News | 23/06/2021
Pajari blasts to victories in ERC Rally Poland
Sami Pajari and Enni Mälkönen took a resolute victory in the opening round of the FIA European Rally Championship in Poland in both their ERC3 and ERC3 Junior classes. The ERC3 Junior class is open to competitors until 27 years of age and the championship winner gets an M-Sport Poland prepared Ford Fiesta Rally3 4WD car for the 2022 European Rally Championship.
The championship hunt for Pajari and Mälkönen got the best possible start as they claimed 8 stage wins of the 13 stages the ERC3 Junior crews competed on. Pajari, who claimed the highest number of fastest stage times in the Junior WRC last season and has continued the same pace this season, is only developing faster by each stage.
The ERC3 Junior class victory in Poland was claimed decisively by more than 4 minutes ahead of Romanian Norbert Maior in second place. Even In ERC3 class the winning gap was almost a minute before the French pair Mathieu Franceschi - Lucie Baud.
“The roads were pretty rough at times after they were driven twice, so we had to be very careful not to break the car or get stuck in the deep ruts. Everything worked perfectly throughout the full event, the car had a good setup and the organizer had done a top job!”
“I have to be very happy with the result! Taking the victory in a new event in a new series is not an easy task. Even if the time gaps were wide, it doesn’t tell the whole story. Every competitor had different issues and for example our closest rival had to retire in the penultimate stage due to technical issues.” Pajari recaps the event and mentions the then second Ola Nore Jr., who was more than half a minute behind Pajari at the time of retiring.
The FIA European Rally Championship continues in two weeks’ time in Latvia, when Rally Liepaja is competed on 1-3 of July. The Junior WRC season in turn continues in mid-July, when Rally Estonia is competed again as a WRC event in 15-18 of July.
“We gathered some very good experience here for the coming events and I have to thank my supporters hugely for making this event possible for us. And also big thanks to M-Sport Poland for the wonderful car! This was a win by the whole team!” Pajari sums up the event.
Photo: Bastien Roux