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Fri 29 Apr 2022

Changes aplenty for Rally Islas Canarias

The 2022 FIA European Rally Championship switches to Tarmac next month with Rally Islas Canarias gearing up to host round three of what’s shaping up to be another wide-open season.

Following the gravel-based rounds in Fafe and Azores in March, the 46th Rally Islas Canarias is not only the first asphalt counter of the current campaign, it’s also the opening round of the restructured FIA Junior ERC Championship for Rally4 and Rally5 cars on Pirelli tyres.

After two years of running in November due to COVID-19 restrictions, the event returns to its more familiar May slot, albeit one week later than normal from 12-14 May.

While the date is more of a known quantity, organisers have made several changes to the route to ensure none of the challenge of competing on his classic island event is diluted.

That challenge comes primarily from the terrain with the special stages climbing and descending at a frequent rate. That requires drivers to pay close attention to corner speed and lines to ensure optimal momentum is maintained, while precise car set-up and pacenote accuracy are vital. 

ERC Rally Islas Canarias 2021 - Review

But one of the notable features of the sealed stages is the abrasive surface, constructed partly from volcanic lava. It means grip levels are high and remain constant if it rains, although tyre wear can increase in dry conditions. However, with the opportunity to take ‘cuts’ through corners limited, the roads remain relatively debris-free.

Following Free Practice, the Qualifying Stage and Shakedown on Thursday 12 May, rather than the traditional ceremonial start, crews will face an early test when they tackle the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria-DISA city stage, which forms the opening stage of the event from 20h35 local time having previously taken place at the end of the opening leg.

The action continues on Friday 13 May with twin visits to Valsequillo (11.91 kilometres), Santa Lucía (14.82 kilometres) and Tejeda (20.78 kilometres) either side of service at the Estadio Gran Canaria. Teams face a total of 96.52 competitive kilometres on day one.

Saturday’s deciding leg, which covers a competitive distance of 97.52 kilometres, also includes three stages before and after the midday service halt at the Estadio Gran Canaria.

The action begins with the 27.42 kilometres of Moya-Valleseco followed by runs through Arucas (9.3 kilometres) and San Mateo. The second pass of the 12.04-kilometre San Mateo test forms the Power Stage, an exciting new addition to the ERC for 2022.

In total, the 46th Rally Islas Canarias features 13 stages with a timed route of 194.04 kilometres.

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