Saturday, 14 May 2022 07:37

Luis Monzón and José Carlos Déniz finish leading the first leg of the 46th Rally Islas Canarias edition

Seven stages later, there is still nothing certain. The Canarian team, which holds the lead in the opening day of the third race of the FIA European Rally Championship, finished with a head-start of 8.4’’ over Nil Solans-Marc Martí. Yoann Bonato-Benjamin Boulloud are third at 12,1’’.

The first leg of the Rally Islas Canarias finished with a Canarian team at the head. Luis Monzón and José Carlos Déniz finished the first seven stages in the first position with their Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo – the first team able to repeat best time. However, with a head-start of 8.4’’ it is not said that they will achieve their third victory in this historical rally.

Nil Solans-Marc Martí (Volkswagen Polo GTI R5) climbed up to the second position throughout this leg. Achieving the best time in the second lap through ‘Tejeda’ was decisive in order for them to overtake Yoann Bonato-Benjamin Boulloud (Citroën C3 Rally2), who have been consistently among the three fastest teams, although they have not managed to win any of the stages eventually.

Efrén Llarena-Sara Fernández (Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo), who as Solans and Martí aim to leave the Canary Islands leading the FIA European Rally Championship, had to settle for the fourth position at 20.3’’ from the first place, but 8.2’’ from the Citroën Frenchmen. Enrique Cruz and Yeray Mujica achieved in ‘Santa Lucía 2’ their first European best time. With better feelings than during the morning, the Canarian champions finished the leg in fifth position.

Simon Wagner-Gerald Winter (Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo) have been dismissed in this leg. The first leaders of the 46th Rally Islas Canarias suffered an accident in Santa Lucía in the morning and had to retire. Their car remained blocking the way of the rest of the competitors and therefore this stage had to be neutralised. Simone Campedelli and Tania Canton (Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo) also damaged their car in the repetition of this stage and although they could continue until the end of the leg, they dropped from the third to the ninth place just after having achieved their first best time.

Grzegorz Grzyb-Kamil Kozdron (Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo) hold the sixth place followed by Pep Bassas-Áxel Coronado (Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo) and Javier Pardo-Adrián Pérez (Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo). Now on their own, the leaders of the FIA R-GT Cup, Emmanuel Guigou-Kevin Bronner are eleventh in the overall with their spectacular Alpine A110 behind the Hungarians Miklós Csomós-Attila Nagy (Skoda Fabia R5).

In ERC Junior – category in which the Rally Islas Canarias is the first of six races in its calendar– the Frenchmen Laurent Pellier-Marine Pelamourgues (Opel Corsa Rally4) have shown to be far more superior having opened a time gap of 21.6 seconds over the Italians Andrea Mabellini-Virginia Lenzi (Renault Clio Rally4). In ERC4 the Opel team leads also ahead of another Renault, the one of their countrymen Anthony Fotia-Arnaud Noël. Joan Vinyes-Jordi Mercader (Suzuki Swift R4lly S) are the only leaders of the ERC Open.

The last of the international sections, the Clio Trophy by Toksport, is commanded by the Argentinians Paulo Soria-Marcelo Der Ohannesian (Renault Clio Rally5) with a 16.3’’ difference ahead of Sergio Fuentes from Tenerife and his co-driver Alain Peña.

The teams which are still in the race have six other special stages left, the two laps through ‘Moya-Valleseco’, the longest stage of the rally with 27.42 km, ‘Arucas’, with 9.3 km, and ‘San Mateo’, with 12.04. In the last section, this municipality will be the grand finale of the Rally Islas Canarias as ‘Power Stage’. WRC+ will be broadcasting live all special stages.

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