News | 19/05/2021

2021 JWRC Rally Portugal Preview

The Junior World Championships will continue in Portugal next weekend with the third place Championship crew Sami Pajari - Marko Salminen. The center of the competition is Matosinhos, located near the city of Porto.

The three days of the rally will offer drivers and drivers a challenge, keeping the pace and sensible driving in balance with each other is the key to success, the road is not typical Finnish-style, but contains more soft sections and on the other hand also emerging rocks.

In total, 20 special stages will be run in the competition, with a total length of 337 kilometers. Pajari has no previous experience of the race, but map reader Salminen has been in the race four times before. This year, the challenge is that there is little maintenance and food supply is also a challenge with the corona pandemic.

- On Friday, after three special tests, there will be a 15-minute short tire change service, which may only be performed with the tools provided in the car. In the afternoon, run a five-piece loop before the evening service, which is 45 minutes. Saturday’s set of seven special stages will run with one normal day service and Sunday’s five pitches will start with the usual 15-minute morning service.

- Friday's route will probably need lunch for the trip, usually there has been food on offer there, but now this is not the case during corona. Of course, you can have your own lunch, but Sam's Cafe Latte is a more difficult thing, laughs Salminen's number one director's preference for coffee.

In the previous race on the asphalt in Croatia, the pair drove sixth in their class, there was also a fairly rapid crash in the race, after which the duo beat the bottom times, with extra points being awarded in the series. With plenty of bottom times, the pair is third in the series when leaving for Portuguese gravel. However, in Portuguese conditions, the pursuit of ground times may be more risky for cars and tires.

- We have a crash from the previous race below, yes now we should get through the race with an intact performance. A long and tough rally is ahead, last year’s Sardinian race was a bit of the same type, there too, setting the right pace for the Ford Fiesta Rally4 was important but extremely challenging, Pajari mused.