Double points are on offer along with an extra point for each stage win, meaning it’s all to play for in the M-Sport Poland Ford Fiesta Rally3 one-make series. And, with a huge prize awaiting the eventual winner, the pace is going to be hot.
This year’s champion will take home four prizes in the 2023 WRC2 series with a Ford Fiesta Rally2 M-Sport. They will also have the chance to test the car before each round while receiving a full set of tires donated by Pirelli.
Last year’s winner Sami Pajari has the potential to make history by becoming the first Junior WRC driver to successfully defend his crown. He shares the championship lead with Ulsterman Jon Armstrong, although once lost scores are factored in the Finn is in a slightly stronger position.
For Armstrong, it’s a case of deja vu. He found himself in a similar position in the final round in 2021, but fell apart on the penultimate day – allowing Pajari to pick up the pieces and seal the title.
Just one point behind Robert Virves, who could become Estonia’s first Junior WRC champion if he plays his cards right this week. Amazingly, the 22-year-old is yet to win a rally but has finished on the podium three out of four times this season.
Lauri Joona – winner of the second round in Croatia – also has a realistic chance. He pledged to maintain his shrewdly consistent approach on the rugged gravel pitch of the four-day game.
“On a rally like this you really have to take care of your car while finding the areas where you can drive as fast as possible,” explained Joona. “I think one of my biggest strengths is the consistency and maintenance of the car, which is very important here.
Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy youngster William Creighton’s chances depend on those who run into trouble. He trails the leaders by 47 points, with 66 still available. Mcrae Kimathi’s hopes are even dimmer and the Kenyan completes the entry with Mwangi Kioni at his side.
• Full coverage of EKO Acropolis Rally Greece will be available on WRC+ All Live hereincluding every stage broadcast as you go along with key interviews, reports and analysis from service park experts.