Ole Christian Veiby led the FIA Junior WRC category throughout Friday’s opening leg of Neste Rally Finland.
Veiby headed Simone Tempestini, winner of the opening two rounds in Portugal and Poland, by 15.0sec after a long day over fast and flowing forest roads near Jyväskylä.
Having set the pace at last night’s curtain-raising stage in the centre of town, Veiby remained in charge when the event moved into the countryside this morning.
Rising young Finnish star Juuso Nordgren, competing in his first Junior WRC event, moved level with Veiby midway through the morning but the Norwegian quickly reasserted himself at the top of the standings.
Nordgren’s challenge faded when he spun in the afternoon’s opening stage and a puncture cost more time as he slipped to fourth.
Tempestini profited from Nordgren’s problems and he ended 1min 21.3sec clear of Andrea Crugnola. Martin Koci and Vincent Dubert completed the top six, the latter overcoming a front left puncture which cost 90sec. All drivers are at the wheel of Citroën’s DS 3 R3.
Terry Folb retired from third with a broken radiator while Mohamed Al Mutawaa yielded several minutes when a loose wire left his car’s gearbox jammed in first gear.
Head to WRC+ to see the latest onboard and video reports from Neste Rally Finland.