Jose Antonio Suarez showed promising pace for the Peugeot Rally Academy team at 2016 Rally Catalunya – Rally de España this weekend despite an off on the opening day that meant the team had to work hard to repair the Peugeot 208T16.
After finishing second in the shakedown behind WRC2 regular Jan Kopecky, Suarez was looking forward to a promising weekend, unfortunately after a steady start on the opening test where he finished fifth, the Spaniard crashed on the second stage, putting him out of the running for the day.
Following hard work from the team as they repaired the car and also converted it to the asphalt set-up, Suarez and co-driver Candido Carrera rejoined the rally under the Rally2 ruling.
While Kopecky and Pontus Tidemand fought it out at the front of the WRC2 class, Suarez recorded eight top-three stage times, including victory on SS13.
“Despite our early mistake, there are several positives we can take away from Spain.” said Suarez. “We showed good pace on asphalt and we gave it everything we had over the two full days of competition we completed. That allowed us to gain more experience and it’s important to underline how competitive the 208T16 was against some pretty sharp competition.
“I would obviously like to thank everyone in the team for the exceptional job they performed in making the 208T16 as good as new after my accident and I hope I can pay them back with a top result in Wales.”
Suarez and Carrera will be back in action for the Peugeot Rally Academy at Wales Rally GB (October 27-30).
In WRC3 Fabio Andolfi took victory in a Peugeot 208R2.