Thursday | 19 Aug 2021

Friday focus pivotal to Armstrong’s Belgium win

Jon Armstrong says a self-focused approach to the opening day at Renties Ypres Rally Belgium last week was influential to his FIA Junior WRC win.

The Ulsterman clinched glory by one minute last Sunday, although the majority of his winning margin was built up over Friday’s opening leg, which he ended with a 49.9sec lead.

When asked about his Friday approach, Armstrong explained that maintaining a strong mentality was a key factor. 

“It’s all in the head,” he told WRC.com. “I really tried to focus on myself on the Friday morning, and it seemed to be a good approach. 

“I was just trying to maximise my own performance on the stages and not worrying about what the other drivers were doing. 

“Of course, you are still checking their stage times as a reference, but rallying is all about getting into a rhythm and thankfully ours was good on Friday morning. When you get a lead, that’s when you have to try and manage the pace a bit more.”

Armstrong was untouchable on Friday

The victory, Armstrong’s second of the year following the Croatia Rally in April, also proved pivotal to his title quest. 

He moved up to second in the standings and now trails Sami Pajari by just nine points heading into the final round in Spain in October. Double points will be awarded, meaning the championship fight is still wide open. 

“I’ve been to Spain before,” said Armstrong. Some of the route is the same this year, which is good, but we still need to work hard like we have been all year. 

“It’s all very possible, but none of us have a given right to be champion. I have to earn it and have a good rally,” he added.

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