•Navigated by compatriot Mwangi Kioni in a Ford Fiesta Rally 3, Kimathi Junior clocked a cumulative total of 4:25:33.9 hours behind winner Robert Virves of Estonia, Great Britain’s Jon Armstrong and W. Creighton.
•Virves become the first-ever Estonian FIA Junior WRC champion after winning the M-Sport Poland Ford Fiesta Rally 3 category at EKO Acropolis Rally Greece.
McRae Kimathi finished in a credible 4th overall position in the Junior WRC category as EKO WRC Acropolis Rally Greece came to a dramatic end.
Navigated by compatriot Mwangi Kioni in a Ford Fiesta Rally 3, Kimathi Junior clocked a cumulative total of 4:25:33.9 hours behind winner Robert Virves of Estonia, Great Britain’s Jon Armstrong and W. Creighton.
Virves become the first-ever Estonian FIA Junior WRC champion after winning the M-Sport Poland Ford Fiesta Rally 3 category at EKO Acropolis Rally Greece.
What started off as a four-way scrap for the title quickly became a two-way fight between Virves and Armstrong when Sami Pajari retired on Friday and Lauri Joona lost time with rear suspension damage.
Virves moved into the top spot early on Friday and found himself over one minute ahead that evening after Armstrong stopped to change a wheel. His focus then turned to lead preservation —easier said than done on such rough terrain— and the youngster started Sunday’s final leg 53.2 secs in the clear.
“I’m really happy,” Virves told www.wrc.com, adding: “I am not really thinking about things like this (being the first Estonian winner). My goal is to become the world champion in the top class one day and this is a small part of it.”
Virves’ championship-winning prize includes four drives in the 2023 WRC2 series with an M-Sport Ford Fiesta Rally2. He will also have the chance to test the car prior to each round whilst also receiving a full tyre package courtesy of Pirelli.
William Creighton rounded off the podium— albeit several minutes behind—ahead of Kenyan driver Mcrae Kimathi. Last year’s champion Pajari finished fifth in the rally while Joona completed the leader board.
Because Virves changed co-drivers mid-way through the season, Armstrong’s partner Brian Hoy wrapped up the co-drivers title.
WRC Acropolis Rally Greece marked the end of the 5 leg- 2022 Junior WRC season in which Kenya’s Kimathi ran a full campaign under the FIA Rally Star Program. The 5 legs of Junior WRC happened in Sweden (all-snow), Croatia (all-asphalt), Estonia, Portugal (gravel) and Greece.
JUNIOR WRC RESULTS -WRC ACROPOLIS
1. #60 (EST) R. VIRVES/(SWE) J. THULIN (Fiesta Rally3) 3:55:38.4
2. #59 (GBR) J. ARMSTRONG IRL B. HOY (Fiesta Rally3) 3:55:55.9
3. #62 (IRL) W. CREIGHTON IRL L. REGAN (Fiesta Rally3) 4:03:09.7
4. #63 (KEN) M. KIMATHI/(KEN) M. KIONI ( Fiesta Rally3) 4:25:33.9
5. #58 (FIN) S. PAJARI /(FIN) E. MÄLKÖNEN (Fiesta Rally3) 4:37:55.7