HISTORIC RALLY: CAZAUX’S SECOND VICTORY | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile
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Held in Spain, the third event of the FIA European Historic Sporting Rally Championship played host to the victories of the Cazaux-Vilmont (Category 4), Ferreiro-Anido (Category 3), Graham-Graham (Category 2) and Parisi-D’Angelo (Category 1) crews.

For its 10th anniversary, the Rally de Asturias Histórico, organised around the town of Pravia, deserved better than the appalling weather experienced, which consisted mainly of heavy rain and thick fog.

Despite the very challenging road conditions, the battle for first place was tightly contested for a long time. This was evident in the mere four tenths of a second gap that separated the leader, Harri Toivonen, from his heir apparent Serge Cazaux, on the evening of the first day’s racing. After several seasons dominated by Porsches, Lancia Rally 037s and Lancia Delta Integrales, it seems that the ultimate weapon for victory in 2018 is the Ford Sierra Cosworth 4x4. Whether it is the one driven by the Finn Toivonen, the Frenchman Cazaux, or the Spaniard Foncueva, the Sierras have already won nine out of eleven special stages around Pravia. Cele Foncueva was barely able to exploit his knowledge of the terrain to gain the upper hand with his own car, after being hampered by endless turbo problems. In the end, it was Serge Cazaux and Harri Toivonen who duked it out in a bitter contest, respectively winning three and four special stages, and taking turns provisionally leading the rally. Although he had just regained the lead in the seventh special stage, Toivonen nevertheless had to abandon the following stage, due to a broken driveshaft. This left the door wide open for Cazaux, albeit on a treacherous course, who led for the second time this season, after his victory in March at the Rally Costa Brava.

With a much more reliable BMW M3 than last season, the Norwegians Walter Jensen and Erik Pedersen finished in fourth place in the overall classification and second in Category 4, which means that they now occupy first place in the provisional Championship classification. 

Although he was limited in engine power compared with the more modern Sierras, Jesús Ferreiro distinguished himself at the helm of his Ford Escort RS. He even posted one best overall time, which naturally meant unbeatable victory in Category 3, ahead of the Austrians Wagner-Zauner, who were relieved to make it to the end of the rally in their Porsche 911 SC after their previous abandon in the Czech Republic. Also driving a Porsche 911 SC, the 2016 vice-champions, Finns Veikkanen-Jaakkola, were taken out of contention for the lead by two punctures.

Britons Ernie and Karen Graham dominated in their Ford Escort MKI in Category 2, with a considerable lead over the incumbent champion, Maurizio Pagella (Porsche Carrera RS), and the Hungarian Lazlo Mekler (Alfa Romeo 1750 GTAM).

Finally, in Category 2, the inseparable Antonio Parisi and Giuseppe D’Angelo (Porsche 911 S) remain unbeaten since the start of the season, and their three wins in three means that they lead the provisional Championship classification, followed by Italians Carlo Fiorito-Ilario Pellegrino (BMW 2002 Ti).

To consult the European Historic Sporting Rally Championship classification, click here.