The ERC champions of 2021: Javier Pardo**
While his sixth win from six starts on last month’s […]
While his sixth win from six starts on last month’s Rally Islas Canarias owed plenty to his team-mate Joan Vinyes’ late exit, Pardo was all but assured title glory alongside co-driver Adrián Pérez after he battled back from a time-consuming power issue on the opening leg of the Tarmac event.
“This title is the work of all the team, all the people and of course Adrián my co-driver,” said Spaniard Pardo, a highly-rated 25-year-old. “It was the perfect year and the perfect season so it’s incredible. In the first moment I think finishing the final race with Joan and Jordi [Mercader] first with me and Adrián in second was perfect. But then there was a little drama in the car of Joan and Jordi. But it’s rally and until the end of the rally it’s impossible to predict what can happen. But I am very happy to be champion.”
Pardo and the vastly experienced Andorran and Suzuki stalwart Vinyes formed part of Suzuki Motor Ibérica’s two-strong ERC2 line-up in a pair of Swift R4lly S Rally2 Kit-specification challengers. It marked a departure into unknown territory for the duo, as Pardo explained.
“I knew only Rally Islas Canarias and some stages from Fafe but on a different level as it was not part of the ERC when I did this rally before,” said Pardo. “All the other rallies were new and very difficult with no experience. But we made no mistakes, we had a constant rhythm and a good car and good team.”
After winning the season-opening ORLEN 77th Rally Poland, Pardo triumphed again on Rally di Roma Capitale before he made it three wins from three starts on the 55th Azores Rallye. He took a fourth victory on Rally Serras de Fafe el Felgueiras before triumphing again on Rally Hungary. His class win on Rally Islas Canarias was his sixth from six starts and a third on asphalt to go with his three gravel victories.
“This season has been very important for me,” said Pardo, whose planned ERC3 Junior programme for 2020 was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “In the past I drove with R2 cars but now with four-wheel drive it’s very good for the experience. In all rallies, I talk with Joan and Jordi a lot about the set-up. In then push a lot in all rallies but it was a long championship and I needed to stay focused in each stage.
“To win the title is very special and winning all six rallies is like a dream. But I have to say thank you to my team. They gave me the perfect car, we had the perfect tyres and when you look at the team it’s easy to understand how professional they are and why they win.”
Did you know?
Pardo began his career co-driving his father Francisco. When he’s not competing, Pardo Jr works for the family business, which includes a hotel and farm.