The PoolShop Algarve driver went to the capital area to win a victory in Division 1 of the 5th Kumho Portugal Challenge, still managing to win precise points that raised him to the leadership of the Regional Trophy of Southern Ralis.
At the start of the 2022 edition of the Lisbon Rally, Rui Rijo was perfectly aware that it would be “a complicated event, with a list of luxurious participants. But we didn’t give up and went after the best possible result, taking advantage of the fact that our most direct opponents in TRRS would not be participating. We knew a good score would give us the upper hand in the trophy fight.”
Rijo and Miguel Luz focused a lot on making “a good recognition of the stages. We defined a strategy of attacking a little more on Saturday’s stages, especially on the Sobral do Monte Agraço stage, where we were at a good pace”, acknowledging the driver residing in the Algarve that “we started the day too cautious in Arruda dos Vinhos, which made us made the rest of the race go after the damage, having conditioned the final result a little to the general”, managing, however, to take the lead of the Kumho Division 1 since the 1st PEC, not letting go until the end of the rally.
The test of the Mitsubishi Lancer EVO VIII MR duo was smooth until “the Montejunto PEC, where we started to feel some kind of electrical failure in the car that was not constant and, therefore, from that stage, our focus changed, concentrating the our efforts to just take the car to the end.”
The mission was thus accomplished with merit and Rui Rijo and Miguel Luz reached the final podium in Lisbon in a position to celebrate the victory among the Kumho and a very positive position among all participants in the Regional Trophy of Southern Ralis. The points collected allowed the team “to move to the leadership of the TRRS with several riders still in the discussion, which leaves everything open for Albufeira. Let’s try to win!”.
In the aftermath, the pilot also stressed that “the victory at the Kumho is very good and allows us to gain advantage in the renewal of this trophy won in 2021. It should be noted that the tires were always very effective”.
In the end, Rui Rijo thanked “all the support felt on the road and in all the places where we stopped” and did not want to forget to remember “the sadness we all feel. Pedro Paixão left. A young man, one of our own who tragically disappears. We send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of this great player.”