Ole Christian Veiby makes up ground in FIA Junior WRC title race after winning in Finland

Ole Christian Veiby makes up ground in FIA Junior WRC title race after winning in Finland

01.08.2016: There was something for everyone at Rally Finland, the third round of the FIA Junior WRC.

There was something for everyone at Rally Finland, the third round of the FIA Junior WRC.




Ole Christian Veiby was undoubtedly most pleased with his weekend’s work, as his victory moved him into second position in the championship standings, still dominated by the runner-up here, Simone Tempestini.


 The podium was completed by Finnish youngster Juuso Nordgren, who produced a fine performance at his home event.


After going off the road during pre-event testing, Lukas Pieniazek was forced to withdraw and so in the end, nine DS 3 R3-MAXs lined up at the start of Rally Finland.


Ole Christian Veiby was first out of the blocks, winning Thursday evening’s opening super special stage, Harju. The Norwegian then backed up his good start with another stage win on Friday morning’s opening test (SS2), but it didn’t take long for the rest of the field to fight back!


Entered by AKK Sports – the Finnish motorsport federation – as part of its programme aimed at seeking out talented young drivers, “The future star”, Juuso Nordgren proved to be the surprise package.


The young 19 year-old driver was fastest on two stages to tie for the overall lead with Veiby! Stung into action, Veiby hit back to claim stage wins on the morning’s final two tests.


He headed back for Jyväskylä with an eight-second lead over Nordgren. Just behind the top two, Simone Tempestini held third position ahead of Folb, Dubert, Crugnola, Koci, Martel and Al Mutawaa.


The second runs on Friday’s stages worked out less well for Nordgren. With a spin (SS7) and then a puncture (SS8), the Finn lost more than a minute.


 Tempestini and Folb both gained a place, whilst Nordgren found himself under pressure from Dubert and Crugnola. Mohamed Al Mutawaa had dropped off the pace due to a gearbox problem caused simply by disconnected cable.


On SS9, Vincent Dubert then lost time with a puncture of his own. Tempestini claimed the stage win to close to within ten seconds of Veiby. SS10 saw further drama, with the retirement of Terry Folb.


 The Frenchman went off the road, breaking his radiator in the process. His engine overheated in attempting to continue, preventing him from rejoining under Rally2 rules.


The end of the first leg saw something of a charge from Andrea Crugnola: the Italian put together a series of good times to move up into third position.


The FIA Junior WRC crews had to be patient on Saturday morning as the first pass on the legendary Ouninpohja stage was cancelled. When the action finally started, Nordgren grabbed two stage wins, taking him up to third overall behind Veiby and Tempestini.


Except for the retirement of Slovakian driver Martin Koci (broken radiator after landing on the front of the car), the second pass made little difference to the overall standings.


Veiby remained first, with a 13.5s lead over Tempestini. Somewhat isolated in third position, Nordgren was still ahead of Crugnola, Dubert, Martel and Al Mutawaa.


Just four short stages remained on Sunday to decide the final outcome of the rally. Once again, Andrea Crugnola was cursed by bad luck and was forced to retire (water leak on SS23). Dubert, Martel, Al Mutawaa and Koci therefore all moved up a place.


At the front, Ole Christian Veiby had to hold off the spectacular charge of Simone Tempestini. The Italian won the last three stages, but it wasn’t quite enough. He ended as runner-up, just 5.3s adrift of the winner.


“It’s incredible to win here, as my team Printsport is based just a few kilometres from Jyväskylä,” commented a delighted Ole Christian Veiby at the finish. “I’m pleased to be able to reward them for all their hard work.


We had a difficult start to the season, but this win helps us to start making up some ground on Simone Tempestini. We had a perfect weekend, with no major problems, just my co-driver beginning to losing his voice!


We achieved our target here. Now, we’ll have to keep up the good work on tarmac in Germany…”




QUENTIN GILBERT FINISHES IN WRC2 TOP 5



Quentin Gilbert managed to bring his run of bad luck to an end by finishing fifth at Rally Finland in the WRC-2 category. After struggling to find the right set-up at the start of the rally, the reigning FIA Junior WRC Champion gradually improved.


A consistent and error-free performance meant he scored some important points before the season continues on tarmac.


In the other DS 3 R5s competing in Finland, Yoann Bonato finished ninth, whilst Emil Bergkvist was thirteenth after rejoining under Rally2 rules following an off on day one.


 Meanwhile, Pierre-Louis Loubet retired on the second leg, after he also went off the road.




FIA JUNIOR WRC STANDINGS

RALLY FINLAND


1.    Veiby / Skjaermoen 2:55:40.0
2.    Tempestini / Bernacchini +5.6
3.    Nordgren / Korhonen +1:38.9
4.    Dubert / Coria +6:37.6
5.    Martel / Lemoine +8:04.0
6.    Al Mutawaa / McAuley +16:08.6
7.    Koci / Kostka +30:48.8



OVERALL STANDINGS



1.    Simone Tempestini 68 pts
2.    Ole Christian Veiby 50 pts
3.    Vincent Dubert 34 pts
4.    Terry Folb 33 pts
5.    Romain Martel 28 pts
6.    Martin Koci 24 pts
7.    Mohamed Al Mutawaa 18 pts
8.    Juuso Nordgren 15 pts
9.    Lukas Pieniazek 9 pts
10.    Frédéric Hauswald 8 pts
11.    Andrea Crugnola 2 pts
 



Marek Nawarecki – photo Citroen

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/ole-christian-veiby-fia-junior-wrc-title-win-finland---152979.html

01.08.2016 / MaP

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