Kenyan Mcrae Kimathi finishes fourth in FIA Junior WRC
Nairobi — Sensational Kenyan rally driver McRae Kimathi and his navigator Mwangi Kioni finished fourth in the Junior World Rally Championship (WRC) category at Rally Sweden.
Kimathi and fellow countryman Kioni made history by becoming the first Kenyans to complete WRC Rally Sweden.
“It’s such a great feeling. I mean first time on snow and fourth overall is such an amazing feeling,” Kimathi said.
Jon Armstrong put the pressure on Lauri Joona to claim the FIA Junior WRC lead on Saturday night’s Rally Sweden.
Ulsterman started the day 7.7 seconds behind rival M-Sport Poland Ford Fiesta Rally3 but took the lead after being 8.0 seconds quicker in Brattby’s opener.
Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy youngster William Creighton stayed on track for his maiden Junior WRC podium 1min 17.3sec behind the leaders, while East African rookie Mcrae Kimathi finished fourth.
Sami Pajari and Robert Virves restarted after their retirements on Friday and placed fifth and sixth respectively. Although almost 50 minutes from the lead, Pajari won five of the six stages.
“It was crazy,” Armstrong said, adding, “I had a better pace this afternoon than I did in the morning and really tried to improve my driving.
“It’s good to be in the lead,” he continued. “I didn’t expect this when I came here, so I’m really happy and we’re having fun.”
Kalle Rovanpera won the event to storm to the top of the World Rally Championship (WRC) after two rounds in France and Sweden.
Andreas Mikkelsen emerged victorious in WRC2 after a three-day battle with fellow Norwegian Ole Christian Veiby on Rally Sweden.
It was a scintillating battle between two good friends as they traded times from start to finish.
Veiby set the initial pace and took a small lead through Friday, but ceded the position to Mikkelsen after losing around 20 seconds with a stall on SS7.
Škoda Fabia Rally2 star Mikkelsen edged out a small buffer on Saturday afternoon and took a 10.9-second lead on the final day, but Veiby more than halved that deficit on the opening two stages of Sunday.
FIA JUNIOR WRC CLASSIFICATION AFTER RALLY SWEDEN
Jon Armstrong 25 points
LJoona 18 points
W Creighton 15 points
P Kimathi 12