For most of the day, the Argentinian – winner of the Azores Rallye as a curtain raiser – held a slight advantage over Sergio Fuentes and then Andrea Mazzocchi, who won two stages to take over as challenger the closer to Soria.
With the Italian looking set to increase the pressure, longtime leader Soria stretched his legs in the final test to end the day 11.3 seconds ahead of Mazzocchi, with Fuentes 5.0 seconds behind. delay.
“It was a very good day for us – tough too, to be honest,” Soria said. “At first our pace was quite slow, but then we started to understand better what this rally is like. At the end of the day, we managed to settle into a really good pace and set some fast times.
“At the start of the last stage I felt we had a bit more reserve and I realized that if we didn’t attack harder we would lose our lead so I started to attack more. In the end, it worked out well. It gives us a lot of confidence for tomorrow, when the plan will be full of attack!”
- Full coverage of Rally Islas Canarias is available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens, plus key interviews, reports and analysis from service park experts.