Jan Solans is the new FIA Junior World Rally Champion, after clinching the title with victory on the final double-points scoring round, Wales Rally GB.

Co-driven by Mauro Barreiro, the 22-year old Spaniard follows in the footsteps of hos brother Nil, who was Junior champion in 2017.

Tom Kristensson was locked in duel for the title with Solans throughout Friday’s leg in Wales, before suffering a puncture at the end of the morning loop on Saturday and losing over three minutes. From that moment onwards, Solans changed his strategy with the sole focus of bringing his EcoBoost-powered M-Sport Fiesta R2 home to clinch victory on Wales Rally GB and claim the biggest prize in rallying.

And how big is the prize? Well, Solans walks away with a career-transforming prize package that includes free registration for the 2020 WRC2 category in his own, brand new, EcoBoost-powered M-Sport Fiesta R5 MkII with 200 Pirelli tyres and five free WRC2 entries for the 2020 FIA World Rally Championship.

He also joins a star-studded line-up of previous Junior World Champions, including Sebastien Loeb, Dani Sordo, Sebastien Ogier, Craig Breen, Elfyn Evans and Pontus Tidemand.

This is what Solans had to say after his big win had began to sink in

Jan, 2019 has been your year. How does it feel?
“I feel so proud how the season has been. We started in Sweden with not a lot of experience and everything new for me. I have learned a lot and things have improved going faster and faster this season and another win here in Wales.”

Was it stressful managing the time?
“We had a huge fight with Denis [Rådström] and Tom [Williams]. Unfortunately, that fight ended early for Denis, then it was me and Tom pushing so hard. Tom made a mistake on Saturday, I was in a comfortable lead. My main goal was take this to the end.”

How were the nerves?
“It’s not easy to drive a rally car in this situation. It’s easier when you are pushing. You are thinking about a lot of things in the middle of the stage. But now, I have to thank the family, the federation, all the people who have supported me and helped me with the chance to fight for these titles. I want to say thank you to the Spanish Federation – I won this prize last year in Spain. I want to keep following this line now.”

And next year?
“Well, we have the car and the tyres. Let’s see how we manage the team if we’re with M-Sport. In the next weeks, we will talk about this.”

Jan Solans wears a Stilo WRC Des Carbon Piuma helmet, fitted with an optional WRC Des short visor.

Jan Solans, FIA Junior World Rally Championship, M-Sport, Ford Fiesta, Spain, Wales Rally GB