Simone Campedelli interview ahead the Rally di Roma Capitale

Simone Campedelli interview ahead the Rally di Roma Capitale

20.07.2021: FIA ERC RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP Rally di Roma Capitale 23-25 July 2021 A former Rally di Roma Capitale winner, the rapid Simone Campedelli returns to Team MRF Tyres for his home round of the FIA European Rally Championship, which heíll contest in a


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




A former Rally di Roma Capitale winner, the rapid Simone Campedelli returns to Team MRF Tyres for his home round of the FIA European Rally Championship, which he’ll contest in a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 alongside co-driver Tania Canton.





How much of a challenge is Rally di Roma Capitale for a driver?



“It’s not an easy rally, we have lost some stages that were really, really tricky like Pico, but for sure it’s still demanding. Losing the stages in the lower part of the region like Pico and Roccasecca means we have lost the hard-grip stages we had on this rally.


In the other areas around Fiuggi, the surface is a bit more shiny with medium-grip Tarmac. Fortunately, we make this rally in July when we expect really good weather.


You can use quite a hard set-up because you don’t have so many corners where you can cut. Because the two days are quite similar in terms of the surface, the set-up is a bit easier to achieve.”





To what extent will your previous event knowledge help you?




“I have a good experience of the kind of roads we have on this rally and some nice memories. But for sure there are changes. They make some stages longer, like Guarcino, there are some completely new stages and we left Pico.


But when you know some of the roads you have an advantage in order to set up the car, you remember the procedures that you actuated in the years before and it’s a bit easier. You remember the bad places, the places where you can go flat out.”




How much knowledge do you have of your Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 on Tarmac?



“Even though we’ve done eight events in the Polo now, we’ve only done Rallye Sanremo on Tarmac after a last-minute opportunity from Sparco. I had the possibility only to make shakedown in dry conditions and the rally was wet.


But we are positive because we have a test session before the rally where we will discover the MRF tyre on Tarmac. For sure we don’t start from nothing because we already know the characteristic of the car and after Sanremo I am a bit more calm about discovering the car.”




What do you think about the all-new Caracalla ACI Roma stage right in the heart of Rome?



“As a rally driver you always focus on the ‘real’ rally because the stages are really demanding. But from my point of view this is something we need in our world to get more people involved and passionate about rally.



Like we say in Italy, ‘we need the bread every day’ and we have to create an atmosphere to help with the promotion and the visibility. I am happy the rally goes directly to downtown Rome.”





Will the high ambient and ground temperatures present a significant challenge, particularly to crews not from Italy contesting the event for the first time?



“For sure it can be really, really warm. But there not the really long stages like we had in 2017 and the drivers competing in the ERC are all really prepared for the high temperatures because they are at a certain level [of fitness].


I don’t think it will be a big factor but for the concentration and to achieve a good, consistent pace it’s important to drink a lot and prepare in the right way.”





As an Italian, what does it mean to you to be competing in your own country in the ERC?



“Driving in your home country is always beautiful but what is really beautiful is Rome because this rally is considered by the national TV channels and it’s really popular in the media.


It’s a rally where you can show your speed, but the approach is the same as every rally although it’s an opportunity to show your skills with the other ERC drivers. The ERC always has a big appeal.”




You are part of the Team MRF Tyres’ line-up. What do you think of the potential and progress that the company is making in terms of tyre development?


“Last year when I met Vivek Ponnusamy and we started working together it was hard to imagine that they were so good in Rome, where they showed already a really good pace for such a new company. I’ve always felt from their side a big passion but a big strength.



They want to reach the maximum level in rally and they are getting all the pieces of this puzzle to make it happen, like, for example, getting one of the best development drivers, Paolo Andreucci, who has a really good knowledge. I also have a really big experience and success.


I will bet on them and I would like to see where they can get to. There is a lot of trust on both sides, they wanted somebody with their own personality who will say what they mean.



They are just a few people at the moment, but everyone speaks in the right way and in one year they have won stages in the ERC with Craig Breen, Andreucci has won one rally in Italy and I’ve taken three podiums so it’s already a big achievement.”




 Richard Rodgers- photo FIA ERC

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20.07.2021 / MaP

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