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David Pérez and Alejandro Leseduarte win the Costa de Almería Rally

David Pérez and Alejandro Leseduarte win the Costa de Almería Rally
They have won their fourth consecutive Andalusian Championship.

The current leader of the Championship, José Antonio Aznar, abandons the race after a run off the track so the title will be decided in Jerez.

Pedro David Pérez and Álex Leseduarte achieved this weekend a brilliant victory in the Rally Costa de Almería. The driver from Granada and the co-driver from Vícar dominated the event with authority and thus added a very important victory for the Andalusian Championship. This is the fourth consecutive victory, which places them together with José Antonio Aznar in the fight for the title, which will finally be decided in the next Rallye de Jerez.

The `Rallye Costa de Almería’ closed yesterday, Saturday, its 47th edition with an intense day in which both Pérez and Leseduarte have demonstrated their superiority and have achieved the victory with great solvency, although during a good part of the competition they have fought a hard battle with José Antonio Aznar who, finally, has been forced to abandon after an exit of track in the section 6.

The competition started on Friday night with the first stage in Vícar where Pérez took the scratch. On Saturday, the teams started the first section between Níjar and Lucainena de las Torres, a little more than 15 kilometres long, where it was clear that the final victory was going to be a head to head between Pérez and Aznar. The driver from Granada won, but was only able to take four seconds off Aznar, who tried to follow in his rival’s wake despite not being able to exploit the full capacity of his Porsche.

The differences were already significant, with Alberto García and Antonio Molina from Jerez taking third and fourth place, losing almost a minute to the two candidates for the Andalusian championship. After this first stage on Saturday, the caravan headed for Benizalón, where a second 10-kilometre stage started with a finish in Benitagla. On this occasion, the equality was even greater and Pérez beat Aznar by tenths of a second, while the experienced team formed by Juan Carlos Fuentes and José García Ferri achieved third place, as in the previous stage, far from the first two.

The longest section of this Rally Costa de Almería was the one between Cóbdar and Uleila del Campo, with just over 20 kilometres, which, like the previous one, was given two passes. In the first of these, Pedro David Pérez once again managed to claw back a few seconds, five to be precise, from José Antonio Aznar who continued to face up to the difficulties in an extraordinary manner. Alberto García Mateos also recovered his rhythm and managed a partial third place, which put him in a good position to reach the podium.

It was then time to retrace the route back to Benizalón and repeat a race in which the battle between Pérez and Aznar once again became intense and in which the Granadan driver managed another win by eight tenths of a second, consolidating his position as leader with three stages to go before the end of the competition. The drivers headed back to Cóbdar for the 20 kilometres that were to be definitive. Pedro David Pérez once again set the best time, while Aznar suffered an exit that forced him to abandon, in fact, his Porsche had to be removed from the track. Juan Carlos Fuentes took second place, for the first time on the day, and Jerez-born Alberto García repeated in the top three.
With the victory almost assured and five minutes ahead of the second classified driver, now Alberto García, David Pérez arrived at Ricaveral ready to continue leading and set the best time, leaving the excitement for the third place for which two local drivers, Antonio Molina and Cristian Parrilla, were fighting, barely separated by 14 seconds and with very similar times in each of the stages.

In the last section, the one in Enix, there would be no variations, with another partial victory for Pedro David Pérez, with Alberto García second and Cristian Parrilla, although Antonio Molina managed to keep his advantage and take third place on the podium. It is also worth mentioning the character of Juan Carlos Fuentes who, after a run off the track, managed to rejoin the super rally.

At the conclusion of the Rally Costa de Almería, the president of the Automóvil Club Almería, José López Collado, made a “very positive” assessment, noting that “we have seen a great sporting spectacle, with drivers who have given everything during these two days and an extraordinary atmosphere by the fans. He also wanted to “thank the institutions and private sponsors who have contributed their efforts to make this event a great success”.

Cups and classes

In the promotion cup organised by the Andalusian Automobile Federation (FAA Cup) the victory went to José Luis Moreno and Aitor Cruz with Citroën Saxo, followed in second position by Juan Jesús Coca and Luisa Benítez from Cordoba with Audi A1 and Juan Manuel Meléndez-Valdés and Francisco Pedrero in third position with Suzuki Swift.
In the Junior category, another victory for Cristian Parrilla from Almeria, who is already mathematically champion this season. In the women’s category the trophy went to Almeria co-driver Rocío Guerrero.

On the other hand, in the provincial motor racing cup ‘Diputación de Almería’, victory in the drivers’ category went to Antonio Molina (Automóvil Club de Almería), Cristian Parrilla (Escudería Nejite Racing) was second and Javier García (Automóvil Club Comarca de Níjar) was third.

In the Regularity Sport category, victory went to José Ignacio García Bejarano – already champion of the 2022 drivers’ championship – with José Casado at the wheel of a Volkswagen Golf, followed by Carlos Domínguez and Miguel Ángel Puertas, also with Golf, and third place on the podium to Manuel Fuentes and Antonio Pérez with BMW 2002.

Finally, in Classic Regularity, another victory for Francisco Milena and David Sánchez Milena – the Moclín drivers have already secured the title – with Honda Prelude; second position for Antonio Gabriel Flores and Gervasio Tapias with Mini Cooper and third for Jesús Martos and José Antonio Martos with Ford Sierra.

The last round of the Campeonato de Andalucía de Rallyes de Asfalto y Regularidad will take place on the 25th and 26th of November on the occasion of the tenth edition of the X Rallye de Jerez, organised by the Automóvil Club Jerez.

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