Simone Tempestini extended his lead in the Junior WRC standings with a hard-earned category win at ADAC Rallye Deutschland.
The Italian led for all but two of the 16 asphalt stages that were contested and a 38.9s winning advantage meant Tempestini extended his championship lead from 18 to 34 points with two events remaining.
Martin Koci emerged as Tempestini’s closest challenger and a massive push for the Slovakian on the second day almost enabled him to take the lead. But, with the gap down to 2.1s, Tempestini responded by setting the fastest time in all three stages at the end of the day to pull clear again.
Two spins for Koci on Sunday’s first stage effectively ended the contest and Tempestini was left to carefully guide his DS 3 R3T to the finish.
“It’s really nice to finish this rally in this position and it’s perfect for the championship,” he said. “I used a good strategy without any risks and our race was beautiful.”
Koci was pleased to finish second after enjoying a good fight with his Italian rival, while Terry Folb was third – albeit more than one-and-a-half minutes off Koci’s machine.
Romain Martel, Vincent Dubert and Mohamed Al Mutawa maintained their overnight positions of fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.
Ole Christian Veiby, Tempestini’s closest rival for the JWRC title, had an event to forget. He lost 12 minutes on the first stage as he slid off the road and then retired on Saturday after repeating the feat. The Norwegian restarted under Rally 2 regulations and eventually finished seventh.
Tempestini, Koci and Folb took the top points in the WRC 3 category - in which all Junior drivers also score points. Peugeot 208 R2 driver Fabio Andolfi was fourth in WRC 3 with Martel fifth.