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2021-05-18 11:15:00


The 2021 FIA Junior WRC Championship heads to Portugal for the primary gravel spherical of the season following an exciting begin in Croatia.

Heading to Portugal, Jon Armstrong leads the junior area following his Croatian victory with 27 factors however the championship continues to be extensive open with second to fifth solely separated by three factors. 

A basic for the World Rally Championship, Rally de Portugal solely made its Junior WRC debut in 2007 and has thrown up drama and pleasure on each look since. Even in its first yr, the rally delivered an thrilling battle between Urmo Aava and Per Gunnar Andersson, with the latter coming from over one-minute behind Aava to profitable by simply 3.7 seconds. 

The 2021 version of Rally de Portugal guarantees to be an unpredictable and aggressive prospect for this yr’s Junior WRC crews who will look to make use of a wide range of methods to take high honours come Sunday. Some crews will look to increase an early benefit and acquire some stage win factors, it’s a technique which has  dangers connected, with the next probability for accidents or punctures. The choice method that different drivers could go for is a extra measured drive with a heavy give attention to attending to the end line. The conservative technique paid off for Enrico Oldrati and David Holder who completed second and third when Junior WRC final visited Portugal. On the identical rally title contenders Emil Bergkvist, Ken Torn and Julius Tannert all took stage win factors however misplaced out on a very good haul of classification factors due to errors whereas pushing too laborious. 

Crews can use a most of twenty-two tyres on Rally de Portugal (together with shakedown) with 20 Pirelli Scorpion K4 (laborious) and eight Pirelli Scorpion K6 (tender) to decide on type. As regular, choosing the precise compound of Pirelli Scorpion gravel tyres can be a deciding issue as crews might want to strike a stability between managing their tyres throughout the tough Portuguese terrain whereas sustaining a aggressive tempo. The tender K6 compound is usually used if rain arrives, however historical past has seen some crews area the tender tyre on tremendous particular levels too, in an effort to edge out rivals within the battle for stage win factors.

The battle for victory on Portugal can be extensive open in 2021 due to the distinctive mixture of expertise and expertise represented on this yr’s crews. Jon Armstrong and Martin Koci put their expertise to good use on Croatia Rally, with the previous profitable the occasion and the latter main on Friday and Saturday. The pair each have expertise on Rally de Portugal with Koci claiming second and third in Junior WRC in 2014 and 2016 respectively. Whereas the opposite six crews don’t have expertise of Rally de Portugal’s levels, they create with them a wealth of expertise and eagerness to win that ought to set Junior WRC up for an additional incredible battle for victory. 

Maciej Woda, FIA Junior WRC Championship Supervisor, stated: “Rally de Portugal can be our first gravel occasion of the season so we will count on to see one thing completely totally different than final trip in Croatia. One factor is for certain although, it’s going to be extraordinarily aggressive and I feel we are going to see some fascinating methods play out between our crews. Despite the fact that six of our crews are driving on Rally de Portugal for the primary time I count on them to be taught the roads shortly and be ready to assault the levels the place they’ll, but it surely stays to be seen which crews may get caught out when pushing too laborious. Street information may be useful on this rally however our skilled crews nonetheless want to remain razor sharp because the these levels can develop and alter loads. One other key issue on Portugal would be the climate and the way ready crews are for this. As we’re near the coast, the climate can change in a short time which we’ve seen on Portugal earlier than with moist and dry levels every bringing their very own distinctive challenges. It looks like we’re additionally reaching a milestone as a sport too, as we welcome spectators again to some levels in Portugal, an enormous quantity of thanks is owed to the organisers, WRC Promoter and FIA. Their laborious work to placed on a full mileage occasion with spectators within the constantly evolving state of affairs we face is vastly appreciated.”

59. Jon Armstrong / Phil Corridor 
“I’m actually trying ahead to Rally de Portugal. It’s a really demanding occasion that takes each velocity and a bit of little bit of look after the automotive and tyres. It’s a pleasant problem. To be going right into a rally main the championship is absolutely cool for me personally, now we simply have to maintain acting at our greatest and see the place we’re on the finish of the rally.”

60. Martins Sesks / Renars Francis
“I haven’t carried out Rally de Portugal earlier than, I did Azores which is a very totally different rally. From the expertise I’ve I feel will probably be one thing much like Sardinia with some actually slender sections but in addition quick elements in addition to some actually tough elements with rocks. We should handle our tempo and ways by way of the rally as a result of the primary day is with out a service which implies you must handle the automotive your self and all the things round you to complete the day. One thing new for this rally, I’m making ready for the rally in another way with video recce and a few notes heading into recce after watching onboards, we’ll see how that goes.”

61. Sami Pajari / Marko Salminen
“Gravel isn’t a nasty floor for me, I don’t know what my favorite floor is, I like all of them I feel. We examined right here yesterday, it was very moist and slippery, it was raining a lot of the day. We noticed it was drying actually quick too although when the rain stopped. When it rains although, it’s so slippery in comparison with when it rains at house, it’s like a tropical storm. Croatia wasn’t too unhealthy after all of the difficulties, I feel we’ve had one crash already although now so it will be good to make it clear right here. It’s an extended a tough rally and loads can occur.”

62. Lauri Joona / Ari Koponen
“My ideas on Portugal are that I feel will probably be the hardest in Junior WRC this yr. You have to to very intelligent, save your tyres and the entire automotive to make it to the end line. In fact you’ll be able to drive quick however nonetheless be final, we’re interested by the ways and can see in the event that they labored after the rally.”

63. Martin Koci / Petr Tesisnky
“I’m actually trying ahead to this occasion, I’ve some actually good reminiscences from my time right here, I’ve been right here just a few occasions, the final time was 2016, we completed second after dropping the lead and breaking a damper on the final part. It was nonetheless an ideal rally which I actually loved. Positively trying ahead to it regardless that it’s also going be difficult with the primary day being a really lengthy day with no service. The second day is an enormous portion of mileage so we are going to see. It’s going to be laborious with the tyres and technique, we’ve carried out some testing to assist us and I’ve to say I like driving on gravel.”

64. William Creighton / Liam Regan
“I’ve carried out numerous preparation for Portugal and watch it loads on TV, it will get actually tough with a lot of ruts and appears like a very difficult occasion. We’re going to attempt to keep out of bother, which is simpler stated than carried out a bit like in Croatia, we’ll push the place we really feel snug. It’s my first time on European gravel so we’re going to deal with it as a brand new expertise and construct on it by way of the weekend.”

65. Raul Badiu / Rares Fetean
“Traditionally we’ve had actually good outcomes on tough rallies like Portugal. I’m interested by Turkey in 2018 the place I had actually good tempo and in addition Sardinia in 2019. I hope I can enhance on these outcomes and proceed my marketing campaign for the Junior WRC title.”

66. Robert Virves / Sander Pruul
“The check was fairly okay, it was very slender and sluggish but it surely gave us a very good image of the rally we’ve forward of us. I don’t know find out how to play my technique but, I need to see the levels first as I feel that it may get actually tough and I don’t need to be pushing an excessive amount of on the restrict, I need to get to the end with 4 wheels this time, not three.”

Croatia Rally Classification:
1. Jon Armstrong / Phil Corridor 03:15:07.6
2. Martins Sesks / Renars Francis +33.5s
3. Lauri Joona / Ari Koponen +48.8s
4. Martin Koci / Petr Tesinsky +02:46.1
5. William Creighton / Liam Regan +03:35.5
6. Sami Pajari / Marko Salminen +03:36.7
7. Robert Virves / Sander Pruul +01:13:24.3
8. Raul Badiu / Rares Fetean +01:22:32.6

Croatia Rally Stage Wins:
1. Sami Pajari / Marko Salminen 9
2. Martin Koci / Petr Tesinsky 3
3. Raul Badiu / Rares Fetean 3
4. Jon Armstrong / Phil Corridor 2
5. Lauri Joona / Ari Koponen 1



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