Sat 14 May 2022

Comeback king Pellier grabs ERC4 and Junior ERC win

Laurent Pellier was victorious in ERC4 and the Junior ERC after a near-faultless drive at Rally Islas Canarias.

The Opel Corsa Rally4 hotshot languished outside of the top 20 after a mishap on Thursday evening’s superspecial stage, but hauled his way up the leaderboard on Friday. 

He leapfrogged Clio Rally4 driver Anthony Fotia later that afternoon and carried a 17.3sec advantage into the final day. 

Fotia was charging hard on Saturday morning, but could only pull back 3.0sec across the opening loop.

He further reduced the gap to 8.1sec with one stage to go, but Pellier kept him at bay with a Power Stage win and took the spoils in ERC4 as well as the Junior ERC. His final winning margin was 8.9sec. 

“What a perfect start to the season – victory in both ERC4 and Junior ERC,” enthused the winner. “It’s a beautiful feeling. It was our goal to win here, especially being on asphalt because French drivers are expected to be fast on asphalt, but Anthony [Fotia] was very fast too and we had a great fight.

“For sure, without the spin on Thursday night, it would have been a bit more comfortable, and we could see Fotia was getting closer today. We tried to manage everything and maintain the gap and thankfully, he could never take quite enough time out of us. Now, we have two difficult gravel rounds coming up, so this is where the real work begins!”

Clio youngster Andrea Mabellini completed the ERC4 podium, 35.3sec back from Fotia. Óscar Palomo was 49.5sec behind, while his Peugeot 208 Rally4 rival Alex Español rounded off the top five another 18.4sec down. 

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