Canada This 13-year-old wants to stir up the rally world.
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Motorsport fans should remember the name Gil Membrado. The 13-year-old wants to stir up the rally world as the youngest Spaniard of all time.
A name that probably shouldn't say too much to most motorsport fans. But one that should definitely be remembered.
Because at the age of only 13, Gil Membrado recently became not only the Spanish Car Cross champion, but also runner-up in the GSeries. And in doing so he showed all his skills.
Up until the very last stage, the teenager made it difficult for favorite José Antonio Suárez.
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Suárez, now 30 years old and with years of WRC and rally experience, was able to take the crown in the end, but had more trouble than expected.
But who is this teenager who wants to stir up the rally world and become the youngest Spanish driver behind the wheel of a rally car?
Despite his young age, Membrado has long ceased to be a rookie. Not only did he get up close and personal with the stars in the GSeries, he was also on the podium in each of the four races that have been held so far. And he has already celebrated great successes in recent years.
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So many that in the meantime even Michelin became aware of him and sent a scout to examine the young man. "We really liked what we saw. He is brave, uninhibited and has great self-confidence. At his age he really stands out and there is no doubt that he has great potential," said Michel Ducher from Michelin.
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Michelin wants to support Membrado
The tire manufacturer will support the young Spaniard in his further career - because he has great ambitions.
He plans to make his debut as a rally driver in the not too distant future, even if he has to travel to Estonia and Latvia to do so - because only there is participation at his age allowed. A path that drivers like Kalle Rovanperä and Oliver Solberg have already followed long before they even had a driver's license. Today the future of the WRC belongs to both of them. Test
Youngster Membrado's plans are extremely concrete. He will be part of the "Rally Stars of the Future" program newly created by the FIA - a series consisting of five autocross events.Contacts in Formula 1
Papa Josep María Membrado, once a Catalan rally champion, is always at his side. "I'm enjoying it even more than when I was racing," he said of the support for his son.
And the further development is also well taken care of. With Dani Balasch he has an experienced rally driver as a coach at his side, and another trainer will accompany him on his trips to Eastern Europe.
In addition to all of the great motorsport ambitions, school education should not be neglected either. The 13-year-old's mother takes care of that, but she also supports her offspring's racing career.
And should he one day end up in the premier class, he already has contacts there. During the Formula 1 tests in Barcelona in 2019, he met today's Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz and the two-time F1 world champion Fernando Alonso, among others.
He even completed two summer courses at Alonso's Karting Campus. "He won a race in which Fernando was present and he came to congratulate him," declared Balasch.
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