Seven of the 14 stages in Rallye de France are accomplished and Pontus Tidemand is in second place in the Junior WRC category. Valuable points are on the table and in this position it’s important to focus on the championship.
Rallye de France started on Thursday afternoon with a 4,55 km city stage in the hosting city of Strasbourg. Pontus set the third fastest time and was only half a second off the lead, that belonged to Spanish José Suarez.
Six stages awaited on Friday and the challenge was to find the rythm from start and avoid mistakes in the unpredictable weather. Pontus quickly found a good pace and got a stage win on the third stage of the rally. When Suarez, who also is the main rival in the hunt for the championship title, went off the road and had to retire after the fourth stage, it became even more important to stay cool and calm. After stabile driving on the remaining two stages, Pontus is in second place with half a minute up to leading Yeray Lemes going into the final day of competition.
“Everything has gone well so far”, says Pontus. “It’s a hard situation, but we have driven cleanly and not taken any risks. Lemes is really fast and it would be foolish to take on the fight with him, so for now we’re trying to stay in this position. But tomorrow is a new day and anything can happen, especially if there’s rain.”
Tomorrow is the JWRC participants’ last day in France. Starting at 09:23 they will drive Saturday’s seven stages before they finish during the evening.
Junior WRC top 5 after day two out of three:
1. Y. Lemes
2. P. Tidemand +31.2
3. H. Arellano +1:26.4
4. M. Aasen +1:58.6
5. M. Koci +2:22.4
Photo: André Lavadinho