FIA Junior World Rally Championship title contender Tom Kristensson has expressed his relief at the addition of ACI Rally Monza to this year’s calendar.
The 3 – 6 December event has been announced as the final round of the one-make series and also marks the Junior WRC’s first and only asphalt outing in a Covid-19-shortened calendar.
“It feels totally amazing that we can go to Monza,” Kristensson explained. “I have been quite worried about the situation – because it’s my last year in the juniors – so it’s a good thing that we can finish the season like this.
“I’ve been reading some information about the rally and it actually looks really good. Nobody knows exactly what it will be like, but I read that there may be some gravel parts on the stages, which I really prefer and enjoy.”
Kristensson currently trails Latvian star Martins Sesks by just 10 points before dropped scores are taken into account and has fire in his belly after coming runner-up in 2019. At 29, the Swede faces extra pressure in the form of age restrictions, which render him ineligible at the end of the season.
He began his career in a self-prepared Volvo 940 and displayed dedication both inside and outside the car to break onto the world stage.
“In the Volvo days, I realised that I was quite talented. I was starting to do some good stage times, and after having some good results and a win in a local rally, I thought, okay, now I need to go for it.
“The hardest thing for me was to get the money, just like most other people. I come from a family that never goes for vacations, and I was the youngest child, so I was always wearing passed down clothes. I just thought that if I started to work in the right direction with some help here and there then it would come together.”
After honing his craft in national rallies, 2016 saw the youngster join the ADAC Opel Rallye Cup in Germany, where he embarked on a stringent fitness regime outside of competition.
He excelled, winning the series the following year before progressing to the European Rally Championship as a factory driver for Opel.
“Everybody in the Opel Cup had exactly the same car and I remember standing there talking about whether we should take one or two spare tyres. I was looking down at myself and thinking, wow, I need to do something about my weight.