Tom Kristensson close to FIA Junior WRC Championship success

Tom Kristensson close to FIA Junior WRC Championship success

05.12.2020: Tom Kristensson leads ACI Rally Monza by over two minutes on the 2020 FIA Junior WRC Championship finale after another dramatic day of action. Kristensson entered the day with a two-minute lead over championship rival, Martins Sesks, who had a go


Tom Kristensson leads ACI Rally Monza by over two minutes on the 2020 FIA Junior WRC Championship finale after another dramatic day of action.
 



Kristensson entered the day with a two-minute lead over championship rival, Martins Sesks, who had a good opportunity to close the gap, but it meant pushing on every stage. With that in mind, Sesks set about his mission with impressive split times throughout the first stage.



Almost 30 seconds faster than Kristensson after 15 km on SS7, Sesks hit a barrier, sending him into a spin at 125km/h resulting in the rear of the car taking a very heavy impact. The safety of the M-Sport Poland Fiesta Rally4 was underlined as Sesks and co-driver, Renars Francis, emerged from the wreckage unharmed but were taken to hospital for precautionary checks.
 


Stage seven was ultimately stopped for Junior WRC with the same notional time applied to all Junior WRC crews.
 


With Sesks’ retirement, Kristensson’s aim became simple: finish the rally, win the championship and collect the biggest prize package on offer in the sport. Attention then turned to Sami Pajari, running fourth, who was expected to extend his haul of stage points throughout the day.
 


Third placed Ruairi Bell had other ideas though, pipping the Flying Finn by 1.2 seconds on the eighth speed test of the rally. It was Bell’s first Junior WRC stage win of his career and saw him take a significant amount of time out of Paraguayan Fabrizio Zaldivar sitting in second.
 


Stage nine saw Pajari take a convincing stage win by over 30 seconds, however Bell continued his form, slashing another 30 seconds off the gap to Zaldivar.
 


Stages 10 and 12 were cancelled leaving just stage 11 to run for the second pass of the mountain stages. It was on this stage, in difficult conditions that Bell stunned the entire WRC service park, claiming the 14th fastest overall time beating WRC, WRC2 and WRC3 drivers. Another stage win point in the bag for Bell who was edging closer to Zaldivar in the battle for second.
 


Championship leader Kristensson delivered a stage win to close the day as rallying action returned to the Monza circuit.
 


Maciej Woda, FIA Junior WRC Team Director:
“What a day of action our crews have experienced today, it’s great to see Ruairi finally get into his stride and claim some well-deserved stage win points. He may not win the championship this weekend, but he will certainly go down in the history books for his performance on stage 11, we are all very proud of him.



Sami has also demonstrated his speed and talent with some convincing stage wins today, while Tom is doing everything he needs to do in order to win the championship. There’s a potentially good fight brewing for second so let’s see what the final three stages of the 2020 FIA Junior WRC Championship provide us with!”
 


Tom Kristensson, FIA Junior WRC Rally Leader
: “To be honest I was happy the stages were cancelled as they looked very tricky. I was relieved to not need to push in these difficult conditions, I’m feeling really good, confident and under control. Tomorrow will still be tough, so we need to stay focussed. I’m sorry to see Martins go out and not able to fight to the finish but this is rallying and that’s how it goes sometimes, I’m glad he is ok though.”
 



 SEB SCOTT- photo Junior WRC

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/tom-kristensson-fia-junior-wrc-championship-success---217041.html

05.12.2020 / MaP

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