Rally / 15 March 2012
IRC - Brothers Angel and Victor Marrero fight for victory in 2WDThe excitement of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge moves to the island of Gran Canaria this week for the Rallye Islas Canarias El Corte Ingles. And for this, the second round of the IRC and the first asphalt event of the year, all eyes will be on local heroes and brothers Angel and Victor Marrero.
Last year the Marrero-brothers scored valuable points for Honda in the Manufacturer?s Cup, behind the wheel of the Juan Armas Canarias Racing Team?s Honda Civic Type R. 2011 also delivered a personal triumph too, with the brothers winning the general rallye title in the Provincial Championship of Las Palmas.
This year they are seeking a repeat performance and are confident they can make the most of their home track advantage in the 2WD category.
?Winning in 2WD is one of our goals for this season and we think we have a great chance.? said Angel Marrero, who began driving competitively in 1997 and was joined by his brother as co-driver in 2005. ?Certainly, this year the competition in the 2WD Cup will be very close.?
However, even with local knowledge the Rallye Islas Canarias presents a number of challenges. Six of the 15 stages are longer than 20 km, with frequent climbs and descents. The asphalt surface poses its own special challenge too, being partly constructed from abrasive volcanic lava.
?Precise set-up, good pace notes and a lot of experience is the recipe for success here; that is what you need to battle in the front in the Canarias rally.? said 36 year old Angel about the stages in Las Palmas.
However, the Marrero-clan are not the only local heroes competing this Friday. Former hill climb champion and Canario Joan Vinyes will offer the brothers stiff competition, having won the 2WD category in the Rally Islas Canarias last year.
?Joan Vinyes will be a strong opponent for sure. He is a very experienced driver who has competed in the Rally Islas Canarias many times. For Harry Hunt, who won the IRC 2WD Cup crown in 2010, it is only his second Rally Islas Canarias. So it will be more difficult for him??
The Rallye Islas Canarias is also the first of the nine rounds of the Las Palmas Rallye Championship and the Marrero-brothers are determined to impress.
?We are the official drivers of Juan Armas, the Honda Car and Motorcycle Distributor in Las Palmas, so a win here would be very special for all involved; we are aiming to do our very best.?
German Hernandez and co-driver Isra?l Pereira are entering the former Guy Wilks Honda Civic Type R.
The Rallye Islas Canarias El Corte Ingles starts on Friday March 16 at 07h53 and finishes after nine stages and 139 kilometres, with the very short (1.5 kilometers) Gran Canaria stage in the karting club. On Saturday March 17 there will be again six special stages and after 101 kilometres against the clock, the first contestant will be expected at finish line at the Plaza de Canarias around 17h53.