Dream French Tarmac Championship debut: Anthony Puppo wins at the Rallye d'Antibes
The Rallye d'Antibes - Côte d'Azur (13th to 14th May) was the third round of the French Tarmac Rally Championship (CFR) and saw a victory on his championship debut for Anthony Puppo, who along with co-driver Jérémy Cenci, was driving in a FABIA R5 for his own SARL SJ-3P team and has been enjoying a rich vein of form in French Cup events so far this year, with six victories and three more podium places under his belt already.
After a cautious start here, which saw him in tenth place after the opening special stage, his fast and consistent driving, which included two stage wins, saw him leading the field at the end of the first leg. And Anthony managed to keep that going through the second leg too before finishing with a flourish by winning the final stage to wrap up an overall victory by a margin of 28.3 seconds.
The next FABIA R5 home was the Sébastien Loeb Racing car of Quentin Giordano / Valentin Sarreaud. They finished in fourth place overall, but first in the Michelin Trophy standings.
For a long time in the middle of this event, Giordano was sat in a podium position, but he dropped back to fourth on the penultimate stage and ended up 28.7 seconds behind his fellow Sébastien Loeb Racing driver, Charles Martin.
Thibault Durbec and co-driver Jacques-Julien Renucci were the other FABIA R5 team to finish inside the top 10. Driving for the RTTC – Yacco team, in a car prepared by Team FJ, they were sat in the fifth position overall after the opening stage of the second leg, before a bad luck on stage 10 saw them drop back to fourteenth. But they managed to claw their way back into the top 10 and also claim fifth place in the Michelin Trophy standings.
The next round of the French Tarmac Rally Championship will be the Rallye du Limousin on 9th and 10th June.
Umberto Scandola secures the win and crucial points at the Rally Adriatico
The Rally Adriatico (12th to 14th May) was the fourth round of the Italian Rally Championship (CIR) and the second round of the Italian Gravel Rally Championship (CIRT). And it proved to be a fantastic event for the ŠKODA Italia Motorsport crew of Umberto Scandola / Guido D’Amore who claimed overall victory in their FABIA R5 by a margin of 26.5 seconds. It was Scandola’s first win of the season to add to two podium places achieved so far.
Scandola is a big fan of this rally, with this victory being his fifth successive win here. In the Italian championship, points are also scored for results in each leg of an event, and Scandola’s victory in Leg 1 and second place in Leg 2 meant he put plenty of points on the board.
His performance in the opening leg was almost perfect as he won the opening eight stages, before finishing third on the final super special stage of the day. The second leg also saw him setting fastest times on four out of the six stages, meaning his dominant drive saw him win a twelve of the fifteen stages.
The result means Scandola climbs up to the second position in the Italian Rally Championship standings.
Further down the field, Andrea Nucita and co-driver Marco Vozzo put in an impressive drive in their FABIA S2000 for the Phoenix team. They finished in seventh place overall, and but for a lapse in the super special stage 9, which saw them drop from ninth to the fourteenth position at the end of Leg 1, it could have been even better.
And there was also another FABIA R5 inside the top 10 as Alfredo De Dominicis, better known as Dedo, and his co-driver Emanuele Inglesi brought their Motorsport Italia FABIA R5 home in tenth place overall. That result also meant they finished sixth in the Italian Gravel Rally Championship (CIRT) standings.
The next round of the Italian Rally Championship will be the Rally del Salento (2nd to 4th June).
Marty McCormack claims dominant win at the Donegal Forestry Rally in Ireland
Marty McCormack and his co-driver David Moynihan claimed an emphatic victory at the Donegal Forestry Rally (13th May), the third round of the Irish Forest Rally Championship (IFRC), following up on their impressive performance at the recent Pirelli Rally in the British Rally Championship (MSA BRC), where they finished in third place overall, which meant they currently sit fifth in the British championship.
This event was seen as preparation for the next round of the British championship, the Scottish Rally, which takes place this weekend (19th to 20th May), and they made the most of a few notable withdrawals to take the rally by the scruff of its neck.
Their TigerRisk ŠKODA FABIA R5 won six of the eight stages (with one stage being cancelled) as they cruised home by a margin of 1 minute 11 seconds from their closest rivals. Their performance in the final stage was particularly impressive as they finished 25 seconds ahead of all the other competitors over its 16 km.
Whilst Marty McCormack will be back next weekend at the Scottish Rally, the Irish Forestry Championship will resume with the Cork Forest Rally on 30th July.
NEWS IN BRIEF
The Rally Villa de Adeje (12th to 13th May) was the third round of the Spanish Rally Championship (CERA) as well as the second round of the Canary Islands Rally Championship and saw two FABIA R5s finishing inside the top 6. Pedro Burgo and his co-driver Marcos Burgo secured fourth place overall for the ACSM Rallye Team, their second fourth place finish of the year. Meanwhile Adrián García Febles / Israel Pereira finished sixth in the overall standings, but third in the Canary Islands championship standings under the Escudería Villa de Adeje banner in a car prepared by the Race Seven team.
2017 Rally Villa de Adeje
At the Eldoret Rally (13th May), the third round of the Kenyan Rally Championship, Manvir Singh Baryan / Drew Sturrock, who won the opening event of the season in Mombasa, brought their Multiple Racing Team FABIA R5 home in fifth place overall, just one position ahead of the Kabras Sugar Team pairing of Onkar Rai / Gareth Dawe whose FABIA R5 finished sixth.
Corrado Pinzano / Marco Zegna claimed overall victory in the Rally di Varallo e Borgosesia (13th to 14th May) in the Italian Regional Championship (Zone 1). Their New Driver Racing FABIA R5, which is run by P.A. Racing, was 1 minute 54 seconds ahead of their closest rivals over this 8-stage, 61.9 km long event.
Benjamin Mosson was victorious on his debut FABIA R5 drive at the Rallye National Dijon-Côte d'Or in the French Cup. Alongside his co-driver Matthieu Bole-Richard, he finished 1 minute 6 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor. And there was another FABIA R5 victory elsewhere in the French Cup. At the Rallye Régional du Printemps de Bords, Nicolas Hernandez / Julien Pesenti finished 21.9 seconds ahead of the field in their FABIA R5. At the Rallye National du Val d'Ance in another French Cup event, Thibault Habouzit / Sandra Fargier brought their FABIA R5 home in second place overall and first in the R5 class.
COMING UP THIS WEEKEND
|18-21 May||Rally de Portugal||World Rally Championship||Round 6||Gravel|
|19-20 May||Rally Talsi||Latvia Rally Championship||Round 3||Gravel|
|19-20 May||Sezoens Rally||Belgian Rally Championship||Round 5||Asphalt/Gravel|
|19-20 May||Riihimäki-Ralli||Finnish Rally Championship||Round 4||Gravel|
|19-20 May||Rallye Český Krumlov||Czech Rally Championship||Round 3||Asphalt|
|19-20 May||Scottish Rally||British Rally Championship||Round 3||Gravel|