Rnd 12: Rally Sanremo - Italy 12-13 Oct talk/results spoiler**
Rnd 12: Rally Sanremo - Italy 12-13 Oct
With the competitive action contained within a 24-hour window, a huge strain is placed on car and crew. The stages use narrow and undulating roads and feature fast and flowing sections, frequent changes of rhythm and blind and open corners with rapid climbs and descents.
Scandola tops Sanremo shakedown, dreams of victory
Umberto Scandola has begun his bid to win Rallye Sanremo in style by setting the pace in shakedown for the penultimate event of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge season.
Scandola, who says winning the asphalt event in Italy’s Liguria region would “mean everything” was seven-tenths of a second faster than seven-time IRC event winner Jan Kopecký over the 3.2-kilometre test in San Romolo. Both were driving ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000s.
“For any Italian driver to win Rallye Sanremo the feeling is indescribable and hard to put into words,” said Scandola. “I recognise the level of the competition will be very high, the roads are tricky but winning would mean everything and it’s always what I wanted.”
As well as chasing IRC points in Sanremo – he was a frontrunner in Sicily and San Marino earlier this season – Scandola is in contention for the Italian championship, which is running in tandem with the main IRC event this weekend.
Other drivers to impress in shakedown included Giandomenico Basso, who was third quickest in his turbocharged M-Sport Ford Fiesta RRC. Former IRC champion Juho Hänninen was fourth fastest for ŠKODA with Pierre Campana the leading Peugeot 207 S2000 driver in fifth. Italian championship leader Paolo Andreucci was seventh for Peugeot Italia with IRC returnee Craig Breen eighth.
Harry Hunt was the 10th fastest driver eligible for overall IRC points on his first start on an IRC event in a Kronos Racing Peugeot. Alessandro Re was actually marginally faster than the young Briton but is not able to claim overall scores in his Citroën DS3 R3T.
Shakedown took place in warm and dry conditions on Thursday afternoon before the onset of heavy showers well into the evening.
Giandomenico Basso leads Rallye Sanremo after winning the opening stage of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge qualifier, the 13.06-kilometre Coldirodi test.
Basso, who drives a turbocharged M-Sport Ford Fiesta RRC, was 9.4s faster than former IRC champion Juho Hänninen who is running first on the road in a normally aspirated factory ŠKODA Fabia S2000.
Paolo Andreucci was 4.2s adrift of Basso in his Peugeot 207 S2000 with Jan Kopecký 2.4s further back for ŠKODA Motorsport. Alessandro Perico was another 2.4s behind Kopecký. However, there was early frustration for ŠKODA Italia driver Umberto Scandola, who dropped 40s going off the road.
The quick-fire start to Rallye Sanremo continues with Jan Kopecký making it two different stage winners out of two in his ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 to move ahead of Paolo Andreucci into second overall.
Stage one winner Giandomenico Basso continues to lead the Intercontinental Rally Challenge event in his M-Sport Ford Fiesta RRC. His margin over Kopecký following the 17.43-kilometre Apricale test is 5.7s.
However, there was more despair for Umberto Scandola who stopped on the stage to change a punctured tyre. The young Italian is chasing his first national title in a ŠKODA Fabia S2000 but is now firmly out of contention having lost almost five minutes to the leaders. Briton Harry Hunt, competing in a S2000 car in the IRC for the first time, was also delayed stopping to replace a puncture front-right tyre.
Mainly dry, albeit cloudy weather is being reported with some fog patches present nearing the stage finish.
Giandomenico Basso has hit back on Rallye Sanremo by charging to his second stage win on the Intercontinental Rally Challenge round in Italy’s Liguria region.
The M-Sport Ford Fiesta RRC driver took 7m18.2s to complete the 10.59-kilometre Bignone stage, held on a predominantly dry surface with some wet patches.
Despite being beaten through stage two by Jan Kopecký in a ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000, Italian Basso’s overall lead on the Czech after three stages stands at 12.7s. Stefano Albertini was a sensational second fastest, 2.0s down on Basso, but Umberto Scandola (pictured) failed to start the stage, his hopes of the Italian title now in shreds.
Crews are now heading back to Sanremo for a regroup and service halt in preparation for stage four, Ronde, which goes live at 21:00hrs and covers a distance of 44 kilometres.
Juho Hänninen’s bid to make it 12 wins in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge is over after he crashed out on Rallye Sanremo’s Ronde night stage.
The Finn started the 44-kilometre test in fourth overall but failed to complete the run after hitting trouble in the ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 he shares with co-driver Mikko Markkula. Both crew were uninjured.
Out front, Giandomenico Basso has extended his lead of the asphalt counter to 25.6s in his M-Sport Ford Fiesta RRC following his third stage win of day one, despite reporting brake problems and suggesting that his tyre compound choice was too soft for the dry conditions.
Jan Kopecký has moved into second after Paolo Andreucci adopted a cautious approach now that he can secure his seventh Italian title just by reaching the finish. Alessandro Perico reported struggling to see where he was going in his Peugeot 207 S2000 but climbs to third. Stefano Albertini lost time when a front driveshaft failed in the closing five kilometres. He is fourth with Craig Breen fifth and Andreucci slipping to sixth.
Pierre Campana dropped back with a broken rear differential while an overheating engine has struck Frigyes Turán’s Fiesta.
Crews are now returning to Sanremo for a 45-minute service and the overnight halt. Saturday’s action begins with the 19.93-kilometre Colle Langan run at 09:05hrs local time.
IRC Rallye Sanremo day one review: Basso on top at home
A storming drive through the gruelling 44-kilometre Ronde night stage has put Giandomenico Basso 25.6s clear in the battle for victory on the legendary Rallye Sanremo, the penultimate round of the all-action Intercontinental Rally Challenge in Italy.
Basso, in a turbocharged M-Sport Ford Fiesta RRC, was fastest through Friday’s opening stage, which was damp in places, by 4.2s. Although he couldn’t match Jan Kopecký’s speed through the dry second test, he was quickest again on the damp third run, which was also affected by patches of fog, to take a lead of 12.7s into Ronde. By completing the day-closing stage 12.9s faster than his ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000-driving rival, Basso holds a comfortable advantage heading to the overnight halt in Sanremo.
“We knew our lead before Ronde was not enough but the stage was very long and difficult,” said Basso. “We had some brake problems and I think the tyre compound was too soft for the dry but we manage well and the important thing is we got through.”
Kopecký suggested the extra torque available to Basso had given the Italian the edge when the road was damp. The Czech had been in a close fight for second with Paolo Andreucci until the Peugeot 207 S2000 pilot went for a cautious approach through Ronde in the knowledge that finishing the rally will make him Italian champion for a seventh time after rival Umberto Scandola hit trouble this afternoon.
Scandola had been expected to run at the front in his ŠKODA Italia entry but a bent axle, caused when he swiped a metal retaining barrier five kilometres into stage one, led to a 40-second delay. It got worse on the next stage when is ill-handling car struck another barrier and forced his exit after he had stopped to change a puncture caused by the damaged component.
Alessandro Perico, who was slowed by an intercom glitch on stage three, climbs to third with Stefano Albertini fourth in a similar Peugeot. Last year’s IRC 2WD Cup runner-up was 2.0s slower than Basso through stage three but was slowed on stage four when a front driveshaft failed five kilometres from the stage finish. Juho Hänninen, whose 11 wins in the IRC is a record, was fourth starting the stage but crashed out in his factory Fabia.
Craig Breen, who is fifth after four stages, said simply completing the opening loop represented a major achievement on his first start in the IRC since the accident that claimed the life of his best friend and former co-driver Gareth Roberts on Targa Florio-Rally Internazionale Di Sicilia in June.
Meanwhile, Pierre Campana reported brake problems and a lack of grip in the afternoon before a broken rear differential two kilometres into Ronde caused considerable delay. Frigyes Turán reached the end of the run in eighth place albeit with the engine in his Petter Solberg Engineering Fiesta overheating. Harry Hunt was ninth after the first stage but a costly puncture on stage two has dropped the young Briton down the order in his Kronos Racing 207.
Renault Mégane RS driver Federico Gasperetti heads title leader Robert Consani in the IRC Production Cup section with Marco Cavigioli third. Marco Tempestini was sixth after the first stage but withdraw due to illness soon afterwards. Simone Campedelli tops the IRC 2WD Cup ahead of Roberto Vescovi in a Renault Clio R3. Bryan Bouffier is the leading R2 contender in his Peugeot 208, which is being given its competition debut in Sanremo. The Frenchman is sixth in class.
Saturday’s action consists of six stages over a competitive distance of 118.92 kilometres. It begins with the 19.93-kilometre Colle Langan run at 09:05hrs local time. The finish is scheduled for outside Sanremo’s Old Railway Station building at 17:25hrs.
Craig Breen has moved into fourth place on Rallye Sanremo following Saturday’s opening test, the 19.93-kilometre Collen Langan stage.
Breen, from Ireland, began day two trailing Stefano Albertini, in a similar Peugeot 207 Super 2000, by 0.4s. However, he is now 0.1s ahead of the Italian, who suffered a spin at the first right-hand turn and lost time getting pointed in the right direction.
Alessandro Perico also spun but dropped less time in his similar Peugeot and continues to occupy third overall behind ŠKODA Fabia S2000 driver Jan Kopecký.
Out front, Giandomenico Basso is showing no signs of slowing down after he won the stage by a margin of 14.6s from Kopecký. The M-Sport Ford Fiesta RRC driver’s overall advantage is now 40.2s after he admitted to “attacking immediately”.
Frigyes Turán continues to be hampered by the engine overheating problem that struck his Petter Solberg Engineering M-Sport Ford Fiesta S2000 on last night’s Ronde stage. The Hungarian had to switch to road mode during the run and fears he might not reach the finish.
Warm and dry weather is expected throughout day two, which features a total of six stages over a competitive distance of 118.92 kilometres
Alessandro Perico has claimed his first stage win on Rallye Sanremo to increase his grip on third place on the penultimate round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge in Italy.
The Peugeot 207 Super 2000 pilot was 0.7s faster than event leader Giandomenico Basso (M-Sport Ford Fiesta RRC) through the 18.80-kilometre Passo Teglia test. It means Perico is now 22.2s clear of Stefano Albertini, who has moved back ahead of Craig Breen into fourth overall.
Meanwhile, Basso’s bid for his second IRC victory of 2012 remains on course with the Italian moving 44s clear of ŠKODA Fabia S2000 driver Jan Kopecký after six stages of the all-asphalt event
Giandomenico Basso has extended his lead on Rallye Sanremo to 52.6s by clocking the fastest time through stage seven, Colle d’Oggia.
Driving an M-Sport Ford Fiesta RRC, Basso was 6.8s faster than Alessandro Perico through the 20.73-kilometre run to grow his advantage ahead of second-placed ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 pilot Jan Kopecký.
Craig Breen, who started the stage in fifth overall, has slipped down the order after picking up a front-left puncture striking a rock on the inside of a corner in his Saintéloc Racing Peugeot 207 S2000 and losing approximately three minutes in the process.
Stefano Albertini, who is in fifth position, reported a “strange noise” from the engine of his 207. Harry Hunt picked up a front-right puncture in his Kronos Racing Peugeot.
Crews are now heading back to Sanremo for a 30-minute regroup and service.
After SS8: Kopecky doubles up with second stage win
Jan Kopecký is refusing to let Giandomenico Basso grab all of the limelight after he outpaced the Rallye Sanremo leader through the repeat of the 19.93-kilometre Colle Langan test.
Kopecký’s performance, in a ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000, earned the Czech his second stage win of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge event and trims Italian Basso’s overall advantage to 47.3s.
Craig Breen hit back from his puncture on stage seven by taking 19.1s out of Paolo Andreucci – who is one position ahead of him in the overall classification – by going third fastest in his Peugeot 207 S2000. However, he is almost 1m50s behind the Italian champion elect with two stages remaining.
Stefano Albertini is still running despite reporting a “strange noise” from his Peugeot on stage seven and problems restarting his engine at the regroup in Sanremo earlier today. Elsewhere, Harry Hunt impressed by going sixth fastest in his Kronos Racing Peugeot 207 behind Pierre Campana and Alessandro Perico.
ŠKODA Motorsport driver Jan Kopecký has gone quickest again on Rallye Sanremo, his third fastest stage time on the penultimate round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge.
Kopecký, from Czech Republic, edged out Irishman Craig Breen, in a Saintéloc Racing Peugeot, by 0.4s over the 18.80-kilometre Passo Teglia test.
In the chase for outright honours, Giandomenico Basso is one stage away from winning the Liguria-based event with a lead of 37.7s starting the final test, which will be shown live on RAI Sport. Basso, driving an M-Sport Ford Fiesta RRC, was fourth quickest, 9.6s down on Kopecký.
Pierre Campana continues to fight back from his delays on day one by posting the third best time in his Munaretto Peugeot. Petter Solberg Engineering’s Frigyes Turán was seventh quickest to move ahead of IRC 2WD Cup leader Simone Campdelli into seventh overall.
Pierre Campana completed his fight back from the delays experienced on Friday to climb into the top 10 on the final stage of Rallye Sanremo, which was won by Giandomenico Basso for a second time.
Campana was fourth fastest through the closing test to move into ninth overall in his Peugeot 207 Super 2000. Jan Kopecký added to his tally of stage wins with the fastest time in his ŠKODA Fabia S2000, 2.0s quicker than Basso in an M-Sport Ford Fiesta RRC.
Craig Breen was third fastest with Harry Hunt an impressive fifth in his Kronos Racing Peugeot. Frigyes Turán made sure of seventh place for Petter Solberg Engineering by going sixth quickest. Alessandro Perico clinched the final podium spot with the seventh best time in his privateer Peugeot.
Federico Gasperetti and Simone Campedelli were the winners of the IRC Production Cup and IRC 2WD Cup respectively. Crews are now making their way to Sanremo for final service and the finishing ceremony at 17:35hrs local time.
The Cyprus Rally joined the IRC for the first time in 2010 and became an instant hit with drivers and fans alike. Rough and rocky gravel roads, smooth and broken asphalt, plus punishing ambient temperatures combine to make the event one of the toughest on the calendar. IRC appearances: Two (2010-2011)
Giandomenico Basso has followed in the wheel tracks of rallying legend Colin McRae by winning Rallye Sanremo for a second time.
The result, his sixth victory in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, followed a dominant performance on the asphalt event at the wheel of an M-Sport Ford Fiesta RRC.
Basso, who led from start to finish, was all but assured of top spot alongside co-driver Mitia Dotta when he won the gruelling 44-kilometre Ronde night stage on Friday. It was one of five fastest stage times the Italian recorded during the two-day rally in his country’s Liguria region and enabled him to build an interim advantage of 25.6s. He secured first place by completing the final stage, shown live on RAI Sport on Saturday afternoon, with a margin of 35.7s over Jan Kopecký.
Czech Kopecký finished second in his Fabia Super 2000 to secure a third IRC manufacturers’ title for ŠKODA on the back of four stage wins and move ahead of team-mate Juho Hänninen in the drivers’ standings after the Finn crashed out on Ronde. The spectacular incident can be viewed in the Galleries section of www.ircseries.com.
Alessandro Perico bagged his maiden IRC podium in third in the leading Peugeot 207 S2000. Federico Gasperetti was the fastest IRC Production Cup contender on all 10 stages to win with ease in his Renault Mégane RS. Meanwhile, Simone Campedelli clinched his second IRC 2WD Cup victory of 2012.
At the finish by the Mediterranean Sea this evening, Basso said: “I am very happy to be winning here because Sanremo is a fantastic event. But it’s not just winning here that’s important, it’s winning here in Sanremo as part of the IRC, a very esteemed series that I have a lot of affection for. It might have looked easy from the outside but no win is easy. I was able to make the difference on Ronde and after that I controlled my advantage to the finish.”
Following ŠKODA’s IRC manufacturers’ title triumph, motorsport head Michal Hrabánek said: “We have won a valuable hat-trick of IRC titles and made a historic achievement with the ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 by becoming the most successful brand of the IRC. This is indeed the best reward for all the team members in return for the top-class work they have been putting in throughout this successful period. The end of this season is still ahead of us, though, and our ambition is to win also the drivers’ title.”
Behind third-placed Alessandro Perico, Stefano Albertini took a fine fourth in his similar Peugeot having feared he might be forced out when his car would not restart at the midday regroup. Paolo Andreucci clinched his seventh Italian title in fifth place. With title rival Umberto Scandola hitting trouble on Friday’s opening test, Andreucci adopted a cautious approach in his Peugeot Italia entry to take the crown alongside co-driver Anna Andreussi. ŠKODA driver Scandola restarted on day two but stopped with a mechanical problem after three stages.
Craig Breen, who is competing in Italy for the first time since his best friend and former co-driver Gareth Roberts lost his life in an accident on Targa Florio-Rally Internazionale Di Sicilia in mid-June, was battling Stefano Albertini for fourth overall when he picked up a front-left puncture approximately four kilometres into the 20.73-kilometre Colle d’Oggia run on Saturday morning. He eventually finished sixth in his Saintéloc Racing Peugeot, a performance that earned him the prestigious Colin McRae IRC Flat Out Trophy.
Frigyes Turán was seventh for Petter Solberg Engineering despite an engine overheating issue. Simone Campedelli won the IRC 2WD Cup in eighth place although because his Citroën DS3 R3T is not eligible for overall points, Pierre Campana took eighth-place points following his fight back from the broken rear differential on the Ronde stage that dropped him firmly out of contention.
Harry Hunt was an impressive 14th overall on his first appearance in the IRC in a Kronos Racing Peugeot. The former IRC 2WD Cup champion lost ground with two punctures but still managed to set some rapid stage times alongside stand-in co-driver Dale Moscatt.
IRC Production Cup
Federico Gasperetti claimed his first victory in the IRC Production Cup in style by setting the pace in the category on all 10 stages at the wheel of a Renault Mégane RS. However, while Gasperetti celebrated, Consani was left to reflect on what might have been after he dropped out of second place on Sunday morning when a spin left his Mégane with a broken rear axle. He tried to continue but following another rotation the Frenchman was forced to stop for good. Hungarian Miklós Bujdos finished second with Marco Cavigioli third. Dream Team Ukraine’s Vitaliy Pushkar overtook Subaru Impreza R4 STI driver Johan Heloďse for fourth on the final stage.
IRC 2WD Cup
Simone Campedelli made it two wins from two starts in this season’s IRC 2WD Cup, despite requiring a course of physiotherapy and a dose of painkillers due to a shoulder injury. Roberto Vescovi was second in a Renault Clio R3 with IRC Production Cup winner Federico Gasperetti third. Rudy Michelini took fourth with Peugeot driver Danilo Ameglio in fifth. Hannes Danzinger was a fine sixth on his first rally outside of his native Austria after he secured sponsorship from a sausage company to take part in a Clio R3, which he was driving in competition for the first time. French ace Bryan Bouffier gave Peugeot’s 208 R2 a strong debut by topping the R2 division. Elwis Chentre was ninth in a ŠKODA Fabia R2.