Sun 12 Jun 2022

Double bubble for Pellier in Poland

Laurent Pellier secured back-to-back Junior ERC and ERC4 victories after a tight fight with Toni Herranen at Orlen 78th Rally Poland.

The Opel Corsa Rally4 driver was on strong form as he looked to extend his Junior ERC championship lead following victory at Rally Islas Canarias last month. 

He carried a slender 2.0sec advantage over 18-year-old Toni Herranen into Sunday’s final leg and extended that margin on the opening Mikołajki MAX test, only to be overtaken in the following stage as his rival put pedal to the metal. 

Herranen, steering a Ford Fiesta Rally4, was at home on the superfast gravel stages and held the lead up until the penultimate blast when he dropped back behind Pellier by just four-tenths of a second going into the Power Stage. 

Pushing hard to overturn the deficit, the Finn then made an uncharacteristic mistake and ran wide in the final stage. The brief excursion caused some light damage to the rear of his car and, significantly, guaranteed Pellier victory by 10.1sec. 

“That was an epic battle – the closest I’ve had in my career,” reflected the Frenchman. “It was a perfect fight with Herranen and a good return to gravel for us. 

“The whole team did a great job and we showed that the Corsa also works very well on this surface. We’re just happy and enjoying the moment. It’s incredible!” he added.

Oscar Palomo rounded off the podium in a Peugeot 208 Rally4. The Spaniard trailed the frontrunners by 1min 16.4sec but moved into the ERC4 championship lead after Clio colleagues Andrea Mabellini and Anthony Fotia ran into mechanical problems on the opening day. 

Adam Sroka ended another 46.4sec behind and claimed fourth on home soil after overtaking Fiesta man Justas Simaška, who completed the top-five.

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM