Abarth verliest koppositie na 3e en 4e plaats in San Marino
Abarth verloor dit weekeinde in San Marino de leiding in het CIR klassement door een derde en vierde plaats, waardoor concurrent Peugeot nu de leiding heeft in het rijdersklassement. Het wordt steeds duidelijker dat de Abarths niet goed meer mee kunnen komen, zeker niet op onverharde ondergrond. Op asfalt zijn de Abarths bijna niet te verslaan, maar op andere ondergronden moeten ze het afleggen tegen de concurrentie, die ook nog eens met nieuwe auto's rijden. De Abarths zijn niet meer doorontwikkeld, wat terug te zien is in de resultaten. Abarth leidt het Italiaanse Rally Kampioenschap nog wel in het constructeurs klassement:
Third and fourth place for Scorpion factory drivers Luca Rossetti and Giandomenico Basso on the 38th Rally di San Marino wasn't the most favourable result and sees the former surrender his lead in the Italian Rally Championship (CIR) standings, albeit by one point to Paolo Andreucci who claimed his second win of the season in the racing Lions-run Peugeot 207 S2000. In the CIR's manufacturers standings Abarth's advantage at the top slips from eight to six points over its French rival after four rounds. The twelve-stage 38th Rally di San Marino, held primarily on gravel, was split into two tests that took place on Friday evening before a long concluding day on Saturday saw the remaining ten stages, made up of three loops of three stages plus one very short test run just once. Two third quickest times through the 19.96 km back-to-back SS1 and SS2 on Friday was enough to see Basso in position as the overnight rally leader with team mate Rossetti lining up second overall (+5.1 seconds) thanks to a time penalty deliberately incurred by Andreucci that placed him into an advantageous overnight fourth position on the general classification (+8.2 seconds).
That proved the perfect running order position for the Peugeot driver: he immediately went fastest on the first stage of Saturday morning (SS3) to vault straight into the rally lead, with a slender 2.2 seconds over Rossetti, while his team mate Basso lost 21.6 seconds through that 11.54 km test as he struggled with the duty of "sweeping" the track. Andreucci went fastest again on the next stage (SS4) to open up his advantage at the front over "Rox" to 6.6 seconds and the former Fiat factory driver would win three more stages during the day, to make it six fastest times from the rally's twelve stages (he also won SS1 the previous evening) to take away a comfortable 42.6 second win from Skoda's Jan Kopecky who had started the morning down in eighth place but battled his way right up the leaderboard to claim the second rung of the podium. Rossetti suffered a puncture during SS8 which cost him 36.7 seconds and this effectively ended his afternoon's efforts: he was third at the flag, 50.4 seconds adrift of Andreucci. The Abarth Grande Punto S2000 has never been totally at home on gravel, it's favoured surface has always been fast, smooth asphalt, and its age and absence of recent development compared to its main CIR rivals, the Peugeot 207 S2000 and Skoda Fabia S2000, showed through as Basso came home in fourth place in the second of the factory Abarth Grande Punto S2000 machines, 7.1 seconds behind his team mate, having been first on the road all day and dropping time cleaning the tracks. Basso though successfully fended off the attentions of former Abarth youngster Umberto Scandola, now driving a Ford Fiesta S2000, who dropped away towards the end of the rally and finished fifth. In nineteenth place at the finish was the only privately-entered Team Sab Motorsport Abarth Grande Punto in the final classification, that of Alessandro Broccoli.
Third place for Rossetti means the Italian pilot surrenders his lead at the top of the championship standings, he now has 29 points, just one less than Andreucci who, with two wins out of the four rounds so far, has picked up 30 points. Basso, who closed up on the title fight going into San Marino, thanks to second place last time out on the Rally del Salento in June, drifts somewhat off the battle at the top again, albeit he is just 7 points behind Andreucci. Kopecky, with a win and a second place from the last two rounds is steadily creeping up the table, he has 19 points now and is 4 points behind Basso in fourth place. Next up in fifth is a usual CIR title pretender, Renato Travaglia, the experienced Italian is having a more difficult start to the season by his standards: he finished in only eighth place yesterday and now sits on just 11 points.
In the manufacturers' championship Peugeot has chipped Abarth's cushion out front down to six points: the Scorpion brand now has 52 points while its key rival has 46 points. Skoda is third overall in the standings with 18 points while Ford is fourth, four points off the Czech carmaker. There is now a long break before the next and fifth round of the CIR, the Rally del Friuli e delle Alpi Orientali, takes place in Udine on September 2-4.
Italian Rally Championship, Rd 4: 38th Rally di San Marino, Final Result: 1. Andreucci-Andreussi (Peugeot 207 S2000) in 2 hr 06’07”0; 2. Kopecky-Stary (Skoda Fabia S2000) + 42”1; 3. Rossetti-Chiarcossi (Abarth Grande Punto S2000) + 50”4; 4. Basso-Dotta (Abarth Grande Punto S2000) + 57”1; 5. Scandola-D’Amore (Ford Fiesta S2000) + 1’20”8; 6. Colombini-Ercolani (Peugeot 207 S2000) + 3’12”9; 7. Dedo-Daddoveri (Peugeot 207 S2000) + 3’56”8; 8. Travaglia-Granai (Peugeot 207 S2000) + 4’27”0.5’27”0.
Italian Rally Championship, Manufacturers' Classification (after 4 rounds): 1. Abarth 52; 2. Peugeot 46; 3. Skoda 18; 4. Ford 14.
Italian Rally Championship, Drivers' Classification (after 4 rounds): 1. Andreucci (Peugeot) 30; 2. Rossetti (Abarth) 29; 3. Basso (Abarth) 23; 4. Kopecky (Skoda) 19; 5. Travaglia (Peugeot) 11.
Nieuws, uitslagen e.d. m.b.t. rally's.
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