Spain’s Nil Solans took a start-to-finish victory in the opening round of the FIA Junior WRC in Corsica on Sunday afternoon.
He won four of the 10 speed tests at the Che Guevara Energy Drink Tour de Corse to finish 43.5sec ahead of Nicolas Ciamin and take an early nine point series lead.
Solans opened a 40.1sec lead in his Ford Fiesta R2T in Friday’s opening leg before controlling his pace on the narrow and twisty mountain roads to the finish.
“We went fast from the start to establish a gap and then aimed to just maintain that. It was about driving an intelligent rally, we drove fast when we needed to and were cautious when it was tricky,” he explained.
He was chased for much of the event by Frenchman Terry Folb, who steadily upped his pace. Despite also claiming four fastest times, he couldn’t reel in Solans and a final day broken driveshaft saw him drop over three minutes and fall to third.
That let 19-year-old Nicolas Ciamin into second after a mistake-free weekend. The youngster won two speed tests en route to a career-best result.
German Julius Tannert finished fourth with Dennis Rådström fifth and top rookie on his WRC debut. Rob Duggan completed the top six.
William Wagner was the only retirement after heavily crashing his Fiesta on Saturday. He will remain in hospital for a few days for medical checks.