Two cars equipped with Pirelli’s excellent rally tyres secured a podium finish at the Rally il Ciocco, the opening round of the Italian Rally Championship.
Alessandro Perico finished in second driving his Pirelli-equipped Peugeot 207 S2000, while Umberto Scandola came in just behind in his Skoda Fabia S2000, which was using Pirelli tyres for the first time in 2013.
The overall winner of the rally in Italy was Giandomenico Basso in his Peugeot 207 S2000. However, it was Pirelli vehicles that won each of the classes.
Pirelli’s wares had to be resilient and offer near-perfect performance during the Rally del Ciocco, as it one of the most demanding races on the Italian Rally Championship calendar. There are a number of different surface and grip changes throughout the duration of course, which traverses the hills of the Garfagnana region of Tuscany.
To meet the requirements, Pirelli provided drivers with the new RX7A, which are designed to offer utmost stability and grip on the slippery asphalt of the race, which dominates the terrain. Cars were also equipped with the RX9 for lower temperatures and the RE7 for rain.
As Scandola raced to third, he was able to make the most of the Pirelli tyres, despite not being very experienced with them. Spells of rain ensured that he had to adapt to the changing levels of grip across the 16 stages, which proved difficult. It took him until the last day to secure third when he won half the stages.
“The tyres were very good; it took me a little while to understand how to get the best out of them, but I think this is normal as they are completely new to me and this was such a difficult event in terms of weather.” Scandola said.
“Straight away my first impression of the tyres is that they offer fantastic stability and grip: even in the most difficult sections I had perfect control. It was a great battle with Alessandro and I’d like to congratulate him as well; now we look forward to the next round. Before then we’ll have the chance to go testing and I’m looking forward to getting to know the range of Pirelli tyres even better.”
Pirelli managed to win all the classes on offer, with multiple rally champion Paolo Andreucci coming in more than a minute ahead in his Peugeot 208 R2, which he was driving for the first time. He finished eighth overall. Andrea Nucita won the R3T class in his Citroen DS3, while Alessandro Bosca won the R3C class, which took him to the top of the two-wheel drive production championship.
Terenzio Testoni, Pirelli’s product manager, was positive despite the firm not winning the race overall.
“Although we won seven out of 16 stages, that wasn’t quite enough to win the rally and we’d like to congratulate Giandomenico Basso on his achievement. This year we experienced one of the most challenging Ciocco rallies that there has ever been, due to the mixed weather,” he said.
“These are always the most difficult rallies to manage from a tyre point of view. Congratulations to Alessandro and Umberto, and congratulations also to all our class winners, including Paolo. Along with his talent, his Pirelli tyres helped to make the difference in placing his R2 car far higher up the order than many people would have anticipated.”
Pirelli will be hoping to continue its success at the next round of the Italian Rally Championship, Rally Mille Miglia, which takes place in Brescia April 12th to 14th.
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Posted by Pirelli missed out on first place in the Rally il Ciocco, but took both second and third.