Simone Tempestini could seal the Junior WRC title at the next round, the Che Guevara Energy Drink Tour de Corse (29 Sep - 01 Oct), securing top prize of a six-race WRC 2 programme next year in a DS 3 R5.
Tempestini has dominated the competition this year, winning three of the four rounds run so far and coming second in the other. Now, with a healthy 37-point lead in the standings, the young Italian can secure the title in Corsica's fifth round, before the final event of the season in Wales.
The title will be his if he finishes first or second, regardless of where his rivals come. “I took part in the Tour de Corse last year and I enjoyed it. I’d even go so far as to say it’s one of my favourite rallies,” said Tempestini. “I don’t feel particularly under pressure and I’m very keen to put in a good performance. The target is to win.”
Norway's Ole-Christian Veiby is best placed to challenge for the title. His victory in Finland put him back into contention, however going off the road twice in twice Germany has left his title hopes hanging by a thread.
Mathematically speaking, Terry Folb and Vincent Dubert are also still in the title hunt. But realistically, they will above all be looking to put in a good performance on home ground. Last year, Folb finished second in the Junior WRC in Corsica, while Dubert is looking to grab a podium finish for the first time this season. This will also be the goal for Romain Martel, who competed at the Tour de Corse last year, but in four-wheel drive car.
This fifth round will also provide some of the rising stars of French rallying with a chance to shine. Competing on behalf of the FFSA French team, Yohan Rossel and Laurent Pellier will be looking to measure themselves against the leading lights of the category. Rossel – the former Junior French Rally Champion in a DS 3 R1 – and Pellier, his successor, currently hold the top two places in the French Citroën Racing Trophy, contested in DS 3 R3s. Yohan Rossel has already finished third at the French round of the Junior WRC.
Mohamed Al Mutawaa, who started out in single-seater racing, will be hoping to use his track experience to do well at this second tarmac rally of the season. The Abu Dhabi Racing driver will also be starting a new working relationship, with co-driver Stuart Loudon.