Near-perfect success for Enni Mälkönen in Sardinia – Displayed excessive modesty

Toyota's Sami Pajari and his co-driver Enni Mälkönen achieved an almost perfect result in last weekend's Rally Sardinia.
Enni Mälkönen and Sami Pajari
Enni Mälkönen and Sami Pajari celebrated their class victory in Sardinia. Photo: Jaanus Ree / Red Bull Content Pool
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The duo dominated the entire event, securing their first WRC2 class victory with Toyota’s new Rally2 car.

Pajari won the WRC2 class in Italy with a margin of over half a minute ahead of Frenchman Yohan Rossel, making the victory a clear and decisive one.

“I feel great, of course. There’s no way to feel bad about this,” Mälkönen told RallyJournal.com in Sardinia.

“It felt even better when I handed over the time card at the final Time Control and could finally relax,” Mälkönen smiled.

Pajari and Mälkönen did not succeed in the previous round in Portugal. Their rally was ruined on the first special stage, and to top it off, they went off the road on the final stage.

Despite the poor result in Portugal, the competition provided positive signs regarding their pace. Mälkönen admitted in Sardinia that they were confident of achieving a good result.

“Portugal gave us an indication that our speed was fine. But of course, this was a challenging rally. It’s not always about who is the fastest,” Mälkönen reminded.

The conditions in Sardinia were extremely challenging, making Pajari and Mälkönen’s performance even more praiseworthy.

“Everyone probably had some issues here. No one got through perfectly, but we managed to avoid the worst problems, and that resulted in a good outcome. And I guess we were pretty fast too,” Mälkönen said, displaying excessive modesty.

Read also: Stunning performance by Sami Pajari – “Bottoms up” in the evening

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