on ACI Rally Monza -
Sweden’s Tom Kristensson and Joakim Sjöberg coaxed their Ford Fiesta Rally4 safely through Sunday’s ACI Rally Monza stages to confirm their place as the 2020 FIA Junior WRC champions.
The weekend kicked off with a three-way fight for the crown between Kristensson, Sami Pajari and Martins Sesks. However, Pajari crashed out on Friday morning before Sesks suffered a similar fate the next day.
Those dramas left Kristensson’s path clear and the Swede was able to cruise through Sunday’s final three speed tests to clinch both the rally and championship victories.
He will be awarded a brand-new M-Sport EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta R5 MkII accompanied by a Pirelli support package of 200 tyres to use throughout the 2021 season.
“It's the best day of my life for sure. This season has been really tough and to be here and be the world champion is amazing,” exclaimed Kristensson, whilst holding back the tears.
Fabrizio Zaldivar was 11min 21.2sec behind at the finish with his equal-best Junior WRC result in second, whilst Ruairi Bell completed the podium another 27.9sec further back.
Pajari was fourth after a fraught weekend. The Finn rejoined the action following his Friday retirement and went on to claim four stage wins, ending the rally 44min 46.6sec down on the winner.
Despite Sesks’ dramatic crash on Saturday’s opener, he still managed to claim second in the championship standings.
Italian youngster Fabio Andolfi was also a non-finisher after damaging his engine following a shunt on Friday afternoon.