World Rally Championship: Jon Armstrong hopes of Junior WRC title now remote – BBC News


Jon Armstrong
Jon Armstrong returned to real-life rallying after winning the eSports World Rally Championship in 2018

Northern Ireland driver Jon Armstrong’s hopes of landing the Junior WRC title are almost certainly over after mishaps in Saturday’s stages in Spain.

Armstrong went into Rally De Espana knowing that victory would almost certainly clinch the title.

He led by 15.9 seconds after Friday’s action but lost five minutes to his Finnish title title rival Sami Pajari in Saturday’s opening stage.

While attempting to catch the Finn, Armstrong then crashed on Stage 11.

Armstrong will attempt to restart the rally on Sunday but after being given nominal times for Saturday’s three concluding stages, he now is over 34 minutes behind Pajari, who will comes through the final four stages unscathed.

The Northern Irishman held the edge over Pajari in Friday’s action as he won six of the nine stages with the Finn taking three stage victories.

Pajari will take a 16.2 second lead over compatriot Lauri Joona into Sunday’s action with Estonia’s Robert Virves in third place – 50.3 seconds off the pace.

Armstrong lies a distant fourth – 34 minutes and seven seconds behind the Finn – with another Northern Irishman William Creighton now classified as fifth, a further 25 minutes in arrears, after he rejoined the event following a crash in Friday’s first stage.

With double points on offer, it is likely whoever wins the rally will claim the championship.

In WRC3, the third category of the championship, Northern Ireland’s Josh McErlean lies fourth going into the final day’s action in Spain – two minutes and 16 seconds behind Finnish leader Reeta Hamalainen.

‘Never give up on your dream’ – Armstrong ready for winner-takes-all title fight
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