With an amazing control and speed delivery, the eight times RallyMobil champion, Jorge Martínez (Peugeot 208 T6), clasped each one of the seven special stages, thus he was Saturday’s winner, overpassing R5 leader Pedro Heller (Ford Fiesta) by 1 minute, 14 seconds and 4 tenths. Martínez is, for now, one point below “Drope” Heller, which grants Sunday all the thirlls of the R5 world category. An extremely competitive scene, right in the first race after it’s been confirmed that the sixth round of the World Rally Championship (WRC) 2019 calendar will be based in Chile, Concepción.
But the excitement was not only felt at the all-wheel drive cars main class. R3, the most competitive series, gave some quivers of its own. Its leader Emilio Rosselot (Citröen DS3) suffered a setback with his car’s constant velocity joint, which forced his team to maximize its efforts so as to preserve points and being able to restart on Sunday. Saturday was mastered by Vicente Israel (Citrön DS3), while his cousin and team-mate Samuel Israel (Citröen DS3) finished the seven featured special stages 5.6 seconds behind him. Ramón Ibarra (Renault Clio 3) concluded the day in thrid position.
The unexpected arose within R2. Its main crew of this season was troubled; driver Martín Scuncio and co-driver Javiera Román were not sure, when this press release was issued, whether they would restart on the last day of the Río Bueno – La Unión trophy, after some car bumpings throughout the road and difficulties with the fuel pump. The category’s first day victory was gained by the solid world class driver Emilio Fernández (Ford Fiesta T), while Facundo Opawsky (Peugeot 208) grasped second place, 1 minute, 19 seconds and 4 tenths away from Saturday’s winner. Marcelo Vildósola (Peugeot 208) came in third.
“Winning every special stage is something we hadn’t had for years; the car in its full shape and without having made any mistakes. I’m very satisfied, I’m glad, and we gained good distance for tomorrow. I think I’m leaving much pleased on such a good Saturday. We all know who Pedro is, a big driver, which means we did a really good job today. I think the main difference was at the first special stage, we started on a great pace, we read the car right, we managed to put through a good set-up, so we achieved a good day,” declared Saturday’s R5 winner, Jorge Martínez.
Vicente Israel, winner in R3, said, regarding his performance: “The truth is today I felt again like the driver I’ve been seeking to become for a while, a trusting, speeding up and fast Vicente. I had so many accidents last year, it really made me loose my self-confidence and I’ve been working all year long to get better, little by little, and the truth is I felt I was the Vicente I’ve been looking for, since a long time ago, again today, so I’m happy about my performance and also for Samuel; we managed to make the one-two again at a full fight for the championship.”
Emilio Fernández, R2 winner, said about the competition: “It was a good day for us, we managed to finish on first place and that helps us a lot in the championship. We’ve got to run the numbers for tomorrow, see what we’ll do and whether we’re going out there to win, or we might take care of our Rally. A lot more doors have been opened for us for the title, so we’ll try to get it and focus on that.”