A puncture caused by some debris left in the trajectory during the PS8 decided the fate of the Rally Roma Capitale 2021. Giandomenico Basso and Lorenzo Granai, thanks to what happened to Andrea Crugnola, until that moment leader of the race, triumphed in the general classification of the Rally Roma Capitale.
The Venetian crew won both the European Rally Championship and the Italian Rally Championship standings. But reducing everything to the unfortunate puncture that occurred in Crugnola would be ungenerous and wrong with regard to the multiple Italian champions.
Basso and Granai were the only ones to really put Andrea Crugnola and Pietro Elia Ometto under pressure. The Hyundai Italia crew commanded for most of the first 8 tests, but then the puncture put them out of the way of the fight for victory.
The duel between Basso and Crugnola was of such a level that the driver from Varese, once he had punctured the left front, still managed to stay comfortably in second position, so much was the advantage of the two over all the other opponents.
Said of the two duelists for the first 2 places in the Italian ranking, the tricolor podium was clawed with a shrewd race free of huge smudges by Fabio Andolfi and Stefano Savoia, at the wheel of a Skoda Fabia R5. The Ligurian was the author of a harmless spin in the last special, the PS13, but this did not affect his third place that projects him higher and higher in the general Drivers’ classification.
Behind him Craig Breen. The Hyundai Motorsport standard bearer got off to a good start, but then gradually lost positions and time, perhaps due to the MRF tires on his i20 R5 New Generation, not yet at the level of the Pirelli and Michelins on the asphalt.
The Top 5 was completed by Giacomo Scattolon after a good fight between him, Marco Signor and Craig Breen himself. However, it should be emphasized the excellent race of Damiano De Tommaso, who without the puncture that slowed him in PS10 and a further penalty of 20 “received at the start of today’s morning lap, would have taken the CIR podium.
Unfortunate Alberto Battistolli, forced to retire due to a fault in the gearbox of his Skoda Fabia R5 Evo which occurred in the last special stage of the race. The Italian driver, sailed by Simone Scattolin, had to step aside a few kilometers from the end.
Thanks to this victory, Basso climbs to the top of the general classification with 76 points, 11.5 more than Fabio Andolfi, who rose to 64.5. Third place for Craig Breen. The Northern Irishman has 57.5 points overall, which is 10 more than Andrea Crugnola.
We are ERC
Also in this case our story starts from the third place, considering that Basso and Crugnola dominated the first two positions also in the European championship round. Behind the two Azzurri, Norbert Herczig managed to take the podium, and he did it right on the wire.
The Hungarian driver, at the wheel of a Skoda Fabia R5 Evo, mocked the Spanish crew made up of Efrén Llarena and Sara Ferandez in the last special, who finished fourth with a gap of just 3 tenths of a second. A sporting shock, considering that the two had started with a 5 “5 advantage over Herczig.
Fabio Andolfi did well, even if the blue was overtaken by the Polish Mikolaj Marczyk at the very end. The spin made in the last test of the race, the PS13, was fatal, because it allowed the opponent to overcome it. Seventh place finally for Simone Tempestini, who took away the satisfaction of putting drivers of the caliber of Andreas Mikkelsen behind – eighth – and Craig Breen, ninth.
Erik Cais completed the Top 10, just ahead of Giacomo Scattolon and an unrecognizable Umberto Scandola. The Veronese was held back by a puncture, but had various difficulties with the set-up of his Hyundai, which was at times too understeering enough to convince him to revolutionize the set-up from one race day to the next.