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With his eye on the podium, Francisco “Chaleco” López is going out there to get the most points he can at the seventh round of RallyMobil Championship, the Pichilemu trophy, the capital of surf in Chile, on the coast, in O’Higgins Region.

The native from Curicó is standing fifth on the R5 championship table with 51 points, outpacing Cristóbal Vidaurre (45 points), Luis Ignacio Rosselot (42) and Benjamín Israel (42), all of them very close to one another, a kind of pressure the Peugeot Sport Chile/Copec Cooper Tires Team representative likes.

“Pichilemu offers roads that are different from those we’ve raced before. The floor will be gravel, in general, which will provide less stability to the cars and demand a more technical driving. It will be like surfing the sea,” the 42 year old comments laughingly. He has been practicing during the week on similar roads near Santiago and he is already in sunny and hot Pichilemu.

R5 leaders are Pedro Heller (102), Jorge Martínez (96), Alberto Heller (92) and Alejandro Cancio (85). Everyone, except Alberto, have raced the all-wheel drive machines in more than one round.

“It hasn’t been easy being in the new R5. I absolutely knew it would be a year of learning, of having to get used to the car each and every time. That’s why I’ve been progressively maturing and technically moving forward,” Chaleco López, who drives next to Nicolás Levalle, explains.

The seventh round’s headquarters are placed at the Pichilemu aerodrome, where the Service Park and Parc Fermé. The test starts at 8:00 PM this Friday 23 at the Arturo Prat Main Square. Between Saturday and Sunday the more than 30 crews will go across a total of 386.61 kilometers, of which 150.88 correspond to special stages.