Stolen Fiesta back up to speed on American stages

ARA L2WD runner Roberto Yglesias had his Fiesta R2 stolen last year, but refused to be beaten by thieves


Roberto Yglesias answered the telephone. It was the police. The news was good: they’d found his stolen rally car. The Costa Rican’s challenge for ARA glory was back on track for the 2024 season.

Reunited with his Ford Fiesta R2, Yglesias didn’t land the result he’d hoped for in Missouri last month. He retired from day one with a damaged windscreen after catching a car ahead in the opening stage, but returned for day two and was consistently first or second quickest in L2WD.

Just getting to the start of the rally in his Fiesta seemed an impossibility a year ago.

“The crew were towing the rally car down to Ohio,” Yglesias told DirtFish. “They stopped at a hotel in South Carolina and an hour later discovered somebody had hot-wired the truck and driven off with truck, trailer, rally car and all our spares.


Yglesias' Fiesta set a string of strong times on day two of 100 Acre Wood last month

“I thought it was gone. I really didn’t expect to see it again. Six months later, I got a call from the police – they’d found the car. The truck was gone, but the trailer, the rally car and the spares were all there. They’d taken the stuff that was easy to sell: tools, compressors and things like that – but the main thing was the car and most of the spares were there.

“After six months, I thought it was gone. I’d accepted the settlement from the insurance company, so when the police found it I actually had to buy it back in an auction. When we got it back, we started re-preparing it and getting it ready again. It was fantastic to have it back and this year we’re going to finish the job we started last year.

“We missed the Sno*Drift, but the plan is to do the rest of the season from here on.”

This time, there won’t be any stopping in that hotel on I-95 to Ohio.

“The easy thing would have been to give up last year,” he said, “but this is the thing I love and I said to myself: “Am I going to let some thieves stand in the way?” We stayed positive and there’s part of me that thinks that positive mindset helped us find the car. We were never going to give up and we won’t this year. We’ll be back in Olympus. We’re aiming for the class win, but it’s going to be tough – there’s a lot of competition.”

Words:David Evans