Pedro Almeida was on course to finish fourth in FIA ERC3 and FIA ERC3 Junior on Rally Islas Canarias when safety considerations intervened and the Portuguese was prevented from tackling leg two’s eight stages.
A “small touch” on the inside of a corner on SS4 left Almeida’s Peugeot 208 Rally4 with a punctured tyre and a damaged rear-left door.
Although he was able to complete Friday’s action, technical checks prior to Saturday’s restart determined that because the door could not open correctly then it would not be possible for Almeida to continue, forcing his retirement.
“Everything started good in the first day,” Almeida said. “Of course, the tyre choices and the set-up choices were difficult because of the rain and the sun. They were varying a lot so it was a bit hard in that way and maybe we didn’t make the best choice. But things were going well and I was improving from stage to stage and becoming closer to the fastest guys.
“But because of a small touch we had [on SS4] they didn’t let us out of the service park. The back door was not opening so the stewards told us we could not leave the service park. Anyway, it was a good rally, just sad we didn’t have the opportunity to continue.”
To underline his potential alongside co-driver Hugo Magalhães, Almeida set top-four stage times in all but one of the nine stages he tackled. He also clocked a top-three effort and was never outside the top four in the ERC3/ERC3 Junior classification prior to his early exit.