BFGoodrich Drivers Team man Sergio Vallejo bagged a very solid seventh place at the end of the Rally Principe de Asturias, which was marked by appalling weather conditions.

Vallejo, who was selected to represent the BFGoodrich Drivers Team in Spain by a panel of journalists and representatives from the Spanish motor sport governing body, Kronos and BFGoodrich, traded his usual Porsche GT3 this weekend for the Kronos-run, BFGoodrich equipped Peugeot 207 S2000.

Of the four BFGoodrich Drivers Team drivers who have taken part in the programme so far, Sergio doubtlessly faced the most delicate mission, since this one-off outing meant having to discover the niceties of driving a four-wheel drive car and trying to mix it with the cream of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge on an event that took place in particularly wet and nasty conditions.

It was a prospect that many experienced drivers would not have revelled in. But at the age of 41, Sergio, who was second in the Spanish Championship before this weekend, is a seasoned campaigner, and that showed as he took time to find his marks on Friday morning's opening 8km stage.

He then gradually upped his pace as the day progressed and an eloquent sequence of sixth- and seventh fastest times saw him emerge in sixth place overall after SS6.

After completing the first leg in ninth place following an overly conservative tyre choice for the final loop of the day, Sergio set out on Saturday morning intent on recovering lost ground.

The retirement of 2002 Junior World champion Dani Sola enabled him to move into a points-scoring position by the lunchtime break before easing past fellow Spaniard Luis Monzon, a two-time previous winner of this rally.

"The slippery conditions made the first day was quite a challenge for me and I never really felt totally at ease," said Vallejo. "I would need maybe two or three rallies with the car to feel fully in control in conditions like those we encountered on Friday.

"Today was far better, though, and finishing seventh has allowed me to recover the lead in the Spanish Championship. I would like to say a sincere and big thank you to everyone at Kronos and BFGoodrich. It's been a fantastic experience which I will never forget!"

"These weren't the easiest of conditions for Sergio to find his marks with a new car, and he admits that he could have gone better on Friday," added BFGoodrich IRC programme manager, Jacques Morelli. "He tended to brake too early and was very hesitant in the way he drove.

"That said, he didn't make any mistakes and got on with the job in hand. The reward for his efforts is sixth place. Sergio was very grateful for the weekend and really enjoyed himself, which is the ultimate aim of this operation."

The next and final port-of-call for the BFGoodrich Drivers Team programme meanwhile is in two weeks' time on the Rally Sanremo in Italy, where Andrea Torlasco will take his turn behind the wheel of the BFG Kronos-run Peugeot 207 Super 2000.


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