Fri 09 Sep 2022

Virves tops Junior WRC title scrap as Armstrong hits trouble

Robert Virves is poised to claim the FIA Junior WRC title after Jon Armstrong hit trouble late on Friday at EKO Acropolis Rally Greece.

Estonian driver Virves was 7.4sec off the pace of Armstrong at the day's midpoint but pulled a hefty 15.3sec out of his rival at Dafni to move into the lead.

Armstrong responded by whittling that deficit back down to just 3.0sec on the penultimate test before disaster struck on the day's final stage when he was forced to stop and change a wheel.

The swap took less than 1min 30sec but the damage had already been done and, although Armstrong clung onto second, he arrived back to service 1min 21.6sec in arrears with third-placed William Creighton 21.2sec behind.

Greece marks the final round of the 2022 FIA Junior WRC season and double points are on offer. Should the standings remain as they are, Virves is set to become his country’s first-ever champion.

The rocky stages north of Athens took no prisoners and claimed the scalp of defending champion Sami Pajari. The Finn suffered two punctures early in the day and - with only one spare wheel aboard his Ford Fiesta Rallly3 - could go no further.

Pajari's fellow Finn Lauri Joona also hit trouble and limped back to service with damaged rear suspension. Despite the issue, Joona remained fourth overall ahead of Mcrae Kimathi, who completed the field.

  • Full coverage from EKO Acropolis Rally Greece 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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