Saturday, 04 May 2024 20:32

Yoann Bonato secures his second victory at the Rally Islas Canarias

 

The French driver repeats his result from the last edition of the island event and confirms the third triumph of his career in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC). Alongside Benjamin Boulloud, he completes a weekend free of errors on the roads of Gran Canaria. Mathieu Franceschi and Andy Malfoy, in second place, climb up to the first position in the continental championship.

 

Yoann Bonato once again conquers the Rally Islas Canarias. The French driver, accompanied by Benjamin Boulloud, takes his second consecutive victory in the Gran Canaria event after dominating with his Citroën C3 Rally2 in a weekend full of emotions.  Unlike his victory last year, the Frenchman was forced to push to the maximum until the final special stage. His pursuers demanded his best version at all times.

Mathieu Franceschi and Andy Malfoy surprised their rivals in the continental championship with a second place on a surface where they don't have much experience. Behind the wheel of a Skoda Fabia RS Rally2, they concluded the island event with points haul that positions them, for the first time, as leaders of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), a championship for which they have already been confirmed as title contenders.

The defending European champions, Hayden Paddon and John Kennard, dropped from third to sixth place in the afternoon section. Unable to find the right setup for their Hyundai i20 N Rally2, the New Zealanders failed to match the high pace of the Spanish teams, led by Alejandro Cachón and Borja Rozada. The Toyota GR Yaris Rally2 duo finished their comeback in a commendable third place.

Diego Ruiloba and Ángel Luis Vela finished fourth with their Citroën C3 Rally2, while José Antonio Suárez and Alberto Iglesias closed the top five with a Skoda Fabia RS Rally2. Both Asturian teams fought until crossing through the finish line of the ‘Power Stage’ for a third step on the podium that would ultimately elude them. The fastest time in that bonus special stage was, precisely, achieved by Cachón and Rozada.

Behind Paddon and Kennard were the Irishmen Jon Armstrong and Eoin Treacy. In their asphalt debut with the Ford Fiesta Rally2 they are competing with this season, they emerged as one of the surprise duos by maintaining a constant speed on the demanding stages of the island of Gran Canaria. Mads Ostberg-Patrik Barth (Citroën C3 Rally2), Yeray Lemes-Rogelio Peñate (Citroën C3 Rally2), and Simon Wagner-Gerald Winter (Skoda Fabia RS Rally2) occupied the next three places on the leaderboard.

In the ERC3 category, Igor Widlak and Daniel Dymurski imposed their experience aboard the Ford Fiesta Rally3. In ERC4 and ERC Junior, Mille Johansson and Johan Gronwall took the honours with an Opel Corsa Rally4. The Swedes led a double triple-win for the German manufacturer.

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