Rookie Jon Armstrong won the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy category in Poland on Sunday after an enthralling see-saw battle with fellow Briton Osian Pryce.
Welshman Pryce, winner of the opening round in Portugal, led the Trophy contenders at PZM 73rd Rally Poland going into the final day. However, heavy overnight rain brought a dramatic finale as the sandy roads were transformed into mudbaths, exposing holes and rocks.
The conditions led to Pryce surrendering a 43.8sec lead, allowing 21-year-old Armstrong, from Northern Ireland, to take the spoils by 53.6sec.
“On Saturday we had some problems with the car and a couple of issues so we lost time, but today we’ve been quick in the wet,” said Armstrong. “Unfortunately Osian had some problems which meant we took the win back. We’ve worked hard for it.”
Pryce [below] was one of many drivers to hit trouble in the same particularly badly hit section. However, there was consolation for the eventual runner-up as he pocketed two 2017 WRC 2 prize drives as the top points scorer in the first two rallies of the year.
Experienced Bernardo Sousa, who crashed out in Portugal while leading, was third with teenager Gus Greensmith recovering from technical issues earlier in the weekend to take fourth.
Max Vatanen, second overall at the season-opener, failed to find the same pace on the super-fast speed tests and finished fifth with local hero Jakub Brzezinski sixth in only his second WRC outing.
Nicolas Ciamin, at 18 the youngest driver in the field, rolled on Saturday but recovered to finish behind Oscar Solberg.