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Mon 17 Oct 2022

Pajari to contest Japanese finale

Finnish hotshot Sami Pajari has become one of the first WRC2 drivers to confirm his participation in next month’s FORUM8 Rally Japan (10 - 13 November).

Pajari, who finished third in the FIA Junior WRC this year after winning the title in 2021, has also been gaining experience in the WRC’s leading support category with selected outings aboard a Toksport Škoda Fabia Rally2. 

The 20-year-old is preparing to drive the car again this week at RallyRACC - Rally de España (20 - 23 October) and revealed today that he will be in action at the season-ending FORUM8 Rally Japan in November.

It will mark a debut outside of Europe for Pajari and his co-driver Enni Mälkönen, a prospect that has the young Finn excited. 

“To compete in Japan in a Rally2 car is an unbelievable opportunity for us and first I want to thank all our fantastic partners and everyone who has made this possible,” Pajari beamed.

“At such a long haul event, even just learning to manage the effects of time difference in a competition setting is an invaluable experience for the future, of course together with the asphalt mileage we can gather there. There could not be a better event to end this season.”

Diverting his attention back to this week’s Spanish fixture, Pajari explained that his only aim is to finish the rally whilst gaining more valuable experience. 

Despite already having three rallies under his belt at the helm of the Fabia, he only drove the car on asphalt for the first time last week.

Preview Clip: RallyRACC - Rally de España 2022

"Two full days of testing with this car on asphalt really came in handy, as our previous experience with a Rally2 car was only on gravel,” he explained. “We tried a few different roads and many different setups, so we learned a lot already at this stage. I

"It gives you confidence to start an event when you have both successful pre-event testing and good memories from last year’s event behind you. 

“The goal is to have an uneventful rally and bag all possible kilometres with this combination of car and roads."

  • Full coverage from RallyRACC - Rally de España 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.