Rnd 11 Rallye Sanremo Italy - Asphalt 10-12 Oct 2013
With the action contained in a compact window of approximately 30 hours, it’s a big challenge for car and crew. The stages use narrow, mountainous roads overlooking the picturesque seaside town and feature fast, flowing sections, frequent changes of rhythm and blind and open corners with rapid climbs and descents. The night stages, which are popular with fans, add to the drama and excitement and there will be serious competition with the event also counting as a round of the Italian championship in 2013. The service park is located on the banks of the Mediterranean close to Sanremo’s famous casino.
Craig Breen will start first on the road on Rallye Sanremo, the penultimate round of the FIA European Rally Championship. And the Peugeot Rally Academy driver says he’s full of confidence ahead of the asphalt event.
Breen, who is competing in Sanremo for the second time, is one of 53 drivers tackling the legendary rally, which celebrates 55 years in 2013.
He said: “I’m very confident, I’m in a really good frame of mind. The test went very well and shakedown went very well. It’s the same sort of feeling, if not better that I had in Corsica before the rally there earlier this season. I want to go for it this weekend.”
Breen will face opposition from a host of fellow star drivers including double European champion Giandomenico Basso, ERC event winner Bryan Bouffier, multiple Italian title-winner Paolo Andreucci and Umberto Scandola, this year’s Italian champion.
Co-driven by Lara Vanneste, Breen will drive over the starting ramp in the grounds of Sanremo’s old railway station overlooking the Mediterranean sea at 14:00hrs local time. The top 10 drivers will depart in two-minute intervals with the other drivers setting off 60 seconds apart.
Bryan Bouffier has made a rapid start to Rallye Sanremo with the fastest time through the opening stage.
Bouffier, in a Peugeot 207 Super 2000, was 2.9s faster than multiple Italian champion Paolo Andreucci through the 14.34 kilometres of Coldirodi to open an early lead on the FIA European Rally Championship counter. “I’m quite happy, I am not at my maximum yet so there is more to come.”
Last year’s winner Giandomenico Basso was third fastest, 3.9s down on Bouffier with Italian champion Umberto Scandola a further two seconds adrift in his ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000. Craig Breen, who is running first on the road, was fifth quickest, 6.1s off the pace.
ERC Production Car Cup title leader Andreas Aigner was delayed by a loss of braking performance in his Subaru Impreza R4 STI.
Umberto Scandola has shot into second place in the overall standings after winning stage two of Rallye Sanremo, round 11 of the FIA European Rally Championship.
Driving a ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000, Scandola charged through the 17.75-kilometre Apricale stage in 12m22.4s. The Italian champion was 0.2s quicker than Peugeot 207 S2000 driver Bryan Bouffier, who grows his overall lead to 5.7s.
Giandomenico Basso was third quickest with Paolo Andreucci fourth best and Craig Breen fifth. Alessandro Perico, the winner in Sanremo in 2005, was sixth fastest and moves up from eighth to sixth in the overall classification heading to stage three, Vignal.
After SS3: Trouble for Bouffier in Italy as Andreucci takes lead
Paolo Andreucci leads Rallye Sanremo after erstwhile pacesetter Bryan Bouffier hit trouble on the 20.40-kilometre Vignai stage.
Bouffier had been setting the pace on the FIA European Rally Championship counter by 5.7s but is now almost one minute adrift of Andreucci after he damaged the right rear of his Peugeot 207 Super 2000 striking a metal barrier.
“My pacenote was not so good in the distance and I brake a bit late and I hit the barrier,” Bouffier explained. “It’s not a problem, we can get to service.”
New leader Andreucci said: “We had a little problem of the brakes in the end of this stage and the pedal goes to the floor but the time is good. In fact I was surprised to see this time.”
Umberto Scandola, who is 0.4s behind Andreucci in the overall standings, also reported a brake problem in his ŠKODA Fabia S2000. “We had no brakes for 10 kilometres,” said the Italian champion.
Esapekka Lappi feared he’d picked up a puncture after running wide in a corner: “We had one slippery place and I didn’t have it on the pacenotes and we went wide, that’s it,” said Lappi, who was 21.6s slower than Andreucci. “We thought we would get a puncture.”
Craig Breen said his Peugeot’s tyres overheated during the stage. He moves into fourth overall following Bouffier’s delay. “It’s not great, the car has been moving all over the road for the last two stages and I can’t push, it’s like driving on water,” said the Peugeot Rally Academy.
Crews are now heading back to a lengthy regroup in Sanremo prior to a 30-minute service halt. Stage four, Ronde, goes live at 21:21hrs local time.
After SS4: Disaster for Breen as Bouffier sets Ronde pace
Craig Breen’s hopes of victory on Rallye Sanremo are over following a troubled run through the first Ronde night stage, which the Irishman described as a “disaster”.
Breen started the 33.87-kilometre test 11.7s off the lead in his Peugeot Rally Academy entry but lost more than five minutes stopping to change a damaged left-rear wheel.
“I don’t know what happened,” said Breen. “I don’t know if something broke on the car and we hit the drain. I knew the corner very well but just before the corner the car completely snapped. I don’t know what happened. I am not sure how far we can go. It’s just been a disaster.”
Bryan Bouffier was fastest through the test in his Delta Rally Peugeot 207 Super 2000 as he continues to fight back from his moment on stage three. He was 2.4s quicker than Peugeot Italia’s Paolo Andreucci who reported his glasses misted up during the run. Nevertheless the Italian legend has grown his overall lead to 11.9s after four stages of the FIA European Rally Championship event.
Giandomencio Basso was third fastest with Umberto Scandola fourth quickest after reporting a few set-up issues on his ŠKODA Fabia S2000. The 20.40-kilometre Ronde bis stage gets underway at 22:06hrs local time.
Paolo Andreucci might be nearing 50 but he still remains one of rallying’s most formidable competitors after setting the pace on the second of the two Ronde night stages in his Peugeot Italia 207 Super 2000.
The 48-year-old was 4.3s faster than Giandomenico Basso through the 20.40-kilometre Ronde bis stage, which he completed with minor damage to the front bumper following an incident with a fox. “I take one fox in my front left,” said the multiple Italian champion, whose overall lead stands at 16.2s heading back to the overnight halt in Sanremo. “I tried to go on the right but the fox did not stop.”
Basso said he was “very happy” at the finish of the stage, while Bryan Bouffier, who was fastest on the first part of Ronde, went third quickest to make it a Peugeot 207 one-two-three. “It was okay but I was not driving very well," said Bouffier, who moves into fourth overall. "I was a bit aggressive with the steering wheel but it’s not bad.”
Esapekka Lappi was the fastest of the ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 drivers. He was 13.5s adrift of Andreucci.
Jean-Mathieu Leandri has yet to start the stage. The Corsican is currently trying to reconnect a loose wire to the alternator, which has left his Peugeot with no working water pump.
Zoltán Bessenyey is in party mode quite literally after close rival Kornél Lukács was unable to secure the points he required to keep his FIA ERC 2WD Championship challenge alive on the opening leg of Rallye Sanremo.
Lukács needed the seven bonus points on offer for winning leg one to remain in title contention but his R2-specification Citroën proved to be no match for the faster R3 machines in action on the legendary asphalt event in northern Italy.
After the Ronde night stages, Lukács is 13th in class and outside of the points-paying positions, which means Bessenyey is the ERC 2WD champion for 2013 for Eurosol-Honda Civic Type R*, while his navigator and partner Yulianna Nyirfás has secured the co-drivers’ award*.
Speaking to www.fiaerc.com from a friend’s birthday party in Pécs in the south of his native Hungary, Bessenyey said: “It’s been a very good season and I’ve liked it very much. We started the year not knowing the races, the competition, the team or the car but step-by-step we have improved. It’s thanks to everyone who helped us get these results. We had a very reliable car, great team and sponsors and we were able to challenge on all the races because of this and get the best results. I must also thank Yulianna, who has been more than a co-driver to me. It’s not been an easy season with all the rain we have had but we are now very happy.”
Bessenyey, who presents a motoring programme on television in Hungary when he’s not competing, elected not to include Rallye Sanremo on his seven-event schedule for 2013.
“After Croatia we knew Kornél only had a mathematical chance of the championship and we make a decision not to do Sanremo,” Bessenyey explained. “Now we must look to save our budget for next season so we are not looking to go to Valais either. Next season is not far away but first we must celebrate with the rest of the team when they return to Hungary.”
While Bessenyey isn’t competing in Sanremo, his team boss János Puskádi is in action in Liguria. He’s 23rd overall at the completion of leg one following alternator problems on stage three.
*Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA
After SS5: Bouffier into third as Scandola slips back
Stage winner Bryan Bouffier has moved into third place on Rallye Sanremo after Umberto Scandola picked up a front-left puncture on the 19.93-kilometre Colle Langan test.
Bouffier began Saturday’s second leg 26.2s behind Scandola in the battle for third place but moves ahead following Scandola’s delay.
“I am sorry for him [Scandola],” said Bouffier, who led after two stages only to drop back following a moment on Friday’s third test. “It’s quite clear the first stage that a bit softer tyre maybe was not the right choice, we will see with the boys behind.”
Scandola was more than four minutes slower than stage winner Bouffier. “We lost the rally because we have a problem with the front-left tyre and I don’t think we can go on,” said the Italian champion.
Craig Breen, who restarted this morning following his exit on stage four, had been due to run first on the road but is actually running out of order after his Peugeot 207 Super 2000 failed to start prior to the Colle Langan test.
"The car just failed to start at the start of the stage, it just wouldn't start, we fiddled around and managed to get it going,” said Breen, who was second fastest, 4.0s down on Bouffier. “The car feels really strange on the front and it does not feel right. I do not have full confidence in the front of the car, maybe it’s the steering rack. It feels very, very strange.”
Out front Paolo Andreucci has increased his lead on the FIA European Rally Championship event to 25.6s over Giandomenico Basso, the double ERC champion. Next up is the Passo Teglia stage.
After SS6: Battle for second heats up as Bouffier closes on Basso
Bryan Bouffier has closed to within 22.2s of Giandomenico Basso in the battle for second place on round 11 of the FIA European Rally Championship after going fastest on the 21.85-kilometre Passo Teglia stage.
Bouffier is fighting back following an off on stage three in his Delta Rally Peugeot 207 Super 2000. “It was okay, the car is working fine,” said Bouffier, who outpaced Basso by 10.5s. “Now I make the set-up harder and it is fine. The car is working well, the Michelin tyre is working well. For sure some parts are a bit slippery for me and for the other drivers also, but very few.”
Paolo Andreucci continues to lead for Peugeot Italia with an advantage of 25.5s over Basso (pictured). Andreucci was third fastest, 10.6s slower than Bouffier. “Everything’s fine,” said the multiple Italian champion. “We did a good first stage this morning. This one was not so good but hopefully it was okay.”
Craig Breen, who is competing under restart rules following his exit on Friday night, was fourth quickest but not entirely happy with the handling of his Peugeot Rally Academy entry. “I just don’t have a good feeling with the front of the car,” he said. “It doesn’t feel precise and it’s not doing what I want. I think we must have bent something.”
Tobia Cavallini completed the stage with damage to the rear of his Ford Fiesta RRC after a brake problem caused the Italian to spin. He has slipped to eighth behind Russian driver Vasily Gryazin.
Umberto Scandola, who was third at the overnight halt, has dropped more time. The Italian champion reported the engine in his ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 was overheating. “Twice in the stage the engine was too much hot, above 110 degrees,” said Scandola.
Simone Campedelli, who was leading ERC 2WD, has crashed out. However, there were no such problems for Federico Gasperetti in the ERC Production Car Cup. Driving a Renault Mégane R.S. N4, Gasperetti’s lead over Subaru pilot Andreas Aigner stands at 1m44.7s.
SS7: Drama in Sanremo as leader Andreucci drops back
Giandomenico Basso leads Rallye Sanremo after Paolo Andreucci hit trouble on round 11 of the FIA European Rally Championship.
Andreucci was leading the legendary asphalt rally by 25.6s but was delayed by almost 10 minutes completing the 20.73-kilometre Colle d’Oggia stage. “We had a puncture and we had difficulty changing the wheel,” said Andreucci. “We noticed before the start of the stage the tyre was low on pressure. We changed but we forgot the tyres were cold and we spun.”
Basso now leads stage winner Bryan Bouffier by 17.4s with Alessandro Perico moving into third despite the Italian reporting that he spun into a barrier and damaged his Peugeot’s rear suspension.
“I struggled quite a lot I didn’t want to risk too much,” said Basso. “The package of the car and tyres isn’t working together and we don’t have a good feeling. But we try to enjoy ourselves so we can be faster.”
Bouffier said: “We are pushing and up to now it’s perfect. We have good fun and it’s nice to do a lot of good times.”
Umberto Scandola did not start the stage in his ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000, which developed an engine overheating issue on the previous run. Tobia Cavallini’s Ford Fiesta RRC is reported to have developed a gearbox issue while Jean-Mathieu Leandri broke a rear driveshaft at the stage start. Crews are now heading back to Sanremo for a regroup and service.
After SS8: Basso hits back in battle for Sanremo victory
Giandomenico Basso has hit back in the battle for first place on Rallye Sanremo by beating arch-rival Bryan Bouffier through the repeat of Colle Langan.
Basso was 2.6s quicker than Bouffier through the 19.93-kilometre stage in his Peugeot 207 Super 2000 to extend his overall lead to 20.0s with two stages of the FIA European Rally Championship round remaining. “I was at the maximum,” said Basso.
Bouffier, in a similar Peugeot, said: “I tried to drive flat out so I am doing my best. For sure I want to win.”
Ford Fiesta S2000 driver Vasily Gryazin has dropped out of sixth place stopping to change a punctured front-right tyre in the opening kilometres. “I don’t know, it was my fault,” said the Russian, who was delayed by more than five minutes.
Craig Breen said he was far happier with the handling of his Peugeot Rally Academy entry following work in service. “We changed the steering rack and definitely I can feel a difference,” said the Irishman. “I’m a lot more happy with my driving. I’m quite pleased.”
Andreas Aigner continues to edge towards the ERC Production Car Cup crown in his Yokohama-shod Subaru Impreza R4 STI. “I was driving at maybe less than 85 per cent. I just go to the finish to take some points for the championship and get some experience of the new-pattern Yokohama tyre. We have gained a lot of experience for the next step.”
The rerun of Passo Teglia is next and covers a distance of 21.85 kilometres.
After SS9: Bouffier closes on Basso to set up final-stage decider
Bryan Bouffier is not going to give up on winning Rallye Sanremo without a fight after he slashed Giandomenico Basso’s advantage to 7.0s with one stage of the FIA European Rally Championship counter left to run.
Bouffier stormed through the 21.85 kilometres of Passo Teglia 13 seconds faster than Basso in their similar Peugeot 207 Super 2000s to set up a thrilling finish to the legendary asphalt rally, which is taking place for a 55th time in 2013.
“The stage before was not as I was expecting and I was pushing a bit more,” said Bouffier. “It looks to be complicated now but we will see.”
Basso said: “I had an intermediate split which was wrong, he is pushing too much. I will push hard in the final stage.”
In the battle for third place, ŠKODA Motorsport’s Esapekka Lappi is now 5.9s behind Alessandro Perico. Stefano Albertini is 12.6s adrift of Lappi in fifth position after reporting problems with his Peugeot’s brakes at the stage finish.
The final stage, Colle d’Oggia, measures 20.73 kilometres and is due to begin at 16:53hrs local time.
After SS10: Drama for Bouffier as Basso takes Sanremo ERC glory
Giandomenico Basso has made a triumphant return to the FIA European Rally Championship by winning Rallye Sanremo.
The double ERC champion started the final stage with a slender seven-second advantage over Bryan Bouffier, who stopped to change a punctured tyre during the 20.73-kilometre Colle d’Oggia test.
Driving a Peugeot 207 Super 2000 on Michelin tyres, Basso’s victory was his second in a row on the legendary asphalt rally.
Meanwhile, ŠKODA Motorsport’s Esapekka Lappi won the stage after “pushing like hell” to beat Alessandro Perico to second place by 4.1s. Bouffier made it to the finish of the stage but has slipped to fourth overall.
Andreas Aigner secured the ERC Production Car Cup title in his Yokohama-shod Subaru Impreza R4 STI as Federico Gasperetti topped the class in his Renault Mégane R.S. N4. Daniel Ameglio was leading the ERC 2WD category starting the stage but has stopped in the stage, which hands Alex Vittalini the division spoils.
Andreas Aigner has won the FIA ERC Production Car Cup for 2013* by finishing second in class on Rallye Sanremo.
The Austrian needed 19 points to put the title beyond doubt in his Yokohama-shod Subaru Impreza R4 STI.
“It’s very, very good and I’m really, really happy,” said Stohl Racing-run Aigner, who was co-driven by Barbara Watzl. “I knew before the weekend this rally would be really, really hard but it was even harder. The car was absolutely perfect and the Yokohama tyres were working really, really well especially for the first time with the new pattern. Now I’m looking forward to next season and also Rallye International du Valais. It was a nice weekend.”
*Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA
Final Rnd 12 : Rallye International du Valais
Switzerland - Asphalt 07-09 Nov 2013
Taking place in the mountains of southwest Switzerland close to Lake Geneva, the 2013 ERC season-closer is based in Martigny and has been a regular on the European championship schedule for a number of years. First run in 1960 as a regularity event for competitors to discover the region’s wineries, the Rallye International du Valais tag was adopted in 1985 by which time the event had turned into major contest. Legends such as François Delecour, Juha Kankkunen and Jean Ragnotti have all sampled the challenging, narrow asphalt roads that characterise this event. Ice and snow can also be a factor.