Friday | 20 May 2022

Bassas craving further R5 seat time

Rising star Pep Bassas is keen to rack up further mileage after delivering an impressive result at Rally Islas Canarias.

Bassas produced one of the stand-out performances of round three, bringing his Škoda Fabia R5 home in sixth overall to achieve a personal best finish in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC). 

The event marked the Spaniard’s second-ever outing with the four-wheel drive machine, having stepped up from the Peugeot 208 Rally4 which carried him to second in last year’s Junior ERC series. 

While Bassas was delighted with the result, he now faces an uphill battle to try and gain more experience with the car in between events. 

“It was an amazing rally for me,” beamed the 28-year-old. “Retiring in Fafe was a big problem and it was so important for me to finish in the Canaries.

“It was difficult for me, especially in the fast sections, because I was struggling with confidence in the car. We made some changes after the first loop and they gave me much more confidence, but I need more kilometres now. 

“There is still a lot more speed to come, but it’s really difficult. I really need to try and find some more money to get more time in the car, but for now it’s a great feeling.”

Bassas’ pace was made all the more impressive by the fact that he was driving the less-developed R5 Fabia and not the Rally2 Evo as used by many of the frontrunning crews.

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After starting at the tail end of the top 20, he fought back up the leaderboard and was never outside the top ten stage times on the final day. 

“We were happy with our pace,” he continued. “It was not an easy rally for the car or for the tyres. Now we look ahead to the next rally in Poland. It’s very important to get more experience. 

“It wasn’t easy to be here this year and I want to say a big thank you to my sponsors and The Racing Factory for putting their confidence in Axel (Coronado, co-driver) and myself. The whole team has been great.”