What to know
The sixth round of the Paraguayan Rally Championship, Rally de la Cordillera – Acosta Ñu, will start tomorrow based at Eusebio Ayala. Early in the afternoon today, 51 participants (there were 55 entries, but of them never went to scrutineering) practiced in the 2.4-km Shakedown located just four kilometers away from the service park.
Unlike what happened in the previous event, Rally de la República, this time there is no Friday night opening superspecial stage.
All teams had to work hard in recent days considering that these two rallies are too closet o each other in the 8-venue series, only 2 weeks apart.
The schedule consists of two passes through three different stages for the first leg. They are Cerro La Gloria-4 de Mayo, Itaybate-3 de Febrero and 3 de Febrero-Puente Salinas. On Sunday, there are three more roads, Ramal Piribebuy-Tuyucua, María Ana-Cruce Colonia and Jaula Cue-Service Park, also to be used twice each, the last of them also being Power Stage. Organizers planned a very compact event in which the total distance is longer for special stages rather than road sections.
Gustavo Saba (Škoda Fabia) leads the RC2 championship with 124 points, 25 more tan Diego Domínguez (Hyundai), who left Rally de la República 2 points closer. Alejandro Galanti (Toyota Etios) is third (81).
145 points is what RC2N leader Agustín Alonso got so far, followed by the division’s last winner César Martínez (h) (81) and Fabrizio Chiriani (47). They all drive Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X cars.
In RC2NL, Oscar Napout (Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII) overtook Eduardo Salerno (Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX) by a 14-point gap and they find themselves 90-76 with Elías Benítez (Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII) in third position (42).
César Cruz (Honda Civic Type R) is still first in RC3 (98) while Jorge Ocampos (Honda Civic) and Fabrizio Zaldívar (Citroën DS3 Max) push from behind with 65 and 54 points, respectively.
In RC4, Diego Domínguez (h) (Peugeot 208 R2) leads comfortably. He has got 140 points. Miguel Bravo (Honda Civic Si) is second best (83) and Miguel Cabral (Honda Civic Type R) third (82). Hugo Cano (Toyota Vitz) made a larger gap to Diego García (Suzuki Swift) in the RC4L. Their point score are 137 and 124. Gustavo Benítez (Volkswagen Gol) lies third (68). Nicolás Baeza (Volkswagen Gol) leads the RC5 class with 115 points, followed by Gustavo Gamarra (Volkswagen Gol) (104) and Alexander Paniagua (Toyota Etios) (63).
Once again, scrutineering was done in two parts, beginning last Wednesday in Asunción and finishing today in the morning in the service park. By sunset, rally cars will be exhibited around the town’s main square before a short start ceremony at 8:30pm.
Gustavo Saba and Fernando Mussano got the fastest lap in the Shakedown driving the Fabia (1m09s98/100). Diego Domínguez and Edgardo Galindo (Hyundai i20 R5) were second, a mere 0s06/100 behind and Alejandro Galanti co-driven by Leonardo Suaya (Toyota Etios R5) managed to set a third fastest time, 0s77/100 away from the championship leader. Among 2-wheel drive cars, Fabrizio Zaldívar (Citroën DS3 Max) emerged quickest in the last of the three laps by setting 1m21s73/100, 1s06/100 better than Álvaro Yaluk (who drives an identical DS3, though prepared by his family team) and 1s17/100 faster than Diego Domínguez (h) (Peugeot 208 R2).
Here, Centro Paraguayo de Volantes donated park games for the stsudents of primary school N°455 at Compañía Potrero El Carmen and 150 kits with pens, pencils, erasers, rulers and more stuff for the Cerrito school children.
Place and weather
Rally de la Cordillera is based at Eusebio Ayala, bordering the Piribebuy river and 72 kilometer from the country’s capital. When founded in 1770, the toen was originally named Barrero Grande. The region claims to be capital of the very popular chipa Barrero (a recipe prepared with cassava flour and cheese) and both side of the main road done can find ladies typically dressed like in the old times offering their chipas.
On the 16th August 1869, the Acosta Ñu field was the site of a sad memory in which thousends of chlidren were murdered (women and ancient people, too) during the Triple Alianza War after 3,500 of them fought about eight hours against and army of 20,000.
Agriculture is their main resource, mainly due to corn, cotton, cassava, sugar cane and bean production. Livestock farming of cows, pigs and horses is also important.
The forecast shows nice weather for the weekend with clear skies and sunny days, although the pleasant 21° to 28° of the afternoons can droop to only 5° to 8° in the mornings and nights.
Special stages: 12 (6 different stages).
Leg 1 distance: 153,28 km (98,00 special stages and 55,28 road sections).
Leg 2 distance: 115,28 km (69,64 special stages and 45,64 road sections).
Total distance: 268,56 km (167,64 special stages and 100,92 road sections).
Standings (after Guairá, Trans-Itapúa, Santaní, Caaguazú and Alto Paraná)
RC2: 1-Gustavo Saba 124, 2-Diego Domínguez 99, 3-Alejandro Galanti 81, 4-Luis Maldonado (h) y Miguel Zaldívar 50, 6-José Luis Jacquet 24.
RC2N: 1-Agustín Alonso 145, César Martínez (h) 81, Fabrizio Chiriani 47, 4-Sebastián González 45, 5-Blas Zapag 39.
RC2NL: 1-Oscar Napout 90, 2-Eduardo Salerno 76, 3-Elías Benítez 42, 4-Ricardo Escauriza 20.
RC3: 1-César Cruz 98, 2-Jorge Ocampos 65, 3-Fabrizio Zaldívar 54, 4-Juan Martín Masi 44, 5-Gerardo Planás (h) 28, 6-Riyosuke Shima 25.
RC4: 1-Diego Domínguez (h) 140, 2-Miguel Bravo 83, 3-Miguel Cabral 82, 4-Aarón Lobos 58, 5-Álvaro Yaluk 41, 6-Rubén González 24.
RC4L: 1-Hugo Cano 137, 2-Diego García 124, 3-Gustavo Benítez 68, 4-André Allegretti 36.
RC5: 1-Nicolás Baeza 115, 2-Gustavo Gamarra 104, 3-Alexander Paniagua 63, 4-Mauricio Salinas 11.
2018 stage winners (five rounds held)
Overall: Diego Domínguez 17, Alejandro Galanti 16, Gustavo Saba 15, Tiago Weiler 2 y Miguel Zaldívar 2.
RC2: Diego Domínguez 17, Alejandro Galanti 16, Gustavo Saba 15, Tiago Weiler y Miguel Zaldívar 2.
RC2N: Agustín Alonso 28, Fabrizio Chiriani 16, César Martínez (h), Miguel Ortega (h) 7, Sebastián González, Humberto Domínguez (h) y Carlos Costa 1.
RC2NL: Eduardo Salerno 34, Oscar Napout 10, Elías Benítez 8, Ricardo Escaurriza y Aldo Castro 5.
RC3: Fabrizio Zaldívar 34, Juan Martín Masi 18, Jorge Cresta 9, Jorge Ocampos 4 y César Cruz 4, Gerardo Planás (h) 2.
RC4: Diego Domínguez (h) 55, Álvaro Yaluk 4, Miguel Cabral 2, Miguel Bravo 1.
RC4L: Hugo Cano 27, Diego García 15, Christian Clari 7, André Allegretti 6, Carlos Ramírez 3, Gustavo Benítez 1.
RC5: Alexander Paniagua 25, Nicolás Baeza 16, Gustavo Gamarra 10, Pedro Ruiz 7, Diego Riveros 5, Mauricio Salinas 2, Omar Benítez 1.
Photo: ML Photosport.