Weather strikes ERC again as first Azores stage canceled

Just like on Rally Serras de Fafe, heavy wind and rain has forced the cancelation of stages


The opening stage of Rally Azores, the 7.08-mile Coroa Da Mata test, has been canceled amid high winds and heavy rain battering São Miguel Island.

Luis Vilariño was meant to lead the European Rally Championship field away at 8.18am local time but the stage was called off before any cars had entered the stage as emergency services were unable to access the test properly, with all crews now diverted to stage two, Graminhais.

It’s the third time so far this season an ERC stage has been called off, as two tests on the opening day of Rally Serras de Fafe were canned due to heavy rain making the stages too difficult for emergency vehicles to traverse.

Javier Pardo, who won Friday’s qualifying stage, has picked fifth place on the road for the opening leg. Simone Tempestini, the next-fastest driver in qualifying, will start third on the road, right behind reigning Portuguese champion Ricardo Teodósio.

SS2 begins at 9.06am local time.

Words:Alasdair Lindsay