Wed 12 Jun 2024

Determined Dominguez aims to go one better than 2023

Diego Dominguez is playing up the fight for championship honours in the FIA Junior WRC after claiming his second Junior career victory in Sardinia.

The 24-year-old had suffered setbacks ahead of day two, but after non-stop drama that saw championship leader Romet Jürgenson retire on SS7, the Paraguayan found himself in top spot going into the final day. 

 

“It was a very chaotic rally, for us and for everybody else,” Dominguez explained.

 

“We started Friday with a puncture on the first stage, 16km away from the finish. We took too long to stop and change it, then we got another puncture on the second loop.

 

“It wasn’t the start we wanted but we never gave up and kept pushing.”

The Paraguayan was not alone in his suffering, after Saturday’s drama proved fateful in deciding the rally lead, which exchanged hands four times.

 

Romet Jürgenson had led going into the day, before retiring ahead of SS7 with a damaged wishbone in his Ford Fiesta Rally3. Bruno Bulacia took his place, but also succumbed to issues on SS11, as his front right suspension bent outwards.

 

Ali Turkkan was next to claim the rally lead, before being dropped back to second place after incurring 1min 30sec worth of penalties due to a late check-in. This handed Dominguez the rally lead going into Sunday.

 

“A lot of drivers started having issues and we also had our issues on Saturday – we broke the exhaust and we lost a bit of power,” the South American driver reflected.

 

“We kept ourselves calm during the whole rally, kept pushing and focusing on each stage to try to get through without damage. 

 

“The last stage of Saturday was crazy when, at the end of the stage, Molly [Petit] told me I was leading by over a minute, it was unbelievable to get that information.”

With the lead secured, Sunday was about conserving his buffer without taking unnecessary risk.

 

“[It was] quite an unexpected turn of events there, but we are happy for the win. I think it’s our sixth in WRC and our second Junior WRC win, so we are going to keep pushing to fight all the way through to the end of the year."

 

Dominguez, who finished second in the Junior WRC behind Will Creighton last year, once again finds himself chasing the title, this time against FIA Rally Star-backed runner Jürgenson, who has proven amongst the paciest in the Junior category this year.

 

“Let’s see if we can improve on our position from last year. The championship is quite close, but we will see if we can keep narrowing the gap against Romet [Jürgenson], who is doing a fantastic job.

 

“We will see in Finland what we can do in Juniors, but Poland is our next stop in WRC3. We are focused and more motivated than ever. We will never give up and we’ll just keep pushing all the way through.”

Latvia
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Italy
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 8:30:00 AM
Hungary
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 9:30:00 AM