Friday, 27 November 2020 21:43

Ares-Vázquez complete the first leg leading the Rally Islas Canarias

The intermittent rain and the resulting guess regarding the choice of tires have caused several changes in the ranking throughout the second section of the race. Adrien Fourmaux-Benjamin Boulloud hold the second place 7.5'' away followed by Nil Solans-Xavi Moreno just 5.5'' behind.

The rain has been a big headache for the teams participating in the 44 edition of the Rally Islas Canarias, that started this Friday with the completion of the first three sections. A total of nine special stages, after which the Galicians Iván Ares-David Sánchez finished leading the ranking with their Hyundai i20 R5. The champions of Spain 2017 managed to cope with the changing weather conditions that prevailed all day long and to overpass Nil Solans-Xavi Moreno (Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo) in the next-to-last stage of the day, who had been in the lead throughout the whole race.

If the rain has been the common scenario during the morning section, at the repetition of the sections ‘Valsequillo’, ‘San Mateo-DISA’, ‘Artenara’ and ‘Tejeda’ in the afternoon the rain showed up rather intermittently, what again made the choice of tires a matter of luck in most of the cases. Solans had been defending his top position until he suffered a spin in the SS7 that held him up and in the next one it started to rain again just as he was about to start. Ares and Vázquez took advantage of the situation turning around the ranking and becoming absolute leaders of this race that counts for the FIA European Rally Championship, the Spanish Tarmac Rally Championship and the Spanish Rally Super-Championship.

Adrien Fourmaux-Renaud Jamoul (Ford Fiesta R5 MKII) have been one of the strongest teams of the second section. Not only they broke away from the rivals who could steal the podium from them, they also shortened the gap to the leader and in the short urban special stage Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, that closed the racing day, they reached the second place in the provisional ranking, just 7.5'' from Ares-Vázquez.

But if we are talking about getting back in the race, Yoann Bonato-Benjamin Boulloud (Citroën C3 R5) and, most of all, José Antonio Suárez-Alberto Iglesias (Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo) have been the best example. The French champion has moved up from the eighth to the fourth position, whereas the contenders to the tile of the Spanish Rally Championship in four stages have climbed up positions from the twelfth to the fifth place.

Luis Monzón and José Carlos Déniz (Citroën C3 R5) failed in the choice of the tires in the second loop, although they hold the sixth place ahead of Oliver Solberg and Aaron Johnston (Volkswagen Polo GTI R5). Alexey Lukyanuk and Alexey Arnautov (Citroën C3 R5) scored two scratches at the beginning of the second loop with the stages a bit more dry. However the Russians rushed into the ninth position behind Marijan Griebel-Pirmin Winklhofer (Citroën C3 R5) as it started to rain.

While Fourmaux became leader with great advantage of the ERC1 Junior category, the Czech Erik Cais could not finish this second loop. Likewise, Pep Bassas-Áxel Coronado (Peugeot 208 Rally4) hold the first place in the ERC3 Junior and ERC after a perfect first loop of the members of the Rallye Team Spain. Immediately behind are the Norwegians Sindre Furuseth-Jim Hjerpe (Peugeot 208 Rally4), 26.1 away, whereas the already proclaimed champions of this category Ken Torn-Kauri Pannas (Ford Fiesta Rally4) hold the third place. In the ERC2 the Abarth 124 R-GT of Dariusz Polonski-Lukasz Sitek ranked first.

This first leg ends with the short urban special stage Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, which has already become a classic in the itinerary of the Rally Islas Canarias and from which there are still eight stages of the leg on Saturday left, consisting of two runs through the special stages ‘Valleseco-DISA’ (14.17 km), ‘Gáldar’ (12.4 km), ‘Moya’ (12.63 km) and ‘Arucas’ (11.85 km).

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