Friday | 03 Jul 2015

Pryce ‘close to perfect' in Junior WRC

Osian Pryce won five stages to head the FIA Junior WRC standings after an exciting opening leg in which three drivers topped the leaderboard.

The Welshman heads championship leader Quentin Gilbert by 15.1sec, with Simone Tempestini a further 8.4sec adrift. All are driving Citroën’s DS 3 R3-MAX cars.

Gilbert led after Thursday’s short curtain-raising stage next to the rally base in Mikolajki, but Pryce claimed top spot in Friday morning’s opener and built a 6.6sec advantage with three further victories.

His good work was undone in SS5 when he caught a slower car ahead and was forced to run in its dust for 10km with next to no visibility. Tempestini moved to the front, only for Pryce to regain the initiative in the penultimate test.

“Today was pretty close to perfect and it would have been without that dust issue this morning, but that’s the way it goes,” said Pryce. “We want more of the same tomorrow.”

Gilbert suffered gearbox problems which left his car stuck in fourth gear while Tempestini had power steering issues in the final three stages.

Henri Haapamaki was fourth, just 9.5sec from the podium, with Jean-Rene Perry and Matthieu Margaillan completing the top six, the latter overcoming suspension problems.

Federico Della Casa was almost six minutes off the lead after going off the road and later breaking an engine sensor.

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