Thu 12 May 2022

Vinyes and Mercader hit Suzuki milestone

ERC Open crew Joan Vinyes and Jordi Mercader will celebrate a very special landmark when they start Rally Islas Canarias this evening (Thursday).

Having enjoyed several podiums after graduating to ERC2 in 2021 with a Rally2 Kit-specification Swift R4lly S, Vinyes currently leads the ERC Open series by nine points from Alberto Monarri. 

“It’s a pleasure for me,” said Vinyes. “This is the best team in the world and I am so proud to do 100 rallies with Suzuki. I want to do more with this team, because for me it’s my family.” 

Suzuki Ibérica president Joan Lopez Frade added: “It has been 12 years that have passed very quickly with many good moments, victories and some disappointments.

The crew are celebrating their 100th rally start in a Team Suzuki Ibérica car at round three of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) this week. Fittingly, Vinyes previously won Rally Islas Canarias in 2005. 

Vinyes and Mercader began their relationship with Suzuki Ibérica back in 2010 with the famous Swift S1600 - a car which carried them to some giant-killing results over a number of years. 

Vinyes took a short sabbatical after sustaining a skiing injury in 2015, but Mercader continued to co-drive in the same car for Spaniard Alberto Hevia and the Vinyes-Mercader pairing was later reunited at the end of 2016.  

In 2017 the team contested the N5 category with a new four-wheel drive Swift R+, and later a Swift Sport R+. The switch brought plenty of success and they became Spanish N5 champions in 2018 and 2019. 

“I still remember when we contacted Joan at the end of 2009 with the intention of having him for the team we were setting up. It was very easy to talk to him and we quickly reached an agreement. 

“Here we are now, 100 rallies later, with the same desire to win as then. Many congratulations, Joan and Jordi."

  • Full coverage from Rally Islas Canarias 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.
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