Another close contest is underway in the FIA Junior World Rally Championship – Terry Folb and Jean Baptiste Franceschi battling for a coveted home victory at this weekend’s Tour de Corse.

With the Junior WRC crews awarded equal nominal times for the opening stage, the battle got underway through the first pass of ‘Piedigiggio – Pont de Castirla’ (SS2).

Folb made the first move – setting the fastest time ahead of Ireland’s Callum Devine with Baptiste just a further 1.4 seconds adrift in third.

Julius Tannert had also been expected to challenge for a strong result this weekend, but the German saw his hopes diminish when losing 10 minutes off the road on SS2.

As the crews embarked on the second loop of stages, Folb extended his lead with another fastest time through the 49.03 kilometres of ‘La Porta – Valle di Rostino’ (SS3).

Building his speed, Franceschi climbed to second as Devine fell behind the Swedish pairing of Emil Bergkvist and Dennis Rådström.

On the final stage of the day, Franceschi claimed his first stage victory – reducing Folb’s lead to 10.9 seconds – while a third fastest time for Devine saw the Irishman split the two Swedes in the overall classification.

Outside of the top-five, Luca Bottarelli had been sitting in sixth position before a puncture on SS3 cost him more than three and a half minutes to the leaders.

Emilio Fernández was continuing to impress on another new surface – holding seventh place before damaging his front bumper and intercooler, also on SS3.

With issues for his rivals ahead, Estonia’s Ken Torn was propelled into sixth place on his asphalt debut – with another asphalt debutant in the form New Zealand’s David Holder climbing to seventh.



Terry Folb (1st) said:

“We’ve had a really good start to the rally and for sure we are happy to be leading our home event. Tomorrow is another day with some long and challenging stages so we have to keep going.

“I’m not surprised to see that Jean Baptiste is fast here, but honestly I thought the other guys would be a bit closer. If we can bring this one home it would be a really good and really special result.”

Jean Baptiste Franceschi (2nd) said:

“We’re in a perfect position at the end of the day. We improved the set-up for the second pass and posted two good times – and I’m really happy with the car and the pacenotes.

“We’re in a great battle with Terry [Folb] which is really exciting, so tomorrow we have to push hard – flat-out, maximum attack.”

Emil Bergkvist (3rd) said:

“It’s been a difficult day with some very long and challenging stages. I’m quite happy with my driving and we’re in a podium position at the moment. It will be difficult to keep it with a lot of quick asphalt drivers behind, but we will try our best.”



1. Terry Folb / Christopher Guieu 1:31:33.7
2. Jean-Baptiste Franceschi / Romain Courbon +10.9
3. Emil Bergkvist / Ola Fløene +49.5
4. Callum Devine / Keith Moriarty +57.6
5. Dennis Rådström / Johan Johansson +59.1
6. Ken Torn / Ken Järveoja +2:05.4
7. David Holder / Jason Farmer +2:36.0
8. Bugra Banaz / Burak Erdener +3:11.2
9. Tom Williams / Phil Hall +3:54.1
10. Luca Bottarelli / Manuel Fenoli +3:56.4
11. Enrico Oldrati / Danilo Fappani +5:24.5
12. Emilio Fernández / Joaquin Riquelme +5:49.0
13. Umberto Accornero / Barone Maurizio +6:00.3
14. Julius Tannert / Jürgen Heigl +10:37.2