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Mon 21 Mar 2022

Armstrong targets Rally3 seat time in Azores

Jon Armstrong plans to bolster his Rally3 experience with an outing at the Azores Rallye this week (25 - 27 March).

The Ulsterman currently tops the FIA Junior WRC standings after a victory at Rally Sweden earlier this year and, whilst that still remains his focus for the season, a trip to the Azores was an opportunity not to be missed. 

Armstrong will steer an M-Sport Poland-built Ford Fiesta Rally3  - similar to the one he campaigns in FIA Junior WRC - in the ERC3 category. 

He hopes to gain gravel surface mileage with the car in preparation for WRC rounds later in the year. 

“There are two rallies in the Junior WRC this year that are sort of slower, technical type of events in Portugal and Greece,” he told FIAERC.com, “so I think the Azores is a good way to get into the swing of things early in the season and getting my head around the style of driving. 

“Hopefully it will give us a little more confidence for the remainder of the year, and the new ERC format looks really good. It’s really quite an exciting time to try an event in the championship, so that’s the main motive.

"We also want to see how the Rally3 car performs in these conditions", he continued. "It's new for me, driving a four-wheel drive car on these types of roads, so there'll be lots of things to learn."

The 27-year-old previously contested the Azores Rallye with a Peugeot 208 R2 in 2015 but retired with mechanical troubles. 

Polish star Igor Widlak is another driver keen to take ERC3 honours this week, however, Armstrong explained that his plan of attack could be determined by the weather.

"The weather conditions can change very quickly between each stage, so it might be a case of just trying to get to the finish if the conditions are very bad," he admitted.

"It's a good opportunity that we've been given, and our sponsors have been very good to try and help us out. We just want to get as much seat time as possible."

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