Pepe López leads 2023 TER Series in Rallye Sierra Morena
Great fights on the technical Andalucía roads around Córdoba
2020 TER – Tour European Rally Champion and Hyundai Motor España driver Pepe López, codriven by Borja Rozada, is the overnight leader in 2023 TER Round 2, 40th Rallye Sierra Morena. The duo, driving a Hyundai I20N Rally2, climbed on top of the standings after winning two of the afternoon stages, stretching their lead to 4.2 seconds on the sister car of another TER Series Champion, Iván Ares and José Antonio Pintor, who clinched five stage victories.
The latest spec Škoda, the Fabia RS Rally2, holds third place with the 2021 TER – Tour European Rally bronze medal, José Antonio Suárez. Codriven by Alberto Iglesias, Suárez is the third driver to win stages in the opening day of the Cordoba-based event, staying in the fight for the top of the leaderboard with a 19.0 second gap.
Fourth and fifth place are also withheld by two Hyundais: the I20N Rally2 of Jose Luis Pelaez and Alberto Chamorro gains one place after the puncture on Special Stage 7 of Hyundai Motor España driver Surhayen Pernía, codriven by Alba Sánchez, on a sister car.
Difficult day for the Škoda Fabias Rally2 of Pablo Díez, with Maria Esther Gutiérrez, as well as Stefan Göttig and Natalie Solbach-Schmidt. Some technical problems for the first, and two punctures for the latter, cost them some minutes in the overall standings.
In the TER Junior, Sergi Pérez and Lorena Romero took a full house of fastest times with their Peugeot 208 Rally4. With a sister car, Santiago Garcìa, codriven by Nèstor Casal is second, while Alberto Pérez and Andrea Fidalgo’s Renault Clio Rally5 take the last podium step.
The Renault Clio Rally5 of Juan Carlos Fernandez and Esther de la Torre leads the TER 2WD category after a clean sweep of stage wins. Oscar Gil, codriven by Carlos Chamorro on an Opel Adam R2, is second ahead of Josè Javier Perez and Alberto Espino’s Renault Clio Rally5.
Rallye Sierra Morena’s opening day ended ahead of schedule for some crews: the two Hyundais I20 of Francisco López with Borja Odriozola and Pedro Perez codriven by Alejandro Leseduarte, the Rally4 spec Peugeot 208 driven by Mario Borbolla with Diego Cruz and Renault Clio of Javier and Marta Galán. Same fate for the Renault Clio Rally4 of Porto Cervo Racing Team top management crew of Dino Caragliu and Mauro Atzei, carrying a dedicated Sardegna and Rally Terra Sarda livery.