Delfi Rally Estonia
Fia WRC Autosport

Maciej Woda, Managing Director of M-Sport Poland: "Coming second in your first international rally in the Junior championship and in such a demanding rally as Hungary, was a very good achievement."

Last weekend, the opening round of the European Rally Championship (ERC) was held in Hungary. In three competition days, the crews had to complete 13 special stages and 192.43 kilometers. The 17-year-old Jaspar Vaher also made his first start outside the Baltics among the 55 competitors. The two-time winner of the Estonian Junior Challenge series and a member of Team Estonia Autosport 2024 was joined by Sander Pruul, who has experience in four Junior WRC rallies. While Vaher already had previous rallies with Pruul, the experience with the M-Sport Poland team, who prepared the Estonian Ford Fiesta Rally4 competition car, was completely new.

The Estonians started the race on gravel immediately with a stage win and remained in the leading position of the ERC Junior class until the sixth stage, when unfortunately the right front tire broke and they fell from first place to third with a loss of almost three minutes. The Estonians continued at a good pace on the last day of competition and finished all six stages on Sunday in the TOP3.At the end of the rally, Estonians took second place in the high ERC Junior class. They finished 1.40.6 behind the winners Max McRae / Cameron Fair (Peugeot 208 Rally4). ''All in all, we have to be very satisfied with the rally. It was our second ERC rally and to finish in such a difficult rally is a very good feeling. There are fast guys together in the ERC Junior class and you can't say that the competition is weak, because everyone can drive fast here. The cooperation with the M-Sport team was very good and there were no problems with the car. We will hopefully make our next start in the ERC series at the Estonian round, because there are no funds for the Canaries and we cannot start in Sweden due to age," said Vaher, who earned the first ERC Junior podium place in Hungary.

Vaher / Pruul won 4 of the total thirteen special stages in the ERC Junior class and missed the TOP3 only twice. In addition, the Estonian car was the only Ford production that won stages and reached the finish in the ERC Junior class. After the rally, we managed to get a comment from Maciej Woda, the managing director of the M-Sport Poland team, who was of course very satisfied with the performance of the young Estonian both on the stages and in terms of cooperation with the team.
"To be honest, it was a very good weekend with Jaspar. I think he is a very nice kid and he is, don't get me wrong, very Estonian. His approach was so cold and emotionless at first, but once he got to know the team more and became more relaxed, we saw a lot of positive emotions and smiles. It's all completely understandable because everything was new for him, he's very young and it was his first major international rally with a team he didn't know. He handled it all really, well and the cooperation with the team was good. Considering his limited experience, he gave very good feedback to the team," said Maciej Woda, the managing director of M-Sport Poland, praising the Estonian future rallying hero in an interview after the rally.

"Very good drive and excellent pace. Unfortunately, there was also a puncture, but it happens and especially with the tires used in the European championship. But still, they had a very cleaver approach with Sander, especially during the long stage, where they knew they had to drive more sensitive than going crazy. Absolutely a very, very positive and very good weekend. Coming second in your first international rally in the Junior championship and in such a demanding rally as Hungary was, is a very good achievement. I'm looking forward to see him in other rallies, because it's been a pleasure," continued Woda.

There are exactly 80 days left until ERC Delfi Rally Estonia! Don’t miss the thrill and get your rally pass from the Rally Estonia e-shop.

Photo: @World / Red Bull Content Pool