Doors open to the 69th Rallye Sanremo.
The Italians Crugnola, De Tommaso and Basso on the hunt for Craig Breen
The entry list of the Ligurian race is now official, valid for the Italian Championship and the Leggenda valid as well for the Area Rally Cup. With a total of 138 entries, the best Italian drivers will have to contend with the two-time winner in Sanremo Craig Breen and the other WRC driver Mads Ostberg. And for fans, nice news: the Service Park will be open for everyone with Green Pass and mask on.
SANREMO (IM), 4 April – The list that all rally enthusiasts were waiting for has arrived. Entries closed last Friday, the 69th Rallye Sanremo quickly heads to the start on Friday 8 April with some pleasant surprises for the fans. First of all, it is now official that it will be possible for enthusiasts to access the service park of the Old Railway Station as long as they are equipped with a Green Pass and wearing a mask, thus being able to meet their favorites drivers and observe the mechanics at work.
Breen returns to hunt for the hat-trick. Four participations in Sanremo, two with a top car and two victories. There is no denying it; there is a feeling between the Ligurian race and the Irish Craig Breen who every time he had a top car in his hands (Škoda Fabia R5 in 2019 and Hyundai i20 in 2021) has hit the mark by climbing on the top step of the podium. The official M Ford WRT driver returns to Western Liguria after a significant third place in Monte-Carlo and an unsatisfactory Swedish Rally, in preparation for the next world race in Croatia. For the occasion he will leave the Ford Puma Rally1 in the garage (category not admitted in the Italian championship races) and will get on the Ford Fiesta R5 co-driven for the first time by his compatriot John Rowan, who will temporarily replace Paul Nagle, who will resume his place in Zagreb. Breen-Rowan, however, will not be the only WRC drivers to participate in the 69th Rallye Sanremo. At the start with a second Fiesta we will also have the Norwegian Mads Ostberg, co-driven by the Swedish Patrik Bart with whom he won the Salgò Rally 2022 last week in Hungary.
The Italians will not stand by and watch. Obviously the national drivers are not at all willing to give hospitality and road to the two Ford foreigners. Starting with Andrea Crugnola and Pietro Elia Ometto, great stars of the first race of the Overall Italian Rally-Sparco Championship with the Citroën C3 Rally2 and for a few minutes the winner of last year’s Sanremo race, before the cancellation of the penalty, erroneously imposed to Breen, was canceled making him go down on the second step of the podium. The Varese driver is a veteran here in Sanremo, being in his ninth participation, having always obtained significant results in addition to second place last year, such as the victory in the Suzuki Cup in 2009 and the primacy among the Juniors in 2013. The Sanremo must be the race of redemption for Giandomenico Basso and Lorenzo Granai, not yet completely at ease with the Hyundai i20N at the debut of the il Ciocco Rally, a race in which they finished in third place. The driver from Veneto, reigning Italian Champion and patriarch of the national rally drivers in activity, boasts fifteen participations in the Sanremo Rallye crowned by three overall victories (2007, 2012, 2013) and the record in the long Ronde Stage of 59.99 km in the night of 2007, he still keeps the commemorative plaque in his pizzeria in Cavaso del Tomba (and he is keen to point out that also in 2012 he signed the best time in the Night Ronde Stage). In the match will certainly be Damiano de Tommaso (no longer Under 25 this year) co-driven by Giorgia Ascalone, who began the hunt for the title among the youngest drivers right here in Sanremo last season. The goal of 2022 for the driver from Varese, second at il Ciocco Rally, is to contend with Crugnola and Basso for the overall title and to conquer the Promotion title, the ranking of which he currently leads after the Tuscan victory.
Nineteen top cars for 19 drivers aiming to win. Nineteen crews driving Rally2 Class cars, among which it is reasonable to assume that there’ll be the winner of this 69th edition of the Rallye Sanremo. In addition to Crugnola, De Tommaso, Basso, Breen and Ostberg, the other protagonists of the higher category will be observed. Starting with Stefano Albertini-Danilo Fappani, Škoda Fabia Rally EVO, fourths at il Ciocco Rally and fourths last year in the Ligurian race, that they know well, as the driver from Brescia competed eleven times here. Great things are expected from Fabio Andolfi with Manuel Fenoli, flag of PrimoCanale Motori, media partner of the Sanremo Rallye. The Sanremo is the race of the Savona driver, seventh overall at Il Ciocco Rally with his Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo, which boasts a good tradition of results in Western Liguria, a rally he ended on the third step of the podium last season. To follow also the performances of a large group of contenders for the top places of the classification starting from the Tuscan driver Rudy Michelini with Michele Perna on the right seat, to the Škoda Fabia of Giacomo Scattolon-Giovanni Bernacchini.
Great things are expected from a couple of young Tuscan promises like Tommaso Ciuffi, co-driven by Nicolò Gonella, and Christopher Lucchesi jr who will have the expert mother Titti Ghilardi on the right seat; from the fast Como-born son of art Simone Miele with Eleonora Mori, from the Sicilian promise Alessio Profeta with Silvia Croce. As well as the gentlemen drivers Antonio Rusce who will share the Hyundai i20N with Giulia Paganoni and the “historic”driver who changed and start driving modern cars“Pedro” who will entrust the pace notes to Fulvio Florean from Savona to bring his Volkswagen Polo to the top. There will be also quite a few ladies at the wheel in the 69th Rallye Sanremo and four in the 14th Sanremo Leggenda. The first flying girl to leave the platform in front of the Casino on Friday afternoon will be Rachele Somaschini in a Citroën C3 Rally2 that she shares with Nicola Arena, on her fourth participation in Sanremo.
Sergio Maiga satisfied. «I am satisfied with the numbers achieved by this edition of the Rallye Sanremo with 80 crews in the race valid for the Italian Overall Rallye-Sparco Championship and 58 in the Sanremo Leggenda» said the organizer of the race. «Satisfaction also comes from having drivers like Craig Breen and Mads Ostberg, regular protagonists of the WRC, who will certainly give a hard time to our drivers who wants to bring the winner cup back to Italy after four years. There will be battle and show not only for the overall ranking. The challenge between the ten protagonists of CIRAS Junior, the series dedicated to future champions, which kicks off from Sanremo, will also be followed. And single-brand trophies like Peugeot and Suzuki. In short, a Sanremo to be enjoyed from srutineering at the Old Railway Station on Thursday afternoon 7 April till the arrival in front of the Casino on Saturday evening 9 April «.
The 69th edition of the Rallye Sanremo is valid for the Italian Overall Rally-Sparco Championship, the Italian Rally Promotion Championship, the Italian Two Wheel Drive Rally Championship (series of which this is the second round), as well as being the first round of the Italian Junior Championship, dedicated to the young promises of Italian rallying. The 69th Rallye Sanremo is also valid as the opening round of the FIA series of the Alps European Rally Trophy as well as the second round for the Suzuki Rally Cup, Peugeot 208 Rally Cup Top, single-make cups that will make the national challenge even more interesting.
The Sanremo Leggenda, now in its 14th edition, is valid for the Zone 2 Rally Cup (of which it is the second round), for the Michelin Zone Rally Cup and for the R Italian Trophy.
Last year it went like this:
68th Rallye Sanremo: 1) Breen-Nagle (Hyundai i20 R5), in 58’25”6; 2) Crugnola-Ometto (Hyundai i20 R5), diff. 4”8; 3) Andolfi-Savoia (Škoda Fabia R5), diff. 12”8.
13th Sanremo Leggenda-22nd Rally delle Palme: 1) Ferrarotti-Grimaldi (Škoda Fabia R5), 42’44”0; 2) Cortese-Verbicara (Škoda Fabia R5), diff. 1’21”4; 3) Porro-Cargnelutti (Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo), diff. 1’54”6.
Rally Start Arrival 69th Rallye Sanremo
Corso Imperatrice Friday 8 April, at 02.00 pm
Corso Imperatrice Saturday 9 April at 05.30 pm
14th Rallye Sanremo-Leggenda Corso Imperatrice
Saturday 9 April at 11.15 am Corso Imperatrice
Saturday 9 April at 07.40 pm