Another WRC3 victory for Pirelli in Spain, winning all but two stages
|Fabio Andolfi claimed another WRC3 victory|
Italy’s Fabio Andolfi, who recently stepped up to the R5 class in Corsica thanks to a drive funded by Pirelli and ACI Sport (the Italian motorsport federation) was back in his regular WRC3 Peugeot for the Rally de Espana – and he won on his return. Third place for his team mate Damiano de Tommaso made it two Pirelli cars on the podium from a highly-competitive WRC3 field. Fourth place for Frenchman Michel Fabre ensures that the Pirelli driver continues to be a favourite for the WRC3 title this year, with just two events to go. In the headlining WRC1 category, Lorenzo Bertelli finished just outside the top 10 as he continued to learn on asphalt, while Martin Prokop – returning to competition for the first time in four months – was unable to finish after losing a wheel on the final stage. There was also some bizarre bad luck for Pirelli’s leading WRC2 contender, Armin Kremer, when the former European rally champion had an accident on a road section, while he was challenging for the category lead. Andolfi, however, capitalised every opportunity that came his way to dominate the rally on both gravel and asphalt, using the full range of Pirelli Scorpion and P Zero tyres. Spain is the only mixed-surface round of the championship, with one day on gravel on Friday followed by two days on asphalt. “I felt very confident on both surfaces,” said Andolfi. “Even though it’s demanding to switch from one surface to the next, the tyres gave me the confidence I needed to push hard and seal the victory, so a big thank you to Pirelli for this.” Andolfi defeated factory-backed R2 cars, running on different leading tyre manufacturers nominated to supply the World Rally Championship, in order to secure his second WRC3 win of the year, and Pirelli’s fifth. Like all the other Pirelli drivers on the event, Andolfi used the Scorpion KHB hard compound and KSB soft compound gravel tyres on Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, he used the P Zero RK5A hard and RK7B soft asphalt tyres. Pirelli’s rally activity manager Terenzio Testoni commented: “On what is always an extremely challenging rally due to the surface changes, our full range of tyres was used, which set fastest stage times on every surface and won all but two of the stages. This was despite extremely strong competition on this event from factory-supported entries and more than one different tyre manufacturer. Finally, we would like to congratulate Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia and Volkswagen Motorsport for sealing their fourth title together in Spain.” The World Rally Championship now returns to gravel for another classic event: Wales Rally GB from October 27-30.
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