Wed 16 Mar 2022

Vote for your star driver at Rally Serras de Fafe

The dust (and mud!) has settled after the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) season opener.

Who was your star driver at Rally Serras de Fafe - Felgueiras - Cabreira e Boticas? 

They don’t need to have been the fastest - maybe you took a shine to them, or they showed impressive grit and determination. Whatever the reason, you choose.  

Introducing the nominees:

Nil Solans
Position: 1st overall

Solans’ performance showed he has everything required to make it to the top of the sport: bags of speed, coolness under pressure and a mature head on his shoulders. 

The Spaniard’s decision to open the road on Saturday was a big gamble, but one which paid off as he eventually won by just under one-minute. 

If there’s one department he lacks in, it’s the financial one. We’re keeping everything crossed he can put together a deal for the Azores Rallye and beyond.

Armindo Araújo 
Position: 2nd overall

It’s hard not to love this man and his infectious smile at every stage end. Araújo’s been on the scene for a long time, but at the ripe old age of 44, he’s definitely still got 'it'. 

After wrapping up victory in the Portuguese championship on Saturday, he let rip in the finale and took 13.1sec out of Georg Linnamäe to pinch second. Epic. 

Javier Pardo 
Position: 4th overall

Pardo’s progression throughout the rally was a delight to watch. Intercom and pop-off valve problems were a minor source of frustration, but he kept his head down and ploughed on through. 

Two fastest times on Sunday plus ERC-Michelin Talent Factory honours were both signs of a strong weekend behind the wheel.

Ken Torn 
Position: 28th overall

The Estonian’s Rally2 ERC debut didn’t exactly go to plan. In reality, it was over before it started when a water leak forced him out for the day on SS2. But here’s the thing: Torn didn’t just win the first ever ERC Power Stage. He absolutely dominated it. 

His time - almost one-second per kilometre faster than anybody else’s - was a sign of what could have been. Definitely one to keep a close eye on at round two...

Rachele Somaschini 
Position: DNF

Okay - so the Italian failed to finish after ripping a wheel off her Citroën C3 on SS13 - but she gets a nomination simply for making it to the start. 

Somaschini rolled the car during a pre-event test on Wednesday before the rally. It needed a touch of TLC, but the job was done in record time and she went on to post some respectable stage times.

Kaspar Kasari 
Position: 1st in ERC3

Fiesta Rally3 debutant Kasari entered the rally-ending Lameirinha speed test 5.8sec behind rival Dmitry Feofanov and emerged 31.5sec ahead. Talk about leaving things to the last minute! 

His drive through that stage alone deserves a nomination. 

Óscar Palomo 
Position: 1st in ERC4

If you hadn’t heard of Palomo, you probably have now. Nobody could have predicted the speed the 19-year-old showed on his ERC debut. 

A committed drive with four stage wins earned him the top spot in a hugely competitive ERC4 field in spite of gearbox troubles on the final day. Impressive. 

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Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM