Flying to Fafe: Guerra goes for it in ERC
Benito Guerra is gearing up for part two of his Portuguese FIA European Rally Championship adventure, this time with an outing on the mainland.
After finishing eighth overall on the 55th Azores Rallye, the Mexican driver’s ERC debut, Rally Serras de Fafe e Felgueiras awaits Guerra and Spanish co-driver Daniel Cué from October 1-3.
They are set to compete in a RaceSeven-run Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo and are among a packed line-up of international crews taking part on the gravel rally, round six of the eight-event ERC season.
“We are just coming back from a year and a half stopped by the pandemic so I have to find my pace,” Guerra said. “It’s a new challenge and a very big challenge so I have to fight my own battle, understand the Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo and try to beat my own times on the second pass [of stages].”
Having achieved success at FIA World Rally Championship level, Guerra, 36, is using Rally Serras de Fafe e Felgueiras to continue acclimatising to the ERC and international competition following a lengthy absence due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on his planned competition schedule.
“It was a crazy time and the pandemic meant I was stopped completely, I couldn’t do anything, we didn’t have the chance to come to Europe for many months and I could not do a test or even a rally, so I am really happy to be back,” Guerra explained.
“I am very new in this championship, I don’t know a lot of rules but having very good drivers like Andreas Mikkelsen and Dani Sordo and other top drivers, the ERC is challenging. At this moment, if you want to drive a Rally2 car then this is a good place to be.”
The 2010 Spanish Gravel champion continued: “At the moment [I have done Azores] and I am doing Fafe and we are looking at the ERC as a new challenge for next year. We are preparing to come back [to international level full time] and the ERC is a championship with very fast drivers so I need to catch some good times and see what we can do.”
While Rally Serras de Fafe e Felgueiras will be a new entry on Guerra’s CV, he does have experience of part of the route having contested Vodafone Rally de Portugal on three occasions since the event returned to the north of the country. This year’s edition features 16 stages over a competitive distance of 197.08 kilometres. Among the highlights are the untried Boticas test and the legendary Lameirinha, which comes complete with the famous Pedra Sentada jump that’s part of international rallying folklore.