Mikko Pajunen the surprise of the Finnish WRC
The Finn got the prestigious Abu Dhabi Spirit of the Rally prize
Mikko Pajunen did what he promised. The Finn set out to reach the
finishing line in the Finnish World Rally Championship event and also
to get a result and show his driving skills. Pajunen was true to his
words, and took the front-wheel drive Renault Clio to the finish with
such a speed and confidence amongst the four-wheel drive turbos that
he got many by surprise.
Pajunen and his co-driver Jani Salo finished the long and hard PWRC
World Championship competition eventually in sixth place, being the
fastest two-wheel drive. In the overall results Pajunen was 26th. He
won his own class (5) by over an half an hour.
- Everything went very well. Now in the finish it feels a bit empty.
It was great. The driving was perfect. According to my knowledge, this
was a pretty amazing thing, said Pajunen.
Pajune rented Set Promotions Clio for the event. After Friday he was
second in the PWRC competition. This is a class for four-wheel drive
factory made turbos. Pajunen's car did not have a turbo and was
two-wheel drive. On Saturday he did not managed to hold on to his
amazing position, and was overtaken by a group of experienced World
Championship four-wheel drivers. The class was won by Haydon Paddon
from New Zealand in Subaru.
- We knew beforehand that it would be difficult to stay second. There
were so many crossroads and accelerations which the two-wheel drive
could not take so fast. In addition we dropped our speed a little on
Saturday and started avoiding rocks. Finishing the rally was our main
goal, told Pajunen.
Pajunens speed was noticed also in the service area. In every WRC
event the prestigious Abu Dhabi Spirit of the Rally prize is given.
The requirements are leading qualities, honesty, respect and good
rallying spirit, to name but a few. Last year in the Finnish WRC event
it was given to the rally legend Juha Kankkunen. This year the winner
- Well, it was a great surprise. An amazing thing. I was a bit
flustered when I heard I was given this prize. It seems that someone
at a higher level noticed my performace, said Pajunen.
Pajunen, who belongs to the AKKs rally coaching group, competes next
in the British Rally Championship. He flies out to Britain to do some
tarmac testing in a week and a half. The next event is then in Nothern
Ireland at the end of August.
« back to news