex_Parpottas_COI_inaction_smAfter a successful year in the MSA British Rally Championship, 20 year Alex Parpottas embarked on the biggest challenge of his motorsport career by stepping into the Junior European Rally Championship for 2014 and has kick-started his season with a podium position on last weekend’s Circuit of Ireland Rally.  Driving his Buzz Sweets Ford Fiesta R2, the forgivable pre-season nerves were never really evident as the Hoddesdon youngster gained pace throughout the two day event on the closed public tarmac roads around Belfast.

Alongside Parpottas once again was American co-driver Alex Kihurani and the duo picked up where they left off last year setting some encouraging stage times across the opening day tests. Despite the European series being an unknown quantity for the pairing and making their own pace notes for only the second time, they showed maturity above their years to take the second spot in one of the hardest fought classes on the event.

“We are delighted to have achieved such a great finish on only our first ever Junior ERC event” said Parpottas.  “We really didn’t know what to expect from everyone else in the series and were unsure how hard we would have to push, buts it’s great to see we had the consistency to climb the leader board and show we can challenge for the lead” he said.

Although they didn’t have it all their own way on the iconic event, suffering a potential rally ending landing on one the super-fast Irish stages. “We had the consistency all weekend and we felt comfortable with how we were going but one huge jump caught us out and we had a lot more air than I would of liked” he said. “We landed really heavily but a quick check of the how the car felt and we continued at competitive speed until the end of the stage; it was a bit of a scare”.

Despite their high flying antics, they managed to extend their lead over third to a huge 45 seconds as they cross the finish ramp in Belfast city. “I’m pleased that we have managed to pick up some valuable points in the Junior title hunt which will certainly help us throughout the rest of the year” said Parpottas.  “We missed the first round of the series, but thanks to our sponsors Buzz Sweets and Kicks & Cotton, we are on track to fight for the rest of the year in the championship”.

Their creditable result leaves them in fourth overall in the Junior European Rally Championship with the next round of the series turning to the rough gravel roads of Portugal for the SATA Rallye Açores on 15th May.

Alex is supported by Buzz Sweets and Kicks and Cotton.

Image courtesy of Jakob Ebrey.

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