Andrea Crugnola will start the final round of the inaugural FIA ERC Junior Championship within touching distance of the young-driver title after he won the class on Rallye International du Valais.
Subject to confirmation, Crugnola has narrowed Stéphane Lefebvre’s championship lead to nine points heading to Giru di Corsica-Tour de Corse next month.
“First of all I want to thank my team, Napoca Rally Academy, and Mr Marco Tempestini for believing in me since the start of the season," said Crugnola. "They solved a few problems also this weekend. It was a perfect race for me and a clever drive to manage the situation. Finally we made it and I get the points. Now I need a miracle to be on Tour de Corse because it’s not so easy to find the budget.”
More to follow…
ŠKODA Motorsport’s Esapekka Lappi has won Rallye International du Valais for a second time to extend his lead of the FIA European Rally Championship with one round remaining.
Craig Breen secured second place by winning the final stage of the event, the 20.15-kilometres Col des Planches test, in his Peugeot Rally Academy entry with Sepp Wiegand coming home third overall to keep his hopes of the ERC title alive heading to Corsica next month.
But there was late drama when Robert Consani reached the stage finish with a front-left puncture. “I have a big puncture and I went off,” said Consani, whose Peugeot 207 Super 2000 was dropping fluid at the end of the run. His misfortune meant Jonathan Hirschi finished fourth overall as the top Swiss with Olivier Burri fifth and Consani taking a disconsolate sixth.
Crews are now heading back to service and the podium finish in Martigny. Click here for live results, text commentary and ERC Rally Radio.
Esapekka Lappi is one stage away from winning round 10 of the FIA European Rally Championship after he went fastest through the penultimate test, Verbier.
Driving a ŠKODA Motorsport Fabia Super 2000, Lappi took 10m51.5s to complete the 15.52-kilometre stage, which took place in damp conditions. The Finn is 44.4s ahead of second-placed Craig Breen with one stage remaining. Breen was second fastest through the stage with Robert Consani third quickest.
Kajetan Kajetanowicz’s retirement has been confirmed following the engine fire at the finish of stage 16. Kevin Abbring is also out after stopping on stage 17, while Swiss champion Sébastien Carron’s fears his Rallye International du Valais due to a possible driveshaft failure.
Click here for live results, text commentary and ERC Rally Radio.