Julius Tannert secured his maiden Junior WRC victory, following a weekend of high attrition amongst the small four-car field present at Rally Deutschland this weekend.
The rally started with a battle for dominance between title protagonists Nil Solans and Nicolas Ciamin, with the advantage handed to the latter following a retirement-inducing crash for Solans on Friday.
When Ciamin endured a torrid Saturday of broken suspension and time penalties galore, and leader-in-waiting Terry Folb hit a tree in the same stage which had caught out his compatriot Ciamin, Tannert was left out front with an extremely comfortable twelve minute lead.
Taking few risks, though struggling to keep his concentration levels up with his cautious approach, Tannert brought his Fiesta R2T home in one piece to secure a maiden win at his home round of the championship.
“It’s fantastic to win my home rally, this was our target from the start of the season,” he said. “I think we had a good approach, to try and be fast but also not to make a mistake.
“Friday was difficult and we dropped time but things went our way on Saturday and we handled the conditions well. It’s a real boost to our season and means a lot for my sponsors.”
Solans had returned to action under Rally2 on Saturday, moving into second place after Ciamin’s plethora of penalties. The Frenchman had been on a charge during Saturday afternoon’s loop, reducing the gap to 80 seconds, but lost a further ten minutes on Sunday’s opening stage with a crash that caused two punctures.
It made no difference to the rally order, as Terry Folb‘s early retirement on Saturday saw him rack up close to an hour’s worth of Rally2 penalties, leaving him to drive through the remaining quartet of stages at a steady rate and secure an unchallenged fourth position.
The title battle will go down to the final round at Rally Espana in October, and home favourite Solans holds a commanding 20 point lead with only 25 left to play for. Tannert’s win moves him up to third in the championship, aided by the absence of Dennis Rådström this weekend.