Sami Pajari will complement his FIA Junior World Rally Championship campaign with an FIA ERC3 Junior bid in a Pirelli-equipped Ford Fiesta Rally4.
In doing so, the 19-year-old joins 11 rivals chasing the coveted FIA title and a prize drive in a Fiesta Rally3 in next season’s ERC Junior Championship via a collaboration between the FIA, M-Sport Poland, Pirelli and ERC promoter Eurosport Events.

However, because Pajari is competing in a Fiesta Rally4, he will receive the full ERC Junior prize drive package in 2022 – rather than the three events on offer to drivers using another type of Rally4 car – should he top the final ERC3 Junior standings this year.

“The ERC is a perfect way to get more experience from big international events and, at the same time, keep the competitive feeling during the breaks between the JWRC rounds,” said Pajari. “As we have seen in the past the level of competition in the ERC has also been super and many, many big names have been doing the ERC at some point of their careers.”

Pajari will be co-driven by compatriot Enni Mälkönen with this week’s ERC season-opening ORLEN 77thRally Poland marking his European championship debut.

“The plan is to do all six rallies,” Pajari said. “When you are in a competition, you will do your best and try to win. We know there are very good prizes for the winner, but it’s not only me who would like to catch that. I’m just super-grateful to all my sponsors and supporters because I wouldn’t be here without them.”

Proven talent following in the wheel tracks of fellow Flying Finns
Sami Pajari represents the future of Finnish rallying in more ways than one. In 2019 he was selected by the country’s ASN, AKK Sports, as its Flying Finn Future Star for a prize drive on Finland’s round of the World Rally Championship that season.

He then went up against three rivals for a subsidised drive in the 2020 JWRC and promptly topped the selection process. After finishing third at the end of a campaign truncated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Pajari signed up for a second season of JWRC action and was runner-up in class on the most recent round, last month’s Vodafone Rally de Portugal.

Other Flying Finn Future Star award winners include Jari Huttunen, Emil Lindhollm, Juuso Nordgren, Teemu Suninen, who all have gained experienced in the ERC.
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