Vallespir Rally: who to annoy Gilles Roca at home, in a race disrupted by the legislative elections ?

Vallespir Rally: who to annoy Gilles Roca at home, in a race disrupted by the legislative elections ?

Vainqueur sortant, Roca troque sa Skoda pour une VW Polo. DR

Eighth meeting of the regional rally calendar, the Vallespir is preparing to experience its 34th edition this Saturday departing from Amélie-les-Bains (P.-O.).

A special edition that its organizers were forced to rework at the last minute due to the legislative elections. Initially scheduled over two days, the rally therefore saw its route narrowed down to Saturday alone, losing a few kilometers of racing in the process.

In the end, the 63 crews expected at the start will do three different special stages in the morning, before facing the long time trial (22.9 km) of Palalda/Prunet three times, with the final passage taking place by night. Suffice to say that it is there, on the heights of the Tech valley, that the fate of this 34th edition will be decided.

Gilles Roca candidate for succession

When it comes time to remember the name of a favorite, the choice is quickly made. Already a winner five times between 2014 and last year, local Gilles Roca is not the type to let visitors steal the show at home. Faced with the Volkswagen Polo GTI which  rsquo;he will drive for the occasion in the company of Aurelien Benzal, the opposition promises to be formidable in the presence of around ten other cutting-edge cars in the Rally2 category , some also piloted by former Vallespir winners.

This will be the case of Christian Roig (Ford Fiesta) and Breton André Jézéquel (Citroën C3). On the podium for the last two years, the Perpignan resident Arnaud Genesca (Skoda Fabia) should however be the most serious challenger to Gilles Roca, while the best is also expected from Hérault residents Kevin Constanty (Citroën C3) and Alexis Frontier, the latter taking advantage of the Vallespir to make his first appearance behind the wheel of a Skoda Fabia.

Some Catalan drivers will also cross the Spanish border to join the party, notably Joaquim Manresa aboard a Skoda Fabia. Finally, we will enjoy seeing Jonathan Dessens behind the wheel again, exploring the Alpine A110, and Gérard Authebon (Peugeot 206), the veteran French rally driver.

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