Friday, 05 May 2023 15:53

Yoann Bonato – new leader of the very closely-fought 47th Rally Islas Canarias

The French driver, at the side of his countryman Benjamin Boulloud, climbs up to the first position in the general ranking after having achieved two half-time victories out of three in the morning loop this Friday. The Citroën C3 Rally2 team won an advantage of five seconds over Andrea Nucita-Rudy Bellot. The Spaniards Efrén Llarena-Sara Fernández, penalised, placed in the fourth position.


The second competition day of the 47th Rally Islas Canarias began with a great deal of possibilities. The uncertainty on the weather conditions set a morning section in which Yoann Bonato and Benjamin Boulloud placed themselves in the first position of the general ranking. The Frenchmen, regular participants of the FIA European Rally Championship, won two half-time overwhelming victories in the stages ‘Tejeda’ and ‘Santa Lucía’, making up the time lost due to the rain in ‘Gáldar’.

The Citroën C3 Rally2 team, in charge of opening the road in the special stages of today, Friday, found the first part of the TC2 in not a very good shape. The Spaniards Efrén Llarena-Sara Fernández, who set off from further behind, took advantage of the better pavement conditions in order to reach for the leadership. However, a penalty of ten seconds moved them back to a fourth half-time place. The Skoda Fabia RS Rally2 team was sanctioned as they did not perform properly one of the donuts in the Super Special ‘Las Palmas de Gran Canaria’.

The Italians Andrea Nucita-Rudy Pollet continue to surprise in their comeback to the Gran Canaria island. Behind the wheel of an Hyundai i20 N Rally2, they remain in the top positions just five seconds away from the Spanish couple. The New Zealanders Hayden Paddon-John Kennard, with another Hyundai i20 N Rally2, ranked fourth. The winners of the 35th Rally Serras de Fafe e Felgueiras are getting more and more comfortable on the abrasive tarmac of Gran Canaria, a pavement that was completely unknown to them just a week ago.

The tight top seven of the FIA ERC ranking is closed by the aforementioned Llarena-Fernández, Javier Pardo-Adrián Pérez (Hyundai i20 N Rally2), Enrique Cruz-Yeray Mujica (Ford Fiesta Rally2) and Iván Ares-José Pintor (Hyundai i20 N Rally2). One of the teams aiming for the victory, the world cup participants Mads Ostberg-Patrik Barth, hold a far back 28th position due to some issues with one of the drive-shafts of their Citroën C3 Rally2.

In the support championships, Jon Armstrong-Cameron Fair (Ford Fiesta Rally3) and Roberto Daprà-Luca Guglielmetti (Peugeot 208 Rally4) have taken the leadership in their respective categories. The Britons do not have any rivals in the ERC3 division, whereas the Italians have driven a wedge from over one minute ahead of their opponents in ERC4.

The 47th Rally Islas Canarias resumes at 3.20 pm with a repeat of the stage 'Gáldar', followed next by the stages ‘Tejeda’ and ‘Santa Lucía’. According to the weather forecast, it seems that the rain will not have much prominence throughout the evening loop, as the probability of it coming back is estimated under twenty-five per cent. The action can be followed in full at Rally.TV, the official channel of the FIA European Rally Championship.

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