Saturday, 04 May 2019 22:03

López-Rozada sign up their names as outstanding champions Featured

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After the withdrawal of Lukyanuk-Arnautov, the Spanish couple made good use of their advantage to settle themselves as champions of this 43rd Rally Islas Canarias. Chris Ingram-Ross Whittock maintained the second position and finished ahead of Lukasz Habaj-Daniel Dymurski, who – thanks to these points – will leave Gran Canaria at the top position of the FIA European Rally Championship. Luis Monzón-José Carlos Déniz achieved the lead with their Ford Fiesta R5 in the regional overall.

José María López and Borja Rozada managed to enter into the history of the Rally Islas Canarias after an extremely important victory. The Citroën C3 R5 team took advantage of the withdrawal of Alexey Lukyanuk-Alexey Arnautov, with whom they had been starring an exciting duel, and accomplished a difficult stage in terms of both technical and physical performance.

This couple from Madrid began winning the first stage of the day – in spite of having slightly hit the front of their car –, coinciding this victory with their major rivals forced to leave the race. From this moment onwards, they maintained a cruising speed in favour of the safety, prevailing over the speed. Although they did not win any further stage, they finished first the 43rd Rally Islas Canarias after having reached a time of 2h06:23.9 and 28.5 seconds advantage.    

The absolute triumph of López-Rozada arrived together with more victories, as the ones obtained in the ERC1 and ERC1 Junior overalls of the Continental Championship. Beyond that and already focused on their main goal, the first position in the Spanish Super-Championship and the Spanish Rally Championship on Asphalt place the Citroën C3 R5 team as favourite for the rest of the season.

Ingram, ahead of the chase group
The Britishmen Chris Ingram-Ross Whittock could achieve a very favourable second position in the FIA European Rally Championship. The Skoda Fabia R5 team has not been unaware of the fight that had been taking place on their back and thanks to two best times in the second part of this last day they managed to take distance from their rivals.

Truth is that some of them have been handicapped for different reasons. Marijan Griebel-Stefan Kopczyk (Skoda Fabia R5) lost positions at the end of the rally, just like Iván Ares-David Vázquez (Hyundai i20 R5) and José Antonio Suárez-Alberto Iglesias (Hyundai i20 R5).

The misfortune of some became the joy of others. In this second group were Lukasz Habaj-Daniel Dymurski (Skoda Fabia R5), who managed to climb from the sixth position they hold after the first half of the day to a favourable podium position in the European Championship. The Polish team won the last special stage, leaving behind the Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 driven by Norbert Herczig-Ramón Ferencz and the Skoda Fabia R5 of Pierre-Louis Loubet-Vicent Landais. The French couple has been one of the stars of the Rally Islas Canarias with three stages on their credit account. 

Alberto Monarri-Alberto Chamorro took the first victory of the season in the Abarth Rally Cup and, at the same time, they conquered the leadership in ERC2 with their 124 Rally. In this second category, they finished ahead of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X of Zelindo Melegari-Corrado Bonato, after the Argentinians Juan Carlos Alonso-Juan Pablo Monasterolo had to quit the race due to problems in the gearbox. In the category of the Italian cup, Carlos David García-Jordi Díaz settled the second position ahead of Dariusz Polonski-Lukasz Sitek.

Florian Bernardi-Victor Bellotto were able to become leaders for the second year in a row  in the ERC3. The Renault Clio team was shy five seconds ahead of Jean-Baptiste Franceschi-Anthony Gorguilo, the absolute leaders of the second day after having won six of the eight special stages. The penalty snatched the triumph from them at this point of the competition, however not in the ERC3 Junior, where they settled first. Yohan Rossel-Benoit Fulcrand (Peugeot 208 R2) got the third position on the podium, leaving the Spaniards Efrén Llarena-Sara Fernández out.

Although they experienced a puncture in the first part of the day, Emma Falcón-Eduardo González managed to recover from a major time loss, which at any time compromised their first position in the ERC Ladies Trophy category. Nabila Tejpar-Max Freeman settled the second position with their Peugeot 208 R2, achieving their goal of getting to see the finish line of the Rally Islas Canarias in their first appearance.

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