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WALES RALLY GB - FINISH

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Martin Koči and Lukas Kostka won Wales Rally GB, the sixth and final round of the 2016 FIA Junior WRC. The result means that they finish as runners-up behind Simone Tempestini and Giovanni Bernacchini, who added the WRC-3 title to their JWRC crown this weekend!


Right from the word go in Thursday's shakedown, Martin Koci was the fastest of the FIA Junior WRC competitors. On Friday morning, the Slovakian confirmed his good form, grabbing the early lead after SS1. He finished ahead of Yohan Rossel, Simone Tempestini, Vincent and William Wagner on the opening speed test.

 

On SS3, Wagner was the first to retire after going off the road. The young Frenchman attempted to return to action under Rally2 rules on the following days, but he was unable to add to his experience due to persistent electrical problems.

 

On form at the start of the race - with a stage win on SS2 - Yohan Rossel gradually lost ground.

Struggling with a set-up that was too stiff as the rain became heavier, the Frenchman dropped to third position behind Simone Tempestini.

 

At the end of day one, which accounted for more than half of the rally's competitive distance, Martin Koci led Simone Tempestini by over half a minute. Yohan Rossel was 1m 39s behind the leader, whilst Vincent Dubert brought up the rear, more than three minutes adrift.

 

The next day, Koci continued his flawless performance. At the same time, Tempestini had to cope with his brakes having lost some of their efficiency and he gradually lost time to his rival.

 

Vincent Dubert retired on SS13 due to a broken exhaust, which had led to his turbo overheating, causing a fire to break out under the bonnet of his DS 3 R3-MAX.

 

Once again, Martin Koci made it to the Deeside service park as the leader. However, this time he led Tempestini by close to two minutes ! Rossel was another minute back in third.

 

With six short stages, the final day amounted to something of a sprint finish. Yohan Rossel won the last five stages as he attempted to wrestle second place from Simone Tempestini, but he fell short of his goal by about twenty seconds.

 

After finishing second in Portugal and in Germany, Martin Koci conclued his season with a win. He also scrored enough points to finish as runner-up in the FIA Junior WRC. Having rejoined under Rally2 rules for this final leg, Vincent Dubert finished fourth to move up into the final podium place in the Champion ship^.

 

Thanks to his second place, Simone Tempestini - having already won the FIA Junior WRC title at the Tour de Corse - claimed a second crown as he became FIA WRC-3 champion. Next year, the Italien will have a six-race programme in the wheel of a DS 3 R5.

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