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GP Week : Issue 32
Junior WRC: Prokop recovers MARTIN Prokop held the lead in the Junior category until the final stage of Day 1, when he had to drive four kilometres on a flat tyre. Local driver Pierre Campana, a Guest JWRC entry in a Renault Clio R3 (only his second rally as a driver on a World event), went ahead but it only took three stages before Prokop was back in front again. 38 All the time Sebastien Ogier was playing a sensible game, doubtless still remembering his error the previous weekend, by staying in front of his only championship rival, Aaron Burkart. Surprising everyone was the speed of Alessandro Bettega in his Clio R3. Still the old Clio S1600 gives better performance on asphalt stages – witness the performance of event veteran Guy Fiori whose non-championship entry regularly made better times than any JWRC driver. Prokop’s win was his third victory in the series this year, finishing ahead of Ogier, Campana, Marche and Burkart. It was Ogier who took the title though. There were only two major JWRC retirements. Michal Kosciuszko crashed on the opening stage, still furious (as was Prokop and Patrik Sandell) at being banned at short notice from the European Pirelli Star Driver Shoot Out competition in Austria later this month. The other retirement was that of Bettega, whose suspension broke on the final day. Juho Hanninen took