Pajari forever grateful to AKK Sport’s Flying Finn Future Star initiative

Sami Pajari is using his participation on Secto Rally Finland to highlight the key role AKK Sports’ Flying Finn Future Star programme played in his rise to the FIA World Rally Championship.

Pajari, the 2021 Junior WRC champion, received the Flying Finn Future Star scholarship to contest his home round of the JWRC as a wildcard entrant in 2019. He then secured additional support from the initiative for a JWRC season in 2020, which would prove the catalyst to his title-winning campaign the following year.

Following his success in two-wheel drive, Pajari made the move to four-wheel drive for the 2022 season, dividing his time between Rally3 and Rally2 machinery as he continued his development and progression.

Prior to the start of Secto Rally Finland, the 21-year-old was second in the WRC2 Challenger category and seventh in WRC2. 

“One of the reasons why I am in the WRC is because of the support I got from the AKK Flying Finn Future Star award for 2019, it was really important for me,” said the Lahti-based driver. “The first time I got the support was for Rally Finland in 2019 to do the JWRC. Then we got half the budget for the JWRC the following year and that was really key for me. Without that support I would not be here.”

Several other top Finnish graduates were recipients of AKK Flying Finn Future Star scholarships. They include Jari Huttunen, Lauri Joona, Emil Lindholm and Teemu Suninen.

Photo: Taneli Niinimäki/AKK

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