2014 Rally America Super Production Champion Dillon Van Way released the news on Facebook that we’ve been holding on to for a little while. Van Way is set to compete in the Junior World Rally Championship.
Van Way stated on Facebook:
Better late than never… I planned on making a cool announcement post, but since I’m sitting in the airport on my way I guess this will have to do.
It’s official, I will be competing in the 2017 JWRC! It’s an incredible opportunity and I am so thankful and blessed to be able to chase my ridiculous dreams. #thedreamlives
It’s rare to see an American compete in the WRC at any level. The expense, different rules, and level of competition are beyond the means of most US drivers. This will be the first time for an American to commit to the junior championship since multiple Rally America 2WD champion Chris Duplessis made a go at it in 2012 under it’s previous guise, the then named WRC Academy. Unfortunately Chris Duplessis ran out of funds part way through and was unable to compete in all the rounds. Similarly Californian Will Hudson competed in the slightly more affordable Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy in 2015, but after a series of retirements cut his season short after 4 rounds. So if Dillon Van Way makes it to every event, it will be the firs time that an American has competed in the entire Junior WRC.
This won’t be Dillon Van Way’s first WRC event experience though. Some might remember that last year as a university graduation gift, he competed in the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy in Portugal. It was a challenging event for most competitors with many a DNF, but Van Way was able to keep his pace up while staying on the road and was running as high as 3rd in class until the final day when he had his own challenges and ended up finishing a still respective 5th place. Not bad for a first time in the WRC and with only a half day of pre-event testing at that.
Dillon is probably one of America’s best hopes in the Junior Championship. He’s already familiar with the car which is the same as what was used in the Drive DMACK event last year. He’s already familiar with writing his own notes having stopped using Jemba years ago to improve his pace. And Dillon is also already familiar with FIA sanctioned events after competing in the NACAM Fiesta R2 cup in 2015 in which he lost the championship by just a few seconds. That’s the most experience of any American driver coming into the euro-centric World Rally Championship, and it should serve him well.
We wish Dillon Van Way the best of luck and look forward to following his JWRC run starting with round 1 of the JWRC at Tour de Corse next week. Follow him on Twitter @DVW_600 and Facebook VanWayRacing.