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Fri 21 Oct 2022

Llarena looking forward to battle with Bonato

Recently-crowned FIA European Rally Champion Efrén Llarena is hoping to exact his revenge on Yoann Bonato at RallyRACC Catalunya-Costa Daurada this weekend (21-22 October), with expectations high for another no-holds-barred duel between the pair over the next two days.

While the stories of their respective seasons have diverged somewhat – Llarena clinching a maiden ERC title and Bonato making only three starts – when the Frenchman has appeared, their battles have been epic.

At Rally Islas Canarias back in May, they ended up tied on time for second place after the Spaniard produced a last-ditch Power Stage push, securing the runner-up spoils on countback having gone fastest over the first non-superspecial stage.

At Rally di Roma Capitale just over two months later, Bonato turned the tables. It was advantage Llarena heading into the Power Stage in Italy – by a scant tenth-of-a-second – but this time it was the Citroën driver who pulled it out of the bag, outpacing his MRF Tyres rival by 0.4s over the 6.72km Fiuggi test to narrowly grab the final podium position.

And it seems there is more to come. On shakedown in Catalunya yesterday, Llarena and Bonato were separated by just three tenths-of-a-second – setting the scene for another sensational scrap.

“We are really looking forward to fighting with Yoann again,” enthused the home hero. “We have had some fun fights this year and also last year. In the Canaries, we were on the same time at the end and in Rome, he beat me by just three tenths-of-a-second. I hope to get my own back this weekend – and beat him by at least a second!”

Keep up with all the action in Catalunya via live timing here.