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News | 23/02/2021

Sami Pajari heading to season opener in Arctic Rally Finland

After ending the season 2020 on high note with third place in the Junior World Rally Championship, Sami Pajari is opening the new season at the first ever WRC event in Rovaniemi, the Arctic Capital of the Finnish Lapland. The JWRC season itself is set to start in April on the tarmac of Croatia, when the country hosts its first ever WRC round.

Following the short break after the WRC season finale in Monza, Pajari is already full of excitement for getting back to battling against the clock on the frozen stages of Lapland:

- It’s absolutely marvelous that Finland got the chance to host a winter world rally. Huge thanks to the event’s partners for making it possible and for my sponsors who make it possible for me to participate in this historic event.

The JWRC season will see Sami Pajari join forces again with Marko Salminen inside the Ford Fiesta Rally4, but in the arctic adventure Sami will be listening to a new voice: the experienced Enni Mälkönen will be Sami’s co-driver for the event.

- We have had a good amount of testing for the event and the car and both the drivers are ready for race ahead. Enni is among the elite of Finnish co-drivers and we were on the same page from the start. The route is also familiar to me from the previous events, with only one stage being completely new to me.

Most foreign visitors surely hope for a mercy from traditionally freezing temperatures at the Arctic Circle and it is starting to appear their hopes are met: The latest weather reports indicate the thermometer readings may rise up to almost 0 ˚C during the weekend.

- If it gets cloudy, it can be difficult to perceive the snow banks properly, making it very hard to max out performance. If I’d get to decide, it would be -8,5 ˚C and full sun shine, Pajari laughs out loud.

Arctic Rally Finland Powered by CapitalBox starts on the coming Friday with two runs of the Sarriojärvi stage and ends on Sunday with repeated runs of Aittajärvi, with the final stage closing the rally as the Wolf Power Stage. The 10-stage-rally consists of more than 250 special stage kilometers with some of the stages run in the dark.