Sunday | 03 Aug 2014

Koci takes emphatic JWRC win in Finland

Martin Koci secured a dominant first win in the FIA Junior WRC at Neste Oil Rally Finland.

Koci and co-driver Lukas Kostka won by 1m20.1s

The Slovakian led from start to finish, securing victory by 1m20.1s from Frenchman Quentin Giordano. Australia’s Molly Taylor was third, but almost 14 minutes further back after punctures early in the event. All three were driving Citroen DS3s.

The win moves Koci second in the JWRC standings, four points behind Stéphane Lefebvre, who finished eighth.

Koci and his co-driver Lukas Kostka got off to a flying start, and at the end of day one already held a lead of almost half a minute over Lefebvre in second.

On Friday, Koci picked up where he had left off; taking three consecutive stages wins while Lefebvre went off. He ended the day over two minutes ahead of closest rivals Simone Tempestini and Giordano.

Giordano was second in Finland

Koci controlled his pace through Saturday’s stages, while Giordano moved up to second after Tempestini crashed. Taking advantage of Federico Della Casa’s retirement, Molly Taylor moved up into third. Sunday’s short final leg brought no significant changes to the standings.

“Everything went perfectly throughout the four days,” said Koci. “We were quick but managed to stay out of trouble on the stages. Congratulations to the entire team. Winning here in Finland is very important for the championship. Now we’ll be turning our attention to the upcoming rounds on tarmac!”

Competing in Finland for the first time, Giordano said his goal had always been to make it to the end: “I knew I had to avoid making any mistakes if I was to acquire as much experience as possible and have a hope of scoring big points. We ran our own race and that paid dividends.”

After rejoining under Rally2 rules, Alastair Fisher, Simone Tempestini, Aron Domzala, Stéphane Lefebvre and Federico de la Casa completed the final standings. Kornel Lukacs went off on Sunday morning, spelling the end of his rally.

The next event will be held on tarmac roads at the ADAC Rallye Deutschland on 21-24 August.

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