Kristensson fends off reinvigorated Sesks for ERC Junior U27 lead

Kristensson fends off reinvigorated Sesks for ERC Junior U27 lead

14/10/2018 at 21:58Updated 14/10/2018 at 21:59

Tom Kristensson edged further ahead of team-mate Mārtiņš Sesks in the pair’s battle for FIA ERC Junior Under 27 victory on Rally Liepāja, though Sesks remains on course to secure the ERC3 category title.

After two confidence-sapping crashes on PZM Rally Poland last month, Sesks had struggled to regain his speed on leg one but, come Sunday’s first stage, had regained his mojo, winning stage seven.

But his ADAC Opel Rallye Junior team-mate Kristensson replied immediately, winning stages eight and nine to extend his advantage to 22.3s.

Though ERC Junior U27 rally victory on home soil looks unlikely for Sesks with three stages remaining, he is on course to secure the ERC3 championship title, for which Kristensson is his main opponent.

Saintéloc Junior driver Miika Hokkanen continues to hold third place aboard his Pirelli-shod PEUGEOT 208 R2, albeit unable to keep pace with the rapid Opel pairing. Kristóf Klausz remains in a safe fourth position.

Roland Stengg and Mattia Vita’s close battle over fifth place ended on stage nine, with Vita pulling up three kilometres from the finish with a technical issue. His retirement elevates Stengg from sixth to fifth, a disappointing end for Vita given he had increased his advantage over Stengg by 7.2s on the previous two stages.

Catie Munnings is promoted to sixth in ERC Junior U27 after Vita’s retirement and continues to lead the ERC Ladies’ Trophy class. However, Emma Falcón’s title aspirations have been improved further by Vita’s retirement, moving to seventh in ERC3.