Andreucci-Andreussi on Peugeot 207 S2000 leading the 34th Rally Il Ciocco e Valle Del Serchio at the end of day 1

25/03/2011 - Paolo Andreucci and Anna Andreussi on the official Peugeot 207 S2000 lead the standings after day 1 of the Italian Rally Championship season opener ended this evening at 17.30 local time (GMT+1) in Castelnuovo Garfagnana. The reigning Italian Champions won four of the five stages run out of the six scheduled. Stage one was cancelled due to majeure force after a fire requiring the intervention of fire marshals. Second provisional position for Luca Rossetti and Matteo Charcossi on official Abarth winners of stage 3.

Despite a little bit of understeering, Andreucci pushed hard in the first stage -- the "Orecchiella"'s 14.8km and gained 5''5 on the Abarth driver. Rossetti hit back and recovered half a second in the 13.81km of the following stage "Careggine". Andreucci won again afterwards stages 4, 5 and 6.

A tight duel also for the third provisional position involved the young Umberto Scandola with his navigator Guido D'Amore on Ford Fiesta S2000 and the experienced Gianfranco Cunico with Rudi Pollet at his side on Peugeot 207 S2000; currently the young Ford driver is having the best of his rival but the six times winner of Ciocco is chasing him closely. Scandola got on the podium since the start despite his Fiesta not being equipped with the latest updates on the tarmac setup.

The battle for the fifth position has been in the order of tenths between the other two Peugeot 207 S2000 and it involved Elwis Chentre with his navigator Carlo Canova and Rudy Michelini with Michele Perna at his side. The latter had the best of his rival in the first two stages but then he succeeded in stage 4 while in the long and last stage of the day the local driver gained again and got the lead for two tenths of a second at the end of the day. Seventh position for Alessandro Perico who is recovering together with his co-driver Fabrizio Carrara, after a puncture at the front right of his Peugeot 207 that cost him 36 seconds in stage 1.

The eighth provisional went to Alessio Pisi that got that position since the initial stages and afterwards avoided useless risks acquiring the right confidence with the Peugeot 207; he was followed by Maurizio Angrisani and his navigator Marco Pollicini on Mitsubishi Lancer EVO X, leaders of the "Production" championship. The two battled long with Fabio Gianfico at the wheel of the EVO IX, 11th at the end of day 1. The top ten included the debutant Mini John Cooper 1600 turbo of Andrea Perego. Unlucky was Nicola Caldani on Abarth Grande Punto who lamented problems with the setup and lost three positions in the last stage of the day finishing 12th.

On top of the standings of the two wheel classification is the French Francois Fraymouth on Renault New Clio R3, who is also the leader of the Trofeo Clio R3 Top 2011 classification; two victories , two second places and a fourth of the category awarded him with this position. He was challenged by two Italian drivers aiming at the title: the leader of juniors Alessandro Bosca, winner of two stages, Ivan Ferrarotti, currently second, and Andrea Nucita presently in fourth position.

Tomorrow, Saturday 26 March, the second and decisive day of the Italian Rally Championship season opener will start at 8.01 local time from park fermè at Ciocco. Seven stages are in the programme and the stage "Il Ciocco" of 1.14km will be covered live on Rai Sport at 13.50. The other stages will be "Noi TV" (Km 1,96) at 9.25 and 16.31; "S.Rocco" (Km 13,69) at 10.00 and 14.35; "Tereglio" (Km 16,46) at 11.02 and 15.37. Two reorderings in stage 2 at Castelnuovo di Garfagnana are scheduled for 12.02 and 16.54. Three service parks at 8.24, 12.42 and 17.09. The final finish line is scheduled at 17.30 on the nice stage of Porta Ariostesca in Castelnuovo Garfagnana.

The top ten after Day 1 follows:
1. Paolo Andreucci - Anna Andreussi (Peugeot 207 S2000) in 49´08"0;
2. Rossetti - Chiarcossi (Abarth Grande Punto) at 16"9;
3. Scandola - D´Amore (Ford fiesta S2000) at 48"8;
4. Cunico - Pollet (Peugeot 207 S2000) at 57"2;
5. Michelini - Perna (Peugeot 207 S2000) at 1´04"3;
6. Chentre - Canova (Peugeot 207 S2000) at 1´04"5;
7. Perico - Carrara (Peugeot 207 S2000) at 1´22"7;
8. Pisi - Cadore (Peugeot 207 S2000) at 1´43"3;
9. Angrisani - Pollicino (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO X) at 2´14"4;
10 Perego - Pizzuti (Mini John Cooper 1.6 T) at 2´24"9.

The calendar of the Italian Rally Championship follows:
24-26 March 34th Rally Il Ciocco e Valle del Serchio (LU);
14-16 April 35th Rally Mille Miglia (BS);
6-7 May 30th Rally Costa Smeralda (OT);
3-4 June 95th Targa Florio (PA);
16-18 June 45th Rally del Salento;
15-16 July 24th Rally San Crispino (FC);
2-3 September 47th Rally del Friuli (UD);
16-18 September 31st Rally San Martino di Castrozza (TN).