It was another productive day at the Andalucía Rally for Eric de Seynes and Camelia Liparoti in the YXZ1000R prototype, with the Yamaha duo working well together to complete the third and penultimate stage. The day wasn’t without incident, however, as they stopped to assist a crew who’d been involved in a crash just 40km from the end of the special stage.
The two YXZ1000R racers have made some great progress over the past three days and, with one final stage remaining tomorrow, the Yamaha pairing is looking forward to completing their first rally together in the X-raid developed YXZ1000R prototype.
Today’s stage covered a total 430 kilometres and featured a fast and grueling 298 kilometre timed special. Communication between the driver and co-driver was crucial, with the challenging route containing many turns and obstacles.
Aiming to gain as much knowledge and experience as possible, minor changes were made to the set-up of the YXZ1000R prototype ahead of today’s stage with limited success, but a quick adjustment to the hydraulic suspension during the first fuel stop improved the car’s stability dramatically.
With heightened confidence entering the second half of the timed sector, the Yamaha duo focused on refining their communication, which would improve their overall precision when braking, accelerating and turning. The pace had increased, and all was positive until they came across an accident 40 kilometres from the finish where another car had rolled on a bend and caught fire. The pair stopped immediately to call for medical assistance and to aid the driver and co-driver.
Having lost 10 minutes assisting at the crash, the #251 YXZ1000R eventually crossed the finish line in 11th place in the T3 class.
In the SSV Open category, an unfortunate technical problem left the top qualifiers, Franco Sport’s Mario Franco and Nuno Guilherme, unable to start. Teammates, Manuel and Pedro Breyner flew the flag high for Franco Sport, as they put the YXZ1000R through its paces to finish in 12th position.
The 2021 Andalucía Rally’s fourth and final stage will take place tomorrow, Sunday 16th May.
Results are provisional.
Eric de Seynes
Driver: Yamaha YXZ1000R prototype #251
“We did the first part with a new setting of the car and unfortunately it was not giving any benefit. So, I had a lack of grip everywhere. We got passed by some cars, and then during the refueling, I changed the car settings to something that was in between yesterday and today. Even with just one click of adjustment on the hydraulic suspension, I could feel the difference immediately and it was much better. Near the end of the stage, we reached a car that was on fire, so of course we stopped. The driver and co-driver had some injuries, so I called race direction for a doctor and immediate medical assistance. We stayed with them and gave them some water to help with their injuries, and then when we knew the medical team were on the way, and we’d done all we could, we left them in the care of some spectators, and we continued on. There are days where you feel like you drove well, and then there are days like today where you make a lot of mistakes.”
Co-Driver: Yamaha YXZ1000R prototype #251
“Nearly 300 kilometres of special stage today, it was very long indeed, like a mini-Dakar stage. It was very complex because you had to turn every 100 to 200 metres and there was a lot of concentration needed from both the driver and co-driver. I think we did well, we just had a small episode that disrupted our flow, but if it was a test, we would have passed it. We started to drive well as a team, and after yesterday I feel like we have taken a step forward.”