The 2017 WRC2 champion Pontus Tidemand and co-driver Patrik Barth won the FIA World Rally Championship in Turkey last weekend and he has now taken the lead in the overall WRC2 championship.
The special stages in Rally Turkey did not initially go in Tidemand’s way, he suffered three punctures during the Friday loop, but on Saturday Tidemand chose a more cautious approach and it helped him to close in on the leader, the French M-Sport driver Adrien Fourmaux.
“On Friday we had three punctures. The first one at shakedown in the morning and the other two on the opening stages. Luckily we knew in the back of our heads that punctures would come, it was just a matter of when. We just continued according to our plan to drive smart and hoped that it would pay off.” Tidemand said.
On the Saturday, Fourmaux also suffered a puncture and Tidemand took over the lead, after four straight wins out of six stages, the pair had given themselves a reassuring buffer and led by as much as one and a half minutes over Fourmaux.
“To start the day with a stage this long was very difficult with dust and rocks everywhere, but we more or less just cruised through since we had the time on our side. On the second run we were faster but we still didn’t take any risks. We really enjoyed the two shorter stages and it felt fantastic to get to the finish knowing that we had secured the points we came here for.”
On the final day held on the Sunday, Tidemand managed to take two more stage wins in addition to the four he took on Saturday.
With the victory, Tidemand takes the lead in the overall WRC2 championship, and seems to be experiencing a good season so far with a podium place in all of the WRC rounds he has participated in.
“This is what we wanted out of this weekend, now we’re in the game for real. Patrik and the Toksport team are doing an amazing job and we are in a perfect position. Now we just have to keep going and work towards the next rally.” Tidemand added.