Simone Tempestini fought off a fierce challenge from Martin Koci to impressively extend his advantage in the FIA Junior World Rally Championship on day two at ADAC Rallye Deutschland.
The championship leader enjoyed a 12.1s lead heading into Saturday’s nine asphalt stages, but Koci wasn’t in the mood for letting the Italian pull further clear.
The Slovakian started faster than his rival and a series of confident stage performances moved him to within 2.1s off the category lead with three tests remaining.
But Tempestini suddenly found some much-needed speed and guiding his DS 3 R3T to the fastest time on the trio of stages that were left to run, meant he earned a 17s lead heading into the final day.
Koci was left rueing a poor tyre choice in the final loop of stages, while Tempestini celebrated his performance in the last 40km Panzerplatte test.
“When I saw the road was not wet and damp, I tried to push,” he said as he explained how he added another 10s to his advantage. “The tyre choice was good and that meant my pace was good as well.”
Terry Folb completed the top three, although the Frenchman gradually lost time throughout the day and ended 2m 05.3s off Tempesting’s benchmark pace.
As well as leading the JWRC charge in Germany, Tempestini and Koci also head the WRC 3 category. Third place is held by Fabio Andolfi who is driving an R2-spec Peugeot 208.