Pirelli driver Paolo Andreucci has triumphed on round six of the Italian Rally Championship, the 50th Rally del Friuli Venezia Giulia, in his Peugeot Italia 208 T16. The multiple Italian champion saw off strong rivals equipped with different tyres to dominate the event, claiming eight out of the 11 asphalt stages, held on demanding asphalt roads in the northeast of Italy.
|Andreucci triumphed on the Rally del Friuli|
Andreucci’s dominant performance meant that he made an important step towards claiming a seventh Italian title, on home territory for his co-driver and partner Anna Andreussi. Andreucci won by 45 seconds, while Alessandro Perico made an excellent debut in another Pirelli-equipped 208 T16, finishing third on his first event with the Peugeot to make it two Pirelli cars on the podium. Alessandro Bosca was a commendable fourth in a Pirelli-equipped Peugeot 207 S2000, which he was driving for the first time.
Andreucci is now just two points off the championship lead with two rounds to go, while victory for Stefano Albertini in the Junior championship, driving a Pirelli-equipped Peugeot 208 R2, also means that he closes in on the lead of the Junior standings.
Pirelli brought the latest RX7B tyre (for dry but slippery asphalt) as well as the RX5C and new RX5D tyres: the latest evolution for very abrasive asphalt and temperatures in excess of 30 degrees centigrade. The RX7B was used on the first leg, with the harder RX5C and RX5D on leg two. The RX family of tyres is designed to offer maximum durability without degradation even in the most extreme conditions. In particular, the square profile ensures a rapid and precise turn-in, one of the keys to Andreucci’s domination of the event from start to finish – which is well known for its long stages.
Andreucci, who has achieved the bulk of his career success with Pirelli, commented: “Given the championship situation, we came into this event knowing that we really had to win. We achieved that goal in a really strong way, if you look at the number of stages won. And we led the rally from the very start, steadily increasing our advantage. Our 208 T16 has gone from strength to strength and we’re delighted with all the work we did over the summer, together with Pirelli. This win is the result. I just tried to drive cleanly, and I was very pleased with the performance of the tyres on asphalt. Now we look forward to the next round on gravel.”
Ivan Ferrarotti won the Production category and also the Renault Clio Trophy in his new Clio R3, while Andrea Carella was on top of the Renault Twingo Trophy, completing Pirelli’s domination of the classes at the Rally del Friuli.
Pirelli product manager Terenzio Testoni concluded: “Our tyres performed faultlessly once more on this demanding and twisty event, helping to make Paolo probably the most successful driver currently at the wheel of the Peugeot 208 T16, with another victory. Friuli was crucial to his championship hopes and he delivered in style, helped by the latest evolution of our famous RX tyres, which gave him the precision and reliability he needed to negotiate one of the toughest events of the Italian Rally Championship. Congratulations also to Alessandro Perico, who took a well-deserved podium on his first outing with the Peugeot 208 T16, remaining fault-free on an event that caught many experienced drivers out. Proving the versatility of our tyres is the fact that we also won in the classes, against strong opposition once more. All of this underlines Pirelli’s commitment to motorsport at every level, from Formula One as well as in many other rally championships worldwide.”
The next round of the Italian Rally Championship is the all-gravel Rally Adriatico, which concludes on 21 September.
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