FIA JUNIOR WRC RETURNS TO ACTION IN ESTONIA | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile
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FIA JUNIOR WRC RETURNS TO ACTION IN ESTONIA

02.09.20

The 2020 FIA Junior WRC Championship will resume service along with the FIA World Rally Championship on Rally Estonia for the first time in the history of both series.

The championship that nurtures the future stars of WRC will use the M-Sport Poland built Fiesta Rally4 which was released earlier in the year. The Ford Fiesta Rally4 is an evolution of the 2019 Fiesta R2T and represents M-Sport’s commitment to its ladder of opportunity, while also aligning with the FIA’s new rally pyramid structure.

This year marks ten years since the first Rally Estonia was held and in the decade following the event has built up an impeccable reputation with drivers, teams and fans alike. The rally recently served as an unofficial preparation event for Rally Finland thanks to its smooth but treacherously fast gravel roads, some of which were built specifically for the rally.

Compared to a typical WRC event, Rally Estonia will be a shorter affair, with 233.40 competitive kilometres spread over three days. FIA Junior WRC sees its first competitive action in almost six months with a 1.28km super special stage on Friday evening allowing 12 hungry junior crews to push from the get-go in order to grab every stage win point possible – a unique characteristic of the championship. Saturday will see this year’s juniors take on two loops across five speed tests with an additional six stages across two three-stage loops on Sunday finishing with a total of 17 stages, with each one offering a valuable stage win point. In total, a maximum of 42 points could be taken home by one driver should they win all 17 stages and the event. All 12 Fiesta Rally4 cars will be equipped with Pirelli Scorpion K6 tyres and have a total of 14 tyres available for use across the rally including Shakedown.

Using his own M-Sport-built Fiesta Rally2, the 2019 FIA Junior WRC Champion, Jan Solans, will start Rally Estonia with the 2019 FIA Junior WRC co-driver’s champion, Mauro Barreiro, in FIA WRC3. Solans has recently completed a series of intense tests to get as up to speed as possible with Rally2 machinery after a small taste of the action on Rally Spain last year where he made his debut in the series designed for privateer drivers.

 

Maciej Woda, FIA Junior WRC Team Director, said:

“We are finally going back rallying! We have 12 incredibly talented and exciting FIA Junior WRC crews heading to Estonia with WRC for the first time. I expect there to be very close competition at the sharp end of the field on this rally as our Baltic and Scandinavian crews know these kinds of roads very well. Even looking at the onboards, I can tell this is a driver’s rally and guarantee there will be a smile underneath every single helmet come Friday. I am really pleased that the hard-working team at M-Sport Poland’s Kraków facility has been able to deliver 12 Fiesta Rally4s for this event, it’s a huge undertaking to do so. This is a Junior championship, but it is on the world stage so there is no question, these guys need the most competitive Rally4 machinery on offer, and that’s what they’ve got. That’s all I can guarantee though, I have no idea who will win this one! We are all back with renewed enthusiasm and energy, some will be a bit more rusty behind the wheel than others but, I’m sure everyone will be back in their rhythm once the first loop is done with.”  

 

 

FIA JUNIOR WRC - RALLY SWEDEN CLASSIFICATION

1. Tom Kristensson / Joakim Sjoberg 1:22:51.3

2. Martins Sesks / Renars Francis +37.8

3. Ken Torn / Kauri Pannas +1:00.4

4. Sami Pajari / Marko Salminen +1:11.6

5. Raul Badiu / Gabriel Lazar +3:23.8

6. Fabrizio Zaldivar / Fernando Mussano +3:54.0

7. Ruairi Bell / Darren Garrod +04:01.0

8. Pontus Lönnström / Stefan Gustavsson +4:14.1

9. Lauri Joona / Ari Koponen +4:15.5

10. Marco Pollara / Maurizio Messina +6:10.2

11. Enrico Oldrati / Elia de Guio +6:14.4

12. Tommaso Ciuffi / Nicolo Gonella +10:11.4

13. Oscar Solberg / Jim Hjerpe +11:05.1

14. Catie Munnings / Ida Lidebjer-Granberg +11:16.2

 

Retired:

- Fabio Andolfi / Stefano Savoia

- Jon Armstrong / Noel O’Sullivan

 

2020 STAGE WINS

Tom Kristensson 3

Raul Badiu 2

Pontus Lönnström 2

Martins Sesks 1

Sami Pajari 1

 

DRIVERS' CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

1. Tom Kristensson 28

2. Martins Sesks 19

3. Ken Torn 15

4. Sami Pajari 13

5. Raul Badiu 12

6. Fabrizio Zaldivar 8

7. Ruairi Bell 6

8. Pontus Lönnström 6

9. Lauri Joona 2

10. Marco Pollara 1

 

Photo caption: Mārtiņš Sesks / Francis Renars, 2020 ERC Rally Liepaja in the full Junior WRC livery Ford Fiesta Rally 4.