Driving a Peugeot 208 Rally4, the 19-year-old kept his composure throughout Sunday to fend off the fast-coming Toni Herranen by 14.5 seconds and win the ERC4 class overall.
Palomo had a 14.7 second advantage in Sunday’s final and showed no early signs of complacency, going second fastest in the opening test and taking a stage victory in the next. Herranen, however, was not about to be outdone in his Ford Fiesta Rally4 and responded with a stage win of his own to keep the pressure on.
The pressure continued to mount as 18-year-old Herranen cut the deficit to 11.3 seconds before the decisive Power Stage, but Palomo was the quicker of the two and held his rival at bay.
“I’m very happy. I think it was an important victory for the team, for me and for the championship. I will continue to work hard,” exclaimed a delighted Palomo at the end of the Power Stage.
To complete the podium more than a minute behind was another Finn in a Fiesta – Benjamin Korhola. On his debut, the 19-year-old moved into the top three at the expense of Lithuanian Justas Simaška, who suffered a puncture on his Fiesta on the final morning stage and fell to sixth place.
Victor Hansen took fourth place in another Fiesta car and was just 0.2 seconds ahead of Renault Clio driver Anthony Fotia, who is only eligible to score points in ERC4. Isak Reiersen completed the standings in another Fiesta.
After having contested most of the stages on Saturday without a windscreen in his Opel Corsa Rally4 following a rollover on SS3, Laurent Pellier found his rhythm again on Sunday. He picked up a pair of stage wins despite giving up his championship lead to Palomo.