Friday, 05 May 2023 20:11

Yoann Bonato increases his lead at the head of the 47th Rally Islas Canarias

The French driver, at the side of his countryman Benjamin Boulloud, finished the first leg of the scoring round for the FIA European Rally Championship at the top of the ranking. The leader, behind the wheel of a Citroën C3 Rally2, will start the competition on Saturday with a head start of eleven seconds over the Hyundai i20 N Rally2 from Hayden Paddon-John Kennard.

Yoann Bonato and Benjamin Boulloud completed the first leg of the 47th Rally Islas Canarias at the very top of the general ranking. The Citroën C3 Rally2 held the lead on a Friday close to perfection, setting the fastest times in four of the six special stages performed. The Frenchmen will start the competition on Saturday with a head start of eleven seconds over their closest rivals the New Zealanders Hayden Paddon-John Kennard.

The leaders of the FIA European Rally Championship were the only ones capable of winning a scratch over the leading couple in the afternoon loop. The Hyundai i20 N Rally2 team pulled off that half-time victory in the repeat of the longest special stage of the day, ‘Santa Lucía’. That achievement allowed them to cut down in two-tenths of a second the head-start of the Frenchmen. The half-time podium was completed by Efrén Llarena-Sara Fernández, who carried a penalty of ten seconds for not having completed the itinerary of the Super Special ‘Las Palmas de Gran Canaria’ as it is set out in the road book.

The Italians Andrea Nucita-Rudy Pellot hold the fourth position with their Hyundai i20 N Rally2. The top eight is completed by Javier Pardo-Adrián Pérez (Hyundai i20 N Rally2), Iván Ares-José Pintor (Hyundai i20 N Rally2), Jan Solans-Rodrigo Sanjuán (Hyundai i20 N Rally2) and Mathieu Franceschi-Jules Escartefigue (Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo). All these teams keep their options up to finish the island round ranked in the top positions, as the last members of this group are less than ten seconds away from the third position.

The Britons Jon Armstrong-Cameron Fair, driving for the first time the Ford Fiesta Rally3 Evo from M-Sport Poland continue as sole leaders of the ERC3 division. Regarding the ERC4, the Italians Roberto Daprà-Luca Guglielmetti take the head with a Peugeot 208 Rally4.

The names of the new champions of the 47th Rally Islas Canarias will be decided on Saturday. The first car will enter the service area at 9.10 am and twenty minutes later it will head straight for the special stages. The itinerary of the final leg comprises two rounds through ‘Arucas’ (8.99 km), ‘Moya-Valleseco’ (27.74) and ‘San Mateo-Valsequillo’ (13.00), being this last one the Power Stage responsible of providing those extra points. The prize-giving ceremony is set at 6.40 pm in the Estadio de Gran Canaria.

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