Emil Bergkvist clinched the FIA Junior WRC title after winning the double-points final round at Rally Turkey on Sunday afternoon.
Bergkvist awoke this morning with his overnight lead erased as stewards credited Ken Torn with 30sec after he was delayed by the dust of another driver yesterday.
It promoted the Estonian into the lead, but his advantage was short-lived as he rolled in the morning’s second speed test and retired soon afterwards with an oil leak.
His demise left Bergkvist in the clear. The Swede, already driving his Ford Fiesta R2 at much-reduced pace as he focused on the title, had a double reason to celebrate as he stepped onto the podium at the Marmaris finish.
His prize is a Fiesta R5 to drive in next season’s WRC 2 championship and Bergkvist admitted he was struggling to take it all in.
“I have no words, I’m just so excited. Everything has been amazing and thank you to everyone who made this possible for me. To think the R5 is now mine is a little bit unreal and it might take some time tonight to think what just happened,” he said.
Fellow countryman Dennis Rådström finished more than four minutes adrift and secured the runners-up spot in the championship, 18 points behind Bergkvist.
Emilio Fernandez claimed the final podium place, another four minutes behind. Fourth went to Callum Devine, with Bugra Banaz and Tom Williams completing the top six.
The punishing gravel roads and intense heat continued to take a heavy toll on the youngsters.
Former leader Julius Tannert retired with a broken driveshaft, while Raul Badiu’s Junior WRC debut ended on an unhappy note when the Romanian rolled.
Jean-Baptiste Franceschi exited after also rolling in the penultimate stage, the Frenchman’s consolation being third in the championship.