Rally Catalunya Històric
2nd Rally Catalunya Històric: Josep Viaplana and Carles Jiménez (Seat Ibiza)
First overall victory for SEAT Coches Históricos
The crew made-up of Josep Viaplana and Carles Jiménez (Seat Ibiza GLX 1.5, 1984) were the overall winners of the 2nd Rally Catalunya Històric "Trofeu Dues Catalunyes", the regularity race for classic cars organised by the RACC. The podium was completed by the only participating women crew, Tere Armadans and Anna Vives (VW Golf GTi, 1979) and another tandem made up of great specialists like David Nogareda-Sergi Giralt (Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7, 1973).
"This is as incredible as unexpected for me", declared Josep Viaplana, a journalist specialised in motor sports, after finishing the race as the winner. "Racing this rally with a professional co-driver, such as Carles Jiménez made things very easy for me and I want to thank SEAT for making available a car like our Ibiza, which worked wonderfully, and become another decisive factor for the victory. I am happy to finish the race with this victory for the brand that trusted us".
This second edition consisted of two legs, with 14 different stages and more than 636 kilometres to be faced by the 49 participants, who drove down the start podium at Avenida de la Catedral in Barcelona on Friday. The route of this rally was linear, and took participants to the south of France, to drive back to Barcelona, where the finishing celebration was staged at the Hotel Hilton Diagonal Mar yesterday evening. The event was open to vehicles manufactured before 1986, the oldest being a Porsche 356 C made in 1964. There were a total of 21 units of this make in different models among the participants, thus being the most represented make.
The weather during the race was favourable for the performance of drivers and co-drivers, except for some snow that was waiting for them in some remote spot during 'Collsaplana'. The rally was true to its Premium seal at all times, offering facilities and comfort to all of the participants. The 2nd Rally Catalunya Històric "Trofeo Dues Catalunyes" was sponsored by Andbank and Hilton Diagonal Mar Barcelona, with the support of the Barcelona City Council, Blunik, BRM Chronographes, Caves Mestres, Vallespir Retro Courses and the media Sport and AutoSport Hebdo.
A first leg with six stage winners
The rally started on Friday, 2 March at 14.45h, with the winners of the previous edition, Carles Miró-Ivan Matavacas (Porsche 911 SC, 1981) leading the group of participants driving down the start podium. The first leg was made-up of 6 stages and, the first of which, Rocafort', was won by the BMW 323i from 1981 of Joan Pedragosa-Josep Beltri. The two following special stages, Talamanca' and L'Estany' covered before the expected regroup in Can Jubany, went to the veteran driver, and multiple champion Salvador Cañellas, with Jordi Parro as his co-driver (Seat 124 D-1800, 1975) and the specialist from Galicia, José Manuel López-Gerard Ferres, who were among the protagonists in 2017, and their VW Scirocco GTI de 1980.
Cañellas led the participation of the SEAT Coches Históricos team that brought five crews into the race. Although Cañellas and Parro managed to take the lead of some stages, the overall regularity gave the lead of the rally to another crew of the team, namely Josep Viaplana-Carles Jiménez, who put their Ibiza 1.5 on top of the standings from the second stage.
Viaplana-Jiménez did not leave this privileged position on the first day (actually during the whole rally), and arrived at the finish of the first leg, i.e. at Hotel Mas Solà in Santa Coloma de Farners, as provisional leaders of the event. On their way they had raced the stages Sant Julià', that went to Miró-Matavacas; Collsaplana', won by Nogareda-Giralt (Porsche 911 2.7 RS, 1973); and Cladells', which went to the leaders, Viaplana-Jiménez.
At the end of the 1st leg, Viaplana-Jiménez had a minimum advantage over Nogareda-Giralt, Armadans-Vives, Cañellas-Parro and Francesc and Joaquim Segú (VW Golf GTi MKII, 1984), with Miró-Matavacas on sixth position. The leg finished with six different crews having won any of the six covered stages, showing that the race was more than open at that moment.
Second leg, SEAT dominating from start to finish
The second day consisted of eight stages, two of them on the other side of the border and with more than 415 km to be covered. The starting order was marked by the overall classification after stage 5 and therefore Viaplana-Jiménez were the first to take the start under the start arch, heading for Les Serres'. This stage was won by Josep M. Molas-Ramon Ferrés (Ford Escort RS2000, 1978). The next stage was Les Encies' which went to Nogareda-Giralt, and Capsacosta', won by Jordi Fanlo-Isabel Gràcia (Porsche 911 SC, 1982), ahead of Cañellas-Parro and Viaplana-Jiménez, who kept the provisional leadership.
In fact, and from the second stage, Josep Viaplana-Carles Jiménez did never leave the top of the standings, although the differences between the leading crews were minimum, as the following crews were highly qualified as well, but the control that the winners-to-be had during the race is worth mentioning.
The first French stage was La Forge del Mitg', which had already been raced last year, followed by lunch, that the participants had at the wonderful golf field in La Domaine de Falgos. After the first 10 stages and during the lunch stop, the top five were Viaplana-Jiménez, Armadans-Vives, Nogareda-Giralt, Sagi-Sagi and Segú-Segú, all of them within 6 points.
There were only four stages left until the finish in Barcelona. The victory of the second French stage, Col de Sous', went to Pedragosa-Beltri; Les Lloses-Alpens' went to Miró-Matavacas; the twisty La Costa dels Gats' went to Viaplana-Jiménez; and the closing stage of the rally, La Guardia', was taken by Armadans-Vives. All of these alternatives show that the 2º Rally Catalunya Històric "Trofeu Dues Catalunyes" was a fought-for event that could have been won by any of these outstanding crews.
On arrival at the parc fermé located next to the Hotel Hilton Diagonal Mar Barcelona, the overall standings gave a well-deserved victory to Josep Viaplana-Carles Jiménez, the only team to get three stage wins, followed by Tere Armadans-Anna Vives, David Nogareda-Sergi Giralt, Víctor Sagi-Víctor Sagi and Carles Miró-Ivan Matavacas. Isidre López, in charge of the SEAT Coches Históricos team, made an enthusiastic summary of the performance of their drivers and co-drivers: "We have won with a production car, fitted with production covers and with a driver who is not used to regularity. This confirms what we already knew, that this speciality is open to amateurs and professionals, and all of them have options. This is exactly what makes a rally like the one proposed by the RACC a total success".
The gala dinner was followed by the prize-giving. The trophies were handed out by Josep Mateu, RACC President and participant of the rally; RACC General Manager Xavier Pérez, rally participant as well; Gabi Arranz, in charge of events at IBE; Joachim Hartl, Hilton Manager for the Iberian Peninsula; Gerard Domingo, Andbank Managing Director, amongst other personalities. In addition to the several trophies for the winners of the rally and the different categories, all participants that finished the rally received their recognition with a 'Finisher' trophy.
Aman Barfull, Director of the Sports Area at the RACC confirmed that the Rally Catalunya Històric "Trofeu Dues Catalunyes" is on a well marked path with a clear future: "All participants have highlighted that the stage measurements and the pace imposed by the itinerary were perfect, a fact that contributed to the tight classifications and to this excellent event. All of this encourages us to continue moving forward with this Premium and high-quality rally".
Final Classification 2nd Rally Catalunya Històric "Trofeu Dues Catalunyes"
1-Josep Viaplana-Carles Jiménez (Seat Ibiza GLX 1.5, 1984), 26 points
2-Tere Armadans-Anna Vives (Volkswagen Golf GTi, 1979), 30 points
3-David Nogareda-Sergi Giralt (Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7, 1973), 33,1 points
4-Víctor Sagi-Víctor Sagi Jr (Porsche 911 S, 1968), 33,3 points
5-Carles Miró-Iván Matavacas (Porsche 911 SC, 1981), 33,9 points
6-Joan Pedragosa-Josep Beltri (BMW 323i E21), 1981), 36,7 points
7-Salvador Cañellas-Jordi Parro (Seat 124 D especial 1800, 1975), 37 points
8-Francesc Segú-Joaquim Segú (Volkswagen Golf GTi, 1984), 37,4 points
9-Marcel.lí Martí-Carles Datsira (Mini Cooper 1300, 1974), 46,9 points
10-Joan Rollán-Álvaro Rollán (Porsche 911 T 2.2, 1970), 49 points
11-Anthony Guillemat-Christophe Cruzet (F/Porsche 911 SC Gr.4, 1981), 54,2 points
12-Serge Adriaens-Freddy Moors (B/Porsche 911 Carrera 2.4, 1972), 55 points
13-Gonzalo Mateo-Jessica Nebra (BMW 2002 Tii, 1972), 56,7 points
14-Vicenç Aguilera-Elisabeth Aguilera (Seat Ibiza GLX 1,5, 1984), 66,5 points
15-Carles Pascual-Pol Pascual (Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2, 1984), 68,4 points
Etc until 49 participants
Winner by Class
Winner Class F: Javier Franco-Albert Franco (Porsche 356 C, 1964)
Winner Class G: Víctor Sagi-Víctor Sagi Jr (Porsche 911 S, 1968)
Winner Class H: David Nogareda-Sergi Giralt (Porsche 911 RS 2.7, 1973)
Winner Class I: Tere Armadans-Anna Vives (Volkswagen Golf GTi, 1979)
Winner Class J: Josep Viaplana-Carles Jiménez (Seat Ibiza GLX 1.5, 1984)
Winner Class K: Josep Mora-Llorenç Camprubí (BMW 316, 1985)
Foreign Teams: Anthony Guillemat-Christophe Cruzet (F/Porsche 911 SC Gr.4, 1981)
Most Veteran Team: Manel Ramírez-Joan Martín (Ford Capri II XL 1.6, 1975)
Oldest Vehicle: Javier Franco-Albert Franco (Porsche 356 C, 1964)
RACC Members: Josep Viaplana-Carles Jiménez (Seat Ibiza GLX 1.5, 1984)