He saved the furniture. Efrén Llarena finished seventh in the Fafe Rally, the first round of the European Championship that he won last year. He could expect more from the current champion, but the truth is that he has suffered from a lack of coupling with his new car, which he had been able to test for less than 100 kilometers, and suffered with his delayed starting position in the mud of the first stage of the Portuguese event that has opened the season of the continental event.
Just like a year ago, the rain was primed with the sections of the north of Portugal during the day on Saturday, which led to multiple accidents and incidents. Llarena started in position 18, with which he found the roads destroyed and full of ruts. If we add to that that it is not yet coupled to the new Skoda Fabia that was released in this test, the seventh position is a good booty. Especially if we remember that last year, under similar conditions, he failed to enter the top ten… and in the end he was crowned champion. “I am very disappointed,” he explained upon arrival at the finish line. “We’ve had a lot of adaptation problems with the new car and I can’t be happy with the result.”
The test lived an exciting duel between the World Cup players Craig Breen, Hayden Paddon and Mads Ostberg and the Finn Mikko Heikkila. Breen dominated the early stages until he suffered a puncture, leaving the other three fighting to the tenth until the last meter, in the same Lameirinha jump that in mid-May will decide the World Cup Rally of Portugal. In the end Paddon prevailed, the New Zealander who returns to Europe after passing through the World Cup, who was benefited by a puncture from Heikkila in the final stretch.