Diego Domínguez and Edgardo Galindo (Hyundai i 20 R5) won the first and a half day of action developed on the stages of Rally de la República after seven special stages, a night superspecial last Friday and six more yesterday during a pleasant day around the eastern area of Paraguay.
The duo of the Korean car got to a commanding lead (overall and RC2 class) only after SS5. Before that, Alejandro Galanti and Leonardo Suaya had been on top of the results with their Toyota Etios. They had won one stage, but got delayed later on and they were even overtaken by the Škoda Fabia of Gustavo Saba and Fernando Mussano.
Domínguez’s time for this leg was 1h02m12s36/100 and he finished 13s71/100 over the current South American champion.
Two members of the Zaldívar family are next in the time sheet. Miguel Jr. is ahead of father Miguel Sr., both driving Škoda, as well as sixth and seventh-placed Blas Zapag (h) and Pedro Fadul.
If Luis Maldonado (h) had been uncluck in the airport fiel don Friday night, yesterday morning was even worse for him. He could not avoid hitting a heavy cow in the middle of the road and emerges harmless from the crash, but with some damage in the front end and windscreen of his Ford Fiesta, which came back to the event today after being repaired by the ABR team. His mate Augusto Bestard had intercooler problems.
In the RC2N division, César Martínez (h) and Marco Méndez dominated the scene at the Wheel of a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. He won six times, leaving one special stage for championship leader Agustín Alonso who is third behind Enrique Zapag.
Brothers Elías and Gerardo Benítez were on top of the RC2NL group (Lancer Evolution IX), almost nine and half minutes in front of Oscar Napout. Fabrizio Zaldívar and his Bolivean co-driver Fabrizio Rocca were unbeatable in their RC3 Citroën DS3 Max. With a similar car, Juan Martín Masi lies second (2m28s17/100) while Jorge Cresta is third driving a Toyota Allex and Álvaro Yaluk fourth with another DS3. }
Also clearly fast in his class almost all day long, Diego Domínguez (h) and Rogelio Peñate got superb times in the RC4 class on board of a Peugeot 208 R2, leaving the Honda Civic Si pair of Aarón Lobos and Miguel Bravo in the Top-3 positions. Christian Clari was fastest in RC4L with his Volkswagen Gol, co-driven by Ricardo Macchi. Clari is followed by Hugo Cano (Toyota Vitz) and Diego García (Suzuki Swift). Only two crews survived in the smallest class, RC5. They are Alexandro Paniagua/Andrés Molas (Toyota Etios) and Gustavo Gamarra/Rodrigo Gómez (Volkswagen Gol).
SS2 kicked off the morning with some sudden incidents at high speed, like those affecting in the longest section (Estancia Inoue-Silo Colonial, 31,74 km) the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X (RC2N) of Gonzalo Ortega and the Toyota Corolla S2000 (RC2) of Fabrizio Galanti, with all of them unharmed from their crashes.
The rally resumes with six more roads to tackle, including the last one in Power Stage mode before the event finishes first time in the afternoon with a podium at 3:30.
Leg 1 stage winners
Overall: Diego Domínguez 4, Gustavo Saba 2, Alejandro Galanti 1.
RC2: Diego Domínguez 4, Gustavo Saba 2, Alejandro Galanti 1.
RC2N: César Martínez (h) 6, Agustín Alonso 1.
RC2NL: Elías Benítez 5, Oscar Napout y Aldo Castro 1.
RC3: Fabrizio Zaldívar 7.
RC4: Diego Domínguez (h) 6, Miguel Bravo 1.
RC4L: Christian Clari 5, Hugo Cano 2.
RC5: Alexandro Paniagua 6, Diego Riveros 1.
Full results Leg: http://cpv.com.py/Tiempos2018/