Thu 19 May 2022

WRC3 leader Pajari targets top points in Portugal

Sami Pajari hopes to extend his WRC3 championship lead by bringing home a solid haul of points at Vodafone Rally de Portugal this week (19 - 22 May).

The Finn is four points clear at the head of the standings despite having mechanical troubles at Rally Sweden and crashing out in Croatia. With nearest championship challenger Enrico Brazzoli not on the entry, now is his chance to stretch his legs

Pajari is no stranger to Portugal’s challenging speed tests either. He finished second in the FIA Junior WRC here last year, only missing out on the win due to a technical failure. 

Friday’s monster leg includes eight stages with no midday service halt and Pajari believes that damage limitation could be the way to go. 

“We saw the first punctured tyres already on the first day of recce,” he said. “Overall, the conditions seem to be much the same as last year, if not a bit more dry and dusty. 

“It did rain a lot last year just before the event and although we haven’t seen quite the same [this year] the route is mostly the same again. That helps with the pace notes as I have already driven many of the stage at full-speed,” he added.

Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy youngster William Creighton is still searching for his first WRC3 win. He was runner-up in Sweden and ended fourth in Croatia, but he too has previous experience in Portugal. 

Lauri Joona claimed victory in Sweden but didn’t register for points last time out in Croatia, while Kenyan driver Mcrae Kimathi rounds out the all-M-Sport Poland Ford Fiesta Rally3 entry with new co-driver Stuart Loudon alongside. 

  • Full coverage from Vodafone Rally de Portugal will be 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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