Countdown to WRX of Spain (CEST)

13 Sep 2012

PRC: 2012 titles decided

Category: Miscellaneous, News Posted 13.09.12 12:42 by

All titles decided in the final round of the Portuguese Rallycross Championship, Pedro Matos, Pedro Ribeiro, Ricardo Costa Jr. and Rafael Lobato are the 2012 champions.


There was everything to be decided in the last round of the Portuguese Rallycross Championship, but in the end there were no changes in the lead of the different divisions. Pedro Matos won the main title (Division 1), and so did the three youngsters Pedro Ribeiro (Division 2), Ricardo Costa Jr. (Division 5) and Rafael Lobato (Division 6).

The seventh and last round of the Portuguese championship took place in Montalegre, under the organisation of the CAVR, with lots of sunshine and heat to balance the emotions between the public and those on the track, where everything was a bit hotter! In Division 1 (SuperCars) it wasn’t a good day for Pedro Matos (Citroën Xsara), but in the end the driver from Aveiro proclaimed himself with the second consecutive National title. Joaquim Santos was on pole for the A final, and lead the way from start to finish with his Opel Astra H, closely followed in by José Cruz (Peugeot 306) and Nuno Ralha (Saab 9.3). With only two laps to go Cruz got hampered by a puncture giving Ralha the advantage to claim the runner-up position. Cruz held on third place, ahead of Subaru driver Pedro Silva. It was already the third victory of the series for Santos, but although Matos retired with gearbox problems his bad luck did not stop him winning the second title in a row.

Division 2 saw with the 16 years old Pedro Ribeiro the youngest ever Rallycross champion in one of the National main Divisions. However, as for the race itself it was, once again, Bruno Lima’s story, since the young Citroën Saxo driver scored a hat-trick in Montalegre. Starting from the pole Lima lead all the way down to the chequered flag, bagging another great victory. Second place was very well disputed between Filipa Sanguedo, Pedro Ribeiro and José Sousa, but a broken driveshaft in her Peugeot 306 Maxi throw Filipa out of contention. This made way for Pedro Ribeiro to score second place and, thereby, his first ever title. José Sousa finished third and became second of the championship, followed by Filipa Sanguedo. Paulo Reis, the other title contender, was out of the titlechase due to gearbox problems with his Clio.

Ricardo Costa Jr. became champion of the Division 5, yet another title conquered by a young driver. This in a category of which there is not much to talk about, as no-one seems to know why it does actually exist, seen its similarity with the Division 2. However, Costa and his Peugeot 306 S16 where the dominant force of the championship series, closely followed by José Polónio’s pretty old but very well prepared Citroën ZX – with diesel engine…

In the Division 6 championship (Initiation Class) Rafael Lobato did it again. The youngster from Vila Real started this final round with one hand already on the title, driving practice and qualifying heats with “a calculator in his hands”. In the final race Lobato was aiming for another victory, but Bernardo Maia (Citroën AX) was too strong and achieved his first win of the year. However, second place was more than enough for Lobato to win his second title in a row as well as the first National title, hence Division 6 is for the first year of its existence recognised as an official championship. Hugo Lopes finished third in the race, while Pedro Alves made it to fourth, in the championship point standings both finished as the followers of series winner Rafael Lobato.

© Joaquim Oliveira