Sat 16 Jul 2022

Flawless Pajari leaves WRC3 rivals floundering

Sami Pajari managed to extend his lead in the WRC3 category despite nursing car issues on Saturday at Rally Estonia.

“It was not so easy and it was slowing us down a bit, but I am just happy to be here,” he added.

Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy youngster William Creighton ended 1min 29.3sec behind Joona to complete the leading trio ahead of Mcrae Kimathi. 

Roope Korhonen was the driver of the day, winning all nine stages on his WRC3 debut. Power steering failure sidelined the Finn early on Friday and meant he rounded off the leaderboard over an hour in arrears.

• Full coverage from Rally Estonia 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.

The Finn remained in control of the all-Ford Fiesta Rally3 field despite not winning a single stage on the penultimate day. 

Pajari began the leg with a huge advantage over second-placed Lauri Joona and while his morning loop was trouble-free, a differential-related issue on the second pass hampered progress.

The problem limited the 20-year-old’s ability to use his handbrake effectively and cost time in junctions and tight corners. Despite that, Pajari’s commanding lead was unharmed and he arrived back to service 1min 01.9sec clear of Joona. 

“The morning was quite okay, but in the afternoon loop on the first stage we found ourselves in trouble,” said Pajari. 

“It was an issue with the handbrake,” he continued. “Basically, it was not disengaging the rear differential. There are a lot of junctions and we were probably losing 0.5sec at each one of them.”

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