Highlights at the 55th Rally del Salento which launched the second challenge of the Italian Asphalt Rally Championship with a regular opening in the SPS1 “Pista Salentina”. Many spectators and great entertainment enlivened the evening at the kart track of Torre San Giovanni, the seaside resort of Ugento, which welcomed 53 racing cars, historic and modern, that arrived on the track after a good start in the surroundings of Piazza Mazzini , from the center of Lecce. (Sign up for free to the Telegraph station of Rally time to get information on your phone LINKS)
The first test largely met the expectations and gave the spectators, who filled more than 3,000 seats or followed the live coverage on ACI Sport TV, a clash between the best pitching professionals who entered the field in pairs and were called directly . – head for the fastest time. Fastest were reigning champion Simone Campedelli and Tania Canton in the Skoda Fabia Rally2, runners-up in the championship, who stopped the clock in 2’16.2.
Just one second behind them were their direct rivals Stefano Albertini and Danilo Fappani, also in Skodas, the leader of the CIRA due to the victory achieved in the Rally Due Valli. Even the Salento Rally seems to immediately suggest the same duel, in which Luca Pederoli wants to intervene, with Corrado Bonato in the Citroen DS3 WRC, in his first appearance in the championship and once on top. The driver from Brescia in the World Rally Car finished third at 1.1”. Molise Giuseppe Testa with Gino Abatecola is also very aggressive in his approach to the line, aiming for sure at the top of the general standings and at the same time leading a legitimate challenge for the Zonal Rally Cup, also this one with heavy points. and a coefficient of 1.5, equal to CIR Asphalt.
The rest are not far behind, starting with Luca Rossetti and Eleonora Mori in the Hyundai i20 Rally 2 at 2.7”, followed by Corrado Pinzano and Mauro Turati in the Citroen C3 Rally2 at 3.7”, just a tenth of a second ahead of Corrado Fontana. and Nicola Arena in the Hyundai i20 WRC, in the first appearance of the season. The top ten was completed by three teams of Skoda Fabias created by Manfredonia driver Giuseppe Bergantino, first with Andrea Colapietro with 4.7”, tenth place in front of the driver from Vicenza Paolo Menegatti and Nicola Rutigliano, then the boy. from Lecce Riccardo Pisacane with Gianmarco Potera in his first ever four-wheel drive.
Meets the expectations of the seeded Gianluca Saresera, the fastest to ignite the men of Salento among Rally4 with a time of 2’29.6 achieved in the Peugeot 208 shared by Daniel Taufer; but the excitement is great. In fact, only two tenths of a second separate the current leader of the class from the other but desired 208, that of Antonio Palma and Aurora Rosafio, who do not follow anything and throw down the race for a very long day tomorrow. The times recorded by Marco dell’Elce with Federica del Sordo and Francesco Casto with Luca Margarito are also excellent compared to the general classification. The first grabbed 18th overall with a Renault Clio Super1600, while the second, on a small Peugeot 106 S16, surprised the public by finishing first in the A6 and 26th in the general classification.
But the best is yet to come, given that on Saturday the crew will face three pre-planned stages known before, on three different circuits. Three sections on “TORRE PADULI” (11.3 km) and “SPECCHIA” (13 km), two laps on the rediscovered “SANTA CESARA” (10.5 km) which will not be covered in the final session. After a total of 400 km, the arrival in Lecce will be a celebration and embrace of enthusiasts and citizens. ACI Sport TV will broadcast PS3 “Santa Cesarea” live at 10:17, PS “Specchia” at 15:36, then the final from Piazza Mazzini, starting at 20:40.