Julius Tannert took the win after a superb comeback drive in the second round of the 2019 FIA Junior WRC after leapfrogging Tom Kristensson on the final stage of the Tour de Corse.
Tannert had been battling with both Kristensson and Dennis Rådström early in the event, but a spin on SS7 saw him drop a minute behind the leaders before he began an inspired comeback throughout the rest of the weekend.
The German’s troubles meant the leading duo kept fighting ahead of him and all three drivers took stage wins throughout the three-day event and a stunning stage time on SS9 saw him take almost 30 seconds out of Rådström’s lead alone.
Despite leading the class from the second stage of the event right up until the final stage on Sunday afternoon after early leader Jil Solans suffered a puncture on SS2, Kristensson lost out to Tannert by just 1.9 seconds overall following another stage winning time by Tannert on the final stage of the rally; 6.1 seconds quicker than his Swedish rival.
A delighted Tannert said on his win: “Just an amazing feeling to be honest, it’s like a dream come true for me. It’s just a brilliant result with such a tough fight.”
“Big thanks to Dennis and Tom for such a competitive and hard fight, it was really great to do this in Junior WRC. We lost one minute on Saturday morning and thought everything was over but we didn’t give up and gave everything on the last stage.”
Kristensson’s second place finish means he retains the championship lead after round two ahead of Solans and he commented on his weekend: “I am extremely happy with my results and really proud of how I am handling it because it’s a really strange and intense situation. There were a lot of things to take care of to finish this rally which is our main objective.”
Behind Rådström, Solans was another man to produce a comeback drive as he recovered to fourth by the final stage on Sunday afternoon, with the Spaniard winning a total of six stages.
British driver Tom Williams competed the top five, although he was over six and a half minutes behind leader Tannert. The JWRC field in Corsica was completed by Roland Poom, Raul Baiu, Enrico Oldrati, Nico Knacker and Fabrizio Zaldivar.
Round three of the 2019 Junior WRC takes place as part of Rally Italia Sardegna between June 13-16.