Julius Tannert claimed a nail-biting FIA Junior WRC Championship rally victory on Tour de Corse as Tom Kristensson maintains his championship lead after a thrilling three-way fight for the lead with Dennis Rådström.
The rally produced four different stage winners with Jan Solans claiming the opening stage on Friday, though a puncture cost him over two minutes on SS2. The Spaniard claimed six stage wins, the most of any FIA Junior WRC driver on Tour de Corse but wasn’t able to close the gap to the leading cars.
Kristensson made an impressive start and, following Solans’s mistake on SS1, led the rally until the very last stage with competitive and mistake-free drives. Tannert posted top-five stage times until a spin on SS7 put him exactly one minute behind the leader as Kristensson and Solans added to their stage win totals.
Claiming his first stage win of the season, Tannert put in an incredible drive on SS9 – the longest stage of the rally. He was narrowly ahead of Rådström on the split times throughout the stage and increased his lead by over 19.7 seconds in the last 14 kilometres!
The intensity was building in the fight for FIA Junior WRC victory as Kristensson maintained his steady and mistake-free pace while Rådström claimed his first stage win of the rally on SS10.
After SS11, a fired-up Rådström and determined Tannert slashed Kristensson’s lead to 0.4 and 6.6 seconds respectively. After the cancellation of SS12, the Junior WRC was setup for a nail-biting final day of action on Tour de Corse.
Tannert delivered a stage win on SS13 to move into second with Kristensson leading by 4.3 seconds.
As Kristensson started SS14, it looked like he might have done enough to hold onto victory, Tannert began chipping away the Swede’s lead. The German pushed on and ended the stage 6.1 seconds faster than Kristensson to take FIA Junior WRC Tour de Corse victory by just 1.9 seconds.
FIA Junior WRC Championship Manager, Maciej Woda, said:
“This rally has been fantastic to watch unfold with some really close battles and a healthy variety of stage winners. Huge congratulations to Julius on such a well-deserved result, especially after staging such a determined comeback after stage seven. Tom [Kristensson] and Dennis should be really proud of themselves too, it’s not easy to fight for any rally lead and to do that without mistakes on Tour de Corse is a real achievement.”
PROVISIONAL OVERALL CLASSIFICATION:
1. Julius Tannert / Jürgen Heigl 3h51m50.0s
2. Tom Kristensson / Henrik Appelskog + 00:01.9
3. Dennis Rådström / Johan Johansson + 00:25.8
4. Jan Solans / Mauro Barreiro + 05:48.8
5. Tom Williams / Phil Hall + 06:36.7
6. Roland Poom / Ken Jarveoja + 07:35.3
7. Raul Badiu / Gabriel Lazar + 08:00.3
8. Enrico Oldrati / Elia de Guio + 08:30.5
9. Nico Knacker / Tobias Braun + 09:36.9
10. Fabrizio Zaldivar / Fernando Mussano + 11:42.8
Ken Torn / Kauri Pannas
Martins Sesks / Krisjanis Caune
Sean Johnston / Alex Kihurani
PROVISIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS