Citroen’s Simone Tempestini has claimed back-to-back wins after winning Rally Poland on Sunday.
Tempestini, along with his fellow Italian co-driver Giovanni Bernacchini extended their lead in the JWRC standings to 17 points, ahead of Frenchman Terry Folb and a further 25 points ahead of Norway’s Ole Christian Veiby after Rally Poland.
The 2016 Junior WRC Rally Poland proved to be dramatic even before the rally even started with drama when Slovakia’s Martin Koci crashed in shakedown. Koci’s car was too badly damaged to continue, meaning that the Slovakian could not start before the rally had begun on Friday.
Andrea Crugnola grabbed the early lead after winning Shakedown on Thursday, as well as taking the lead of Rally Poland on Friday. Things did go wrong for the Citroen driver as the Italian’s car radiator broke after landing a jump on SS4.
SS4 continued to cause problems for the cars as Poland’s Lukasz Pieniazek went off the road, losing more than a minute, which meant Veiby was the rally leader by only one-tenth of a second, ahead of Tempestini. The Italian took SS5 victory, as well as three stage wins on Friday, leading the first day of JWRC Rally Poland 2016 overnight by 12.8 seconds over Norway’s Ole Christian Veiby.
Saturday proved to be a marathon for the drivers and teams as there was seven stages with no service period, but a mid-leg tyre change zone for tyre changes. Veiby won SS11, but damaged his rear-axle on his DS3. This meant Tempestini extended his lead after the next two stage wins to 42.5 seconds.
Since Tempestini had such a comfortable lead going into the final day at Rally Poland, he had the luxury of taking it easy through the third and final leg in difficult conditions, winning by over three minutes ahead of Terry Folb in 2nd and Ole Christian Velby gained the final podium position in 3rd.
Tempestini said post-Rally Poland “It was a good rally for us. Given the starting position of the FIA Junior WRC competitors, the conditions were more difficult to manage on the second runs, because some sections were in a terrible state. It would have been all too easy to damage the car or pick up a puncture. So I didn’t push in the same way on all the stages and this strategy paid off.
“Having said that, our rivals had problems and that made our job that bit easier. I got my first rally win here last year, so it’s great to do it again, especially after winning in Portugal. In Finland, my goal will be to pull clear because gravel is my preferred surface. If everything goes well, that will give me some leeway on the tarmac in Germany and Corsica.”
Junior WRC Rally Poland 2016 – Final Results
- Simone Tempestini/Giovanni Bernacchini 3:04:11.3
- Terry Folb/Frank Le Floch +3:22.3
- Ole Christian Veiby/Stig Rune Skjaermoen +6:02.2
- Romain Martel/Vanessa Lemoine +7:53.0
- Vincent Dubert/Alexandre Coria +8:58.4
- Lukasz Pieniazek/Przemyslaw Mazur +32:00.6
- Mohammed Al Mutawaa/Stephen McAuley +53:59.3