Junior WRC Rally Estonia - Virves and Armstrong apply pressure to Pajari's lead

Junior WRC Rally Estonia - Virves and Armstrong apply pressure to Pajari's lead

17.07.2022: Sami Pajari continues to lead Junior WRC on Rally Estonia after an intense day of flat-out action that saw Robert Virves close in on Pajari after a disastrous opening day.


Sami Pajari continues to lead Junior WRC on Rally Estonia after an intense day of flat-out action that saw Robert Virves close in on Pajari after a disastrous opening day.
 



Virves started Saturday one minute and 35 seconds behind but put in an incredible run of stages to have a clean sweep in the morning loop, chipping away the lead to less than a minute.



Following the midday service, Virves continued his rapid assault, looking increasingly likely to take a clean sweep of stages for the entire day. Jon Armstrong ultimately denied Virves of his sought-after clean sweep, but the Estonian had done enough to climb to third and reduce his deficit to Pajari to 44.7 seconds.
 


Armstrong’s rally went from strength to strength on Saturday as the championship leader aims to score another podium in Junior WRC. Armstrong started the day in third, but surpassed Lauri Joona at the end of the morning loop to move to second while closing the gap to leader Pajari. Armstrong went on to claim a Wolf Stage Win Point on the final full stage of the day to deny Virves his unbeaten run of stage wins. Armstrong took another stage win to complete the exact same time as Virves on the final stage of the day to bring his event total of Wolf Stage Win Points to three.
 


Joona’s rally took a drastic turn on Saturday, he started the day second, but ended the morning loop third and added insult to injury shortly into the afternoon loop, dropping to fourth due to a hard charging Robert Virves.
 


Pajari had a largely uneventful day, doing what he needed to do to maintain his lead as he hopes to become the first driver to be a multiple winner in the 2022 Junior WRC. In the afternoon loop Pajari had a small handbrake issue develop, but not enough to majorly impact his performances on the fast-flowing roads of Rally Estonia.
 


William Creighton made a valuable step forward in performance on Saturday, scoring three top-three times in Junior WRC as the Irishman picked up his pace, ending the day fifth.
 



Maciej Woda, FIA Junior WRC Championship Manager, said:



“It has been an incredible day in Junior WRC today, Robert Virves is doing his very best to stage a huge comeback as he is charging hard to recover following his damaged suspension yesterday. He came very close to a clean sweep of stage wins but Jon Armstrong seems to have found some pace today to take two stage wins, it was amazing to see him and Robert set the joint fastest time on the final super special.


It shows just how hard these guys are pushing and how close the fight is for stage win points. Sami Pajari put in a very measured drive to maintain his lead, but the pressure is mounting tomorrow, he has a hard day ahead of him tomorrow but he is definitely up to the challenge.



Lauri Joona had a difficult day today, dropping two positions in the classification, but William Creighton has certainly stepped his pace up which is fantastic to see and highlights how valuable Junior WRC is in terms of driver development.”





SEB SCOTT  photos MSport

 

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17.07.2022 / MaP

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