WRC ORLEN 80th Rally Poland
Starts: Thursday, June 27, 2024 at 8:00:00 AM
ERC Delfi Rally Estonia
Starts: Friday, July 5, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM
Ferratum World RX of Sweden 1
Starts: Saturday, July 6, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM

Sat 23 Apr 2022

Pajari tops sizzling Junior WRC scrap

Sami Pajari led the FIA Junior WRC with one day to go after battling with Robert Virves on Saturday at the Croatia Rally.

Virves completed the opening day just 0.7sec ahead of Pajari, but the Finn moved in front on Saturday’s opening stage and led from that moment onwards despite increasing pressure from his rival.

The gap between the pair never exceeded 4.2sec until the final test when disaster struck for Virves and he dropped almost 50sec with a puncture. 

With the pressure off, Pajari eventually ended 49.1sec up on the Estonian with 14th overall. His eighth-fastest overall time on SS11 was an impressive reminder of the talent on display in the M-Sport Poland Ford Fiesta Rally3 category. 

"We had a good day today and lead both groups, but there is still a long way to go tomorrow where anything can still happen. For now we are feeling good,” said Pajari.

Lauri Joona rounded off the leading trio 23.3sec back from Virves after a clean drive. He carried a huge 4min 33.4sec gap over championship returnee Jean-Baptiste Franceschi, who punctured a tyre on SS13. Mcrae Kimathi was fifth, while William Creighton restarted following his Friday crash.

Jon Armstrong’s fraught weekend continued when he retired with a fuel leak before SS11. 

  • Full coverage from the Croatia Rally is available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.
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