Ole Christian Veiby came to Rally Corsica to put pressure on Simone Tempestini in the fight for the Junior World Championship (JWRC) title. Instead, the young Norwegian saw his chances get ruined already on the first stage of the rally, while Tempestini secured the overall win in the championship.
“Very disappointing. We knew it would be a tough task to catch Tempestini in the championship standings, but we had a glimpse of hope and drove to win. That is why it is such a shame that it ended like this” said Ole Christian Veiby, who 12 kilometers into the first stage had to realize that the fight was over.
“On the way to the first stage, I was behind Slovakian Martin Koci on the road. I was in a hurry because I was starting before him. Suddenly he hit the brakes and I smashed into him from behind. Nothing indicated that the car was damaged other than the bodywork. But 12 kilometers into the stage, the turbo hose clamp came off. It might have been caused by the hit on the way to SS1. Whatever the reason, we lost 12 minutes and that was basically it for us in this rally. A time loss that big makes it impossible to fight back” he explained.
Ole Christian and his co-driver Stig Rune Skjærmoen tried the best they could to find motivation for the remaining stages.
“We were set on showing some good stage times, and we did just that. But on Sunday’s first stage we were caught in a bit of drama again. This was the longest stage of the rally and on the last split time we were 20 seconds up on our competitors. Without us being aware of it, the car was leaking brake fluid and all of a sudden we lost the bakes in a corner where we definitely would have needed them. Rally Corsica is called ‘The Rally of 10 000 Corners’ and that corner was the worst one you can imagine to lose your brakes in. There was a steep drop on the outside of the corner and the only thing I could do was to pull the handbrake. We came into the corner sideways and got away with a real scare. That is by far the worst experience I have ever had” said Ole Christian.
“If we had driven off that cliff, we would not have been here now” he added thoughtfully.
Eventually, the 20-year-old finished in eighth place and had to realize that Tempestini became world champion.
“I can only congratulate Simone Tempestini with the title. Myself, I am looking forward to Rally Spain, where I will compete in the WRC 2 category, something I am really excited about. I made my WRC debut in Spain and I feel like I know the event after participating twice” said Ole Christian Veiby.
19 – 22 May, Rally Portugal (gravel) 5th place
1 – 3 July, Rally Poland (gravel) 3rd place
28 – 31 July, Rally Finland (gravel) WINNER
18 – 21 August, Rally Germany (asphalt) 7th place
29 September – 2 October, France – Corsica (asphalt) 8th place
27 – 30 October, Wales Rally GB (gravel)