Suspense was experienced until the very last moment at RallyMobil Vicuña. With multi champion Jorge Martínez out of the race and Argentinian Alejandro Cancio retiring in the morning, the Heller Brothers’ way was opened for them to get first and second place, and Cristóbal Vidaurre completed the podium. Meanwhile in R3, Samuel and Vicente Israel were the ones who took those positions and left Emilio Rosselot in third.
Experts had said it in advance: The Vicuña trophy, RallyMobil’s furthest to the North round, would be, for many, one of the toughest, and results say it all. Only 15 of all 31 crews that took off at the night Super Special Stage last Friday finished the fourth race.
Alberto Heller (Ford Fiesta R5) clasped the first place at a race were he closely overthrew his brother Pedro (Ford Fiesta R5). Cristóbal Vidaurre (Skoda Fabia R5) followed and completed the R5 podium. Champion Jorge Martínez’s (Peugeot 208 R5) strength prevailed through the morning, but he unexpectedly went off the road at the last special stage of the round and was unable to finish the day.
Incidents at the intricate roads of Valle del Elqui began early in the morning. Alejandro Cancio, who had threatened “Beto” Heller’s supremacy on Saturday with a minimum difference of 7 tenths of a second, was stirred by a failure in his drive system and hence cleared the way for the Ford Fiesta drivers of the Joker Rally Team.
“This was an extremely difficult race, with very crude roads, lots of stones and very fast tracks, where you had to be really careful not to slash tires. Unlike Frutillar, this was a road to be careful, in Frutillar the road was a cleaner one, but a little more tangled. This was a kind of smarter rally, which required doing your best,” Alberto “Beto” Heller said.
At R3, the triumph was grasped by Samuel Israel (Citröen DS3) trailed by his cousin Vicente Israel (Citröen DS3) in second place. Third was Emilio Rosselot (Citröen DS3 Max). They all made up the podium of a category that was split by the road’s grim conditions, which let only 5 cars conclude their fight.
“I am very happy for having finished first, a very difficult rally, very destructive one with paths that can lead you to quickly quit, lose a lot of time. You must go from least to most, know when to push further to get to the top; we’ve done a good job along with Nicolás and we’re leading the championship thanks to it,” Samuel Israel declared.
One of the most affected of this series was Sebastián Silva, together with his co-driver Matías Leiva, for their Renault Clio R3 overturn was stunning as they lost control of the car. Fortunately, and thanks to the certified safety measures every competing RallyMobil car complies with, driver and co-driver came out unharmed.
In R2, Martín Scuncio (Peugeot 208) and his co-driver Javiera Román – the only woman competing – keep a solid pace towards the championship, by making a difference of more than 3 minutes and 14 seconds to their nearest rival, Felipe Padilla (Opel Adam). This podium’s third position was taken by Mauricio Pérez (Ford Fiesta).