Simone Tempestini also wins on German tarmac!

Simone Tempestini also wins on German tarmac!

21.08.2016: After winning on gravel in Portugal and Poland, Simone Tempestini and Giovanni Bernacchini




After winning on gravel in Portugal and Poland, Simone Tempestini and Giovanni Bernacchini showed their versatility in taking the honours at Rallye Deutschland. The Italian crew managed to keep out of trouble to take victory, meaning they can wrap up the FIA Junior WRC title at the Tour de Corse in just over a month’s time.


In winning in Finland, Ole Christian Veiby had got himself back into contention in the FIA Junior WRC title race in some style. The Norwegian trailed the leader by only 18 points behind ahead of the ADAC Rallye Deutschland and seemed more than capable of challenging Simone Tempestini. However, having decided to push hard from the outset, Veiby went off the road on SS1 and lost twelve minutes stuck in a ditch.


After grabbing two stage wins on Friday morning, Martin Koci moved into the lead following SS3. Tempestini then went on the attack at the end of the day, taking the lead in the FIA Junior WRC class. Terry Folb, third overall and stage winner on SS4, lost a minute on the day’s final stage.


As the cars headed for the Trier service park, Simone Tempestini led Martin Koci by 12.1s. Third-placed Terry Folb was trailed by Romain Martel, Vincent Dubert and Mohamed Al-Mutawaa, who picked up a puncture on SS4.


On Saturday, Ole-Christian Veiby was once again first out of the blocks, winning the opening stage of the day! Unfortunately, on SS7 the Norwegian also went off the road again and he had to retire for the day.


Vincent Dubert then showcased his skills on SS6, claiming his first stage win in the FIA Junior WRC. Terry Folb was all smiles again with the fastest time on both runs on Arena Panzerplatte, just before the long Baumholder military base stage was cancelled due to the heavy crash of 2014 FIA Junior WRC champion, Stéphane Lefebvre.


At that point, Simone Tempestini held a 5.4s lead in the overall standings over Martin Koci. In the afternoon, the Italian racked up three stage wins out of four to move clear at the top of the leaderboard.


Thanks to an astute call on tyre choice, he struck a telling blow on Panzerplatte Lang (40.80km), taking some ten seconds off his rival in one stage. “I knew when I had to push and when I had to ease off,” explained Tempestini. “I pushed but I kept a small margin or error and now we’re 17 seconds ahead of Martin.”


On Sunday morning, Simone Tempestini put paid to any remaining hopes among his rivals by winning the first test of the day. Terry Folb then confirmed his progress by setting the two fastest times on the Sauertal stage.


For the third time in four starts this season, Simone Tempestini finished the rally as the overall winner. With a 37-point lead over his nearest rival, he only needs to finish third or better at the Tour de Corse to win the FIA Junior WRC title and with it, a six-race programme in the 2017 season of the WRC2.


Martin Koci finished as runner-up ahead of Terry Folb, who racked up an impressive total of five stage wins during the weekend. Romain Martel, who was still aiming for a podium spot at the start of the final leg, ended up fourth, just ahead of Vincent Dubert, who picked up a puncture on the final loop. Mohamed Al Mutawaa was sixth, whilst Ole-Christian Veiby finished seventh, after rejoining under Rally2 rules for the third leg.


“I’m pleased with the result, but most of all I’m pleased with our approach,” commented Simone Tempestini at the finish. “We made the right calls all weekend, whether it was in terms of the set-up or the tyres. We were cautious when needed to keep out of trouble and then we pushed when the conditions were right to do so.



During recce, I could never have imagined just how dirty the roads would become as more cars completed the stages. After a few turns on SS1, I understood that we would need to take car on every corner. We have scored some very important points in terms of the championship and we can now turn our attention to the Tour de Corse. It’s a rally that I have already taken part in and it’s one of my favourites.”



PIERRE-LOUIS LOUBET FIFTH IN THE WRC2


Like in Poland, Pierre-Louis Loubet and Vincent Landais produced a solid performance, showing great consistency throughout the event. They improved their position in the WRC2 standings, finishing in fifth place in the category on their first appearance at Rallye Deutschland.


Yoann Bonato had to retire on SS3 following a double puncture; he rejoined the race the next day before going on to finish in twelfth place.


Meanwhile, Quentin Gilbert hit a wall on SS2. He opted against rejoining under Rally2 rules, in order to concentrate on forthcoming end of season events.




STANDINGS


ADAC RALLYE DEUTSCHLAND


1.    Tempestini / Bernacchini 3:21:12.4
2.    Koci / Kostka +38.9
3.    Folb / Le Floc’h +2:12.8
4.    Martel / Lemoine +3:05.0
5.    Dubert / Coria +6:17.1
6.    Al Mutawaa / McAuley +11:38.1
7.    Veiby / Skjaermoen +1:12:05.0



OVERALL STANDINGS



1.    Simone Tempestini 93 pts
2.    Ole Christian Veiby 56 pts
3.    Terry Folb 48 pts
4.    Vincent Dubert 44 pts
5.    Martin Koci 42 pts
6.    Romain Martel 40 pts
7.    Mohamed Al Mutawaa 26 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

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21.08.2016 / MaP

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