Veiby gains ground in Junior WRC standings after win in Finland

Norway’s Ole Christian Veiby wins in Rally Finland to reduce the deficit on Championship Leader Simone Tempestini by 18 points.

Veiby was dominant all weekend on the fast-flowing stages of Finland, despite having to hold off a late charge from Italy’s Tempestini on Sunday, winning by a margin of just +5.3 seconds.

Before the rally even started, Lukas Pieniazek went off the road during pre-event testing, meaning only nine DS 3 RX-MAX cars had started the 2016 Junior WRC Rally Finland event.

Veiby won Thursday’s opening Special Stage, which set the tone for the entire rally for the Norwegian. He won Friday’s opening stage and controlled the rally from start to finish, fending off Finland’s 19-year-old Juuso Nordgren and Tempestini to win in Finland.

Tempestini was second, +5.3 seconds behind Rally Finland winner Veiby, while Nordgren was third, over a minute and a half behind the Italian in second despite having a puncture on Friday, losing ground to the leaders in Finland.

After losing time on Friday’s SS9 with a puncture, France’s Vincent Dubert managed to finish in fourth place. While Romain Martel, Mohamed Al Mutawaa and Slovenia’s Martin Koci completed the finishers for Rally Finland 2016.

France’s Terry Folb failed to finish after going off the road on Friday, breaking his DS 3 radiator and suffering with his engine overheating, meaning the Frenchman could not compete under Rally2 rules. While Andrea Crugnola suffered more bad luck with a water leak, forcing him to retire on the final day of the rally.

Credit: @World Photography/Citroen Racing Media
Credit: @World Photography/Citroen Racing Media

Veiby was delighted with his Rally Finland win.“It’s incredible to win here, as my team Printsport is based just a few kilometres from Jyväskylä. I’m pleased to be able to reward them for all their hard work.

“We had a difficult start to the season, but this win helps us to start making up some ground on Simone Tempestini. We had a perfect weekend, with no major problems, just my co-driver beginning to lose his voice! We achieved our target here. Now, we’ll have to keep up the good work on the tarmac in Germany…”

In WRC2, reigning Junior WRC Champion Quentin Gilbert brought his run of bad luck to an end as he finished fifth in the category despite suffering with set-up issues at the start of Rally Finland. Meanwhile, Yoann Bonato finished ninth, while Emil Bergkvist finished in thirteenth place.