ERC Round #2: Rally Islas Canarias, Spain (May 4-6)
At the finish line of a fiercely-fought second round of the 2017 FIA ERC, Pepe LÓPEZ, 21, won the U28 class (under 28), his maiden international win, with the PEUGEOT 208T16 of the PEUGEOT RALLY ACADEMY.
Laurent GUYOT (Director, PEUGEOT SPORT Customer Competition Program)
“Rally Islas Canarias was a tough event! But with Pepe LOPEZ and the 208T16 we came away with a strong result that bodes well for the rest of the season and will naturally boost the whole team to keep going this way. We always knew Pepe LÓPEZ was quick and here we have the confirmation that he counts amongst the sport’s best up-and-coming youngsters. José Antonio SUAREZ could have come away with a top finish if he not encountered this small technical problem. He proved again that he has a great potential. We are sure the tide will turn in his favour soon. Despite the difficulties he had to face during this rally, he displayed high speed and a good spirit, which is primordial for a driver.”
Pepe LÓPEZ (driver, PEUGEOT 208T16 #3)
"We managed to show what we are capable of and found our true speed on the last three stages of the rally. We didn’t overdo it on the last one to be sure of getting the victory. We are delighted with the pace we showed on our first asphalt rally as we also had good sensations at the wheel of the PEUGEOT 208T16. It’s an incredible, fully-deserved result for everyone in the PEUGEOT RALLY ACADEMY squad. We are now in a good position for the rest of the season, so we intend to stay focused, keep up the momentum and carry on fighting.”
Jose Antonio SUÁREZ (driver, PEUGEOT 208T16 #9)
“I was really happy on Friday morning because we managed to complete Section 1 at the top of the Junior U28 leaderboard and in third place overall despite some small issues with the car on the opening stage. Those problems worsened during the afternoon and our engine lost power. I did what I could to keep up with the top drivers but it wasn’t possible. Despite the fact that we struggled a lot this week-end, I am convinced we have the best mechanics and a performing technical crew. I feel very optimistic after Rally Islas. Things like this happen in rallying, so we have to move forward and think about the next event”.
FINAL POSITIONS - ERC JUNIOR U28 - RALLY GRAN CANARIAS (ROUND 2 of 6)
1. López Pepe / Rozada Borja (SPA) 2h7m35.6s
2. Michel Sylvain / Degout Jérôme (FRA) +9.9s
3. Griebel Marijan / Kopczyk Stefan (GER) +1m3.3s
4. Gryazin Nikolay / Fedorov Y. (LAT) +1m15.7s
5. Pernía S. / Del Barrio C. (LAT) +2m13.2s
6. Suárez J. / Carrera C. (SPA) +5m4.6s