Canarias - IRC news before SS10

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By Franck Drui

17 March 2012 - 11:00
Canarias - IRC news before SS10

Kopecky to lead the runners on day two in Canarias

Event leader Jan Kopecký will run first on the road on day two of Rally Islas Canarias El Corte Inglés, the second event of the 13-round all-action Intercontinental Rally Challenge season.

The 30-year-old Czech driver, the winner in Gran Canaria in 2010, will head Andreas Mikkelsen and Luis Monzón over Saturday’s six stages starting with the 13.28-kilometre Maspalomas stage, which gets underway at 10:28hrs local time.

Hermann Gassner Jr goes fourth followed by countryman and fellow ŠKODA Fabia driver Sepp Wiegand and Peugeot 207 runner Jonathan Perez. IRC 2WD Cup leader Joan Vinyes goes seventh with Dream Team Ukraine’s Oleksii Tamrazov eighth.

Gorka Antxustegui is ninth on the road with Oleksandr Saliuk, in an M-Sport Ford Fiesta S2000, restarting following his retirement due to a transmission fault on Friday morning.

Alberto Hevia also restarts after repairs to the electrics of his ŠKODA Spain-backed Fabia.

Local driver Angel Marrero is the top Honda runner in 12th overall, IRC Production Cup leader Robert Consani is the highest-placed Renault driver in 17th, with Marco Tempestini heading the Subaru challenge in 19th.

A total of 26th crews are still running following Friday’s nine stages.

Gassner Jr to put strong finish ahead of podium bid

Hermann Gassner Jr will resist the temptation to fight for a podium finish on Rally Islas Canarias El Corte Inglés in order to ensure a strong points finish on round two of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge.

The 23-year-old from German is in an impressive fourth overall of his first appearance on the challenging asphalt rally, albeit a mere 20.3s behind third-placed Luis Monzón with six stages remaining.

“We will try to go on the podium of course but we have to stay on the road, that is very important,” said the Red Bull Team driver. “I was not happy with my driving on the last two stages [on Friday] and we also had an intercom problem. But we have a very good feeling with the car.”

Fourth position would represent Gassner Jr’s best finish in the IRC to date.

No restart for Hevia in Gran Canaria

Alberto Hevia won’t restart on day two of Rally Islas Canarias El Corte Inglés following his retirement on the road section heading to Friday’s penultimate stage.

Hevia, a former Spanish champion, had been dicing for fifth position on the Intercontinental Rally Challenge event when he hit trouble.

Although he appeared on the start list for day two in 11th position, his self-run ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 remains in the service park in Las Palmas where it s currently undergoing repair.

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