The 20th event of Open RBR-LT WRC 2019 season welcomed 35 crews in Spain. Rally is based in Catalunya region and first day was full gravel stages. Local hero and championship leader Juan Marzoa is the main person here this weekend.
Juan wasn't the fastest in short stages, but he won the longest one SS La Fatarella - Vilalba both times. First time Marzoa was faster more than 10 seconds against everyone and the second time more than 20 seconds. This Spaniard tactic let him build over 1 minute lead and finish first leg in leader position. Maciek Gleixner from Poland driving Toyota Yaris WRC was 2nd fastest on first leg. Just 10 seconds behind him is Libor Tomecek who still has theoretical chances to be Open RBR-LT WRC 2019 champion. Of course all Spain is waiting just for one thing, Juan Marzoa finish and a title taken at home.
WRC 2 leader Jyrki Niemela ended his championship leadership defending really early. Finn lost 40 seconds already in first stage and in SS3 he crashed his Ford Fiesta R5 totally.. Meanwhile fight between Kirill Kolomiets and Echedei Benitez was very tight and after SS3 they were separated just by 7 seconds. But then adventures began. Kirill rolled his Škoda Fabia R5 in SS4 and lost 47 seconds to stage winner Echedei. So before last 6th stage of the day Kirill was 20 seconds behind Spaniard but then again a ordinary failure occurred to Benitez and he crashed in SS6. So after first leg Kirill safely leads by 2min and 30sec and has all the chances to take over the WRC 2 leader position from Jyrki Niemela, as he is just in 8th position at the moment. Echedei Benitez is 2nd and Paulius Butmanas is 3rd with 1min 47sec gap from Spaniard. But Paulius must be concerned with another gap behind him, Jonis Jonaitis with EVO IX is just 10sec behind Paulius and definitely gonna try to attach him for 3rd place.
Remus Diaconescu and his Citroen C2 GT S1600 was unstoppable in first leg in WRC 3 classification. Romanian won all stages and build a monstrous 2min 19.80sec advantage over his opponents. Just 12.97 seconds faster and Remus would be in top 10 overall. Maciej Zawisza is 2nd fastest and his countryman Mirek Woronecki is 3rd with 50 seconds gap. But just 8th seconds behind Mirek is Mariusz Domanus who is trying to beat Maciej in championship standings.
The next legs is completely different surface. Ant those who were fats on gravel stages can be not so fast on twisty Catalunyan tarmac roads. See You in second leg finish!