Storm hits ERC crews in Jurassic Park!
Stormy conditions on the Tronqueira stage brought some interesting twists to the FIA European Rally Championship action on the Azores Rallye.
Strong winds and heavy rain pushed the ERC crews to their limit, with the conditions catching out several drivers.
While Ricardo Teodósio took his first stage win in the ERC, beating rally leader Alexey Lukyanuk by 7.3s, others hit trouble.
ERC1 Junior contender Pedro Almeida, who restarted under Rally2 rules this morning, was forced to stop when he sustained right-rear suspension damage to his ŠKODA Fabia R5 (pictured).
The podium battle in ERC3 Junior was also shaken up when FPAK Portugal Team ERC driver Pedro Antunes struck a wall and broke Peugeot’s rear suspension, dropping over a minute and potentially ruling him out for the rest of the rally.
Antunes had dropped to third on the prior stage, Graminhais, and then fell to fourth when he lost over a minute on Tronqueira.
Fellow ERC3 Junior competitor Erik Cais summed up the almost unbelievable conditions on a stage known for its jungle-like appearance.
“It was a hurricane! We had big rain on the start. It was like in Jurassic Park! I waited for a T-Rex but I didn’t see him,” quipped the ACCR Czech Rally Team driver.