The current European champions reached the top position in half the stages performed throughout the first leg. The rest of them went to the other Citroën C3 R5 that fights for the victory, the pair Pepe López-Borja Rozada. Both favourites are just 3.8 seconds away of taking the victory.
The new Citroën C3 R5 are performing the leading role of the 43rd Rally Islas Canarias. Alexey Lukyanuk-Alexey Arnautov and José María López-Borja Rozada have shared the best times this first day of the second round of the FIA European Rally Championship. Russians and Spaniards have been exchanging punches in the form of best times, to finally end up shy 3.8 apart.
The CERA leaders have been pushing until the end, reaching the head in the two runs of the super special stage ‘Las Palmas de Gran Canaria-DISA’. On the other hand, the three-time winners of the ‘Islas Canarias’ obtained a major advantage after the double run in ‘Tejeda’, the longest stage of this edition.
Very close to the leaders after having a puncture in the morning, Pierre-Louis Loubet won a stage, even though he tied with López-Rozada, what shows his competitive performance behind the wheel of his Skoda Fabia R5. Chris Ingram-Ross Whittock took advantage of the time lost by Loubet in the first loop. With another Fabia R5, the British team are leading in ERC1 Junior and are third in the overall. 40.2 seconds behind the leaders.
They are leading a very compact group. The first of them is another Skoda, driven by Marijan Griebel-Stefan Kopczyk, 3.7 seconds behind the Britishmen. Iván Ares-José Pintor’s finished shy seven seconds away with his Hyundai i20 R5, after a long leg and not having felt as comfortable as expected. In the last stage they overtook the Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 driven by Norbert Herczig-Ramón Ferencz, who, on the other hand, are just nine tenth of seconds ahead of the current FIA ERC leaders, Lukasz Habaj-Daniel Dymurski. Without any doubt, the fight for the second position will increase its interest facing the second leg, the longest of the current edition of the Rally Islas Canarias. Pierre-Louis-Loubet-Vincent Landais (Skoda Fabia R5), Nikolaus Mayr-Melnhof-Poldi Welsersheimb (Ford Fiesta R5) and José Antonio Suárez-Alberto Iglesias (Hyundai i20 R5) complete the list of the first ten classified.
The Abarth Rally Cup has been another of the main highlights of this second round of the FIA European Rally Championship. At the end of the first day, the 124 Rally of Alberto Monarri-Alberto Chamorro leads the overall.
In ERC3, Florian Bernardi-Victor Bellotto have taken good notice of their experience of last year and became leaders with 22.0 seconds ahead of Yohan Rossel-Benoit Fulcrand. The Peugeot 208 R2 team is 5.6 seconds in front of Jean-Baptiste Franceschi-Anthony Gorguilo; even thought the Ford Fiesta R2T couple has a 20 seconds penalty, they are still leading the ERC3 Junior.
Emma Falcón, next to Eduardo González, are on the top of the ERC Ladies Trophy, where in the early morning Catie Munnings-Veronica Engan withdraw the race. Nabila Tejpar-Max Freeman are second with their Peugeot 208 R2.