The reigning FIA Junior World Rally Champion Sami Pajari from Finland will make his WRC2 debut with Toksport WRT in a Skoda Fabia Rally2 evo at Rally Italia Sardegna in June.
The 20-year-old Finn will take part his second ever outing in a Rally2 car as he steps up to the class in Italy two weeks after his Portugal JWRC start. His first Rally2 outting was earlier this year in Finland where he contested the Riihimäki Ralli and finished fourth.
“It’s a big rally in a powerful car, I’m really looking forward to my first Rally2 event at world championship level. I don’t set performance goals for the competition, but of course I’d love to see the pace and experience increase during the competition and hopefully have some good times.” Pajari said.
After winning the 2021 title Pajari was given the choice to either run a Ford Fiesta Rally3 or a Ford Fiesta Rally2 from M-Sport Poland for this season as part of his prize for winning in JWRC.
Pajari choosed to take less powerful Rally3 car and remained to defend his JWRC title. The JWRC series previously used the front-wheel-drive Ford Fiesta Rally4 cars but have now switched over to the four-wheel-drive Rally3 machines. Pajari became the last driver to win a title in a two-wheel-drive car in the series.
Pajari won at the season-opener at Rallye Monte-Carlo in the WRC3 class, which some of the JWRC drivers are participating in too, but have since then only faced bad luck with fuel pump issue in Rally Sweden and crashed out at Croatia Rally so Pajari is currently fifth in the JWRC championship but leads the WRC3 championship tied on points with Jon Armstrong.
For his JWRC program he will still do Rally Estonia and the Acropolis Rally in Greece. He also got two rounds left to choose for the WRC3 program as the series allows five rounds to be contested to be eligible to fight in the championship. It’s known that Pajari plans to do more WRC2 starts this season but it’s still yet to be confirmed.