Before the last rally in World Rally Championship 2012, so was the goal clear for the 21-year-old Pontus Tidemand. With a win in the class and a majority of stage wins so was there a chance to be second in the World Championships for juniors, the WRC Academy. With an impressive start of the rally where Pontus was in the lead after four stages after winning all of them, a puncture destroyed the chances of being second in the championship.
On Friday Pontus and co-driver Stig-Rune Skjaermoen started in the best way and won the first four stages and had a comfortable lead at half minutes to John Maccrone and a minute and a half to the third-placed Jose Suarez.
Stage five destroyed all chances of winning when Pontus got a double puncture in the tough conditions with mud and rain, which also Maccrone noticed after going off on the same stage. Pontus had to stop in the stage and change the tire and lost three minutes and fell to second place after Friday´s six special stages
– It was an absolutely fantastic start to the rally, we won five of six stages on Friday and we had started to build a good lead for Saturday’s stage. Unfortunately, we got a puncture on the long stage five (44 km long) and had to stop and change the tire, says Pontus
On Saturday there was six more stages and now on asphalt instead for gravel. Pontus had a goal to reduce the gap to leader Suarez but the distance was too much after the first three stages has been run on Saturday. So now it was not to make any mistakes and get to the finish to secure second place in WRC Academy Rally Spain and a third place overall in the championship.
– I think the pace was pretty good on Saturday as well, we won two stages and I’ve learned a lot of the stages in Rally Spain for the future, says Tidemand
At the end Pontus finished second after home driver Jose Suarez who was a minute and 20 seconds ahead of the Pontus. Third was the winner of the championship Elfyn Ewans, two minutes after Pontus. With a second place and seven stage-wins in the final event so advanced Tidemand up to third place overall in the championship from fourth place.
– During this year we have been on the podium every race were we not had any technical problems and we have the second most of stage wins this year. Of course I am incredibly happy about the third place in the championship and we have shown that we are one of the fastest when everything works. It’s probably the most positive thing I can take with me from this year and all the experience I have with six new WRC-races to take with me in the future. I must send a big thanks to the talent development company EVEN rally that has supported me throughout the year, says Pontus