An entry of 21 cars, including most of the main contenders in each of the four championship categories, will take part in round three of the 2019 FIA European Historic Sporting Rally Championship, the 11th Rally de Asturias Historico, on the 23rd-25th May in north-west Spain.
Category 4: Championship leader Mats Myrsell and Esko Junttila head the cast of seven category 4 entries, with the Swedes once again competing in the Ford Sierra Cosworth 4x4. Reigning FIA EHSRC champions Valter Jensen and Erik Pedersen will be hoping to improve on their second place on the 2018 Rally de Asturias Historico in their BMW M3.
All eyes will be on the two Spanish entries in the top category with Antonio Sainz and Javier Martinez, who are lying second in the championship, once again competing in the Escuderia Madrid Historicos prepared Subaru Legacy 4WD Turbo. While the Pravia Autocompetition Ford Sierra Cosworth of Daniel Alonso and Candido Carrera will also be challenging for victory at home.
Round 2 winners ‘Lucky’ and Fabrizia Pons will also compete in the Rally de Asturias Historico in the Keysport Engineering SRL Lancia Delta Integrale 16v and the Italians will be looking to add another victory to their tally to get their championship aspirations back on track after being disqualified from the classification in Round 1 for fuel sample irregularities.
The category 4 field is completed by the Ford Sierra Cosworth 4x4 of Tim and Steve Jones, the British duo finished third in 2018, and the other British entry, the BMW M3 of Will Graham and Michael Johnston.
Category 3: There are five entries in Category 3, with reigning champions and round 2 winners Karl Wagner and Gerda Zauner competing in the bright yellow Porsche 911 SC.
The Austrians face stiff opposition from the Porsche 911 SC of Finland’s Pentti Veikkanen and Timo Jaakkola, the Audi Quattro of Italian crew ‘Zippo’ and Luca Culasso, the Historic Rally Club Finland run Triumph TR8 of Klaus Wilkman and Hanna Valonen and the Porsche 911 SC, prepared by Escuderia Madrid Historicos, of Spanish crew Francisco Casas Munoz and Antonio Boto Garcia.
Category 2: With the championship leading Alfa Romeo of Laszlo Mekler missing from the entry list in Spain, the five entries in Category 2 will each be looking to gather maximum points from Round 3 for the overall class title.
Hungarian duo Peter Magoss and Laszlo Ronay are currently lying third overall in the class title race in their Alfa Romeo 1750 GTam, with Round 1 winners Anders and Ingrid Johnsen looking to get their 2019 season back on track after being forced to sit out Round 2 in the Czech Republic due to a fuel tank issue with their Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.0.
Italian crew Paolo Pasutti and Giovanni Battista Campeis finished second in the Czech Republic and will be hoping to go one better in their Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.0 in Spain. James Calvert and James O’Brien return to the EHSRC in their distinctive Volkswagen 1303S while 2017 Champions Maurizio Pagella and Roberto Brea complete the category entry in their Porsche 911.
Category 1: In the Czech Republic the battle of the rally was in Category 1 and the class will undoubtedly provide the same level of entertainment on the Rally de Asturias Historico.
Reigning champions Antonio Parisi and Giuseppe D’Angelo currently hold a very slender one point championship lead and will face a lot of opposition from the rest of the crews entered for Round 3 of the FIA European Historic Sporting Rally Championship. Parisi and D’Angelo took the class win in Asturias twelve months ago and will be hoping that history repeats itself.
British crew Ernie and Karen Graham and German duo Heiko Dlugos and Tim Rauber are tied in second place in the championship. The Graham’s took the Category 2 victory in 2018, and will be looking to repeat that performance in their Category 1 Ford Escort Twin Cam after a strong performance in the Czech Republic that was only blunted by a puncture that cost them four minutes on the open stage of day 2. A spirited fight back saw them finish third in class at the end of the day.
Dlugos and Rauber finished second on the Rallye Vltava last month in their Ford Escort Twin Cam and will be taking the fight to both Parisi and Graham in Spain. The final class entry is the BMW 2002 Ti of Italian crew Carlo Fiorito and Roberto Barbero.