Fri 25 Mar 2022

Pardo fastest in Azores Qualifying Stage

ERC-Michelin Talent Factory member Javier Pardo made his Azores Rallye (25 - 27 March) intentions clear as he set the fastest time on Friday afternoon’s Qualifying Stage.

Qualifying Stage Classification:
Pos Driver Car Time
1. Javier PARDO (ESP) / Adrián PEREZ (ESP) Skoda Fabia Rally2 2min 53.1sec
2. Simone TEMPESTINI (ROU) / Sergiu ITU (ROU) Skoda Fabia Rally2 +0.1sec
3. Efrén LLARENA (ESP) / Sara FERNÁNDEZ (ESP) Skoda Fabia Rally2 +0.5sec
4. Alberto BATTISTOLLI (ITA) / Simone SCATTOLIN (ITA) Skoda Fabia Rally2 +1.2sec
5. Ken TORN (EST) / Kauri PANNAS (EST) Ford Fiesta Rally2 +1.5sec
6 Ricardo MOURA (PRT) / António COSTA (PRT) Skoda Fabia Rally2 +1.6sec
7. Simon WAGNER (AUT) / Gerald WINTER (AUT) Skoda Fabia Rally2 +2.1sec
8. Simone CAMPEDELLI (ITA) / Tania CANTON (CHE) Skoda Fabia Rally2 +4.1sec
9. Armindo ARAÚJO (PRT) / Luis RAMALHO (PRT) Skoda Fabia Rally2 +5.9sec
10. Norbert HERCZIG (HUN) / Igor BACIGÁL (SVK) Skoda Fabia Rally2 +6.2sec
  • Full coverage from the Azores Rally will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.
Trailer: Azores Rallye

The Skoda Fabia Rally2 pilot was the class of the field as he edged Romanian driver Simone Tempestini’s similar car by just one-tenth of a second through the 4.37km warm-up blast. 

The weather in the Azores can be a real lottery, and while the roads remained dry for the curtain-raiser, there is rain forecast through Saturday and into Sunday.  

Pardo’s winning time means he will get first pick of his road position at the start order selection, which takes place from 1800hrs (local time) today. 

Speaking to following his run, the Spaniard explained that a lower road position could be the key to success. 

“It was a very good run, but it was a demanding stage,” said the 25-year-old. “For tomorrow, I’m not completely sure what is the best position to start.

“I think fifteenth on the road may be a good option. If it’s wet, the gravel is not like Fafe, so it’s not a problem like this. I prefer for the other guys to clean the stage for me,” he added. 

Team MRF Tyres star Efrén Llarena ended 0.5sec adrift of Pardo to round off an all-Fabia podium. He had 0.7sec in hand over Alberto Battistolli’s similar car, while Ken Torn completed the top five another 0.3sec behind with his Pirelli-shod Ford Fiesta Rally2.

Local man Ricardo Moura, who hails from Ponta Delgada, was sixth. The Skoda ace initially set the pace in Free Practice, but trailed Pardo’s Qualifying Stage benchmark by 1.6sec.

Championship returnee Simon Wagner was seventh followed by Simone Campedelli - another driver from the Team MRF Tyres stable. Armindo Araújo and Norbert Herczig were ninth and tenth respectively.

The rally gets underway on Saturday morning. Seven stages - totalling 117.76km - make up the opening day of action.

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