JON Armstrong became the first ever Junior European Championship event winner in the new Rally3 category when he cantered to success, at the season opener, in Poland at the weekend.
The Kesh man, who also won the opening round of the Junior World Rally Championship in Croatia, behind the wheel of his Codemasters DiRT Rally Team Rally2 Ford Fiesta, stepped into the four-wheel-drive Rally3 version for this event.
He immediately found his feet behind the wheel, setting the fastest time in qualifying before winning four stages on his way to victory, by a massive margin of over four minutes.
While delighted with his weekend performance, Jon was quick to point out that the battle for victory would have been tougher had Championship favourite, Ken Torn, not suffered a first stage issue which all but killed off the Estonian’s challenge.
“It was a good old run again,” he beamed. “There were no big dramas but we were still pushing quite hard.
“It was just about enjoying it and getting as much experience on those fast roads in Poland as we could, so it went well.
“Our main competitor, Ken Torn had an issue on the first stage and that dropped him a lot of time and to be honest, if he didn’t have that issue then the times would have been a lot closer and the battle for the win would have been quite close.
“But it was quite easy to win when he had that issue but we still pushed really hard to compare times to him, so that we are always improving and it’s a good result in the end up.”
Looking ahead, 26-year-old Jon isn’t anticipating a full tilt at the Junior ERC at present.
His focus remains firmly on the Junior World Rally Championship which resumes in Estonia in the middle of July.
“It’s a nice feeling to win and it is kind of strange because I have now led the Junior WRC and Junior European championships this year,” he beamed.
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