|Paolo Andreucci clinching drivers’ championship
The Italian Rally Championship draws to a close this weekend at the Rally Due Valli based in Verona, with Pirelli having already sealed every driver’s title well in advance. The only title that is missing is the overall manufacturers’ championship, which will be decided this weekend. So far, the standings are led by the ultra successful Peugeot Italia team, fielding the 208 T16 on Pirelli tyres, which recently powered Italian legend Paolo Andreucci to a record ninth driver’s title.
Peugeot Italia will field two 208 T16s in Verona: one for the famed Paolo Andreucci-Anna Andreussi line-up, and one for the newly crowned Junior champion Michele Tassone: just as was the case on the recent Rally del Friuli. A private Peugeot 208 T16 will be entered by leading independent driver Alessandro Perico as well – with all these entries on Pirelli tyres.
The Verona-based event will also decide who will be Italy’s Production champion, which is being decided between three-time European champion Luca Rossetti (co-driven by Matteo Chiarcossi) and current champion Ivan Ferrarotti, co-driven by Manuel Fenoli. Both are driving a Renault Clio R3T, equipped with Pirelli tyres.
The priority drivers will have Pirelli’s RK tyres at their disposal, as used on the World Rally Championship, while the other drivers will use the older RX and RE tyres.
Pirelli’s product manager Terenzio Testoni said: “Adding the manufacturers’ title to the collection is not just Peugeot Italia’s objective, but our objective as well. This would allow us to complete a full house of titles in the Italian Rally Championship, giving the clearest demonstration yet of how Pirelli intends to supply the best products and services possible to every driver and team: from the top factory entries to the smaller privateer teams fighting in the lower classes – which are often no less closely-fought. There is a risk of varied weather and predominantly two types of road: smooth and narrow or faster and more open stages, with abrasive asphalt. This rally is all about trying to find the best compromise, given the variation in the surfaces and temperatures. The harder compound RK5A will be used for temperatures exceeding 20 degrees and a dry surface, while the softer RK7A will be used in cooler weather or damp conditions. In wet weather the RKW7/RKS will also be available.”
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