Fri 03 May 2024

Tango at the top in ERC after multiple lead changes

Alejandro Cachón heads the order on Rally Islas Canarias after a fast-paced Friday morning, which has included three changes of the lead and plenty of total commitment on the challenging Tarmac tests.

Yoann Bonato, last year’s winner, was the first to make his move on round two of the 2024 FIA European Rally Championship, going quickest on the day-opening 14.83km Agüimes - Santa Lucía stage aboard his Michelin-equipped Citroën C3 Rally2.

His performance from first on the road meant he overtook Hayden Paddon for the lead after the ERC champion had gone fastest on Thursday night’s SSS1 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, which included a section through the Gran Canaria Arena where thousands of fans created a raucous atmosphere.

Cachón, piloting a Toyota GR Yaris Rally2 on Pirelli tyres, was the driver to beat on SS3, the 11.07km Tajeda test, with the third fastest time for Mathieu Franceschi enough to promote the Michelin-shod Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 driver into first place overall.

But Bonato hit back through the 21.15 kilometres of Artenara - Gáldar to edge back in front of Franceschi by 2.1sec after he initially set the pace, only for Cachón to go a full 5.3sec quicker and move into the lead with a 3.0sec advantage over Bonato.

In rising ambient and ground temperatures, drivers have been reporting significant tyre wear, which was particularly apparent during the closing kilometres of SS4, the longest stage of leg one.

A service halt at the Estadio Gran Canaria is next with SS5, the repeat of Agüimes - Santa Lucía, due to get under way at 15:48 local time.

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