02
September
2016
|
09:42
Europe/Amsterdam

Andolfi to step up to the new R5 Hyundai in Corsica

Fabio Andolfi

Pirelli-backed Fabio Andolfi, who has starred on the WRC3 championship this year in a Peugeot 208 R2 – notably winning the class in Sardinia – will step up to the brand new Hyundai i20 R5 on the Tour de Corse later this month: the next round of the World Rally Championship. The 23-year-old Italian’s campaign has been backed this year by ACI (the Italian motorsport federation) and Pirelli, putting him on the world stage with great success. This is fully in keeping with Pirelli’s well-known philosophy of supporting young rally drivers, which has propelled some of today’s stars to the top of their game thanks to initiatives such as the Pirelli Star Driver programme and WRC Academy. Now Andolfi is ready for the next step: the four-wheel drive R5 category, eligible for WRC2, which is just one rung below the headlining World Rally Car class. As always, he will run on Pirelli’s renowned P Zero asphalt tyres in Corsica: the same name and technology as seen in Formula 1. “When I heard that this opportunity was coming my way, I was literally without words,” said Andolfi, who is co-driven by Manuel Fenoli. “It’s the culmination of a dream for me, and I hope it’s the first of very many outings: the beginning of a new chapter for me. I realise that I have so many people to thank for this amazing opportunity: ACI Sport, Pirelli, Hyundai and everyone who has had faith in me. I know that I don’t have the experience of the other drivers, but I’m going to make the most of the great chance that I have.” Andolfi’s ambition is to become the first Italian to achieve a permanent factory drive in a World Rally Car since Gigi Galli – who also rose to prominence with Pirelli – and the Italian tyres have formed a key role in the up-and-coming youngster’s career. He currently sits fourth in the WRC3 standings, beating drivers in much more powerful cars. “Without Pirelli, I wouldn’t be in this position now,” added Andolfi. “Not just the quality and performance of the tyres, but also the support structure behind them, has been a really important part in my development as a driver.” Pirelli’s rally activity manager, Terenzio Testoni, will oversee Andolfi’s R5 debut in Corsica, although it’s not an entirely new experience for the young Italian driver, as he previously competed in Corsica two years ago when it was part of the European Rally Championship. The week before the rally (from 29 September-2 October) he will get to test the car and its latest-generation Pirelli tyres. Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “Fabio thoroughly deserves this opportunity. He’s already very familiar with our product range, which he has used to great effect, and now we look forward to introducing him to the latest P Zero RK tyre on an R5 car. The Hyundai is a new and very exciting machine, with Corsica well known as an epic event. Most of all, it’s great to see a young driver coming up through the ranks with the support of Pirelli. Fabio has a great future ahead of him, and together with the Italian motorsport federation, we are very happy to be a part of it.”

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For further information please contact: Anthony Peacock • +44 7765 896 930 • anthony@mediaticaworld.com