Hänninen first on the road in Gran Canaria
Hänninen will be followed by Guy Wilks and Jan Kopecký
Juho Hänninen will start today’s opening leg of Rally Islas Canarias first on the road by virtue of leading the Intercontinental Rally Challenge after the opening three rounds.
The Finn, who drives a Škoda Fabia Super 2000 for the factory Czech team, is one of 26 starters in the main rally, round four of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge.
While road position can have a huge bearing on the outcome of rallies, particularly those on gravel, drivers competing on Gran Canaria insist it makes no difference in dry conditions. That’s because the nature of the all-asphalt island roads prevents corner cutting and therefore stops gravel and rocks from being dragged onto the stage surface.
Hänninen will be followed through Friday’s nine stages by Guy Wilks with Škoda Motorsport team-mate Jan Kopecký completing a trio of Fabia S2000s.
Defending IRC champion Kris Meeke (Peugeot 207) is fourth on the road with Peugeot Sport Portugal’s Bruno Magalhães fifth in a similar 207.
Ireland’s Daniel Barry (Ralliart Mitsubishi Lancer) is the top starter in a conventional Group N car in 13th with Jose Barrios the only Subaru Impreza entrant in 15th. Yeray Lemes heads the IRC 2WD Cup runners in his Ford Fiesta R2.
Top 10 IRC starters (leg one)
1 Juho Hänninen
2 Guy Wilks
3 Jan Kopecký
4 Kris Meeke
5 Bruno Magalhães
6 Alberto Hevia
7 Sergio Vallejo
8 Daniel Oliveira
9 Franz Wittmann
10 Thierry Neuville