Rally di Roma Capitale talking points

Rally di Roma Capitale talking points

20.07.2021: FIA ERC RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP Rally di Roma Capitale 23-25 July 2021 *Last yearís winner Alexey Lukyanuk (Saintťloc Junior Team CitroŽn C3 Rally2) aims to defend his FIA European Rally Championship lead fresh from heroically winning the WRC3 categor


FIA ERC RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
Rally di Roma Capitale
23-25 July 2021



*Last year’s winner Alexey Lukyanuk (Saintéloc Junior Team Citroën C3 Rally2) aims to defend his FIA European Rally Championship lead fresh from heroically winning the WRC3 category on Rally Estonia ahead of WRC2 winner Andreas Mikkelsen, who is seeded number two for his Rally di Roma Capitale debut in a Toksport WRT-run Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo.


*ORLEN Team’s ERC-MICHELIN Talent Factory member Miko Marczyk makes his second Rome start on the back of a third Polish championship event win on last weekend’s asphalt-based Rajd Nadwiślański.



*Nikolay Gryazin won Rally Liepāja and will look for a confidence boost in Rome after crashing out of the WRC2 fight on Rally Estonia. The Latvia-based Russian has previous Rally di Roma Capitale experience to call upon, as does Rallye Team Spain’s emerging star Efrén Llarena. But while Llarena has some stage knowledge, he’s never driven his Fabia on Tarmac before.



*Ireland’s Craig Breen starts Rally di Roma Capitale for Team MRF Tyres on a high after finishing second overall on Rally Estonia and the previous ERC round, Rally Liepāja.



*Former event winner Simone Campedelli returns to the Team MRF Tyres’ attack for his home round of the ERC



*Although Rally di Roma Capitale is all-new for Nil Solans, the Rallye Team Spain ace’s asphalt pedigree is not in doubt.



*Czech Erik Cais revved up for his return to Rome by finishing second to Simon Wagner on the Austrian championship Rallye Weiz last weekend in his Yacco ACCR Team Ford Fiesta Rally2.



*Four-time Hungarian champion Norbert Herczig (Škoda Rally Team Hungaria) is a known force on asphalt, as is CHL Sport Auto Citroën driver and Roma rookie Yoann Bonato from France.



*Umberto Scandola is a two-time Rally di Roma Capitale winner and heads the Hyundai Rally Team Italia challenge, which also includes defending Italian champion Andrea Crugnola, a winner of no fewer than 19 Rally di Roma Capitale stages in the past.



*Other top national drivers chasing ERC success in Rome include current Italian championship leader and former ERC3 Junior driver Fabio Andolfi, Tommaso Ciuffi, Damiano De Tommaso, Andrea Mazzocchi and Giacomo Scattolin.



*Giandomenico Basso has two ERC titles and two Rally di Roma Capitale victories on his impressive CV and returns to Škoda power after competing in a Volkswagen Polo last season.



*Italy-born Romanian Simone Tempestini is a five-time national champion and a member of the ERC-MICHELIN Talent Factory, while fellow Škoda driver Alberto Battistolli continues to show promise.



*Rachele Somaschini is back on ERC duty having stepped up to Rally2 level in a Citroën C3 for 2021.


*Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy-backed Callum Devine counts on Ford Fiesta power for his second Rome start. Compatriots Josh McErlean and Pauric Duffy compete in Hyundai i20 R5s.



*ERC-MICHELIN Talent Factory member Grégoire Munster starts Rally di Roma Capitale for a third time hoping for a change of fortune following a luckless start to his ERC season. He’s joined on the entry list by fellow Hyundai Junior Driver Ole Christian Veiby, a Roma newcomer.



*Rapid Spaniard Iván Ares (Hyundai Ares Racing) makes his first start in Rome after finishing second on Rally de Ourense in his homeland last weekend. He took an ERC podium double on asphalt in 2020.



*Rome resident Albert von Thurn und Taxis makes a welcome return to ERC action, while Jarosław Koltun, Aloísio Monteiro, Luis Vilariño and Igor Widłak continue their respective ERC adventures.



*Dominik Stříteský is highly rated in his native Czech Republic and is using Rally di Roma Capitale to make his ERC debut.



*Dmitry Feofanov moved to the top of the ERC2 title table with his first category win on Rally Liepāja. Reverting back to his Rally2 Kit-specification Suzuki Swift R4lly S, Feofanov faces opposition for production class success from a host of Roma rookies. They include round one winner Javier Pardo (Suzuki Motor Ibérica), Toyota Yaris driver Victor Cartier, Michał Pryczek (Subaru Historic Rally Team) and Pardo’s Suzuki-powered team-mate Joan Vinyes.



*Dariusz Poloński and the returning Roberto Gobbin are contenders for Abarth Rally Cup success, while Csába Juhasz returns to Rally di Roma Capitale in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X after taking part last season in a Renault Clio R3T.



*The ERC Junior fight for drivers under 28 in Rally3 cars on Pirelli tyres is between Ford Fiesta Rally3 runners Oscar Solberg and Ken Torn, who won ERC3 Junior in Rome last season.



*Finn Sami Pajari makes his Roma debut leading ERC3/ERC3 Junior and the FIA Junior World Rally Championship following his category success in Estonia last weekend.



*Rallye Team Spain’s Pep Bassas provides strong opposition in ERC3, while Germany’s Nick Loof returns to Rome having scored ERC3 Junior podiums in Poland and Latvia. Loof, who recently celebrated turning 20, completed the Rally di Roma Capitale recce last year but has yet to tackle the event’s asphalt stages in anger.



*Renowned asphalt ace Jean-Baptiste Franceschi, from France, took an ERC3/ERC3 Junior win double in Latvia in Renault’s all-new Clio Rally4. Norwegian Ola Jr Nore partners Franceschi at Toksport WRT in a second Clio Rally4. Multiple ERC3 event winner Florian Bernardi is also Clio Rally4-powered for his eagerly-anticipated category return.



*Romanian Norbert Maior will be one to watch in a Peugeot 208 Rally4, while Martin László finished third in ERC3 on his Roma debut last season and favours asphalt over gravel. The Hungarian finished two places ahead of compatriot Adrienn Vogel, the top female scorer in ERC 2020.



*Rallye Team Spain’s Alejandro Cáchon is back on ERC3 Junior duty after non-starting in Liepāja where Amaury Molle and Daniel Polášek both scored well. However, out of the trio, only Molle has previous Roma experience. Łukasz Lewandowski battled back from rolling his Opel Corsa Rally4 to score ERC3 points in Latvia.



*Rising Italian star Andrea Mabellini is on a mission to top the Clio Trophy by Toksport WRT order for the second event running, but Turkey’s Yigit Timur is keen on revenge for his Rally Liepāja time penalty heartbreak. Paulo Soria, from Argentina, and French pair Bastien Bergounhe and Ghjuvanni Rossi complete the Clio Trophy by Toksport WRT entry in their identical Clio Rally5s run on MICHELIN tyres.






 Richard Rodgers- photos FIA ERC

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20.07.2021 / MaP

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