Bulacia claims maiden world championship win
Marquito Bulacia began his third season in the world rally championship – his first in a Citroën C3 R5 – with an impressive win after an event that was cut short due the global coronavirus pandemic.
More seasoned campaigner than teenager. Talented 19 year-old Marquito Bulacia produced a remarkable performance on the Mexican stages on his debut outing in the Tagai Racing Technology team’s Citroën C3 R5. Immediately on the pace, the Bolivian moved to the top of the WRC3 leaderboard after stage four. Whilst already in possession of a solid lead to manage, Bulacia still had plenty to do, especially here in Mexico at one of the most technically-demanding rallies with its high-altitude stages and stiflingly hot temperatures. But Marquito, perfectly supported by his experienced Italian co-driver Giovanni Bernacchini, managed the impressive feat of winning ten out the twenty stages contested. He was eighth overall and first in his category on Saturday evening, when the organisers – faced with the serious health crisis that has shook the world – decided to cut short the rally, cancelling the three stages scheduled for Sunday. “It was an incredible race for us,” commented a delighted Marquito at the finish. “We were in the mix right from the very start. It was my third appearance here and clearly that counted. I would like to dedicate this win to my country, Bolivia, and to my father. He has been something of a mentor to me. He has been constantly by my side since I started racing and he has always believed in me.” This is Citroën’s second win in the WRC3, after Eric Camilli prevailed in Monte-Carlo, and the brand’s fourth category win this season, with two WRC2 wins also secured by Mads Østberg in Monte-Carlo and Sweden.
WRC championship update
Sébastien Ogier (Toyota Yaris WRC) claimed his sixth win in Mexico, ahead of Ott Tänak (Hyundai i20 WRC) and Teemu Suninen (Ford Fiesta WRC), taking him top of the Drivers’ World Championship standings in front of his team-mate Elfyn Evans (Toyota Yaris WRC). With Rally Argentina, which had been due to take place on 23-26 April, already postponed, the WRC is currently scheduled to resume at Rallye de Portugal (21-24 May).
Did you know?
Following its selection in 2018 as official fuel supplier for the WRC from 2019 to 2021 as part of the FIA’s invitation for tender, Total developed Total Excellium Rally. The shared aim with the FIA was to have a more ecological fuel and for a significant part of the content to be made up of bio-fuels. It contains 10% second generation bio-ethanol, derived from timber or straw residue, as well as from the stems, leaves and non-edible parts of fruits and vegetables. Total went to great lengths to ensure this fuel was ready by the fourth quarter of 2018. This meant that it could supply manufacturers with an initial quantity, thus enabling them to check that everything was okay in terms of compatibility and performance. This close working relationship, and sense of anticipation, have since proven to be a successful approach.