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With a last minute change, the 32nd edition of Rally TransItapúa showed un unpredictable result on top of the standings onle two stages from the finish. Alejandr Galanti was leading since the very start of the event last Friday night, but during SS11 (out of 13) yesterday, he lost almost 40 seconds in a corner in which his Toyota Etios R5 engine stalled as consequence of a failing fuel pump. The wasted time was too much to stop the Hyundai  i20 of Diego Domínguez and Edgardo y Galindo taking the win.

While Galanti lost the chance to get an eighth win in his country’s southern roads around Encarnación, the Korean car driver got maximum points in this opening round at national level and got his second outright win in the South American Championship after Misiones (Argentina) last March, this time with a 1h41m27.6s total time that was 8.4s better than his main rival here.

There were three different manufacturers in the podium after the interesting pace that Augusto Bestard and Héctor Nunes got both days in their ABR Ford Fiesta in which they took a valuable third position, 1m52.7s behind Domínguez.

On Saturday, not knowing that he would get a spare part after the rear suspension of his Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 collapsed just in SS3, Gustavo Saba re-started and got fast times that led him to be the Sunday leg winner, as a matter of fact.

It was an interesting work by Juan Martín Masi in his first Paraguayan series appearance with an R5 car. Young Masi was fourth in a Fiesta and RC2 class winner. He was followed by the best Polo debutant, the one driven by Miguel Zaldívar Jr. (co-driven by Hernán Vargas Peña) and the Škoda Fabias of Jorge García and Pedro Fadul.

There were Codasur entrants who firmly established among the top-10 overall like Bolivia’s Roberto Saba (Škoda, fourth) and Eduardo Peredo (Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X, tenth) and Argentna’s Augusto D’Agostini (Volkswagen Gol Maxi Rally, ninth).

With more Lancers, César Martínez Jr. was best of the RC2N Pro group with Ricardo Escauriza taking the runner-up spot. César Pedotti was a lonely finisher in the RC2N class driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII.

13rd overall was the best front Wheel car, once again the Peugeot 208 R2 of Diego Domínguez Jr. (first in RC4 Pro class). Rodolfo Winneker-Jorge Arrúa took top honours in RC4 (Honda Civic Type R), Diego Elizeche-Christian Ramos in RC3 (Honda Civic Si) and Sebastián Lafarja in RC3 Pro (Honda Civic Type R).

Nicolás Baeza fully dominated the RC5 class at the TransItapúa in his Volkswagen Gol, while Arnaldo Duarte did so in RC4L in a Toyota Vitz.

Next round will be Rally del Guairá (10-12 May).

Photo: JES