Citroen's Aaron Burkart has a real outside chance of stealing the Junior World Rally Championship title after he finished third in class on the Rally Catalunya last weekend.
Burkart went into the penultimate round in the J-WRC trailing Sebastien Ogier by 10 points and early on it looked as if the Frenchman would take the win and sow things up. However when Ogier made a big mistake at the end of day two and retired, suddenly the German found himself right back in the running.
He will now going into the Rallye de France-Tour de Corse this coming weekend just four points behind and he has pledged to pounce should Ogier again do something stupid.
"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," said Burkart, who managed three quickest J-WRC times on day 3.
"I will put as much pressure as I can on Ogier in Corsica now and I'll be ready to jump if he makes a mistake!"
Jean-Francois Lienere, who is in charge of Citroen Sport's customer competition programme, meanwhile pointed out that it is now a two-horse race for the overall J-WRC honours, as while Shaun Gallagher also has 30 points on the board – just like Burkart – the Irishman has already taken in his six nominated events.
"Aaron Burkart is now the only driver who could deprive Sebastien Ogier of the Junior title, thanks to his result here in Spain. He found it hard to get into a decent rhythm at the start of the event, but it then all came together for him and he made sure of a good result," added Lienere.
For the record, Ogier, who had been leading by over a minute, was gutted to have hit a bank in SS12, something that damaged the radiator on his C2 S1600 and forced him out.
"It was a very big disappointment for Julien [Ingrassia] and myself," he conceded. "We came into the rally knowing that we couldn't afford to make any mistakes. The advantage we built up over the first few stages meant that we were able to lead comfortably, with more than a minute over [Martin] Prokop.
"Unfortunately though, we weren't immune to making a mistake and that is exactly what happened. Now we need just to put this behind us and move on. We've got Corsica in a few days time, and we need to be fully focussed on that."