Thu 25 May 2023

WRC3 accolade helps Joona take the next step

Lauri Joona's graduation to the WRC2 category was made possible by his 2022 WRC3 title win, says the Finn.

Although Joona missed out on last year’s FIA Junior WRC crown, ending the one-make series in fourth, he did scoop the WRC3 championship honours driving an M-Sport Poland-built Ford Fiesta Rally3.

That success has enabled the 26-year-old to put together a WRC2 programme this season. Driving a Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo, Joona was in action in Sweden and Portugal, and he has further outings planned in Italy next week (1 - 4 June) as well as on home soil in Finland.

“Actually, if we didn’t win the WRC3 last year, our second option was to stay in Rally3,” Joona revealed. “But now, after it happened, we moved a class up and it’s thanks to all of our sponsors that we are here.

“It’s rally by rally at the moment,” he said of his 2023 season plans. “I think maybe next year or in two years we would like to drive a whole WRC season, but right now we don’t have the budget to drive every rally. Now we just want to get the experience so that when we do the whole season we can be more competitive.”

Reflecting on his trip to Vodafone Rally de Portugal, where he placed fifth in the WRC2 Challenger category, Joona added: “It was more rough than I expected. Compared to Rally3, you need to have more confidence - I think that’s the key for the results. We are not at the level that we should be, but we will drive next in Sardinia. Maybe we will be better there.”

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM