Julius Tannert has inherited a monumental 12 and a half minute lead in the Junior WRC category of Rally Deutschland, after early morning leader Nicolas Ciamin crashed and bent the rear suspension of his Fiesta R2T.
Panzerplatte has a fearsome reputation in the World Rally Championship, and having chewed up and spat out a plethora of WRC2 competitors moments earlier, it claimed Ciamin as its first JWRC victim. He crawled to the end of the stage with his broken car, then arrived late at the time control for both the tyre change at Birkenfeld and the start of the following steage, Freisen.
His compatriot Terry Folb was also caught out by the slippery conditions in the stage, forced to retire after crashing into a tree and losing an almost certain podium finish.
Ciamin however managed to nurse his heavily damaged Fiesta to service, racking up 5 minutes and 30 seconds of penalties, which were reduced to 4 minutes and 20 seconds on appeal.
With Tannert now all alone out front, Nil Solans found himself in second place, despite retiring from the rally on Friday and returning under Rally2 regulations this morning with 14 minutes worth of penalties.
While Solans inherited an advantage of nearly two minutes, Ciamin was fired up after the disappointing end to his morning, blitzing the field by winning all five stages in the afternoon loop.
He took half a minute out of the Spaniard, making clear he was not giving up in his quest to overhaul the championship favourite by the end of the season finale in October. Solans currently holds an 18 point advantage over Ciamin, with that gap potentially increasing to 21 should the pair finish in the positions they currently occupy.