EHSRC: “Lucky” and Fabrizia Pons Win Round 1 in Spain

The overnight leaders were Jean-François and Aline Berenguer (BMW M3) with a slim 0.4 seconds advantage over ‘Lucky’ and Fabrizia Pons (Lancia Delta Integrale 16v) and the remaining 32 FIA EHSRC competitors tackled the first 12.2km stage at Osor.

SS3: Osor 1

The Lancia Delta Integrale driven by ‘Lucky’ got the day off to a great start with a time of 8m25.8, 12 seconds ahead of the nearest car, the Ford Sierra Cosworth of Spain’s Daniel Alonso and Candido Carrera, with Tim Van Rompuy’s BMW in third. Overnight leader Jean- François Berenguer faltered with a 8m43.7 stage time in 4th, 17.9 seconds behind the lead car.

Overnight Category 2 leaders Anders and Ingrid Johnsen (Porsche RS 911) extended their lead, the Swedes setting a 8m52.9, over 24 seconds ahead of Lazlo Mekler and Edit Mekler-Miko(Alfa Romeo 1750 GTAM).

CateGory 3 leaders Jorge Perez-Companc and Jose Volta got day two of the Rally Moritz Costa Brava off to a good start in the Viking Motorsport Ford Escort with a 9m2.6 on the 12.2km stage, while in Category 1 the Ford Escort Twincam of Heiko Dlugos and Tim Rauber went quicker than Antonio Parisi and Giuseppe D’Angelo (Porsche 911S) by 0.6 seconds with a 9m39.9.

SS4: Collsaplana 1

The Lancia Delta Integrale of ‘Lucky’ and Fabrizia Pons extended their lead by taking another stage win, 6.8 seconds ahead of Jean-Francois Berenguer’s BMW and 21.1s ahead of the Ford Sierra Cosworth of Sweden’s Mats Mysell.

Anders Johnsen also extended his Category 2 lead with a 12m00.1 in 5th overall, while Heinz-Walter Schewe was the fastest in a Category 3 finishing the stage in 6th overall in a time of 12:17.4 in the Porsche 911 SC. The back and forth battle between the two leaders in Category 1 went back towards Antonio Parisi, with the Porsche finishing 1.5 seconds ahead of Heiko Dlugos in the Ford Escort.

The first retirement of the day happened on SS4 with Valter Jensen and Erik Pedersen – RT Road Section.

SS5: Grions 1

SS5 went to Jean-Francois Berenguer’s BMW, the French driver posting a 7m02.4 on the 10.1km special stage, closing the gap by 4.1 seconds to the Lancia Delta Integrale of ‘Lucky’ and Fabrizia Pons.

Swedish duo Anders and Ingrid Johnsen made it five wins from five special stages with another 5th place overall in the Porsche, with a 7m19.3, 23.3 seconds ahead of Lazlo Mekler and Edit Meklerne-Miko.

Pentti Veikkanen took the Category 3 stage win while overnight leaders Jorge Perez-Companc and Jose Volta (Ford Escort 1800 ) retired at Grions. Antonio Parisi went back to the stage win in Category 1 with a 7m52.9, five seconds ahead of Ernie and Karen Graham in the Ford Escort.

There were two further retirements on SS5 – Daniel Alonso and Candido Carrera failed to finish in the Category 4 Ford Sierra Cosworth, while the Category 2 Porsche of Paolo Pasutti and Ciovanni Battista Campeis suffered a mechanical failure

SS6: Cladells 1

On the 15.7 km Cladells stage Jean-Francois Berenguer continued to establish the BMW at the top of the time sheets with a 10m04.1, +6.7 seconds ahead of the Lancia Delta of ‘Lucky’. The Lancia Rally 37 of Finland’s Ville Silvasti set the third fastest time down the Cladells stage, 23.7 seconds behind the leader.

Anders Johnson continued to extend his lead in category 2 with a another fast time of 10m38.0 for 4th overall and 26.9 seconds ahead of Lazlo Mekler’s Alfa Romeo in 8th overall. Pentti Veikkanen took SS5 in the Category 3 Porsche 911 SC by 15 seconds. Ernie Graham took his first stage win in the Category 1 Ford Escort with a time of 11m39.5, 5.8 seconds ahead of Heiko Dlogos (11:45.3) and Antonio Parisi (11m45.7).

Tom Van Rompuy and Jens Vanoverschelde went out of the rally when the Category 4 BMW M3 retired.

SS7: Osor 2

The second running of Osor special stage saw ‘Lucky’ extend his overall lead to 15.6 seconds after taking another stage victory in the Lancia Delta, 2.1 seconds ahead of Jean- François Berenguer’s BMW. Anders Johnson finished the second running of Osor with an 8m40.3 stage time and holding a category lead over 3m04s over Lazlo Mekler.

Esa Peltonen in the Toyota Starlet took the first Category 3 win of the day to take the overall lead in the category, the Finn holding a 1m09s lead over the Porsche 911 of Francisco Casas. Another Category 1 win for Antonio Parisi extended the Italian’s lead to 47 seconds over Ernie Graham at the end of seven stages.

Pennti Veikkanen and Timo Jaakkola became another retirement when the Category 3 Porsche suffered a mechanical issue on Osor 2.

SS8: Collsaplana 2

Two two leading cars, the Lancia Delta Integrale of ‘Lucky’ and Fabrizia Pons and the BMW M3 of Jean-Francois and Aline Berenguer continued to vie for the overall lead. ‘Lucky’ took another stage victory with a time of 11:20.4, 2.1 seconds ahead of his French rival.

Anders Johnson made it eight from eight in the Porsche 911 as he took another stage win to extend his class lead over Lazlo Mekler’s Alfa Romeo.

Esa Peltonen took another stage in the Toyota Starlet, the Finn finishing 1.5 seconds ahead of Heinz Walter Schewe’s Porsche and 11.4 seconds ahead of Francisco Casas’ 911. Antonio Parisi continued to post the best stage times in Category 1, posting a 12m43.5 on Collsaplana 2, 13.7 seconds ahead of Ernie Graham’s Escort.

Ville Silvasti and Risto Pietilainen added their names to the list of retirements as the Lancia Rally 37 suffered a mechanical failure.

SS9: Grions 2

The penultimate stage on the 67 Rally Moritz Costa Brava saw ‘Lucky’ and Fabrizia Pons tighten their grip on the winner’s trophy, finishing 4.9 seconds ahead of Jean-Francois and Aline Berenguer leaving the French duo 22.4 seconds to find on the final special stage of the rally.

Anders and Ingrid Johnsen finished third overall and first in Category 2 with a 7m23.7, 12.2 seconds ahead of the chasing Lazlo Mekler.

The See-Saw battle in category 3 continued with Heinz-Walter Schewe getting the upperhand again finishing 8.4 seconds ahead of class leader Esa Peltonen, but Peltonen went into the final stage with a 1m19.9s time advantage.

Ernie and Karen Graham took their second stage victory of the rally, the British pairing finishing the stage on a 7m59.6, 3.5 seconds ahead of Antonio Parisi and Guiseppe D’Angelo.

SS10: Cladells 2

The second running of the Cladells stage saw Jean-Francois Berenguer take the final stage win of the 67 Rally Moritz Costa Brava, 9.7 seconds ahead of ‘Lucky’s’ Lancia Delta but it wasn’t enough to overtake the Italian crew at the head of the overall table. Victory in Round 1 of the FIA European Historic Sporting Rally Trophy goes to ‘Lucky’ and Fabrizia Pons.

Anders and Ingrid Johnsen took a clean sweep of stage wins, finishing the final stage in third overall and 16.3 seconds ahead of Lazlo Mekler and Edit Meklerne-Miko’s Alfa Romeo 1750 GTAM. This gave the Swedish pairing the class victory in the opening round of the 2019 FIA EHSRC.

In Cateory 3 Heinz Walter Schewe and Frank Blondell secured the stage victory with a 11m18.0 in the Porsche 911, 30 seconds ahead of Esa Peltonen’s Toyota. However the points for the Category 3 win goes to Esa Peltonen and Jyrki Saarto in the Historic Rally Club Finland run Toyota Starlet with a gap of 59 seconds to Schewe and Blondell.

Reigning Category 1 champions Antonio Parisi and Guiseppe D’Angelo got the defence of their FIA title off to a great start by winning the final stage of the day and finishing first in Category 1 by 1m04.4s over Ernie and Karen Graham’s Ford Escort Twin Cam.

Round 2 of the FIA European Historic Sporting Rally Championship is in the Czech Republic, the 28th Historic Vltava Rallye, on April 26/27 2019.

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