Connect with us

Rally Report Magazine Argentina 15 años




This post is also available in: English (Inglés) Deutsch (Alemán) Español


Renato Russo explains what is in Top Run’s present and future; the project TCR International Series with Subaru WRX STI.


July 9th, 2015

From the Varese factory in Castiglione Olona, Sport General Manager and founder of Top Run, Renato Russo, depicts what is coming for Top Run’s sporting area in TCR and rally; and remembers the Italian team’s rich history with the renowned Argentinean drivers from Recalde, Menem, Traverso, Guerra, Peon, Croceri to Pozzo, Ligato and Menzi.


Renato, how was your training and feelings for Argentina?

I’m a lawyer of 57 years, born and raised in Milan, my current business dedicates and relates to my family. From a long time ago my family has a special relation with Argentina. I’m in love with Argentina and was a friend of Jorge Recalde. And, of course, one of the founders of Top Run Racing. Now, I’m Top Run Motorsport General Manager, taking care of organization and team’s main relationships on TCR International Series program. This interview is especial and likable because my father was a friend of Juan Manuel Fangio. And I remember when I was a kid that Mr. Fangio stayed at home and was with my father. And that’s why we love Argentina and race cars. I remember when Juan Manuel Fangio Jr started to race here, he did few tests with my older brother Onofrio. So it’s a symbol that my family has always been connected with Argentina and racing cars.

Renato, how is the Varese’s team preparation to race the TCR International Series with Subaru?

It’s a new, very interesting championship. I think Marcelo Lotti has a revolutionary idea and these races have globalization features that’s why I said it’s a very interesting championship. And, in Varese we are working hard, making a car projected by STI with 4wd and front-wheel drive. So there’s plenty of work, more than in other cars of the series. Then, also, in England they are working in the roll-bar and the bodywork reinforcements. And, the other car is in Genoa, where all the spare parts are installed to enlarge it and add it more quality; as carbon fiber and many things; gearbox is coming from Australia, dampers arrived from Japan. There’s a heavy work, but many people are helping us to do our goal; reaching the first race in Singapore.

What does it mean to you to be one of the Varese squad founders along with Agnello brothers?
It’s a great pleasure, to be one of the Top Run’s founders with Agnello brothers. I remember it was 1977, and we met Agnello brothers and they had a fantastic talent to build rally cars; and us the others colleagues – like Sergio Secchi – had a good university knowledge, so we had the idea to organize a team for privateer drivers, to build cars at a level it was difficult to find and we had the luck to start with Jorge Recalde which was really positive for the history of our sporting life. So, today they call me again to tell me about this project with Antonio and Alfonso Agnello, and, of course, Michele’s supervision. And, I feel fantastic honored, I’m sure the team will be at the level of its fame, especially in Argentina, a country we love because with them we got recognized in the world. We have much acknowledgment in Australia and many people following us anywhere in the world.

Will the team use the new WRX STI with official support from Japan?

Yes, the model we will use is Subaru WRX STI, with this same car FHI had a big success in the 24 hours of Nürburgring, winning the SP3T class; so, the Japanese are too confident in Top Run, Varese people, and Agnello brothers. There is a Japanese official support because they trust in the exclusive development made by the experience of Agnello brothers, but all the engineers are working in Varese with Agnello brothers.

What’s the team’s work-plan thinking about the first round in Singapore by mid-September?

I believe the first car will be ready to start with the tests in last week of July, and we’ll do track test in a tiny circuit near Top Run team’s factory, in August first week. Later, with the car in optimal conditions, we’ll have a whole test day in the famous Monza circuit, at the same track used by TCR during last May round. This way, we will get the times to compare whether the car’s levels are competitive and satisfying. Then if we like how the car goes that first week we’ll send it with the spare parts by plane to Singapore to the first race.

Will Agnello brothers responsible to building and assembling those Subaru WRX STI for this significant new project?

Yes, as I told before, the whole TCR project it’s exclusively for the Agnello brothers development, and the car will be set in Varese by Top Run Motorsport and their engineers.

Will the test be done in August in Italy with driver Roberto Russo?

Yes, tests will start in August and sure Roberto Russo will drive, as he has an amazing experience winning many races with Agnello brothers and Top Run; in Italian touring tournament with Lancia Delta Integrale, Nissan Skyline Type R, Alfa Romeo and Lamborghini Super Trophy; and in 8 cylinders Superstars with Mercedes. And, he’s a serious driver, works almost as if Antonio was in the car with him, so we trust in him more than in any other driver. Sure, we will have other drivers testing, likely Gian Maria Gabbiani, the young son of Beppe Gabbiani; which was an important Italian driver that raced at the same time as Ángel Guerra, they both are close friends of us. So, Gian Maria Gabbiani will do the tests with the last evolution car for Top Run.

Japan STI contract with Top Run expects 2 regular cars and 2 spare cars WRX STI version for the new program TCR 2015/2016?

That’s a new subject, is a Top Run’s idea with Subaru as an adviser. Top Run will totally build Subaru’s TCR cars, so it’s impossible to buy a TCR Subaru car in Japan, as the whole project – from development to commercial operation – is in Top Run hands. The same happens to Honda working only with JAS. That is why other brands are considering to enter the championship, Volkswagen with Audi and Seat from Spain.
The contract isn’t about 2 or 4 cars, is about building TCR cars and fulfill all the requests we’ll surely receive, hopefully for different drivers worldwide. We already have requests from Asia to the end of August, and, of course, Subaru is an important and famous brand in Asia so it will be something very important.

Do Agnello brothers and Top Run much enthusiastic with this initiative to return to the forefront positions?

Indeed, it’s like having pure adrenaline again, it’s a huge motivation for the guys that work to prepare these cars. This is something new, a new fight, something that brings to Top Run people an amazing extra motivation to work hard. For sure we’ll get important results, in this championship that, I think, will be among the more competitive, well-regarded and interesting during the next few years; the television is ideal with 3 or 4 presentations along Formula 1 and a wide TV global coverage. I’m sure it will become one of the most interesting championships of the next few years.

Does the team confident and motivated after Subaru STI chose Top Run to represent this Japanese car maker in the TCR championship?

Yes. Subaru is a brand that has a big trajectory worldwide, and we – with our experience – will work closely to make sure the good results to Top Run and the Japanese maker.

Have started solid talks with Lucas and Miguel Ángel Guerra to get an important program for TCR 2016?
Yes, that’s true, last week we meet with Miguel Ángel Guerra and his son Lucas at Varese factory. I’ve seen Lucas racing, he is a good driver so we have plans for him if Top Race championship commitments during this year left him a free weekend. For the Monza tests, he will travel to Italy to feel the car. We would like to form an Argentinean team to take part in this international championship, isn’t a touring world cup, but it’s almost similar. Personally, I’m sure Lucas has the skills and the driving technique to become one of Top Run drivers, but let’s see what happens in August, how the car goes and if he likes this front-wheel drive car.

Would it be nice for the team to have Guerra family again working in this auspicious competition plan; to repeat the success of Lancia at Italian Super Turismo 1993 with Miguel Ángel along with Juan María Traverso and the remembered Carlitos Menem Jr?

It sure would be nice to work with Guerra family again, we had a fantastic experience in 1993 when he won the Italian championship, fighting until the last race with Juan María Traverso. Another great high-ranked driver. We always had the luck to work with high-level drivers, I would love to travel to Buenos Aires to meet Pablo Peón and Fernando Croceri. Not to forget our beloved Carlitos Menem, who was a fantastic driver in both rally and circuits where I saw him twice going as fast as in rallies. He was really a great person and driver and he’s an important memory in Top Run history. But who’s always present in our factory is our friend Jorge Recalde, he was a real master of racing organization, professionalism and everything, he opened Argentina’s door to us, gave us the possibility to meet good drivers that gave several superb results to the team. And, we’re very grateful, so Jorge has always a special place in our heart.

Does TCR International Series characterize as a world-level racing series organized by FIA?

Does it very important to get a global calendar in and out of Europe, with equal or more significant television than Formula 1? As I explained before, TCR International Series is a fantastic idea created by Marcelo Lotti, and a planning much appreciated by Bernie Ecclestone himself. Let me tell you about this, I attended the first two races of the season in Sepang and Shanghai as F1’s supported races. Next race of September 20th in Singapore will be as F1 invited too. So, Bernie Ecclestone has a large interest in this series inside and outside Europe. This championship really it’s a much global organization in this environment of world touring cars. It’s named International Series because it’s a world championship. The calendar program of this year has 6 races outside Europe and the 5 left in Old Continent, none of them twice in the same country. Argentina couldn’t organize a round due to different reasons, so we were twice at Spielberg circuit in Austria, with a very interesting round. But let’s highlight that it’s a world championship series and each country will have its own series because it’s organized by FIA. Yesterday we read the news that Thailand will have its own TCR championship on 2016. Hence it’s essential to emphasize that this world tournament gives each country the opportunity to take part. Besides, this year we’ve several car makers participation such as Seat, Honda, Audi, Ford and Opel. Some take part for the whole year, as Seat and Honda, and others just in given rounds and tests to be ready for next year. Ourselves with Subaru will be perfectly ready for 2016, and we’ll build a car for the year-end in Singapore and Thailand. Volkswagen started to work with a new car, we saw pictures of their new prototype concept doing secret tests, but they are in because we met in Salzburgring with VW’s people, so with them seven brands will take part in 2016. And, surely the French: Renault, Peugeot and Citroën are looking. And, I think Volvo will get interested, also Hyundai from Korea and other European brands. Thus it’s a real world cup. It’s a championship that will always have much importance in track’s touring cars classes. And, to embrace this issue Ecclestone agreed with Marcelo Lotti allowing him the possibility to use the same channels that broadcast Formula 1 worldwide. This is much important if you see the official video at TCR website announcing the huge coverage this championship already has, there is television coverage everywhere.

To wrap-up, does any chance to incorporate a rally Impreza WRX STI, for the intense activity program of next year with Johan Heloïse and “Gio” Di Palma?

Yes, rallies will be one of the main goals for 2016. Top Run born with rallies, so it surely we won’t forget how important and meaningful it’s for us. We’re trying to build rally cars for Johan Heloíse and “Gio” Di Palma too and see how they can continue. And, we would love to have drivers from Argentina – who gave us much joy – in the team. Likely next year we will take part in a rally again.




Copia di 09-09-2009 16.10.28_2763




Bernie Ecclestone (GBR) and Bernie Ecclestone (GBR)

31.05.2015 - Race 1, Grid Girls














Media & Comunicación Top Run Motorsport
Rally Report Magazine Argentina

Translation: María Laura Curzi by RRM Argentina
Photo: Media & Comunication Top Run Motorsport

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada.

Este sitio usa Akismet para reducir el spam. Aprende cómo se procesan los datos de tus comentarios.

Rally Report Magazine Argentina 15 años




This post is also available in: English (Inglés) Deutsch (Alemán) Español




30 September 2015

Chris Atkinson has won the latest round of the Chinese Rally Championship in the VW Golf SCRC. Atkinson won comfortably by a minute and 40 seconds from Mark Higgins in the Subaru and Manfred Stohl in a Citroen DS3.

Chen Dean in the second Golf was fifth with Li ninth in the third car.

That makes it three wins from four events for Atkinson as the Championship heads to the next round Longyou at the end of October. Longyou was the debut event for the VW Golf SCRC last year when Atkinson to its maiden win.












Cedric Journel / Dongwei Zhang
Media & Comunication
Faw-Volkswagen Rally Team

Admin and Translation:

Rally Report Magazine Argentina

Ben Sayer
Media Prodrive Motorsport

Foto: Media Prodrive Motorsport

Continue Reading

Rally Report Magazine Argentina 15 años




This post is also available in: English (Inglés) Deutsch (Alemán) Español


La leyenda del rally Sébastien Loeb se une al “Dream Team” de Peugeot-Total.

Sebastien Loeb poses for a portrait in Peugeot Sport workshop, France, on September 21, 2015
Sébastien Loeb, el mejor piloto de rally de todos los tiempos, se enfrentará al mayor reto de su carrera al unirse por primera vez al equipo de Peugeot en el legendario Dakar del próximo mes de enero.


29 Septiembre 2015

El nueve veces campeón del WRC y plusmarquista del Pikes Peak se ha unido al equipo de Peugeot 2008DKR junto a Carlos Sainz para el Rally du Maroc del próximo mes (del 3 al 9 de octubre) antes de hacer frente al mayor reto de este deporte, el Dakar, durante 13 días en Argentina y Bolivia en 2016. Junto a él en Sudamérica también estarán Stéphane Peterhansel y Cyril Despres completando así el “dream team” de pilotos de Peugeot-Total.

El francés de 41 años, Sébastien Loeb, uno de los pilotos con más éxito de la historia de los deportes de motor con un porcentaje de victorias sin precedentes del 46,2% en el WRC dijo: “Descubrí los deportes de motor cuando tenía 18 años y empecé a competir en mis primeros rallys. Desde entonces me han interesado todo tipo de deportes de motor y el Dakar es uno de ellos. Creo que es un gran reto competir y conducir en el desierto”.

“El Dakar es completamente diferente a las carreras que hago en este momento. va a ser muy larga, más de dos semanas, y necesitas tener aguante para cuidar del conductor y del coche. Es una carrera con un enfoque distinto pero lo descubriré en enero”.

Hasta entonces, Loeb se unirá a Sainz en Marruecos para su debut en el competitivo Cross Country, aunque ya pilotó el rival de Peugeot a principios de año. Para Loeb ésta será una reunión muy especial pues ya fue compañero de equipo de Sainz durante su primera temporada completa en el Mundial de Rallys del 2003, hasta que el español se tuvo que retirar del WRC de 2004. En Marruecos Sainz pilotará el último Peugeot 2008DKR16 mientras que Loeb pilotará un coche con especificaciones de 2015.

“Cuando probé el PEUGEOT 2008DKR en junio me sorprendió muchísimo y por supuesto ha cambiado mucho desde entonces”, dijo Loeb -que en la actualidad está compitiendo en el Campeonato Mundial de Turismos de la FIA con Citroen.

“Lo que más me impactó fue lo diferente que es conducir el coche del Dakar, era una experiencia completamente nueva para mí. En el WRC acostumbro a rodear obstáculos pero con este coche puedes simplemente pasar por encima, ¡y cuesta tener la suficiente confianza en uno mismo para creer que puedes hacerlo!”

“ También estoy acostumbrado a tener notas de copiloto muy detalladas pero en el Cross Country tienes que abrirte paso e improvisar tu ruta. Esta, además, es la primera vez que he pilotado diferentes tipos de coche diesel en una competición por lo que tengo que aprender mucho pero tengo muchas ganas de hacerlo”.

Además de haber ganado más rallys, etapas especiales y campeonatos que cualquier otro piloto, Sébastien Loeb también se ha convertido en el “Rey del Peak” al batir el record del Pikes Peak Hillclimb con Peugeot y Red Bull hace dos años en América. Un triunfo épico que ya forma parte de la historia legendaria de los deportes de motor.

Ahora forma parte del mejor equipo que se haya enfrentado jamás al Dakar. Tal y como dijo el 11 veces campeón del Dakar Stéphane Peterhansel: “Sébastien Loeb es un referente del motor. Hay muy poco que yo o cualquier otro le pueda enseñar”.

El cinco veces campeón de motos Cyril Despres añadió: “Desde que cambié las dos ruedas por cuatro, la experiencia no ha hecho más que mejorar. Y saber que ahora Sébastien se une al equipo la remata aún más”.

El dos veces campeón del WRC y campeón del Dakar en 2010 Carlos Sainz, que será una vez más el compañero de Loeb en Marruecos dijo: “No tengo nada más que decir sobre Sébastien que no haya dicho ya. Por supuesto que el rally raid va a ser una nueva aventura para él, pero va a ser capaz de adaptarse sin problemas. Como yo mismo he podido comprobar aprende muy rápido”.

“El Dakar es algo que me llama, es una gran aventura”, añadió Loeb, quien ya dominó el Pikes Peak y el WTCC. “El rally en Marruecos me mostrará lo que es realmente el Cross Country, así que para mí esta es una oportunidad fantástica para aprender, en especial al lado de unos compañeros tan buenos”.

Tal y como pasó con sus nueve títulos mundiales y sus 78 victorias en el WRC hasta la fecha, Loeb tendrá como copiloto al campeón mundial de deportes de motor monegasco Daniel Elena. Marruecos marcará la vuelta de la pareja con más éxito jamás vista en la historia del motor que emprende una nueva aventura juntos tras 17 gloriosos años en los rallys.

Al igual que Loeb, el copiloto de 42 años Elena nunca ha competido antes en Cross Country, pero se ha preparado a fondo para las exigencias de la navegación más dura del mundo, en la que los equipos tienen que reaccionar rápidamente para conquistar el terreno offroad más sobrecogedor. Cuentan además con la ayuda de un sofisticado sistema de GPS que les guiará de punto a punto.

El director deportivo de Peugeot Bruno Famin comentó: “ Sébastien fue impresionante desde que se sentó en el coche, como ya sabíamos tras haber trabajado con él anteriormente. Adoptó ese enfoque calculado que tanto le caracteriza para entender el coche paso a paso, pero después su habilidad natural se encargó del resto. Tras mejorar diferentes aspectos del coche desde la última vez que estuvimos en el Dakar, el fichaje de Sébastien Loeb es la pieza que le faltaba al puzzle”.


The 2008 DKR 16 in Peugeot Sport workshop, France, on September 21, 2015








Cécile Estenave
Peugeot Sport France

Admin and Translation:

Media & Comunication TGS Worldwide
Media Toni Gardemeister Driving Academy

Rally Report Magazine Argentina
Comunity Manager 

Continue Reading

Rally Report Magazine Argentina 15 años




This post is also available in: English (Inglés) Deutsch (Alemán) Español


Rally Legend Sébastien Loeb joins “D-ream TEAM Peugeot-Total”.

Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena pose for a portrait during the Peugeot test in Erfoud, Morocco on September 16, 2015

Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena pose for a portrait during the Peugeot test in Erfoud, Morocco on September 16, 2015

29 September 2015

Rally Legend Sébastien Loeb joins “D-ream TEAM Peugeot-Total” © Flavien Duhamel/Red Bull Content Pool

Velizy-Villacoublay, France
Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Sébastien Loeb, the greatest rally driver ever, will take on one of the biggest challenges of his illustrious career when he lines up as part of Peugeot’s dream team at the legendary Dakar in January for the first time.

The nine-time World Rally Championship winner and Pikes Peak record-holder has joined Peugeot’s 2008DKR line-up alongside Carlos Sainz for next month’s Rallye du Maroc (October 3-9) before facing the sport’s toughest challenge, the Dakar, over 13 days in Argentina and Bolivia in 2016. Joining him in South America will also be Stéphane Peterhansel and Cyril Despres, completing Team Peugeot Total’s dream team driver line-up.

The 41-year old Loeb, one of the most successful drivers in the history of motorsports, with an unprecedented 46.2% wins-to-starts ratio in WRC, said: “I only discovered motorsports when I was 18 and I started competing in my first rallies. Since then I have been interested in all types of different motorsports and Dakar is one of them. I think it’s a great challenge to go and compete there and drive in the desert.

“The Dakar is completely different from the racing I’m doing at the moment. It will be very long, over two weeks, and you need to have the endurance to look after the driver and the car. It’s another approach to racing but I’ll discover that in January.”

Before then, Loeb will line up with Sainz in Morocco next week for his competitive Cross Country debut – although he already tested Peugeot’s Dakar challenger in the country earlier this year. For Loeb, this will be a very special reunion: he was previously team-mates with Sainz for his very first full season in the World Rally Championship in 2003, until the Spaniard decided to end his WRC career at the end of 2004. In Morocco, Sainz will drive the latest PEUGEOT 2008DKR16 whereas Loeb will drive a 2015-specification car.

“When I tried the PEUGEOT 2008DKR out in June, it was immediately very impressive for me – and of course it has changed a lot since then,” said Loeb, who is currently competing in the FIA WTCC with Citroen.

“What struck me most of all is how the Dakar car was a completely new experience: in the WRC I have been used to going round obstacles but with this car you can just drive straight over them, and it takes some time to have the confidence to believe it!

“I’ve also been used to having very detailed pace notes: in Cross Country, you have to find the road for yourself and improvise your route. And this is actually the first time I have driven any type of diesel car in competition too. So there is a lot for me to learn, but I am eager to find out more.”

As well as winning more rallies, special stages and championships than any other driver, Sébastien Loeb also became ‘King of the Peak’ when he pulverised the Pikes Peak hill climb record with Peugeot and Red Bull two years ago in America: an epic feat that is already remembered as a legendary part of motorsport history.

Now he forms part of the greatest team ever to tackle the Dakar. As 11-time Dakar winner Stéphane Peterhansel said: “Sébastien Loeb is a reference in motorsport. There’s very little that I, or anybody else, can teach him.”

Five-time bike winner Cyril Despres added: “Since I made the switch from two wheels to four, the experience has got better and better. And to see Sébastien arrive in the team now, everything is complete.”

Two-time WRC champion and Dakar 2010 winner Carlos Sainz, who will be Loeb’s team-mate once more in Morocco, concluded: “There is nothing more I can say about Sébastien that his career hasn’t said already. Of course rally raid will be a new adventure for him, but he has every capacity to adapt to it with no problem. As I have seen for myself in the past, he is a quick learner in everything he does.

“Dakar is something that appeals to me; it is a huge adventure,” added Loeb, who has already mastered rallying, Pikes Peak and the World Touring Car Championship. “The rally in Morocco will give me a very interesting idea of what Cross Country is all about, so this is a fantastic opportunity for me to learn; particularly alongside such successful team-mates.”

Just as has been the case throughout his nine world titles and 78 WRC victories to date, Loeb will be co-driven by Monaco’s motorsport world champion: Daniel Elena. Morocco will mark the comeback of the most successful pairing ever seen in the history of motorsport, as they start a new adventure together following 17 magnificent years in rallying.

Like Loeb, the 42-year-old Elena has never competed in Cross Country before, but he has undergone intensive training to prepare him for the demands of some of the most challenging navigation in the world, where crews have to think instantly on their feet to conquer the daunting off-road landscape. They are aided by sophisticated GPS equipment, guiding their route from waypoint to waypoint.

Peugeot Sport director Bruno Famin commented: “Sébastien was impressive from the moment he first sat in the car, as we knew would be the case after having had the privilege of working with him before. He took his usual measured approached to understand the car step by step: from there his natural ability took over. Having improved the car in several different areas since we were last at the Dakar, the signing of Sébastien Loeb is the final piece in the puzzle.”











Cécile Estenave
Peugeot Sport France

Admin and Translation:

Media & Comunication TGS Worldwide
Media Toni Gardemeister Driving Academy

Rally Report Magazine Argentina
Comunity Manager

Continue Reading