Tempestini capitalises on Pryce engine drama
Italian grabs lead as Pryce hits problems
The Italian headed long-time leader Osian Pryce by 47.9sec after nearly 300km of super-fast sandy speed tests. Finland’s Henri Haapamaki finished third, a further 54.3sec behind, all three at the wheel of Citroën’s DS 3 R3-MAX cars.
Pryce was the early leader but after being held up in the dust of another competitor on Friday afternoon, Tempestini moved to the front. The Welshman quickly regained top spot and led until an engine misfire cost over a minute on Saturday afternoon.
It allowed Tempestini to regain the lead and he controlled his advantage through Sunday’s two stages.
“I love the fast stages that we had on this rally. We did our best to win and it worked. The objective will be the same at the next round in Finland. That’s also a fast event, even if the terrain is different,” he said.
Matthieu Margaillan, Federico Della Casa and Mohammed Al Mutawaa completed the top six places. Jean-René Perry retired with sunstroke in the blistering heat, while Pierre-Louis Loubet failed to start after a shakedown crash.
Quentin Gilbert incurred a 40-minute penalty after retiring from second on Saturday morning with a broken clutch. The Frenchman restarted today under Rally 2 rules and was last of the seven finishers, but still leads the standings by 11 points from Tempestini.