Aaron Burkart to compete in Junior championship
The OMV World Rally Team has increased. In addition to the engagement in the “royal class” of rallying with Manfred Stohl/Ilka Minor and Henning Solberg/Cato Menkerud, as well as in the FIA Production Car WRC with the OMV CEE
World Rally Team, the colours of OMV now will also be part of the FIA Junior WRC.
The German duo Aaron Burkart and Jörg Bastuck will compete with a Citroen C2 Super 1600 in six rounds of the JWRC. And they will additionally be taking part in the Rally Cyprus with the OMV CEE WRT in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8 in the P-WRC.
Rallying runs in the family
One could say that Aaron Burkart simply couldn't escape becoming a rally driver. His father, Nikolai Burkart, was Rally-European Champion in 1996. His uncle also put his foot down successfully, as did Aaron's mother.
The 23-year-old German started competing in rallies in 2002 and is already looking back on a remarkable career. In 2004 he took the ADAC Rallye Junior Cup. And last year he reached 6th overall place at the Rallye D'Antibes and was best privateer at this round of the European Championship. Additionally the neo-OMV-driver took part in five rounds of the World Rally Championship (three times at the OMV ADAC Rallye Deutschland, once each at the Rally Sardinia and the Rallye Monte Carlo).
Junior WRC plus one assignment with the OMV CEE World Rally Team
Aaron Burkart will compete in six rounds to the FIA Junior WRC under the colours of OMV. These are the rallies in Spain, Corsica, Sardinia, Germany, Turkey and Wales. He will furthermore take part in the Rally Cyprus with the OMV CEE World Rally Team. The student of economics regards the whole season as a year of apprenticeship.
Burkart: “Foremost I'm happy to now be part of the OMV World Rally Team. In the past one has seen that OMV has initiated several impressive projects and there is the added bonus that the group is also sponsoring my home WRC event in Germany. During our first complete WRC season we'll need to get to know the races that are still unchartered territory to us.
It is very hard to attack without abandon when you can only inspect a special stage twice. But we still want to cut a fine figure instead of just being WRC tourists. At the end of the season we should be among the top five – and a place on the podium might perhaps be possible at the OMV ADAC Rallye.”
Strongest J-WRC of all times
One thing is for sure: this year's Junior WRC will have the strongest field of competitors ever. Two former champions, Brice Tirabassi (Fra/2003) and PG Andersson (Swe/2004), will be part of the game. Andersson already had a clean sweep at the Rally of Sweden. But the regulation states that out of eight rounds of the JWRC only six will count, which have to be announced beforehand.
OMV rookie Aaron Burkart will compete in this series with a Citroen C2, that has been completely reassembled by PRT Motorsport. Thus the first real practical test will only come during the shakedown of the Rally of Spain. “We've worked right up to the last moment and are very happy that we managed to get this project together. Spain will tell us were we stand. We can't wait to get started,” explains Team Coordinator Jürgen Bertl, who had already been Team Manager of the OMV World Rally Team in the P-WRC in 2004.
Press release OMV World Rally Team