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Sat 12 Mar 2022

Fast Fotia going no further in Fafe

Anthony Fotia’s hopes of starting this season’s FIA European Rally Championship how he finished the last are over following his disqualification from Rally Serras de Fafe - Felgueiras - Cabreira e Boticas.

The French rising star won his category on the Rally Islas Canarias 2021 finale and was 8.0sec behind ERC4 leader Óscar Palmermo after four stages in northern Portugal earlier this afternoon.

But an off on stage five damaged the front-right corner of his Toksport WRT-run Renault Clio Rally4 to the extent the tyre had become detached on his return to the regroup in Fafe after attempts to make repairs proved unsuccessful.

He was adjudged to have driven on a “public road without four freely rotating wheels and tyres”, according to a decision of the event stewards. This is in contravention of the sporting rules on safety grounds and potentially damaging public roads and resulted in his exclusion.

“I made a mistake on the last stage and damaged the wheel,” Fotia explained. “In the middle of the stage I slide in the front on a left corner. These conditions are very hard for the two-wheel-drive cars.”

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