Junior WRC in Corsica
Kristensson leads a thriller

Tom Kristensson held a slender lead in the FIA Junior WRC category after a titanic battle in Friday’s opening leg of Corsica linea - Tour de Corse.

The Swede, who heads the championship after an opening round win on home ground, led Julius Tannert by 0.9sec after a huge fight on tricky mountains roads in the south of the Mediterranean island.

Jan Solans opened an impressive six-second advantage in the opening stage, but a puncture in the next test cost over two minutes. It handed Kristensson a lead he was never to lose in his Ford Fiesta R2.

Two stage wins stretched his advantage over Tannert to almost 13sec, but the German fought back in the afternoon. He ate into Kristensson’s lead to leave the duel balanced on a knife edge ahead of tomorrow’s longest leg.

“This rally is incredible. The intensity and pace is something I’ve never experienced before. We’re keeping the car on the road. As we’ve already seen today, mistakes can be costly here and if you’re not on the road, you stand zero chance of winning or scoring points,” he said.

Tannert ended 17.7sec clear of Dennis Rådström, with a hard-charging Solans recovering to fourth. The Spaniard won four of the six speed tests, but is almost two minutes adrift of Kristensson after his puncture. Tom Williams and Roland Poom complete the top six.

Sean Johnston retired after a huge crash in SS2 in which his car smashed into a rock face before rebounding across the road and rolling. Latvia’s Martins Sesks exited in the next stage after a similarly heavy crash.

Head to WRC+ to watch All Live from Corsica linea - Tour de Corse, including every stage broadcast live, breaking service park news and expert studio analysis.

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