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JWRC: Prokop triumphs in Spain.

Martin Prokop took the victory in the J-WRC category on the Rally RACC Catalunya-Costa Daurada last weekend, after the surprise retirement of championship leader Sebastien Ogier.

Prokop finished the opening day 47 seconds behind Ogier, after he lost time on the very first stage with a technical problem. After that it looked to be all over as the Frenchman built his lead to over a minute. Disaster struck though on the last stage on day two, when Ogier hit a bank and broke his C2's radiator, causing too much damage to continue.

Perfectly placed to adopt the lead, Prokop took up the reins and sat tight despite a few engine concerns and he eventually took the win - his second of the season in the J-WRC - by 24.6 seconds.

"It was a very lucky weekend for us and we're lucky to be here," said Prokop. "After Sébastien retired yesterday it was quite easy for me to win as I had a comfortable lead. Also I know how to drive on tarmac so it was not difficult to stay focused and drive the car to the finish.

"It's a shame that I have been so unlucky during the first half of the season, otherwise now I could be fighting for the title."

Alessandro Bettega meanwhile took the runners-up spot in his Renault Clio R3, despite coming under pressure late on from Aaron Burkart. Second place in the J-WRC equal's Bettega's previous best in the Junior class.

"I'm really happy as I didn't expect to finish in this position," said the Italian. "I'm happy for the team – they did a really good job. And we had a good rally – we made no mistakes, had a good rhythm, especially today with Burkart on our tail. Now I'm really looking forward to Corsica."

Burkart thus had to settle for the final place on the rostrum, but importantly that means he now lies just four points behind Ogier going into last round in Corsica, where it will be a two-way fight for the J-WRC crown.

"We made no mistakes and we just tried to push. Today was good for us – I liked the stages as we did a few best times, I just don't know why we couldn't do that on the first day," stated the German. "I will put as much pressure as I can on Ogier in Corsica and I'll be ready to jump if he makes a mistake!"



Related Pictures

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Martin Prokop (CZ) Jan Tomanek (CZ) Citroen C2 S1600; Junior WRC winner
12.02.2017 - 1st place Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN)-Miikka Anttila (FIN) Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, 2nd place Ott Tanak (EAU)-Martin Jarveoja (EST),Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team and 3rd place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - 1st place Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN)-Miikka Anttila (FIN) Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, 2nd place Ott Tanak (EAU)-Martin Jarveoja (EST),Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team and 3rd place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Pontus Tidemand (SWE) Skoda Fabia R5 WRC2, Skoda Motorsport
12.02.2017 - Pontus Tidemand (SWE)-Jonas Andersson (SWE) Skoda Fabia R5 WRC2, Skoda Motorsport
12.02.2017 - Pontus Tidemand (SWE)-Jonas Andersson (SWE) Skoda Fabia R5 WRC2, Skoda Motorsport
12.02.2017 - Podium WRC 2, 1st place Pontus Tidemand (SWE)-Jonas Andersson (SWE) Skoda Fabia R5 WRC2, Skoda Motorsport, 2nd place Teemu SUNINEN (FIN) - Mikko MARKKULA (FIN) Ford Fiesta R5, M‐Sport World Rally Team and 3rd place Ole Christian VEIBY (NOR) - Stig Rune SKJÆRMOEN (NOR) Skoda Fabia R5, Printsport
12.02.2017 - WRC 2, Pontus Tidemand (SWE)-Jonas Andersson (SWE) Skoda Fabia R5 WRC2, Skoda Motorsport race winner
12.02.2017 - Henning Solberg (NOR)- Ilka Minor (AUT) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
12.02.2017 - Stéphane Lefebvre (FRA)-Gabin Moreau (FRA) Citroen DS3, Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT
12.02.2017 - Stéphane Lefebvre (FRA)-Gabin Moreau (FRA) Citroen DS3, Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT
12.02.2017 - Stéphane Lefebvre (FRA)-Gabin Moreau (FRA) Citroen DS3, Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT
12.02.2017 - Stéphane Lefebvre (FRA)-Gabin Moreau (FRA) Citroen DS3, Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT
12.02.2017 - Mads Ostberg (NOR)-Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Mads Ostberg (NOR)-Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Mads Ostberg (NOR)-Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Juho Hanninen (FIN)-Kaj Lindstrom (FIN) Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT
12.02.2017 - Juho Hanninen (FIN)-Kaj Lindstrom (FIN) Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

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