Saturday, 04 May 2019 16:42

López-Rozada stay alone leading the Rally Islas Canarias after the withdrawal of Lukyanuk-Arnautov Featured

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The Russians stayed at the finish line of the first stage of the second leg after the suspension of their Citroën was damaged. Without having the need to risk, the Spanish couple let the teams which are still fighting for the other podium positions take the limelight. 

Scene change in the the 43rd Rally Islas Canarias. The second leg has brought along important changes in the classification, since the Russians Alexey Lukyanuk-Alexey Arnautov are not longer at the head. The leaders at the end of the first day on Friday dropped out of the race just after having crossed the finish line of the ‘Arucas-DISA’ stage, the first one of this leg, when the left front suspension of their Citroën C3 R5 got damaged. This incident breaks the dominance of Lukyanuk in the Canary Islands, as he had won in all his participations from 2016 to 2018.

Pepe López-Borja Rozada (Citroën C3 R5), who had been really pressing the European leaders throughout the eight stages on Friday, have taken the lead in the ERC classification with a comfortable lead of over half a minute. The members of the Citroën Rally Team have slowed their rate down in the other stages of this section: ‘Moya-Festina’, ‘Gáldar’ and ‘Valleseco’.

After the leaders no one can afford to cut down the pressure as the differences are minimal and the second position is at stake. The Britishmen Chris Ingram-Ross Whittock (Skoda Fabia R5) have kept the Germans Marijan Griebel-Stefan Kopczyk (Skoda Fabia R5) in line, although after twelve stages they are shy 4.3 seconds away. But the group of challengers for this honour positions continues, as Iván Ares-David Vázquez (Hyundai i20 R5), Norbert Herczig-Ramón Ferencz (Volkswagen Polo GTI R5), Pierre-Louis Loubet-Vincent Landais (Skoda Fabia R5) and Lukasz Habaj-Daniel Dymurski (Skoda Fabia R5) are in a time frame of 11 seconds. Loubet achieved another two best times in this section.

With López, Ingram and Loubet in the first three positions of the ERC1 Junior, Jean-Baptiste Franceschi-Antoine Gorguilo (Ford Fiesta R2T) maintain control in the ERC3 Junior category, however with Efrén Llarena and Sara Fernández in the second position. Alberto Monarri and Alberto Chamorro carry on at the top in ERC2 with the Abarth 124 Rally ahead of the Argentinians Juan Carlos Alonso and Juan Pablo Monasterolo. In this category, up to three members of the Abarth Rally Cup have managed to get re-enlisted.

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