Fri 16 Sep 2022

'Disappointed' Armstrong looks to the future

Jon Armstrong is looking forward, not back, after narrowly missing out on the FIA Junior WRC title at EKO Acropolis Rally Greece.

The Ulsterman ended last weeek's ‘winner takes all’ fixture just 17.5sec behind eventual champion Robert Virves despite dropping around two minutes on Friday when he and co-driver Brian Hoy stopped mid-stage to change a wheel.

It’s the second time Armstrong has settled for the runner-up spot in the one-make M-Sport Poland Ford Fiesta Rally3 series, with an off-road excursion at the final round last year bringing an end to his 2021 title hopes. 

Speaking to WRC.com following the Lamia-based event, Armstrong expressed his disappointment - but also admitted that he is already considering plans to move forward. 

“We actually had quite a good event to be honest,” Armstrong said of his Greek outing. “I was pushing hard to catch Robert [Virves] all weekend after we got the puncture and we simply ran out of mileage to do that. Of course, it’s very disappointing not to be the champion. 

“I’m not entirely sure what’s next, but for sure I would like to keep on driving. I’m not sure if I will do the Junior WRC again after missing out on first place two years in a row, but we’ll have to see what happens. 

“Maybe WRC2 would be nice, but of course, that requires a lot of budget. Now we need to go away and do some hard work behind the scenes,” he added.

Quizzed on the pitfalls of this year’s campaign, Armstrong lamented his fraught weekend at the second round in Croatia in April.

Junior WRC - EKO Acropolis Rally Greece 2022: Event Highlights

He suffered two punctures during day one of the asphalt counter before retiring after going off the road, while a fuel leak the following day also caused an early bath. 

“I think Croatia was a rally where we missed out on a lot of points,” he explained. “We had a bad first day where we probably got carried away and went off the road, then the next day we had problems with the car and missed out on a lot of stage win points. 

“I feel like Croatia was sort of a missed opportunity. We had a bit of bad luck here and there otherwise, but that was probably the one that did the most damage.”

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