Baja AragonStage1: Hirvonen and Barreda, provisonal leaders

Mikko Hirvonen and Andrea Schultz leaders

After two participations in Baja Aragón, it seems that the time has come for Mikko Hirvonen, who made his debut in cross-country rallies in Teruel in 2015. Mini’s Finn finished only fifth in the Superspecial, but quickly found himself fighting for the lead with teammate Terranova in the first special, and won the second, taking the lead before the last day.

 

However, the Qatari Al-Attiyah is on his heels in the overall with a gap of only 11 seconds. Orlando Terranova, winner of the first special of Saturday, follows in third place, 21 seconds behind the leader. The small gaps promise a huge fight for the top of the podium on Sunday.

Nani Roma, who is the most successful driver of this event with nine victories, had a puncture in the first special and is fourth overall with almost six minutes to the leader. Aron Domzala had a puncture and suffered power steering problem in the first special then managed to climb up to 5th overall in the second, but he got a 31-minute penalty that threw him back to 20th place. Jakub Przygonski, Leeroy Poulter, Joao Ramos, Martin Prokop, Miroslav Zapletal and Nicolas Fuchs complete the top 10.

In bikes, Barreda was in the lead in the stage from start to finish, winning both stages, so now he is just one step from defending his title. More than seven minutes behind him, his HRC Honda teammate Michael Metge finished in second place, followed by Joan Pedrero, David Adrià and Cristian España.

Another favourite in the race, former enduro World Champion Ivan Cervantes, had problems with the gas tank in the first special, and then his rally ended prematurely after a fall that resulted in a broken collar bone.

In quads, Dani Vilà is the leader, followed by the Aragonese Mario Gajón, three times winner of the event, and Arnaldo Martins.

In trucks, Martin Macik, winner in 2009 as co-driver of his father, took the lead, beating Jaroslav Valtr and Tomas Vratny.

Saturday’s stage, the longest of Baja Aragon 2017, consisted of two sections, between Perales de Alfambra and Alfambra (passing through towns like Cutanda, Olalla, Villarejos and Calamocha); and between Celadas and Villaespesa (passing through Villalba Baja, Caudé, El Campillo and San Blas, among others).

Tomorrow, the last stage of Baja Aragon 2017 will start at 06:00 hours for bikes and quads and at 09:00 hours for cars and trucks.

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