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Alberto Meira wins the most Galician of the "Rías"
The pilot from Vincios writes, for the first time, his name as winner of the Rallye Rías Baixas with a difference of 6.6 seconds with respect to the second classified, Alberto Hevia.
Verónica García. 48 Rallye Internacional Rías Baixas Vodafone Concello de Vigo Press.

It couldn't have been otherwise. It was set to be. The most Galician Rallye Rías Baixas of the last decades ended with the victory of the local pilot Alberto Meira. It's been 21 years since a racing team from Pontevedra hasn't been the winner in their home-town Rally. The last one in achieving it was Juan Carlos González and Tavo Piñeiro's BMW M3 in 1991.

Alberto Meira did a triumphal entry in the winners list of the "Rías. The pilot from Vincios started leading the general classification in the second special stage of the rally and was able to defend this position until the end. With a Mitshubishi Lancer EVO X, Meira and Bañobre won in five of the ten special stage races: the two loops in Monte Alba, the first loop in Ponteareas and the two loops in As Neves. In the end, they finished the event in Vigo with 6.6 seconds of advantage over Alberto Hevia, who had to be happy with a second position.

Alberto Hevia

The pilot from Asturias, who arrived at the "Rías" after winning the Cantabria Rally, made things difficult to the pilot from Vincios. He got the scratch in the second to last special stage in the Vigo event, cut down 14.9 seconds to Meira and ended at only 1.9 seconds of the local pilot when there was still one special stage to be raced, but he was not able to finish his recovery.

The third place in the podium of this 48º Rallye Internacional Rías Baixas Vodafone Concello de Vigo is for Víctor Senra. The pilot from Mitshubishi Lancer Evo X finished second in the first leg, but in the second one he had problems with the gearbox and Alberto Hevia was capable of overcoming him in the classification. Jonathan Pérez "threatened" afterwards with taking him the third position, but was forced to withdraw in the last special stage, so Senra ended victorious.

Alberto Meira

At the doors of the podium was the Porsche 911 GT3 CUP R from Miguel Fuster, a very deserved position taking into account the drawbacks suffered in this rally (the car stalled in the first special stage, he was penalized with one minute for being early in a time control and had to race the Ponteareas SS with a spare tire after a puncture in Fornelos).

Another Porsche, the one from the pilot from the Canary Islands, Luis Monzón, finished in the fifth position, while the sixth corresponded to the Pais brothers. The pilots from Vigo performed, and dearly, well in the rally at home, confirming also the good feeling they had offered in Cantabria, where they finished in the seventh place. In the "Rías", this position corresponded to Joan Vinyes. The eighth place was for Enrique García Ojeda and the ninth to the Vallejo brothers. After saying goodbye, in the first special stage, to any chance of victory, due to the fact of having to race with a "space saver" tire, the racing team from Lugo tried to have fun and entertain the spectators along the Saturday stages. And he not only succeeded it, he also was capable of positioning in the Top Ten, a list closed by Gorka Antxústegui.


Out of the 72 teams that finally started this 48º Rallye Internacional Rías Baixas Vodafone Concello de Vigo, 21 were not able to finish it, among them, the favourites to do great things, such as the pilot that started the event as leader of the provisional general classification of the Spanish Rally Championship, Jonathan Pérez, and Eugenio Mantecón, Daniel Marbán, Francisco Cima and the Galicians Alvaro Muñiz and Iván Ares.

The ones that did finish the event were the former football player Santiago Cañizares and the former professional cyclist Oscar Pereiro. The special fight they keep in each rally was won this time by the one from Mos. Pereiro, Luis Penido and his Suzuki Swift finished the "Rías" in the position number 32 at 18:08:9 from the leader, while the one Cañizares and Ricardo Ranero's Suzuki did it in the position number 40.

Other classifications. Cups and Trophies

Pablo Pazó achieved the unquestionable victory in the Copa Suzuki Swift 2012. The pilot from Vigo finished at 1.09.5 from Marcos Rodríguez and 1:42:6 from the first classified, Víctor Pérez.

Another pilot from Vigo, Pedro Freire, asserted himself also in the Trofeo Suzuki 2012 in this Rías, and he did it with more than 2 minutes over Paulo Gradaille.

In the two-wheel drive category, the first position was for Joan Vinyes, the second one for Enrique García Ojeda and the third one for Gorka Antxústegui.

In the parallel Rally raced by the vehicles without official recognition, the racing teams formed by Ramón Rodríguez and Rubén Rodríguez won with a Peugeot 309 GTI 16V.

Prize Ceremony

The best pilots of the 48º Rallye Internacional Rías Baixas Vodafone Concello de Vigo received their prizes in the Prize Ceremony held at the Puerta del Sol in Vigo. The event was attended, among others, by the president of the Real Federación Española de Automovilismo, Carlos Gracia, and the representatives of the three main institutions that support the rally; Vigo's Major, Abel Caballero; the Director of the Sports Secretary of the Xunta de Galicia José Ramón Lete; the Vigo's Council of Sports Manel Fernández and the Provincial Representative Marta Iglesias.

Despite the rain, many racing fans assisted to the point cero of the city of Vigo to honour the big names in this Rally.

Statement of the winner of the Rallye Rías Baixas, Alberto Meira: Winning a Spanish Champion is a great satisfaction. The truth is that since I was a kid I wanted to win the Rías and this is a dream come true. Thanks to all my team and my sponsors that without them this wouldn't have been possible.

Alberto Meira

Statement of the second classified, Alberto Hevia: We raced a good rally, we did everything we could. I congratulate Meira who raced great during the whole event and I wish this is not the only one he wins.

Statement of the third classified, Víctor Senra: We had a lot of troubles with the gearbox, which made us race with fear, but even so, we are satisfied with our third position.

Ludek Kopecky

Statement of the FIA Observers (Fédération Internationale d'Automobile)

Ludek Kopecký was following the 48th Edition of the Rallye Internacional Rías Baixas Vodafone Concello de Vigo, and showed satisfaction with the development of the event. He also stated that this event can stand along other events in Spain that counts towards the European Rally. Kopecký added that everything was correct; except minor details with the public, the rally developed according to the European standard. Here he was referring to the Monte Alba special stage, where the attitude of a minority was about to cause the cancelation of the stage. He also stated that in general terms, the assessment is positive and there are only a couple of aspects to be modified to adapt the rally to the European standard. In the Press Room, where he met with the press, he said he was satisfied with the fact of having the press releases translated into English, something that until next year it will not be necessary.

Press Release #21
Date: 02/06/2012 | File: PDF | Size: 286 KB
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