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JUNIOR WRC NEWS FLASH: RALLY TURKEY, SECTION THREE

Germany’s Julius Tannert currently leads the way at Rally Turkey – holding a 7.9 second advantage over Estonia’s Ken Torn in second with Sweden’s Emil Bergkvist a further 25 seconds adrift in third.

When the action got underway at last night’s opening Super Special, it was Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Franceschi who made the first move – setting the fastest time around the Marmaris Marina. But when the action turned to the region’s exceptionally rough gravel, it was Tannert’s experience that came to the fore.

Throughout the morning loop, Tannert and fellow 2017 graduate Dennis Rådström battled for the lead – the gap between them never more than a handful of seconds. It looked as though Franceschi would be a part of that battle too, were it not for two punctures that dropped him from the fight at the front.

Fellow championship hopefuls Bergkvist and Torn weren’t far away, but there were punctures for local hero Bugra Banaz as well as Raul Badiu, Tom Williams and Enrico Oldrati.

Despite some time loss here and there, all 12 one-litre EcoBoost Ford Fiesta R2s made it back to service and out to tackle a challenging second loop of stages. But on the first stage of the afternoon, a number of competitors hit trouble.

Franceschi was forced to retire with driveshaft issues, then David Holder was forced to retire when picking up three punctures. Oldrati also retired with suspension issues, and there was a further puncture for Banaz.

If that weren’t enough, two punctures saw championship hopeful Rådström slip from second to end the day in fifth overall. And Callum Devine – who had inherited second place from Rådström – retired on the final stage.

Not even rally-leader Tannert got through the afternoon loop scare-free. The German picked up three punctures but combined his experience with a little bit of luck to make it back to service and maintain his lead at the end of the day.

Julius Tannert (1st) said:

“It has been a really tough day especially in the afternoon when the stages were really rough and hard on the car and the tyres. We had some punctures and also lost the brakes but thankfully we didn’t lose too much time and I’m happy to still be in the lead at the end of the day. There is still a long way to go, but we will push for this victory.”

Ken Torn (2nd) said:

“The second loop was hard and the conditions were really difficult. At one point we caught a slower car on the stage which cost us some time in the dust, but generally we had a good run and I am happy with my day.”

Emil Bergkvist (3rd) said:

“We are in third place and I am very happy about that – especially as the second loop of stages was like nothing I had ever experienced before. I am happy to be here in one piece and looking forward to tomorrow.”

 

RALLY TURKEY CLASSIFICATION, SECTION THREE:

1. Julius Tannert / Jürgen Heigl 2:12:08.1
2. Ken Torn / Kuldar Sikk +7.9
3. Emil Bergkvist / Patrik Barth +32.9
4. Emilio Fernández / Joaquin Riquelme +3:36.2
5. Dennis Rådström / Johan Johansson +5:58.8
6. Raul Badiu / Gabriel Lazar +6:15.0
7. Callum Devine / Brian Hoy +9:43.0
8. Tom Williams / Phil Hall +10:40.3
9. Bugra Banaz / Burak Erdener +13:19.3
10. David Holder / Jason Farmer +20:45.8
11. Jean-Baptiste Franceschi / Romain Courbon +21:36.8
12. Enrico Oldrati / Danilo Fappani +25:57.9