On top De Tommaso-Ascalone. Lower-left Efren Llarena at the start. On the right Max Rendina and Alessandro Onorato.

22.07.2022 – The magic opening evening, the much-awaited prologue, the spectacle. This is how the tenth edition of the Rally di Roma Capitale kicked off in the mark of Damiano De Tommaso who displayed great shape in the Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo and is one of the great protagonists of the Sparco Italian Rally Championship.

The driver from Varese had the upper hand also on the contenders of the prestigious FIA European Rally Championship, which is at its sixth round of the season in Rome. This was just a little taste of what is ahead, just enough to water the mouth of all the fans that will watch the cars going through the hills of Frosinone for 12 very technical and spectacular tests.

The Italian drivers nearly monopolized the SSS1 Colosseo ACI Roma, the spectacle super stage devised between Colle Oppio and the most famous monument in the world. The cameras of ERC All Live, the non-stop live streaming service of the European Championship and those of RAI Sport have broadcast images of something unprecedented: the cars in front of a big crowd with the Colosseum in the background.

Behind De Tommaso-Ascalone, the Czechs Filip Mares and Radova Bucha were 1.3s short of the lead. The third place went to Andrea Crugnola and Pietro Elia Ometto (Citroen C3 Rally2) at +1.7s. The fourth place was claimed by another Italian, Simone Campedelli and Tania Canton (Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo) at +1.9s. Giandomenico Basso posted the fastest time but was later handed a penalty for jumping the start.

The challenge has kicked off in Castel Sant’Angelo, with the Lungotevere in the background, Via della Conciliazione and Saint Peter’s dome. This is a unique setting in the world, a postcard that will spread the images of Rome all over the world with its millennial tradition that merges with the event devised by Motorsport Italian and Max Rendina in front of a lot of people as not seen in the past few years.

Drivers were welcomed by a joyful crowd, flags and applause. It was nice to see the involvement of the Rugby Roma Olimpic Club 1930 in the number selection procedure, as they used numbered jerseys to help drivers with the procedure before exchanging caps with the drivers.

Alessandro Onorato, the Councilor of the Great Events of Roma Capitale, was a welcomed presence and waved the flag in front of Efren Llarena, the first driver at the start. Much awaited and very beautiful was also Aida Yespica, who entertained the fans that came also for her to Castel Sant’Angelo.

“We wanted to leave the mark, we wanted an unforgettable starting evening – Max Rendina commented. I want to thank everyone that contributed to this: the Council of the Great Events of Roma Capitale, the Police Station, Police Forces, and Polizia Municipale of Roma Capitale, Regione Lazio, my staff and all the volunteers. We are a team of over 1100 people that did not get much sleep for days and will continue to work tomorrow and on Sunday to write another legendary page in the history of Rally di Roma Capitale”.

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