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FIA Erc Sata Rallye Acores Day Three Report
Posted by: newsla on May 18, 2014 - 07:46 AM
WRC Rally News 2010
FIA Erc Sata Rallye Acores Day Three Report

DAY REPORT: 2014 FIA European Rally Championship, round five of 12
49th SATA Rallye Açores
Leg two, Saturday 17 May 2014


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*Colin McRae ERC Flat Out Trophy for runner-up Abbring
*ERC Junior joy for dominant Lefebvre
*Home hero Rego holds on for ERC Production Car Cup victory

Bernardo Sousa has won round five of the FIA European Rally Championship following a dramatic final-stage showdown on SATA Rallye Açores today.

Sousa, in a Pirelli-shod Ford Fiesta RRC, started the closing test leading Kevin Abbring by 5.1s. And with Eurosport and RTP Açores broadcasting the action live, the former Portuguese champion beat his Michelin-equipped Peugeot 208T16-driving rival through the closing 21.30-kilometre stage by 1.1s to secure victory with a winning margin of 6.2s.

It was Sousa’s first victory in the ERC and makes him the fourth different winner from five rounds of the all-action series in 2014. It also marks a dramatic reversal of fortune after he and co-driver Hugo Magalhães had to push their car for one kilometre to parc fermé when it broke down due to a sensor failure following the Qualifying Stage on Thursday morning.

“We thought it would be very hard but day-by-day, stage-by-stage I start to believe it would be possible,” said Sousa, who celebrated his 27th birthday on day two of the spectacular gravel event. “The fans were pushing and cheering so much. Hugo was always pushing me so it’s incredible, a dream come true. Last year the win was blown away by a mistake of mine. Now it's my time and I hope this win brings me much more in the future.”

Dutchman Abbring finished second and was handed the Colin McRae ERC Flat Out Trophy for his efforts, which included using cable ties to fashion a replacement belt to drive the alternator and powersteering after it failed on Friday’s penultimate stage. He also scored 91 ERC Gravel Master points alongside his British co-driver Seb Marshall.

Jean-Michel Raoux took a career-best third when Vasily Gryazin slid off the road into a ditch with one stage remaining. The 20-year-old Russian had excelled on his Açores debut but finished outside the top 20 due to his time loss. Robert Consani battled home in fourth following punctures and broken driveshafts on leg one and a smashed windscreen on Saturday’s visit to the Grupo Marques superspecial when the bonnet of his 207 S2000 flew open landing after a jump.

Luis Rego took a narrow ERC Production Car Cup win in fifth ahead of sixth-placed Ricardo Teodósio after gearbox and suspension woes slowed him down in the closing stages. Ruben Rodrigues was 4.6s back in seventh with Giacomo Costenario overcoming early delays to take his first ERC points in eighth. ERC stalwart Antonín Tlusťák and Pedro Vale completed the top 10 with dominant ERC Junior winner Stéphane Lefebvre in 11th for the Peugeot Rally Academy.

Other notable performances came from Martin Hudec, who fought back from a puncture to score more ERC Production Car Cup points. He’s now four behind Vitaliy Pushkar who retired on the second run through the spectacular Sete Cidades stage on Friday with damaged suspension. Chris Ingram was an impressive ERC Junior runner-up with Gino Bux completing the category podium on his loose-surface debut.

Risto Immonen was second until a roll dropped him back to fourth. Guillaume Dilley took a strong fifth on his first ERC start and his first on gravel. However, there was frustration for Fabio Andolfi, who retired with a broken gearbox prior the final stage. Ekaterina Stratieva claimed ERC Ladies’ Trophy honours.

Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Ricardo Moura returned to the action after they retired damaging their suspension on the same rock on Friday’s first test. They set competitive times in their Ford Fiesta R5s. Two-time event winner Bruno Magalhães stopped with a technical failure on stage 12.

Craig Breen’s hopes of a second victory in this year’s ERC were dashed when the Irishman retired his Peugeot Rally Academy 208T16 following an electrical failure at the end of stage nine where he set his fourth fastest time of the event. Unable to restart on Saturday, Breen provided his expert views during Eurosport’s live coverage of the two Tronqueira stages instead. Breen’s failure to score means ŠKODA Motorsport’s Esapekka Lappi tops the ERC standings heading to next month’s Geko Ypres Rally despite SATA Rallye Açores not being included on his schedule.

Jan Černý holds the advantage in ERC Junior despite crashing out on Friday afternoon. ERC driver quotes following stage 17 will be available to download at the ERC website soon.


TOP 10 POSITIONS (after 17 stages, 216.64 kilometres)
1 Bernardo Sousa (PRT)/Hugo Magalhães (PRT) Ford Fiesta RRC 2h43m56.7s
2 Kevin Abbring (GBR)/Sebastian Marshall (GBR) Peugeot 208T16 +6.2s
3 Jean-Michel Raoux (FRA)/Laurent Magat (FRA) Peugeot 207 S2000 +7m51.9s
4 Robert Consani (FRA/Maxime Vilmot (FRA) Peugeot 207 S2000 +9m18.8s
5 Luis Rego (PRT)/Antonio Costa (PRT) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX +10m07.5s
6 Ricardo Teodósio (PRT)/José Teixeira (PRT) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX +10m11.2s
7 Ruben Rodrigues (PRT)/Estevão Rodrigues (PRT) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX +10m15.8s
8 Giacomo Costenaro (ITA)/Justin Bardini (ITA) Peugeot 207 S2000 +10m21.9s
9 Antonín Tlusťák (CZE)/Jan Škaloud (CZE) ŠKODA Fabia S2000 +11m15.5s
10 Pedro Vale (PRT)/Rui Medeiros (PRT) Subaru Impreza WRX STI +11m39.1s

FIA ERC Production Car Cup: Luis Rego (PRT)/Antonio Costa (PRT) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX
FIA ERC 2WD Championship: Stéphane Lefebvre (FRA)/Thomas Dubois (FRA) Peugeot 208 R2
ERC Junior Championship: Stéphane Lefebvre (FRA)/Thomas Dubois (FRA) Peugeot 208 R2
ERC Gravel Master: Kevin Abbring (NED) 91 points
Colin McRae ERC Flat Out Trophy: Kevin Abbring (NED)

Day one (Thursday 15 May/Friday 16 May, 116.89 kilometres):
SS1: Vila Franca São Brás 1 (12.10kms): Breen/PC: Pushkar/2WD: Lefebvre/JC: Lefebvre
SS2: Coroa Da Mata (8.22kms): Kajetanowicz/Lopes/Lefebvre/Lefebvre
SS3: Grupo Marques 1 (3.45kms): Kajetanowicz/Lopes/Lefebvre/Lefebvre
SS4: Batalha Golfe 1 (7.82kms): Abbring/Stage cancelled for all PC/2WD/JC competitors
SS5: Feteiras 1 (7.46kms): Breen/Rego/Lefebvre/Lefebvre
SS6: Sete Cidades 1 (23.90kms): Sousa/Rego//Lefebvre/Lefebvre
SS7: Lagoa Meo 1 (7.38kms): Breen/Lopes//Lefebvre/Lefebvre
SS8: Batalha Golfe 2 (7.82kms): Abbring/Rodrigues/Lefebvre/Lefebvre
SS9: Feteiras 2 (7.46kms): Breen/Stage cancelled for all PC/2WD/JC competitors
SS10: Sete Cidades 2 (23.90kms): Sousa/Stage cancelled for all PC/2WD/JC competitors
SS11: Lagoa Meo 2 (7.38kms): Sousa/Rego//Lefebvre/Lefebvre

Day two (Saturday 17 May, 99.75 kilometres):
SS12: Graminhais 1 (20.80kms): Moura/Pushkar/Lefebvre/Lefebvre
SS13: Tronqueira 1 (21.30kms): Moura/Vale/Moniz/Lefebvre
SS14: Grupo Marques 2 (3.45kms): Kajetanowicz/Teodósio/Bux/Bux
SS15: Vila Franca São Brás 2 (12.10kms): Abbring/Pushkar/Lefebvre/Lefebvre
SS16: Graminhais 2 (20.80kms): Abbring/Pushkar/Moniz/Lefebvre
SS17: Tronqueira 2 (21.30kms): Sousa/Teodósio//Lefebvre/Lefebvre

ERC rally wins 2014: Lappi 2, Breen, Kubica and Sousa 1.

ERC stage wins 2014: Lappi 17; Breen 11; Kubica 8; Kajetanowicz 7; Abbring, Bouffier and Pech 6; Webber 5; Sousa 4; Gryazin and Moura 2; Baumschlager, S Moffett, Plangi and Tarabus 1.

Go to www.fiaerc.com for the championship positions following round five of 12.

What’s next?
Geko Ypres Rally (Belgium), 19-21 June 2014: Using farmland asphalt roads around the historic market town, the narrow stages are lined by drainage ditches and telegraph poles and popularised by tight junctions. More information: ypresrally.com Contact: hugo.vanopstal@ypresrally.com, +32 477376868

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