Tuesday | 27 Jul 2021

Virtual pace note practice paying off for Armstrong

Jon Armstrong has explained how e-sports pace note practice is helping his FIA Junior WRC title tilt.

In between rallies, Armstrong and co-driver Phil Hall have been using online rallying simulators to try out new phrases and systems before putting them into practice on real events.

So far, it seems to be working. The pair claimed victory at the series opener in Croatia before engine failure at Vodafone Rally de Portugal forced their retirement. They bounced back with second at Rally Estonia earlier this month. 

“Pace notes are very important,” the Ulsterman explained. “You need them to be as streamlined as possible and as detailed as possible, so you’re always looking at ways to make it better and improve.”

Virtual practice is paying off for the Ulsterman

“It gives us a good opportunity to try out different words and pace notes to see what’s the most efficient, what works best for Phil but also what clicks properly in my mind too. 

“It’s good to try things out on the simulator first and see if it works for both of us, then we can implement it into the recce on rallies and then into the rallies themselves. There’s quite a few different bits and bobs that we’ve developed over the course of this season,” he added. 

Addressing his championship hopes, Armstrong believes there’s still everything to play for. He currently trails series leader Sami Pajari by 15 points in third, with Latvian star Martins Sesks just five points ahead. 

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“It’s anyone’s at the moment really, with the dropped scores and also the available points on the last two rounds,” said the 26-year-old.  

“We’re in a really good position. I think there’s no doubt it’s possible, but we have to work hard and put in the effort and hope that we have a good run.”

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