The race for the FIA Junior WRC title will step up a gear at next week’s ADAC Rallye Deutschland (17-20 August) as the top two contenders do battle on their favoured surface for the first time since April.
Nil Solans (above) leads the standings after winning the first three rounds of the season, but Nicolas Ciamin cut the Spaniard’s advantage to 26 points when he took his first Junior WRC victory at Neste Rally Finland last month.
With only two rounds remaining this season and plenty of points still up for grabs, the outcome of the championship will come down to who performs the best on their favourite surface – asphalt – in Germany and Spain (a mixed surface event).
The last time Solans and Ciamin locked horns on asphalt, at April’s Che Guevara Energy Drink Tour de Corse, Solans emerged victorious by only 1.9sec.
“After an unexpected victory in Finland, the aim is to try and win again – a second victory would prove my speed and would help me to catch Nil in the overall championship,” Frenchman Ciamin said. “The weather and cuts in the road could play a big part as they make the stages very dirty.”
Solans said: “Although I prefer Tarmac, this rally is very difficult if it rains. But we are confident on this surface and the aim is to get another strong load of points to arrive at our home rally in Spain in a good position.”
Dennis Rådström, the man that sits third in the Junior WRC standings, will miss Germany so that gives Frenchman Terry Folb the chance to put his proven asphalt pace to good use and move up the order.
Local star Julius Tannert is only four points behind Folb in the Junior points and he admitted he’s fired up for his home event. “I’ve been looking forward to this rally since the start of the season. I want to fight for the win and deliver a good show,” he said.