How WRC’s support classes look on the European return

WRC2, WRC3 and Junior WRC are finally all back together as the service park heads to Rally Estonia


After an exciting trip to Africa, the World Rally Championship is back on European shores this week as the second half of the 2021 season begins.

And for the first time since Rally Portugal in May, all three of the support series will be in action on the super-fast stages of Estonia. Action is guaranteed.

Let’s remind ourselves how it all stands in WRC2, WRC3 and Junior WRC and look forward to who will be vying for honors on Rally Estonia which begins on Wednesday evening.


WRC2 entry list:

Seeded Driver Co-Driver Car
20 Andreas Mikkelsen Ola Fløene Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo
21 Mads Østberg Torstein Eriksen Citroën C3 Rally2
22 Marco Bulacia Marcelo Der Ohannesian Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo
23 Adrien Fourmaux Renaud Jamoul Ford Fiesta Rally2
24 Jari Huttunen Mikko Lukka Hyundai i20 R5
25 Nikolay Gryazin Konstantin Aleksandrov Volkswagen Polo GTI R5
26 Sean Johnston Alex Kihurani Citroën C3 Rally2
27 Oliver Solberg Aaron Johnston Hyundai i20 R5
28 Georg Limmanäe James Morgan Volkswagen Polo GTI R5
29 Tom Kristensson David Arhusiander Ford Fiesta Rally2

WRC2 standings:

Pos Driver Rallies entered Points
1 Andreas Mikkelsen 4 68
2 Mads Østberg 3 66
3 Marco Bulacia 4 63
4 Esapekka Lappi 2 59
5 Teemu Suninen 2 41

At long last, the heavyweight clash between Norwegians Andreas Mikkelsen and Mads Østberg looks set to begin as both title protagonists head to Estonia with eyes only for victory. We caught a glimpse of the needle between these two WRC refugees on Rally Italy, but Mikkelsen’s early retirement cut the contest short.

Both will fancy their chances in Estonia. Mikkelsen has recently contested two high-speed rallies in the European Rally Championship while Østberg enjoyed a two-day test with his Citroën C3 Rally2 in Finland last weekend. Mikkelsen is under the bigger pressure to win though given that Sardinian retirement which could prove particularly costly to his title bid.

The man they’ll both have to better however is Nikolay Gryazin. The Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 pilot has been rapid this season but the results haven’t quite strung together to back up the promise. Fast rallies are Gryazin’s bread and butter though so if he can have a clean run, expect him to be right at the top of the timesheets.

Other dangermen include Hyundai duo Jari Huttunen and Oliver Solberg; particularly Solberg given his strong 2020 Estonia showing and his determination to make amends for a sub-par Safari Rally Kenya in the i20 Coupe WRC.



With six rounds gone and six to go, the voice of rally ranks the WRC drivers

Elsewhere, Adrien Fourmaux drops back into WRC2 to pilot an M-Sport Ford Fiesta Rally2 with Tom Kristensson for company as team-mate. Sean Johnston also makes his return to the WRC after a gut-wrenching Rally Italy.


Leading WRC3 entries:

Seeded Driver Co-Driver Car
30 Kajetan Kajetanowicz Maciej Szczepaniak Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo
31 Egon Kaur Silver Simm Volkswagen Polo GTI R5
32 Fabrizio Zaldivar Carlos del Barrio Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo
34 Emil Lindholm Reeta Hämäläinen Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo
35 Pepe López Diego Vallejo Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo
36 Mikko Heikkilä Topi Luhtinen Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo
37 Emilio Fernández Ruben Garcia Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo
38 Alexey Lukyanuk Yaroslav Federov Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo
39 Raul Jeets Andrus Toom Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo
40 Priit Koik Kristo Taam Ford Fiesta Rally2

WRC3 standings:

Pos Driver Rallies entered Points
1 Yohan Rossel 4 98
2 Kajetan Kajetanowicz 3 64
3 Nicolas Ciamin 4 57
4 Onkar Rai 1 30
5 Teemu Asunmaa 1 28

Yohan Rossel has been a class act in WRC3 this year, securing two victories and two further podium places from four starts. Rossel’s absence in Estonia then is a huge opportunity for Kajetan Kajetanowicz who looks the overwhelming favorite for victory this week.

Kajetanowicz has some Estonian demons to lay to rest in 2021 after rolling out of third place on the powerstage 10 months ago, but he will be more than aware of the chance he has to claim maximum points with title rival Rossel watching from home instead.


Photo: Jaanus Ree / Red Bull Content Pool

It won’t be a one-man show though. Several local drivers – Egon Kaur, Raul Jeets and Priit Koik – will undoubtedly have their say but perhaps the most exciting entry is the #38 Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo of Alexey Lukyanuk.

The double European champion will make a one-off world championship appearance and is known for his balls-out approach, so could be a real one to watch. The Fabia is unfamiliar to Lukyanuk though, as he usually drives a Citroën C3 Rally2 and before that used a Ford Fiesta R5.

Emil Lindholm is a real talent but hasn’t quite been able to show it in WRC3 this term, while Finnish compatriot Mikko Heikkilä could be a dark horse as he makes his second category start following a third place on Arctic Rally Finland five months ago.

And don’t rule out Pepe López who shone in both Portugal and Italy with his speed. His second spot in class and eighth overall in Sardinia was more than deserved.

Emil Lindholm

Photo: Jaanus Ree / Red Bull Content Pool

Junior WRC

Junior WRC entry list:

Seeded Driver Co-Driver Car
47 Mārtiņš Sesks Renars Francis Ford Fiesta Rally4
48 Sami Pajari Marko Salminen Ford Fiesta Rally4
49 Jon Armstrong Phil Hall Ford Fiesta Rally4
50 Martin Koči Petr Těšínský Ford Fiesta Rally4
51 Lauri Joona Mikael Korhonen Ford Fiesta Rally4
52 Robert Virves Sander Pruul Ford Fiesta Rally4
53 William Creighton Liam Regan Ford Fiesta Rally4
54 Raul Badiu Rareș Fetean Ford Fiesta Rally4

Junior WRC standings:

Pos Driver Points
1 Mārtiņš Sesks 46
2 Sami Pajari 37
3 Jon Armstrong 33
4 Martin Koči 31
5 Lauri Joona 28


The juniors are back, and already the contest is threatening to become a three-horse race between Mārtiņš Sesks, Sami Pajari and Jon Armstrong. All three are fast, experienced and are justifiable shouts for the win in Estonia.

Armstrong is quite unlucky to find himself 13 points shy of the title lead as he opportunistically won in Croatia and led again in Portugal before his engine suddenly expired. He has shown well in the past on fast rallies so is more than capable of setting the score.

Sesks was off-color on the opening round but kept his head beautifully in Portugal to come up trumps. Pajari is one of the WRC’s most exciting rising stars and has speed in abundance although will need to iron out some costly errors if he wants to go all the way.

Lauri Joona has been quieter than expected thus far in 2021 but Estonia should suit the Finn, while Robert Virves will be a real thorn in the side of this rivals as he bids for glory on home turf. William Creighton has shown great promise and could be a dark horse, although his Estonia preparation suffered a wobble when he crashed in pursuit of a Junior British Rally Championship victory last weekend.