24.07.2021 – The first day of the Rally di Roma Capitale has put on a great challenge on top as the drivers of the Sparco Italian Rally Championship came to the fore in the super-competitive setting of the FIA European Rally Championship.
Andrea Crugnola and Pietro Elia Ometto, Hyundai i20 (Hyundai Rally Team Italia), after the great push yesterday in the spectacle stage in Caracalla confirmed the great feeling with the Korean car and closed day one on top winning two of the six tests.
The crew headed back to Fiuggi with a 5.4s margin on Giandomenico Basso and Lorenzo Granai (Skoda Fabia Evo/Movisport) that did not give up and won four stages. The challenge is not settled yet and seven tests will be run tomorrow, hence everything can still happen.
Behind the two Italian drivers, the 2020 winner and reigning European Champion Alexey Lukyanuk and co-driver Alexey Arnautov are third in the Citroen C3 (Sainteloc Junior Team). The Russian driver drove carefully, did not make mistakes and with a gap of 21.8s to the top he will be in a good place to fight for the podium tomorrow.
A special mention is deserved by Damiano De Tommaso and Giorgia Ascalone, that run a remarkable day in their Citroen C3 (Meteco Corse) and closed their effort in P4 at 31s. Such a great performance gives value to the ACI Team Italia project that supports young talents in the Italian championship as De Tommaso who is at his first complete season in CIR in a R5 car.
The provisional top ten was completed by Norbert Herczig and Ramon Ferencz, Skoda Fabia Evo (Skoda Rally Team Hungaria), that were fifth at 34.8s, Efren Llarena and Sara Fernandez (Skoda Fabia Evo/Rallye Team Spain) sixth at 38s, Miko Marczyk and Szymon Gospodarczyk (Skoda Fabia Evo/Orlen Team) seventh at 43.8s and were followed by Yoann Bonato and Benjamin Boulloud (Citroen C3/CHL Sport Auto) at 44.5s, Fabio Andolfi and Stefano Savoia (Skoda Fabia Evo/Gass Racing) at 45.3s and Umberto Scandola and Danilo Fappani (Hyundai i20/Hyundai Rally Team Italia) at 45.7s that rounded off the top ten.
The challenge will continue tomorrow with some more 123 competitive kilometres, which is twice as much as today. The second loop tomorrow is going to be very challenging as it will feature four stages in a row without any service. This will certainly favour twists and drama. The crews wishing to leave their mark on the Rally di Roma Capitale 2021 will definitely have to use all their talent.