Lopez wins Junior U28 class in Canarias

Lopez wins Junior U28 class in CanariasFrom Peugeot Press [ 08/05/2017 ].
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At the finish line of a fiercely-fought second round of the 2017 FIA ERC, Pepe LÓPEZ, 21, won the U28 class (under 28), his maiden international win, with the PEUGEOT 208T16 of the PEUGEOT RALLY ACADEMY. Weather conditions in the Canary Islands this week-end proved tricky, with a cocktail of sunshine, fog and showers adding to the challenge of the season's first asphalt clash. Pepe LÓPEZ and Borja ROZADA emerged in front after Thursday's qualifying stage and maintained their speed to the event's conclusion to claim an assertive win in their PEUGEOT 208T16 in front of home fans!

Some first-class stage times confirmed the ability of José Antonio SUÁREZ and Candido CARRERA to mix it with the front-runners but an electronic problem on the car deprived the pair of a top-three finish. SUAREZ was presented with the Colin Mc Rae Flat Out Trophy in recognition of his speed and fighting spirit.

Next stop for the PEUGEOT RALLY ACADEMY is Poland's Rally Rzeszow on August 3-5 where the crews will rely on the experience and confidence gained in the Canary Islands to confirm the PEUGEOT208T16 performances.


Laurent GUYOT (Director, PEUGEOT SPORT Customer Competition Program)
"Rally Islas Canarias was a tough event! But with Pepe LOPEZ and the 208T16 we came away with a strong result that bodes well for the rest of the season and will naturally boost the whole team to keep going this way. We always knew Pepe LÓPEZ was quick and here we have the confirmation that he counts amongst the sport's best up-and-coming youngsters. José Antonio SUAREZ could have come away with a top finish if he not encountered this small technical problem. He proved again that he has a great potential. We are sure the tide will turn in his favour soon. Despite the difficulties he had to face during this rally, he displayed high speed and a good spirit, which is primordial for a driver."

Pepe LÓPEZ (driver, PEUGEOT 208T16 #3)
"We managed to show what we are capable of and found our true speed on the last three stages of the rally. We didn't overdo it on the last one to be sure of getting the victory. We are delighted with the pace we showed on our first asphalt rally as we also had good sensations at the wheel of the PEUGEOT 208T16. It's an incredible, fully-deserved result for everyone in the PEUGEOT RALLY ACADEMY squad. We are now in a good position for the rest of the season, so we intend to stay focused, keep up the momentum and carry on fighting."

Jose Antonio SUÁREZ (driver, PEUGEOT 208T16 #9)
"I was really happy on Friday morning because we managed to complete Section 1 at the top of the Junior U28 leaderboard and in third place overall despite some small issues with the car on the opening stage. Those problems worsened during the afternoon and our engine lost power. I did what I could to keep up with the top drivers but it wasn't possible. Despite the fact that we struggled a lot this week-end, I am convinced we have the best mechanics and a performing technical crew. I feel very optimistic after Rally Islas. Things like this happen in rallying, so we have to move forward and think about the next event".