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JUNIOR WRC NEWS FLASH: SECTION FIVE

As the FIA Junior World Rally Championship crews embarked on the second day of competition at Rally de Portugal, Dennis Rådström and Emil Bergkvist were locked in an intense battle for the lead.

Rådström held a slender five second advantage over his rival at the start of the day, but Bergkvist was on a mission. Quick out of the box, he won the opening two stages – overhauling Rådström’s advantage to go 1.2 seconds clear at the head of the field.

On course for yet another stage win, Bergkvist was five seconds faster than anyone else on SS12 before disaster struck – rolling his one-litre EcoBoost Ford Fiesta R2 just 3.4 kilometres from the flying finish.

Sitting just behind the battling Swedes, Ken Torn was momentarily promoted into second place before hitting trouble himself – the Estonian forced to retire on SS13 with a broken driveshaft.

Torn’s demise elevated Callum Devine into second place – the Irishman’s clever strategy paying dividends through the challenging terrain. Adopting a good balance between speed and risk, not even a puncture through the final stage of the day could topple

Devine who is now on course to secure his best result of the year.

Tom Williams and David Holder both suffered the same fate as Bergkvist – rolling their Fiestas on SS12. But whereas Williams was forced to retire, Holder produced what could have been the save of the rally.

Nursing his Fiesta back to service, the M-Sport Poland mechanics worked their magic and the New Zealander was back on the stages in third place overall. That was until the final stage of the day, when a broken driveshaft stopped him in his tracks – falling to fourth overall.

As all around him fell foul of the conditions, Enrico Oldrati reaped the rewards. Contesting only the fourth rally of his entire career this weekend, the young Italian’s determination and willingness to learn has yielded a highly impressive result – third overall at the end of the day!

Dennis Rådström (1st) said:

“I think we have done a clever job so far this rally. We are here with no problems while many other cars are still in the forest. It has been a good day for sure, and we now we just need to bring it home through the final stages.”

Callum Devine (2nd) said:

“I’m glad to be here in second place at the end of the day. Just to throw a spanner in the works, we had a puncture on the last stage, but almost everyone has been going through their own difficulties today. If we can get it to the end in this position, I will be very happy.”

Enrico Oldrati (3rd) said:

“I’m happy to be in podium position. We know there are still some difficult stages to come tomorrow, but for now I am really happy with this result.”

 

RALLY DE PORTUGAL CLASSIFICATION, SECTION FIVE:

1. Dennis Rådström / Johan Johansson 3:48:22.6
2. Callum Devine / Brian Hoy +4:03.7
3. Enrico Oldrati / Danilo Fappani +12:31.3
4. David Holder / Jason Farmer +16:30.6
5. Ken Torn / Kuldar Sikk +21:07.6
6. Bugra Banaz / Burak Erdener +22:21.2
7. Luca Bottarelli / Manuel Fenoli +26:45.7
8. Emil Bergkvist / Joakim Sjöberg +27:46.7
9. Tom Williams / Phil Hall +35:58.3
10. Julius Tannert / Jürgen Heigl +45:54.5
11. Umberto Accornero / Barone Maurizio +46:53.1
12. Jean-Baptiste Franceschi / Romain Courbon +50:22.3
12. Emilio Fernández / Joaquin Riquelme +59:08.5