Basso aan kop in de beginfase van de rally van Bulgarije

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Basso aan kop in de beginfase van de rally van Bulgarije

Berichtdoor Sportiva-Italia » Za Jul 18, 2009 18:03

Bron: Italiaspeed.com

Basso aan kop in de beginfase van de rally van Bulgarije
18-07-2009

Tijdens het begin van de rally van Bulgarije lag Basso aan kop met z'n Grande Punto Abarth. Als asfalt specialist kan hij komend weekend zijn hart ophalen op de asfaltproeven van deze editie van de rally van Bulgarije, die dit jaar voor de 4oe maal gehouden wordt en waarvan Basso in 2005 en 2007 winnaar was:

Giandomenico Basso has raced straight into a clear early lead in the 40th Rally Bulgaria which kicked off this morning as the Grande Punto Abarth driver seeks his third maximum points score of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) season. Fresh from his podium on the Intercontinental Rally Challenge-counting Rally Russia last weekend, the Italian Abarth factory driver has this weekend swapped the red-and-white colours of his factory Super 2000 machine to once again get behind the wheel of the private D'Ambra team's Grande Punto Abarth in which he is making sporadic appearances in the ERC this year, with the intention of collecting enough points to reclaim the trophy he won at the wheel of the Italian machine in 2006.
Basso, an asphalt specialist is competing on his favoured surface this weekend and he is already a two-time winner of the rally (in 2005 and 2007) which is going into its fortieth edition this year. The rally is well travelled around Bulgaria: from 1970 to 2001 the Rally had its headquarters in the famous Black sea resorts of Zlantni Piasatzi and Albena while in 2002 the competition was run in the central part of south Bulgaria and had a start/finish in Borovetz - on the Mountain of Rila.

Afbeelding Afbeelding

The 40th Rally Bulgaria is fifth round of the FIA European Rally Championship as well as the fourth round of the Bulgarian National Rally Championship. The rally this year has an itinerary totalling 736,86 km with split between thirteen timed special stages that make up 282,61 km, with all of this being held on asphalt. The route is very compact and selective and it passes through much beautiful Bulgarian scenery. The first special stage runs along the streets of Borovetz and this is a challenge and a test both for cars and drivers. The 2008 winner of the Rally Bulgaria was the local crew Krum Dontchev/Stoyko Valtchev in a Peugeot 207 S2000 when more than 250,000 spectators watched this top Bulgarian event. Traditionally, the rally has had very large media coverage and over 180 journalists from Bulgaria and abroad were accredited at the media centre last year. At the same time the rally received active help both from the state and local authorities.

The headquarters for this 40th edition is located in Rila hotel in Borovetz, while the start/final podium and the park ferme are all situated in front of the hotel. The charm of Borovetz can really be felt in winter time but in summer the resort offers excellent conditions for holidays too. The shakedown was held on Thursday (16 July) at noon while the ceremonial start took place last night followed by the first special stage. The rally is scheduled to have two days of running, today and tomorrow. There is one Service Park, located some 25 km east from the resort. Borovetz is not far away from to the capital city of Sofia. It is accessible by plane as Sofia airport is 60 km away and by road it is 150 km from Serbian and Greek border.
Forty two teams lined up for the ceremonial start this year last night, and while this is less than previous years the difficult global financial environment has forced many Bulgarian drivers to reconsider their agendas. However pleasingly the number of foreign drivers has markedly increased. This year fifteen foreign teams are competing on the Rally Bulgaria course. Among them are all the main contenders for the European Rally Championship title. The only missing star is the Italian Renato Travaglia.

Afbeelding Afbeelding

Not surprisingly, most of the attention is directed towards the strongest Bulgarian and foreign drivers. Local aces Krum Donchev, Dimitar Iliev, Iasen Popov, Ignat Isaev, Todor Slavov and Petar Gioshev will compete with well proven and known names such as Michal Solowow, Luca Betti and Corrado Fontana and rally favourite Basso. Among the European Championship entrants are Davide Di Benedetto, Antonin Tlustak, Brian Lavio, Jan Cerny and Marco Cavigioli who won the IRC 2WD Cup last year in a Fiat Punto Diesel and is out in Bulgaria in a Grande Punto Abarth run by the experienced Italian team Trico Motor Sport. Other notable entrants this year include Timo van der Marel, Daniel Wollinger, Vladica Rabrenovic, Chris Konstantinou, Miroslav Jakes, while Georgian Giorgi Kodua adds an additional exotic twist.
Basso, who has two maximum points scores from the two ERC counting events he has contested so far this year (Mille Miglia and Ypres, the latter rally which doubled up with his factory IRC programme on the calendar) quickly made clear his intention to chase a third victory in this event after he went fastest during the shakedown for the Rally Bulgaria on Thursday afternoon, posting a time of 1:45.8 minutes on the course near Dolna Bania. His compatriot Luca Betti (Peugeot 207 S2000) came in second at 1:47.7, while Pole Michal Solowow, also in a Peugeot 207 S2000, was third with 1:48.0. A total of twenty three teams took part in the shakedown, with Basso, Solowow and Swiss driver Brian Lavio (Peugeot 207 S2000) completing seven runs of the course each.

Of the Bulgarian drivers, it was only Iliev (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) who completed the run in under 1:50. The BTC ADSL Rally Team driver clocked in at 1:49.7. Gioshev (Pestige, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) managed 1:50.3 minutes, while last year’s winner Donchev (Prista Oil Rally Team, Peugeot 207 S2000) was timed at 1:51.3. Popov (Mtel Rally Team, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) finished at 1:51.7 minutes.
Basso is lying in fourth place in the ERC standings with 30 points collected from his top ERC finishes in Italy and Belgium going into this event. A win in the 40th Rally Bulgaria 2009 would immediately put him in serious contention for the title in the overall standings. The current championship leader is Solowow (Peugeot 207 S2000) with 39 points while Donchev with 33 is second. Basso kicked off on SS1 (20.41 km) with fastest time, 9.2 seconds ahead of Corrado Fontana (Peugeot 207 S2000) to move into the provisional rally lead. In fiery mood the Italian won SS2 (28.51 km) with a 7.4 second advantage in hand over Donchev, who moved into second place 25.2 seconds behind the Abarth driver as Fontana posted a lacklustre time. The shortest stage of the day, SS3 (18.12 km), saw Basso make it three fastest times in three stages with a time that was 5.3 seconds clear of Donchev to open out his advantage over the local hero to an impressive 30.5 seconds after the first loop of stages. The crews are now in the service park and Basso has nearly a minute in hand over third placed Solowow (+52.6), Fontana in fourth (+53.9) and the Mitsubishi Evo IX of Dimitar in fifth (+56.4). Cavigioli is in eleventh place (+2:00.8) in his Grande Punto Abarth while Bulgarian driver Ivan Ganchev (+3:40.4) is in seventeenth overall and second in class A/6 in his Fiat Punto S1600. The crews will now make a second run over the morning's three stages before arriving at parc ferme at 18:00.
I ragazzi strani che romani!
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Berichtdoor Sportiva-Italia » Ma Jul 20, 2009 12:38

Update:

19-07-2009

Basso aan de leiding in rally van BUlgarije

Giandomenico Basso, at the wheel of a privately-entered Grande Punto Abarth, has taken a comfortable victory in the 40th Rally Bulgaria, his third win on the event, to boost his push for a second FIA European Rally Championship title (he first won in 2006 in the Grande Punto Abarth) as he now moves up to joint first place in the provisional points standings after 5 rounds. The Italian, who won the Rally Bulgaria in 2005 and 2006, was never headed as he romped to a more than a minute-and-a-half lead by the end of SS7 having gone fastest on all seven of the stages to be contested before the rally was cut short after a fatal accident occurred early this morning on SS7 with five stages remaining which meant the final result was taken on the overnight positions.
Tragedy struck the rally this morning when a heavy crash stopped the first stage of the day. In SS7 “Sestrimo” (23.68 km) Brian Lavio and Flavio Guglielmini driving a Peugeot 207 S2000 suffered an incident that killed co-driver Guglielmini. The stages and the cars were stopped immediately and driver Lavio was taken to the hospital in an ambulance where he reportedly was only suffering minor injuries.

Afbeelding Afbeelding

Basso had started off yesterday in blistering form and stood confidently in first place in the general standings at the end of day one last night having won all six of the special stages of the day. During the last one Slavovitsa (18,.2 km) Basso slowed down a little bit but finished the stage in 10 minutes 12.4 seconds leaving his closest challenger Krum Donchev 2.3 seconds behind him. Third on that stage was Michal Solowow, 11.2 sec. behind. Corrado Fontana was 14.8 seconds behind the leader, followed by Dimitar Iliev and Jasen Popov with both drivers less than a second behind the Italian.
It all meant that Basso led in the general standings overnight with a time of 1 hour 17 minutes and 18.6 seconds with ERC title chasing rival Donchev 1 minute and 2.6 seconds behind while another contender for the European crown, Fontana, was more than 30 seconds behind him. “It is very warm, I am very tired," said Basso as the cars drove into overnight parc ferme. "I hope to win, but I am used to never underestimating my opponents. We drove to the limit of our abilities today, we will try to give it our all tomorrow as well. The biggest challenge for us tomorrow will be the new parts of the course. This year the sections are much better. I hope to keep my position tomorrow.” The fourth driver into parc ferme last night was Solowow, the Pole, who was the clear ERC points leader going into the event, was now 1:50.9 min behind the leader while Iliev was fifth, 2:12.6 min adrift of Basso. The list of the top six first drivers at the completion of day one was completed by Popov, who was a massive 2:21.7 min behind Basso. Another ERC title hopeful, Luca Betti, had dropped down to seventh place and was 2:25.5 behind Basso last night, but his rally was to prematurely end this morning with gearbox problems before the first stage had even kicked off.

Basso, who has been driving a Grande Punto Abarth on the event that was prepared by the private Spanish team D'Ambra, swung into action again this morning on the first stage of the day, SS7, with another blistering time, the Italian easily going fastest, 12.5 seconds quicker than Dimitar managed on his pass though the test, while Fontana and Donchev lost 21.2 and 25.8 seconds respectively to the Grande Punto Abarth driver. Tragedy soon struck though when Lavio/Guglielmini went through and crashed heavily and so the rally's remaining stages were immediately cancelled. In meant a third success on the Rally Bulgaria for Basso who has joined Antonio Zanini (1979, 1980, 1983) and Enriko Bertone (1995, 1996 and 1999) in having won this rally three times. Reigning IRC 2WD Cup champion Marco Cavigioli contested the rally in a Grande Punto Abarth prepared by Trico Motor Sport and he posted times at the tail end of the top-10 and was in twelfth place overall at the end of SS7 when the rally was stopped. The privately entered Fiat Punto S1600 of local driver Ivan Ganchev had moved up to fifteenth place and was still an excellent second in class (A/6) at the conclusion of SS7.

Afbeelding Afbeelding

Basso thus collects 13 points from the Rally Bulgaria (10 points for the win and three points for being the leader at the end of day one) which coupled to the two 15 points scores he has already on the Rally Mille Miglia and Belgium Ypres Rally puts him on 43 points after 5 rounds and vaults him up to the top of the standings where he is now equal with the title leader going into this round, Solowow, (who collected just 4 points in Bulgaria, and Donchev, who added an extra 10 points to be the other big points gainer alongside Basso. In fourth place in the championship classification is Fontana, who picked up 7 points this weekend, while in fifth place Luca Betti remains on 31 points after he retired from the event this morning. However Basso's ambitions for the ERC title are further strengthened by the fact that he has scored his 43 points total from just three events while Solowow, Donchev and Betti have all collected points on each of the five rounds held so far meaning that they will soon begin having to drop scores. The next and sixth round of the ERC will be the Ralli Madeira (July 30 - August 2) which Basso will be in action on as part of the factory Abarth squad as the island event also counts towards the Intercontinental rally Challenge.
I ragazzi strani che romani!

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