ERC3 form book Torn up with another triumph for Ken

ERC3 form book Torn up with another triumph for Ken

30.06.2019: FIA European Rally Championship 2019, Round 4 of 8 PZM 76th Rally Poland ERC3 leg two 30 June 2019 Ken Torn cemented his status as an FIA ERC3 Junior Championship title contender with his second consecutive class win on PZM 76th Rally Poland, bea


FIA European Rally Championship 2019, Round 4 of 8
PZM 76th Rally Poland ERC3 leg two  30 June 2019



Ken Torn cemented his status as an FIA ERC3 Junior Championship title contender with his second consecutive class win on PZM 76th Rally Poland, beating new points leader Sindre Furuseth.






Estonian Autosport Junior Team’s standout talent made his ERC debut last month on Rally Liepāja and has wasted no time establishing himself as a man to beat, maintaining his 100 per cent win rate in ERC3.



Torn had taken the lead from Furuseth late on the first leg (Saintéloc Junior Team) and was initially under pressure, his lead cut to just 4.7s after the first pass of Gmina Mragowo.



But he would not be beaten by Furuseth for the rest of the rally, winning three of the last four stages aboard his Pirelli-shod Ford Fiesta R2T to build a 37.8s lead by the finish line.



“I’m very happy to win,” said Torn. “After the tough day we had yesterday I don’t expect that but today is a better day. I wanted to take care and check the pacenotes, not push flat out, but our times were good and now we have two wins from two starts.”



Efrén Llarena (Rally Team Spain) had started leg two as the third contender for victory. A puncture on Gmina Mragowo cost him around 20 seconds and dropped him from second to third, but worse was to come. A high-speed crash destroyed his car, although both he and co-driver Sara Fernandez were largely uninjured after their off.



Llarena’s non-finish coupled with a second place put Furuseth first in both the ERC3 and ERC3 Junior championships, something that was on the Saintéloc driver’s mind in the closing stages. “After service I didn’t give it everything. It was difficult to keep in the pushing mood when Llarena went off,” said Furuseth. “This is important for the championship. I am happy, I think we proved our speed yesterday.”



There was a radical reshuffle of the order behind the top two during the afternoon. Miika Hokkanen rolled on the first pass of Uzranki. It cost him 40 seconds but, more critically, led to his time card going missing. Although it was later found, he was forced out having been unable to hand over the card at the finish line of SS12.



Hokkanen's issues initially promoted Tomasz Zbroja (GO+Cars GO+EAuto) to third, but the Pole was under pressure from both ERC3 debutant Adam Westlund and Elias Lundberg (ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team). Sensing the opportunity for a stunning debut podium, Westlund upped his pace, putting in a stage-winning time on Gmina Mragowo to take third. With Zbroja suffering a puncture on the same test, his third position was assured.



Lundberg vanished from the battle entirely when both ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team cars retired within a kilometre of each other on stage 13. In addition to Lundberg’s DNF due to a driveshaft failure, Grégoire Munster was also forced to stop with the same issue.



Roman Schwedt scored a season-best fourth in ERC3 Junior and fifth in ERC3, while FPAK Team Portugal ERC’s Pedro Antunes also showed why it’s important never to give up in ERC. Antunes’s car was looking decidedly second hand after a rollover during Friday practice that meant borrowing parts from teams and fans to finish repairs.



Sporting a bonnet from a road-going Peugeot 208 and a faulty sensor that caused his engine to cut out occasionally, he pushed on regardless and finished sixth in ERC3 and fifth in ERC3 Junior, a great result for what had started out as a nightmare weekend.



It was all the more impressive considering he had to fend off Erik Cais (ACCR Czech Rally Team) all day, starting 2.9s ahead of the Czech federation-backed driver and finishing four seconds up, with Cais securing seventh in ERC3 and sixth in ERC3 Junior.



Sean Johnston scored an eighth place finish but was nearly in contention for a top five, having been only 13.1s behind fifth-placed Schwedt when a puncture struck on SS13.



Florian Bernardi is a master of ERC3 on sealed surfaces but on the less familiar territory in Poland he was in learning mode, competing for the first time on gravel. Clocking every competitive kilometre, he picked up ninth place, with Gregor Jeets in the second Estonian Autosport Junior Team-run Ford Fiesta R2T completing the top 10.



Jeets also picked up seventh in ERC3 Junior, with ERC Ladies' Trophy winner Nabila Tejpar picking up eighth place in the Junior category.






What’s next? Rally di Roma Capitale, 19-21 July:


The progression of this exciting asphalt event, organised and promoted by Max Rendina, has been remarkable. Having run for the first time in 2013, Rally di Roma Capitale made its ERC debut in 2017 as Italy returned to the European championship for the first time since 2013 when Rallye Sanremo was on the calendar.  It proved a big hit with a driving parade through the centre of Rome, a spectacular spectator stage around the Palazzio della Civiltà del Lavoro in the EUR district, followed by two days of action-packed rallying on stages to the east and south-east of the capital.



 



 Richard Rodgers, photos FIA ERC


 
   

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/erc3-ken-thorn-thriumph-poland-schwedt---193373.html

30.06.2019 / MaP

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