In the 57th Rally Princesa de Asturias we found a Joan Vinyes who could not be present at the start because he was confined to his home in Andorra, due to a positive in the Covid-19 in their immediate environment, so neither he nor his co-driver Jordi Mercader could return to enjoy the competition and make miles in his new Suzuki Swift R4lly S.
His teammates Javier Pardo-Adrián Pérez did, who managed to finish behind the leading R5 in seventh place after suffering a puncture in the early stages of the rally.
Javier and Adrián lost almost two minutes in the second section, Llanera, losing 12 positions in the general classification. After that moment the team’s objective was to finish and score points for the brand. Both achieved their goal, climbing up to seventh place.
At the end of the rally, Javier Pardo declared, “It seems that this rally is choking us, a pity the puncture just when we were starting to get into the rhythm. We also miss Joan and Jordi as they are always a benchmark against which to measure ourselves”.
For Juan López Frade, “to begin with, we were surprised by Joan’s forced confinement, which is why only Javier and Adrián have defended our colours. They have done a good rally, coming back from behind the R5. On the other hand, it seems that there are people who do not realise that having an official team like the Suzuki team, with all the infrastructure that this entails, with the intense negotiations that are carried out with the team’s top sponsors, such as Motul, Ourense Termal or the Banco de Santander, costs a lot of money and effort. And to attend each rally, is several tens of thousands of euros. By inviting the public not to go to the rally, at first, although it was later banned by the authorities, and by limiting the number of journalists and photographers, the spread of the rally falls by many inches and the sponsors are not satisfied with their investment, which can make negotiations for a future renewal of sponsorship very difficult. Of course, in the case of the Suzuki team, if all this had been noticed a week before, we would not have come to a rally with all these limitations, especially when we have just come from participating in the Ourense and Ferrol rallies, a clear example of how things should be done in this complicated time in which we are. At the level of diffusion of our brand, this rally has contributed almost nothing. When we analyse the return on investment, it will have cost us money for sure, although we will have the exact figure in a few days. It would have been better to give up on it, as Sierra Morena, Llanes and the RACC did, and come back stronger next year”.
Classification 57 Rally Princesa de Asturias
1. J.Suárez/A.Pin – Skoda Fabia R5 1:14:02,6
2. P.López/B.Hernández – Citroen C3 R5 at 52.6
3. I.Ares/J.Pintor – Hyundai i20 R5 at 57.5
4. E.Llarena/S.Fernández – Citroen C3 R5 at 2:09,4
7. J.Pardo/A.Pérez – Suzuki Swift R4LLY S at 5:42,0
Provisional classification of the Spanish Championship, drivers
1. Pepe López – 108 pts
2. Suárez Rocket – 95 pts
3. Iván Ares – 87 points
4. Javier Pardo – 61 points
10. Joan Vinyes – 27 points
Provisional classification Spanish Championship, makes
1. Citroen – 162 pts
2. Hyundai – 117 pts
3. Suzuki – 87 pts
4. Ford – 83 pts
5. Peugeot – 80 pts
6. Renault – 43 pts