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Armstrong and Treacy team up with M-Sport for ERC assault

Updated: Mar 28

The Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy is delighted to support Jon Armstrong and Eoin Treacy in this exciting M-Sport ERC 2024 program. Working with the Academy resources will help them to maximize this super M-Sport opportunity.

Jon Armstrong is set to challenge for the 2024 European Rally Championship alongside Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy co-driver Eoin Treacy. The new Irish partnership will drive an M-Sport prepared Ford Fiesta Rally2.

Reigning ERC3 champion Armstrong will take on a full Rally2 campaign for the first time after a series of impressive results aboard M-Sport Poland’s Ford Fiesta Rally3.

Treacy and Armstrong’s European Championship tilt, which starts on April’s Rally Hungary, will be supported by M-Sport, the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy, Seacon UK, C&M Motorsport Sales, and several other longstanding partners.

“It is a dream come true to have the opportunity to complete a full year behind the wheel of a Rally2 car,” commented Armstrong. “We’ve been working on this for many years and I’m very grateful to M-Sport and my sponsors for the opportunity.

“It is brilliant to be working closely with Eoin [Treacy] and the MI Rally Academy this year and I am really proud to be representing the rallying community at home.

“I am excited to collaborate with the other academy members and to work towards our goals together.”

Last year brought Armstrong to ERC’s forefront after recording five dominant ERC3 victories in a row on a mix of gravel and asphalt events on his way to the category title. He made a sole Rally2 start on the Royal Rally of Scandinavia, once again exemplifying Armstrong’s talent and tenacity, helping him tie together this season’s campaign with M-Sport.

“Jon’s achievements in 2023 exemplify the talent and potential we strive to support at M-Sport,” said M-Sport UK Chairman Malcolm Wilson. “Our philosophy has always centred on identifying and nurturing young drivers, providing them with the platform to excel at the highest levels of rallying.

“Jon’s progression so far and this new chapter with us for the 2024 ERC is a testament to our tradition of fostering talent and ambition in the sport.”

Armstrong’s first overseas success came in WRC’s 2016 Drive DMACK Cup where he claimed victories on Rally Poland and Rally Catalunya in a Ford Fiesta R2T. The 29-year-old’s Ford Fiesta R5 debut arrived a year later with two impressive WRC2 outings in Germany and Spain, including his first fastest WRC2 stage time.

Armstrong was forced back to his rally-planning drawing board in 2018 and switched focus to Esports. Positive results quickly followed as he became WRC’s Esports Champion with the prize going towards his maiden overall rally win - 2019’s Down Rally.

Two years in Junior WRC gave Armstrong three event wins, 54 fastest stage times - missing out on the lucrative title on both occasions by the narrowest of margins. Armstrong's epic Junior WRC campaign in 2022 rewarded his navigator Brian Hoy with the co-drivers' title - Ireland's first WRC honour since Craig Breen's SWRC success in 2012.

Now, Armstrong and co-driver Eoin Treacy are focused on delivering MI Rally Academy success in the European Rally Championship.

“ERC is an intense challenge,” described Armstrong, “with a very high standard in terms of drivers and lots of competition.

“I see it as the ideal place to prove myself, the team, and the car. Each rally has its own unique character and especially this season there’s some new events that should keep everyone on their toes.”

Treacy has been a part of the MI Rally Academy since 2022, building his experience from national events to the British Rally Championship as well as World Rally Championship appearances with John Coyne.

2024 will be his biggest year to date as he dovetails his ERC programme with an American Rally Association challenge alongside Coyne.

“I am really excited for the year ahead,” said Treacy. “Jon is a super quick driver and hugely talented so it will be very interesting to sit alongside him.

“The MI Rally Academy has given me great exposure so far in WRC with John Coyne and event recces with Josh McErlean. Getting this experience has been amazing and it has also been great to receive advice along the way from co-drivers like Greg Shinnors, Paul Nagle, Rory Kennedy, and James O’Brien.”

Richard Millener, M-Sport WRC Team Principal:

“I have known Jon for a long time now and I am really happy to see him in one of our cars competing at the top level of the sport.

“I mentioned Jon’s name to Malcolm a number of years ago as one to watch, and to see him being given this chance makes me really happy.

“Jon really showed last year what he is capable of, and although the top category of the ERC will be a completely different scale challenge – I am sure him and Eoin will be able to deliver some strong results by using a sensible approach to each event.”

John Coyne, Patron of the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy:

“I’ve personally supported Jon’s rallying since 2020 and have been delighted with the progress he has made in applying his innate talent and developing his driving and event management skills.

“I am pleased that he is now eligible for academy support and I am confident that our structured programmes, along with the backing of the M-Sport team, will help propel him to the next level of performance at the top tier of the ERC.

“With direct experience of Eoin’s capabilities in the co-driver seat, I know he will bring a further edge to Jon’s performance.

“With Josh McErlean and William Creighton in WRC2, Eamonn Kelly in Junior WRC, and now Jon at the top level in ERC, we are demonstrating that Ireland has an abundance of talented athletes, who can effectively compete on the world stage, given the right opportunities, guidance, and support.”

Text By Adam Hall / Pics by Msport & MIRallyAcademy 



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