Jean-Baptiste Franceschi beat Terry Folb to victory on their home event on the Tour De Corse in the 2018 FIA Junior World Rally Championship.
The French pair battled at the front of the one-make Ford Fiesta R2T class across the event, with Folb initially the man to take the lead by the end of the first day of action.
Franceschi responded the following morning however and would end up winning seven out of the last eight stages on his way to a commanding win.
“It has been the perfect rally for us and I am really proud to win this special event.” Said Franceschi. “With eight fastest times we couldn’t have asked for anything more, and the feeling is amazing.
Behind Folb in second saw another close battle, this time for the final step on the podium. Going into the final stage of the event it looked like it would be former Junior British Rally frontrunner Callum Devine who would claim his first trophy on the European stage, but the Irishman suffered a puncture and lost over two minutes as a result.
Folb commented on his weekend: “I was here to win,but finished the rally in the second position. It’s not a bad result, and Jean Baptiste did a great job all weekend. It was a really good battle and even though I lost this fight, I’m already ready for the next one!”
Benefiting from Devine’s downfall were the two Swedish drivers Emil Bergkvist and championship leader Denis Rådström, who took third and fourth respectively in class as a result with Devine salvaging a fifth-place finish.
Sixth in the class went the way of Ken Torn, while final stage winner Luca Bottareli finished seventh. Burgra Banaz took eighth, with Emilio Fernández and Julius Tannert, one of the favourites for the JWRC title in 2018, rounding out the top 10 after the German went off the road on stage two and lost over 10 minutes.
Round three of the 2018 JWRC takes place on Rally Portugal between May 17-20.