Italy’s Simone Tempestini has been crowned the 2016 Junior WRC Champion by virtue of his fourth place finish at the 2016 Tour de Corse – Rallye de France.
Tempestini, who finished ahead of his nearest rival Terry Folb, secured the title with just one round to go in Corsica. The Italian will be competing in next season’s WRC2 in six rounds of the 2017 season.
It was Laurent Pellier who claimed the win at the Tour de Corse in the Junior WRC category, ahead of Yohan Rossel, who led the last two days in Corsica in second before being leapfrogged by his fellow Frenchman on the final day.
Slovenia’s Martin Koči took the final podium spot in third, while Tempestini claimed fourth. Folb was fifth, which was not enough to take the 2016 Junior WRC title to a final round decider.
Vincent Dubert and Norway’s Ole Christian Veiby complete the finishers in Corsica with Mohamed Al Mutawaa retiring on the second day after a fire, which left SS5 cancelled. Luckily, Al Mutawaa was unhurt in the accident.
2016 Tour de Corse-winner Pellier said “This is a very special moment! It’s been a great battle with Yohan throughout the three days, but also with the championship regulars, who have put us under pressure.
I certainly wanted to make a strong impression on my first appearance in the World Championship, but I wasn’t really thinking about winning here. I would have been happy to finish on the podium, so this result goes beyond my wildest expectations.
“It just goes to show that we prepared really well for this rally, both with the FFSA French Rally team and Citroën Racing.”
2016 Junior WRC Champion Tempestini added “It was a really difficult race for me so I’m all the more pleased to win the FIA Junior WRC title.
“On these long stages, it was especially difficult to manage the brakes and the tyres. I also had a few problems with the gearbox. It ended up getting stuck this morning and I had to finish the rally in second gear. That doesn’t take anything away from the fantastic season that we are having.
“I’m pleased to thank all those who have helped me put together this programme in the best possible way. It’s fantastic to know that I will be competing in the 2017 WRC2 with Citroën. I hope I can seize this opportunity to impress even more.”