Thu 09 May 2024

Cachón takes first Yaris ERC podium after thrilling all-Spanish battle

Alejandro Cachón made FIA European Rally Championship history on Rally Islas Canarias last weekend when he scored the first ERC podium for Toyota’s all-new GR Yaris Rally2.

But the Spaniard’s success required a heroic fightback from 28th among the registered ERC drivers and also needed the 25-year-old to get the better of compatriots Diego Ruiloba and José Antonio Suárez during the Power Stage decider.  

“I’m very, very happy because the car was working really well and we had the confidence to push,” Cachón said. “I was surprised because I didn’t have so much confidence after the shakedown but we worked on the set-up and everything was good, that was the secret.   

“The level in the Spanish Superchampionship the level is really high. It’s also really high in the European championship so to finish with this result is very good.”

Cachón moved into the lead on stage four after he claimed back-to-back fastest stage times alongside co-driver Borja Rozada. But a damaged front-right tyre on the rally’s fifth stage sent him plummeting down the order.   

From 40.6sec off the lead, Cachón battled back into contention and reached the midday service on leg two in sixth position but in striking distance of a podium place.   

He continued his recovery charge with the Power Stage best time – by 2.5sec over Ruiloba – enough for third place. Ruiloba finished fourth as Suárez took fifth.

“The rhythm was good, we pushed as much as possible,” Cachón said. “For sure without the problem we could have been fighting for the rally [win] but that doesn’t matter now. I know only that in that stage there were two big cuts. In the second maybe I touched some rock or something but I don’t feel anything in the car, it’s very strange.”  

Ending a long wait
Alejandro Cachón’s third-place finish on Rally Islas Canarias was the first Toyota podium in the FIA European Rally Championship since Pieter Tsjoen completed the top three on Rallye du Condroz-Huy in Belgium on 16 November, 2003.

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