A PERFECT END TO THE SEASON FOR ALISTAIR FISHER
Winner at the last round in France, Alastair Fisher notched up a second consecutive victory as he prevailed in the FIA WRC Junior class at Wales Rally GB.
A PERFECT END TO THE SEASON FOR ALASTAIR FISHER
at the last round in France, Alastair Fisher notched up a second
consecutive victory as he prevailed in the FIA WRC Junior class at Wales
- The podium was completed by
Martin Koci and Henri Haapamaki.
- Stéphane Lefebvre won the
FIA Junior WRC title, ahead of Alastair Fisher and Martin Koci*. He will
drive a DS3 R5 in the FIA WRC2 championship next season!
Already assured of the FIA Junior WRC and FIA WRC3 titles*, Stéphane
Lefebvre was competing at Wales Rally GB in a DS3 R5 in the WRC2 category.
Alongside experienced co-driver Stéphane Prévot, he ended the event in eleventh
place, after rejoining under Rally2 rules.
In their DS3 R3s, the seven crews competing in the final round of the FIA
Junior WRC battled it out in the heart of the Welsh countryside. British driver
Alastair Fisher, the Frenchman Quentin Giordano and the Slovakian Martin Koci
were all still in contention to finish as runner-up in the championship.
On the opening stage, Alastair Fisher wasted no time in establishing an
early lead. Winner of the last round in France, the Brit was the first out of
the blocks here, beating Finnish newcomer Henri Haapamaki, Martin Koci, Quentin
Giordano and Simone Tempestini.
And although Martin Koci responded on SS2, Alastair Fisher then claimed
two further stage wins before the midday service period to put himself 13
seconds clear of Koci and 41 ahead of Tempestini. Haapamaki picked up two
punctures, meaning he trailed the leader by over a minute.
In the afternoon, Alastair Fisher extended his lead. After stopping on a
stage for a minute, Martin Koci dropped down to fourth place before going back
on the attack. At the end of the first day of racing, Alastair Fisher was more
than a minute clear of Henri Haapamaki, Martin Koci and Simone Tempestini, who
were all bunched together, separated by less than six seconds.
Unfortunately, Quentin Giordano’s day came to a premature end. The
Frenchman broke a wheel after a roll and had to rejoin under Rally2
Alastair Fisher kept his rivals at bay throughout day two. With a lead
of more than a minute, he kept an eye on the scrap for second between Martin
Koci and Henri Haapamaki. The Slovakian and the Finn claimed almost all of the
stage wins between them. However, a minor mistake by Haapamaki saw him drop
down to fourth on Saturday evening, behind Fisher, Koci and Tempestini.
Third ahead of Sunday’s final leg, Simone Tempestini was quickly forced
to retire due to a problem connecting the waste gate’s solenoid valve tube.
Haapamaki thus inherited third position. The overall standings remained
otherwise unchanged after the final day’s stages.
Alastair Fisher, leader from start to finish, secured the win ahead of
Martin Koci, Henri Haapamaki, the Australian Molly Taylor, the Pole Aron
Domzala and Quentin Giordano.
Thanks to his second consecutive win, Alastair Fisher ended the season
as runner-up in the FIA Junior WRC, just one point behind the champion,
Stéphane Lefebvre. With three podium finishes, including one win, Martin Koci
ended the year in third position, ahead of Quentin Giordano.
France won the Nations Trophy, with Great Britain second and Slovakia
Alastair Fisher: “We achieved the target that we
had set ourselves for this rally. We didn’t make any mistakes. That was the key
to winning here in Wales. This 2014 season has been very positive. We’ve shown
that we had the pace to win. It’s just a shame that we made a mistake in
Portugal. But we’re very pleased to win in France and here at home, they have
definitely been the highlights of this year. I hope I can keep improving next
year; I feel I’m ready to step up to the FIA WRC2 championship.”
FINAL PROVISIONAL STANDINGS
Fisher / Gordon Noble 3:31:20.1
Koci / Lukas Kostka +1:18.8
3. Henri Haapamaki / Marko Salminen +2:54.5
4. Molly Taylot / Seb Marshall +4:37.1
5. Aron Domzala / Szymon Gospodarczyk +6:11.8
6. Quentin Giordano / Valentin Sarreaud +38:37.7
Martin Koci, 7 (including 1 tied) – Alastair Fisher, 6 – Henri
Haapamaki, 6 (including 1 tied) – Quentin Giordano, 3
SS1 to SS23 (finish): Alastair Fisher