An opening worthy of a movie for the 2023 edition of the Rally di Roma Capitale. A large audience was present for the inaugural spectacle at the Colosseum. The driver from Varese leads the operations ahead of Lukyanuk, with a surprising Aragno in third place.
28.07.2023 – An evening worth Arabian Nights inaugurated the 2023 edition of the Rally di Roma Capitale, the sixth round of the FIA European Rally Championship and the fifth round of the Sparco Italian Rally Championship. The event in Rome, organized by Max Rendina and Motorsport Italia, started from the Colosseum, in front of thousands of enthusiasts and tourists who gathered at Colle Oppio for this extraordinary beginning.
In the presence of the Minister for Sports and Youth, Andrea Abodi, the Chief of Technical Secretariat of the Minister of Sports, Mario Pozzi, the Councilor for Urban Planning, Housing Policies, Social Housing and Maritime Policies of the Lazio Region, Pasquale Ciacciarelli, the President of the Capitol Assembly of Rome Capital, Svetlana Celli, the Regional Councilor and President of the IV Budget Commission, economic and financial planning, regional participation, fiscal federalism, public property, Marco Bertucci and the Regional Councilor Emanuela Droghei, the eleventh edition of the Rally di Roma Capitale started with the best wishes.
From a sports perspective, Andrea Crugnola and Pietro Elia Ometto (Citroen C3 Rally2) sensed the opportunity to be crowned Italian champions right in Rome and went on to win the SSS1 "Colosseo ACI Roma" stage. Only 0.3s separated them from the returning Alexey Lukyanuk, navigated by Yevhen Chervonenko, who had fun with his Skoda Fabia RS amidst the two wings of the crowd and left his mark, not only on the asphalt. An incredible third time for the Italian Francesco Aragno with Andrea Segir, trailing by 0.5s and visibly satisfied with their performance, which allowed them to rise among the best drivers in Europe with the Skoda Fabia Rally2. Behind them, all the other competitors followed, with extremely tight gaps as expected in such a short special stage, serving as a taste of the actual rally that started today.
Noteworthy were the words of New Zealand champion Hayden Paddon, leader of the European Championship and a former driver in the World Championship: "It was the stage in the most iconic place I have ever done a special stage." The Hyundai i20 N Rally2 driver secured the ninth-fastest time but is ready to showcase his skills starting tomorrow to make his ambitions for the title clear.
The second day will unfold with three special stages: "Guarcino-Altipiani di Arcinazzo" (11.72 km - SS2 at 10:03, SS5 at 15:02), the longest stage "Rocca di Cave-Subiaco" (32.30 km - SS3 at 11:06 and SS6 at 16:05), and "Affile-Bellegra" (7.32 km - SS4 at 12:09 and SS7 at 17:08). The two passes on the "Rocca di Cave-Subiaco" stage will be broadcasted live on ACI Sport TV (channel 228 on Sky, acisport.it, App ACI Radio and Facebook @ACISport and @CIRally). The fate of the rally will be decided on Sunday with two laps on three different timed sections; the short "Fiuggi" stage (6.72 km - SS8 at 7:51 and SS13 at 17:05) will open and close the final session as the Power Stage for the European Championship, followed by "Alatri" (6.96 km - SS9 at 8:51 and SS11 at 13:01) and the other traditional stage "Santopadre" (29.08 km - SS10 at 10:16 and SS12 at 14:26). Fiuggi will again serve as the central reference point for the hot phase, where the Service Park and Headquarters are set up, and will host the final awards ceremony on Corso Nuova Italia, starting from 18:00.
Excited, Max Rendina said: "We have worked hard for this beginning and everything has started off well. Seeing all these people witnessing the spectacle is a great message for Rome and our sport, to which we are dedicating ourselves to promote and enhance it. I thank Roma Capitale, which has given us the opportunity to have a unique location and in particular, Councilor for Major Events, Sports, Tourism and Fashion Alessandro Onorato, who has been by our side for the past two years. Having Minister Abodi was an important added value, but I thank all the institutions supporting us, from the Lazio Region to all the administrations involved in the event. We have started and two intense days await us, but we are very happy”.