News | 06/09/2020

2020 JWRC Rally Estonia - End of Rally Report

The Junior World Rally Championship series finally continued after the 6 month break. The challenges of the Junior WRC series, which will be run in connection with the World Championship series, have waited even longer, as the previous race of the series was already run in mid-February in Sweden.

The Sami Pajari - Marko Salminen duo, who finished fourth in the first race of the season in Sweden, prepared for Rally Estonia in the South Estonian Rally a couple of weeks back, which resulted in the fourth place in the home class. At the same time, the race was the first contact with the Estonian road and served as a great test race for Rally Estonia, which was driven in almost the same areas.

The first day of the rally on Friday started exemplarily from Pajari, when the result was the fastest time for the morning shakedown and the short special rally special run in the evening.

- A good start to the race, we try to keep the same rhythm tomorrow, Pajari commented at the end of the first day.

Saturday was the longest day of the race, comprising ten special stages and just over 140 special stage kilometers. However, the race, which started well, went bad in the first special stage on Saturday, when Pajari hit a concrete pile on the road, which damaged the car's support arm and tie rod.

- The situation was a bit more complicated when it happened during the first special test and the maintenance was only after the fifth part of the day. Fortunately, a bit of straightened wheel angles were obtained, but to put it mildly, the steering got struck pretty badly.

After reaching the maintenance, Robert Virves, the rally leader, had been dragging on for more than half a minute, finishing fourth in the class. However, M-Sport Poland, which is responsible for car maintenance and service, did a great job and got the car repaired for an afternoon run, where the same five special stages were run for the second time.

The first of the afternoon was still cautious but after that Pajari cannoned four best times out of four possible. It is noteworthy in the Junior WRC that one extra World Championship point will be awarded for each of the special times. At the finish of the second day, Pajari was in third, 27 seconds behind Virve. Latvian Martins Sesks was second.

- We got in after the morning's difficulties and decided to get out of service so as not to give up, Pajari commented on the finish of the last special stage of the day.

On the last day of the rally, there were still 6 special stages and almost 85 special stage kilometers in front of us. Pajari also continued his good grip on the final day and drove the best time for three special stages. However, it was not enough to fight for the top spot and Sesks was 14.7 seconds ahead of Pajari. Third in the race was Virves, who suffered a flat tire in the third special stage of the day. In scoring, Pajari came in second, after two races the series is led by Sesks.

- After yesterday's fight, we must be satisfied with the result. Of course, you have to look in the mirror a bit, when I damaged the car and the mistake was mine.