TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Iberian Cup 2024: Bruno Bulacia wins in Lisbon and takes the lead in the Championship

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Iberian Cup 2024: Bruno Bulacia wins in Lisbon and takes the lead in the Championship

The pair formed by Bruno Bulacia-Gabriel Morales, from the CSM Automoció team, was the big winner of the Rallye de Lisboa-Memorial Joaquim Santos, in what was the fourth round of the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Iberian Cup. In the Portuguese capital, they added their third victory of the 2024 season, reinforcing their leadership in the one-make cup organised by Toyota Caetano Auto, Toyota Spain and MSi.

With an impeccable rally, the young Bolivian driver achieved his first win on tarmac with the Toyota GR Yaris RZ Cup. In this way, he has proved that, barring any setbacks, he is the clear favourite for the final victory. Faced with adverse weather conditions, such as those experienced in the first stage, with a very slippery surface due to the presence of rain, Bruno Bulacia (CSM Automoció) did not make any mistakes. At the same time, the Toyota GR Yaris RZ Cup once again showed its potential, which allowed the winner of the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Iberian Cup to climb to third place in the overall standings of the Rallye de Lisboa. In addition, three other GR Yaris Cup drivers finished in the Top 10.

As expected, this fourth race of 2024 had moments of great excitement, in sporting terms, mainly in the first stage, in which the duel between Villa and Bulacia was really exciting. At the start, it was Javi Villa (Asturhíbrido) who took the lead, seconded by Josep Bassas (IPPON Motor Vallés), with the Bolivian driver in third position. Behind, Miguel Campos (Macedo & Macedo GTW Racing) was in fourth position and Pedro Lago (Toyota Caetano Auto) in fifth. José Lamela (Breogán Group), Manuel Martins, José Mulero (Labasa) and Iván Raña, former Spanish Olympic triathlete and world champion in his speciality, closed the chasing group.

The advantage accumulated by Javi Villa (Asturhíbrido) was only maintained until the second special stage, as Bruno Bulacia (CSM Automoció) reduced the gap in the third, leaving the Asturian seven seconds behind, at which point Miguel Campos also took advantage to climb to third place, putting himself forward as a candidate for the final podium and setting a gap on Josep Bassas (IPPON Motor Vallés). However, Javi Villa’s stumble in the fourth stage, in which he had to retire, left the way clear for Bruno Bulacia.

From that moment on, and despite the fact that there were still eight stages to go (the fifth special stage was cancelled for safety reasons, due to low visibility caused by fog), there were no changes in the top positions. Bruno Bulacia always had Miguel Campos at a safe distance, while the Portuguese driver was managing his advantage over Josep Bassas, who, in turn, had a comfortable gap over Pedro Lago (Toyota Caetano Auto).

Javi Villa (Asturhíbrido) was able to rejoin thanks to the super rally, with the clear objective of scoring the extra points awarded to the winners of each stage. The Asturian driver was the fastest in three of the eight stages (he tied in one with Bulacia and in another with Campos), minimising the points difference with Bruno Bulacia. Thus, with 12 points, he is 20 points behind the Bolivian driver, who has 91 points.

The only change on Saturday’s stage, with more stable weather, was that José Mulero (Labasa), until then sixth, had problems on the seventh special stage and lost four minutes, dropping to eighth place, ahead of Javi Villa. Thanks to Mulero’s problem, José Lamela (Breogán Group) and Manuel Martins moved up one place in the Rallye de Lisboa standings.

Although he had previously tested the Toyota GR Yaris RZ in a regional championship rally, the debut of Olympic triathlete and world champion Iván Raña in the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Iberian Cup was not easy, especially during the first day, when the rain made its presence felt. But he managed to finish the race, just a few seconds behind Mulero.

The next round of the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Iberian Cup will be the Rallye Rías Baixas in Vigo, also on asphalt, on the weekend of the 6th and 7th of July. The famous Galician event is part of the S-CER (Supercampeonato de España de Rallyes).