The six-time Romanian champion’s previous best ERC placing was fifth on Rally di Roma Capitale in 2017. But he eclipsed that benchmark by claiming fourth spot on the challenging gravel event.
In the process, the ERC-Michelin Talent Factory member and co-driver Sergiu Itu added two more ERC stage wins to their tally of five with the fastest run on the first pass of the iconic Sete Cidades volcano stage a notable highlight.
“We are happy with this result, we wanted to finish also in Fafe in this position but unfortunately it was not the same,” said the 27-year-old. “But we finish in this good position and with a better first day maybe we had a chance to fight a bit closer to the first three guys. But we are happy with our rhythm and our pace on the second day. We know some new things about this rally now and if next year we come here we will be faster from the beginning.”
Azores Rally Michelin Talent Factory highlights
Tempestini needed a replacement Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo for his first Azores Rallye start since 2013 following his crash on Rally Serras de Fafe - Felgueiras - Cabreira e Boticas. But he insisted the accident didn’t hamper his approach to the São Miguel event.
“Fafe was a strange crash for me,” he said. “I knew that corner was quite slippery and that I could control the car, but it was not like that and much more slippery than it was before. That rally was completely under control for us, it was just that corner. In the Azores it was normal that we were confident from the beginning and we could go fast without any risk.”
Of his stage-winning performances in the Azores, Tempestini added: “I felt good in the car, I like the stages and my pacenotes were quite good so we had the possibility to trust and go without too much big risk and we had the possibility to sometimes push.
“To [be fastest on Sete Cidades] was a good thing and a nice one [to have]. It was not easy at all, the conditions were changing a lot from the beginning to the end but I had the possibility to be consistent.”