Italian Rally Championship: Pirelli one-two at the Rally del Ciocco
Pirelli has claimed victory and second place on the all-asphalt Rally del Ciocco, the opening round of the Italian Rally Championship, thanks to the Peugeot 208 T16 crew of Alessandro Perico and Mauro Turati, followed by the Citroen DS3 R5 line-up of Rudy Michelini and Michele Perna. The Italian tyre company also triumphed in the two-wheel drive and Junior categories with Giuseppe Testa and Emanuele Inglesi (Peugeot 208 R2B). Giacomo Scattolon and Fabio Grimaldi, in a Renault Clio R3, additionally clinched the Production category for Pirelli. In total, Pirelli-equipped cars won nine of the 14 stages: seven of them thanks to Paolo Andreucci and two thanks to eventual winner Alessandro Perico
Pirelli dominated from start to finish, on an event that was made even more complicated than usual by the variable conditions, with cold temperatures at the start of day one followed by warmer conditions, and then rain at the end of the rally. On the opening day, the drivers mostly used the Pirelli RX7B tyres, for cold and slippery asphalt, which put in a strong performance throughout the leg. The latest generation RKW7 rain tyres then proved to be the best choice on the second day, highlighting their capabilities on the long and complicated Coreglie stage, which featured wet conditions at the start, giving way to a damp and muddy surface, and ending with dry yet slippery conditions. The performance of the Pirelli tyres was made even more significant by the fact that reigning Italian Rally Champion Paolo Andreucci was ruled out of the equation at an early point. Just as was the case last year, the Italian was affected by bad luck on his home event. Having won the opening stage, he was heavily delayed by a brake problem that meant he had to do the following four stages with just the rear brakes only before reaching service. The Pirelli-equipped Peugeot Italia driver fought back to fifth place overall, and remains one of the three favourites to lift the 2015 title, following a challenging opening round in Tuscany. The next round of the Italian Rally Championship, the Sanremo Rally, takes place from 9-11 April.
Rally Ciocco e Valle del Serchio, 2015 Italian Rally Championship, round one of eight: 1. Perico-Turati (Peugeot 208 T16) in 1h54m32.3s; 2. Michelini-Perna (Citroen DS3 R5) + 35.5s; 3. Caldani-Farnocchia (Ford Fiesta R5) + 45.0s; 4. Albertini-Fappani (Peugeot 208 T16) + 56.9s; 5. Andreucci-Andreussi (Peugeot 208 T16) + 2m25.8s; 6. Baccega-Ottaviani (Ford Fiesta R5) + 3m59.9s; 7. Testa-Inglesi (Peugeot 208 R2) + 9m06.1s; 8. Scattolon-Grimaldi (Renault Clio R3) + 9m06.7s; 9. Ciava-Ciucci (Ford Fiesta R5) + 9m48.4s; 10. Tassone-Michi (Peugeot 208 R2) + 9m53.5s Drivers’ championship classification: 1. Alessandro Perico (Peugeot Pirelli) 15 points; 2. Nicola Caldani 10; 3. Stefano Albertini 8; 4. Paolo Andreucci (Peugeot Pirelli) 6; 5. Stefano Baccega 4.
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