Friday | 31 Jul 2020

Pajari survives thriller, sets up date with Trogen in final

2019 Flying Finn award winner Sami Pajari lived up to his billing on Friday night, sneaking into the final of the Neste Rally Finland eChallenge Shootout by the slightest of margins. In the final, he will come up against fellow Finn Sami-Matti Trogen.

Driving in the second of Friday night’s semi-final heats, Pajari was up against another FIA Junior WRC driver in Lauri Joona. Taking on the Päijäla special stage, the pairing had tens of thousands of fans watching at home on WRC’s Facebook and YouTube channels planted on the edge of their seats, with nearly identical runs. When the 17.47km test came to an end, it was Pajari sneaking home by less than a second, with a time of 7mins 53.255secs, compared to Joona’s 7mins 53.951secs.

In the evening’s earlier run, Trogen confirmed his tag as favourite for Saturday night’s two-stage final, with another commanding performance. Having easily accounted for the FIA Junior WRC Shootout winner Raul Badiu in Thursday’s semi-final, Trogen’s victory over WRC 3 driver Roland Poom was even more convincing, stopping the clock nearly 30 seconds ahead of his rival.

The final, which will see the drivers take on Harju and Ouninpohja, will be streamed live on WRC’s Facebook and YouTube channels at 20:00 CET Saturday evening.

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