Pepe López has begun the defense of his title of Champion of Spain of Asphalt Rallies with a victory in the Rally of Orense, marked by a tremendous duel between the Madrid and the Asturian ‘Rocket’ Suárez, in which Iván Arés had to settle with the role of luxury witness.

The fight seemed narrowly on track in favor of ‘Rocket’ – Skoda Fabia R5. This one prevailed in the first three specials by a small margin, gave a little in the fourth, but returned to win the following two, reaching then have six seconds of advantage. In the absence of two specials, the differences were minimal and everything could happen.

The overturn occurred in the seventh special. Pepe López attacked to the maximum and took nine seconds from his rival, which led to the last special with just over seconds. The emotion was maximum and the spirits were tense. In the opening stages of the stretch, the first set, Pepe seemed to have a better rhythm, but it was in the second when everything rushed: Suárez punctured and lost almost two and a half minutes. It cost him not only victory but even a place on the podium.

Pepe López was thus the winner in Orense, while Iván Ares —Hyundai— inherited second place, but practically one minute from the winner. Ares made a comfortable rally since he could not keep the rhythm of the head, but he was not pressured by Alberto Monarri who this year, finally with a competitive car, wants to take a leading role in the CERA, while Suárez had to settle for a fourth place.

Spectacular battle for fifth place between Iago Caamano -Ford Fiesta R5- and Javier Pardo -Suzuki Swift Rally 4 S-. The Japanese brand this year has abandoned the N5 to make a car in accordance with the international regulations of the R4; the fight was decided in favor of Caamano for a couple of seconds. Joan Vinyes, with the second official Suzuki, could have been with them, but a puncture made him lose positions mid-career.

Victory in the Suzuki Cup, in a hurry, for Diego Félix, who only beat Miguel García by four seconds.

CLASSIFICATION

1. Pepe López – Borja Rozada (Citroen C3 R5) 1: 14’15 ”7

2. Iván Ares – David Vázquez (Hyundai i20 R5) at 58 ”6

3. Alberto Monarri – Alberto Chamorro (Citroen C3 R5) at 2’01 ”1

4. ‘Rocket’ Suárez – Alberto Iglesias (Skoda Fabia R5) at 2’30 ”1

5. Iago Caamano – José A. Rodríguez (Ford Fiesta R5) at 3’37 ”4

6. Javier Pardo – Adían Pérez (Suzuki Swift Rally 4S) at 3’40 ”6

7. Francisco Dorado – Roi Torrente (VW Polo GTI R5) at 4’10 ”8

8. Manuel Fernández – Alejandro Cid (Ford Fiesta R5) at 4’11 ”4

9. José L. Peláez – Rodolfo del Barrio (Skoda Fabia R5) at 5’16 ”1

10. Luis Vilariño – Nestor Casal (Skoda Fabia R5) at 6’53 ”6

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