Canary Island driver Yeray Lemes took an emotional maiden victory in the final round of the FIA Junior WRC Championship in front of his home fans at Rally de Espana to secure the runner-up position in the series.

Lemes started today’s final loop of gravel speed tests with a commanding lead following the retirement of closest rivals Jose Suarez and Pontus Tidemand yesterday. He took no risks to come home 2min 14.7sec ahead of Norway’s Marius Aasen, who claimed his first podium finish, with Estonia’s Sander Parn third. Lemes’ win ensured Spain moved past Sweden to clinch the Junior WRC Nations Cup.

“I felt several events ago we were capable of putting together victories and pushing for the title, but we’ve had some tough luck that has got in the way. This time though, it has all come good,” said Lemes.

“It’s a shame José and Pontus went out on Saturday as it was shaping up to be a really interesting fight between us all. The victory at last is ours and to do it in Spain is extra special,” he added.

Parn won the final stage to stay ahead of the determined Martin Koci, while Murat Bostanci survived a late skirmish to finish fifth. Today’s only retirement was Michael Burri who crashed.

All drivers were at the wheel of Hankook-shod, GEM fuelled Ford Fiesta R2 cars.