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Tue 18 Oct 2022

ERC4 hopefuls set for Spanish showdown

The ERC4 battle goes down to the wire this weekend with a champion set to be crowned at RallyRACC Catalunya-Costa Daurada (20 - 22 October).

Three crews head into this final round with a mathematical chance of taking the crown. Each of them hail from different countries and all three are driving Rally4-specification cars from different manufacturers. 

Home hero Óscar Palomo is the leading contender in his Peugeot 208. At just 19 years old, the Rallye Team Spain driver arrives to Salou with a 14-point advantage and a result of fifth or higher on his native roads will be enough to wrap up the championship. 

Should Palomo fail to perform, however, Andrea Mabellini will be waiting in the wings to pick up the pieces.

Mabellini drives a Toksport-prepared Renault Clio and must outscore his rival by at least 15 points to take the honours. To put things into perspective, even if the Italian driver wins the rally, he’ll be reliant on Palomo finishing outside the top five. 

France’s Laurent Pellier - this year’s Junior ERC champion - is an outside contender. Absences at the opening two rounds have left the 27-year-old a hefty 20 points back from the lead, although his Opel Corsa has been the class of the field in five of the six rallies it has started this year.

As well as the title contenders, several other stars will be looking to make a name for themselves on the taxing stages around Salou. 

For Ford Fiesta regulars Toni Herranen and Nick Loof, this week marks their respective debuts in mainland Spain. It’s a similar situation for Roberto Daprà, who campaigns a Renault. 

Other local entrants include Diego Ruiloba, Luis Morais and Iago Gabeiras. All three drive Peugeot cars.