Pepe Lopez victorious at Canary Islands, fourth win in a row for Breen
The 43rd Rally Islas Canarias, which took place at Spanish Canary Islands this weekend, was the second round of the 2019 FIA European Rally Championship. The victory went to Spanish driver Jose Maria ‘Pepe’ Lopez in a Citroen C3 R5. It’s his first overall victory in the European championship.
Lopez inherited a lead from defending champion Alexey Lukyanuk when the Russian damaged his Citroen on the first special stage on Saturday morning, then retiring with broken suspension. Over Saturday’s eight stages, Lopez was controlling his advantage over the second-placed Chris Ingram (Škoda Fabia R5), finishing the rally with a 28.5sec gap. Polish driver Lukasz Habaj (Škoda Fabia R5) completed a podium.
Many national rally championships had their rounds this weekend. The 40th International Rally of the Lakes was the fourth round of the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship (ITRC).
The former WRC regular Craig Breen and his navigator Paul Nagle took the victory in the #1 Ford Fiesta R5. It’s the fourth consecutive win for Breen in the ITRC. Two more Fiesta drivers Alastair Fisher and Callum Devine completed the podium in Killarney.
In Norway, the Rally Sørland was the fourth round of the national championship. Ole Christian Veiby took the victory in a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5, in front of two Ford Fiesta drivers Anders Grondal and Frank Tore Larsen.
The 19. Rallye Castine – Terre d’Occitanie was the second round of the French Gravel Rally Championship. Thibaut Durbec won the rally in a Citroen DS3 WRC. In Italy, the 26th Rally Adriatico was the first round of the Italian Gravel Rally Championship. The winner was the Frenchman Stephane Consani in a Škoda Fabia R5.
In Portugal, Ricardo Teodosio (Škoda Fabia R5) triumphed in the Rali de Mortagua, the third round of the Portuguese Rally Championship. In Austria, Hermann Neubauer (Ford Fiesta R5) scored his third consecutive victory in the national championship by winning the Wechselland Rallye.
In Slovakia, Martin Koči (Škoda Fabia R5) took the victory at Rallye Tatry, the second round of the Slovakian championship. In Romania, Simone Tempestini (Hyundai i20 R5) took the victory at Raliul Argesului, the first round of the national championship. One more Hyundai driver celebrated a victory this weekend, Rok Turk at Rally Opatija, the second round of the Croatian Rally Championship.
Photos: Jorge Cunha/DPPI,