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Hans Weijs Jr. (NL, CitroËn) scored the first FIA J-WRC victory of his career, when he won the category on the final round of the series

06 Oct 2009 | International News : Spain

In doing so, he secured the ASN title for KNAF Talent First Team Holland. Weijs started brilliantly with fastest time on SS1 and 2, as he and Martin Prokop (CZ, Citroën) launched themselves into a titanic two-way battle for victory. Such was their incredible speed that the pace-setting pair was almost two minutes ahead of the rest of the field at the end of Day 1.

Weijs lost 17 seconds on the opening stage of Day 2 when he suffered double trouble in the form of low brake pressure and the more unusual situation when his Belgian co-driver, Bjorn Degandt, broke a tooth and, in considerable pain, lost concentration whilst reading the pace notes. Weijs suddenly found himself in a massive 2min 43.5sec lead when Prokop crashed on SS10, and he showed enormous maturity by instantly switching his driving style from flat-out to fast and safe, maintaining a good rhythm and completing the second half of the event without making a single mistake.

Despite not driving flat-out for the second half of the event, Weijs was the first non-World Rally Car finisher in 12th position overall, underlining the competitiveness of the J-WRC cars. Having already sown up the 2009 J-WRC title, Prokop was out to impress team managers with sights firmly set on a WRC programme for 2010.

Having survived a big moment in the unexpectedly damp and slippery conditions on SS1, and replaced a cracked clutch cylinder on his Czech National Team Citroën C2 S1600 in first service, Prokop was stunningly impressive - setting seven consecutive fastest stage times and establishing a 32.2 second lead after SS9. With Weijs pushing him hard, Prokop had to maintain a fast pace - and 1km from the end of SS10 he suffered a fifth gear accident.

He and co-driver Jan Tománek were uninjured, but the car was too badly damaged for Prokop to continue, ruining his 27th birthday celebrations scheduled for today (Sunday 4th October).
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