The Paraguayan Rally Championship went over halfway through its calendar after Rally de la República was held today in an event won by Diego Domínguez and Edgardo Galindo at the Wheel of an ART DTA team Hyundai i20 R5. This was their third overall success of the season, turning the balance to their side after matching wins before this weekend with Gustavo Saba and Fernando Mussano in their Škoda Fabia, who had also been on top twice until now.
Domínguez interrupted the good luck of his usual rival in terms of recent wins in this event, regularly won by the Czech car. Completing a healthy podium with three different manufacturers on it, Alejandro Galanti and Leonardo Suaya claimed third position in a Toyota Etios.
The victor’s total time was 1h50m31s87/1000 and he was followed by them at 10s24/100 and 24s74/100 gaps, respectively.
Saba agreed with his engineers that he would soften his suspensión set-up a little after the first loop and the change was positive. He ended up dominating the leg by being quicker in three stages, including SS13 (the last one), which was also the Power Stage.
In this same class, RC2, Miguel Zaldívar (Škoda Fabia) was fourth ahead of identical cars driven by Blas Zapag (h) and Pedro Fadul.
With a pace good enough to keep sixth overall, César Martínez (h) and Marco Méndez got the best out of the RC2N category in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X, 19s58s over Enrique Zapag and 35s49/100 over Agustín Alonso, still the series leader. Carlos Cortázar summed up the Top 10 finishers with one of these production cars.
Brothers Elías and Gerardo Benítez (Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX) were unbeatable in the Alto Paraná region as far as the RC2NL class is concerned. They were 13m24s92/100 faster than Oscar Napout (Lancer Evolution VII) and 14m27s84/100 than local entrant Aldo Castro (Lancer Evolution VI).
The RC3 division was dominated by Fabrizio Zaldívar and Fabrizio Rocca, this time edging another Citroën DS3 Max, the one driven by Álvaro Yaluk (+4m46s31/100), who climbed to second after overtaking the Toyota Allex of Jorge Cresta.
With times which made him the third fastest among all the classes, Diego Domínguez (h) -son of the outright winner- and his Spanish co-driver Rogelio Peñate got a start to finish victory in RC4 with a Peugeot 208 R2 they always kept in front of a pair of Honda Civic Si, those belonging to Aarón Lobos (+13m44s38/100) and Miguel Bravo (+15m0103/100).
In the RC4L division, Christian Clari and Ricardo Macchi were the best in a Volkswagen Gol, arriving 24s70/100 ahead of Hugo Cano (Toyota Vitz) and 2m41s90/100 ahead of Gustavo Benítez (Volkswagen Gol).
What seemed a safe bet for Alexandro Paniagua in RC5 ended in despair when he heavily crashed the front of his Toyota Etios against a tree, retiring and leading the way for Gustavo Gamarra and Rodrigo Gómez (Volkswagen Gol) to celebrate instead.
53 crews started the rally and 26 made it it to the finish, not counting those who came back to action today after earlier incidents, like the Ford Fiestas of Augusto Bestard and Luis Maldonado (h). The most important retirements in this leg were those of Miguel Zaldívar (h) due to transmission problems in his Škoda Fabia R5 (RC2), Juan Martín Masi (Citroën DS3 Max RC3) and Brazilian André Allegretti (Fiat Palio RC4L) .
The Centro Paraguayo de Volantes again offered a helping hand to an institution of the area. Here, a rural school in the small town of Tavapy was presented with 50 concrete posts and 50 meters of fencing for their facilities.
It is just a bit more than two weeks until round 6 begins. That will be Rally de la Cordillera (10-12 August) near Eusebio Ayala.
Leg 2 stage winners
Overall: Gustavo Saba 3, Alejandro Galanti 2, Diego Domínguez 1.
RC2: Gustavo Saba 3, Alejandro Galanti 2, Diego Domínguez 1.
RC2N: Agustín Alonso 4, César Martínez (h) y Gonzalo Ortega 1.
RC2NL: Aldo Castro 4, Elías Benítez (h) 2.
RC3: Fabrizio Zaldívar 4, Jorge Cresta y César Cruz (h) 1.
RC4: Diego Domínguez (h) 6.
RC4L: Hugo Cano 3, Christian Clari 2, Gustavo Benítez 1.
RC5: Gustavo Gamarra 5, Alexandro Paniagua 1.
Total rally stage winners
Overall: Diego Domínguez y Gustavo Saba 5, Alejandro Galanti 3.
RC2: Diego Domínguez y Gustavo Saba 5, Alejandro Galanti 3.
RC2N: César Martínez (h) 7, Agustín Alonso 5, Gonzalo Ortega 1.
RC2NL: Elías Benítez (h) 7, Aldo Castro 5, Oscar Napout 1.
RC3: Fabrizio Zaldívar 11, Jorge Cresta y César Cruz (h) 1.
RC4: Diego Domínguez (h) 12, Miguel Bravo 1.
RC4L: Christian Clari 7, Hugo Cano 5, Gustavo Benítez 1.
RC5: Alexandro Paniagua 7, Gustavo Gamarra 5, Diego Riveros 1.
Final results: http://cpv.com.py/Tiempos2018/Rally/5ta.Fecha-Republica/