CIR SPARCO 2021 | Neuville and Wydaeghe, Hyundai i20 R5, win the 44th Rally Il Ciocco e Valle del Serchio

Stefano Albertini and Danilo Fappani, Skoda Fabia Evo R5, completed an extraordinary rally taking all the points in the Sparco Italian Rally Championship. The third place – second in the championship – went to Basso-Granai, Skoda Fabia Evo. The rally has been fully broadcast live on ACI Sport TV, Facebook at the Federation and Championship pages and RAI Sport followed some moments live too.

Barga (LU), Saturday, March 13th 2021 – A good show, non-stop, was put on at the 44th Rally Il Ciocco e Valle del Serchio that has kicked off the Sparco Italian Rally 2021 Championship. The rally has been broadcast with over fifteen hours of live coverage on ACI Sport TV and the Facebook official pages of ACI Sport and of the Championship.

The winners of edition 2021 are Thierry Neuville and Martijn Wydaeghe, in Hyundai I20 R5, that completed their run in 1:02'32.2. The Belgian, who is one of the official drivers of Hyundai Motorsport, kept an incredible pace allowing him to dominate the race. The transparency of Neuville for the Sparco CIR awarded full points to Stefano Albertini and Danilo Fappani that have often been very close to the Skoda Fabia Evo R5 of the five times vice-Champion of WRC and ended second. This is an exceptional start of the season for the Italian crew that also secured the win of the Asphalt CIR that they won last year.

Giandomenico Basso and Lorenzo Granai managed to get on the third step of the podium in their Skoda Fabia R5 Evo at 31’’4 from Neuville. This was a good satisfaction for the Italian driver who managed to get the right feeling with the car and itinerary only in the final loop where he posted the best time.

One of the best Italian young talents, Fabio Andolfi with Stefano Savoia in the Fabia R5, ended at the feet of the podium at +17’’4 . The Italian driver fought with his fellow ACI Team Italia’s driver Damiano De Tommaso and Massimo Bizzocchi, but the latter had to stop when was only 0.1s shy of Andolfi because he ripped off the rear left wheel of his Citroen C3 R5 in a contact. Craig Breen and Andrea Crugnola were unlucky instead. The Hyundai Motorsport driver went straight on in a bent with his I20 R5 at halfway through, while the reigning champion Crugola broke an axle shaft of his Hyundai i20 R5 early on and ended the rally in tenth place.


The day has been quite intense on the tests of Massa Sassorosso, Careggine and Molazzana for all the protagonists of the nine stages, Rudy Michelini, Volkswagen Polo R5, ended his effort within the top five despite some mistakes in the closing stages. He was therefore fourth in the Sparco CIR and third in the Asphalt Trophy. Tommaso Ciuffi was sixth in the rally and fifth in the championship and was happy about his learning in the Skoda R5. He was followed by Marco Signor who has always tried to get the right rhythm in the Polo R5. The home driver Paolo Andreucci used this rally to refine the setup of the car for the Italian Gravel Trophy and run the rally on the back foot, ending ninth overall. Among the other protagonists of the Sparco Italian Rally Championship, things did work on-off due also to some wrong tyre choices for Giacomo Scattolon, Polo R5, Luca Bottarelli who was at the debut in Ciocco in the Ford Fiesta R5, and Alessio Profeta, Fabia R5, the latter two drivers are part of the ACI team Italia. Marco Pollara had an incident in the Citroen C3 R5 during the fifth test.

In the 2WD championship, Andrea and Giuseppe Nucita at the debut in the Peugeot 208 Rally4, led a combative Giacomo Guglielmini in the Ford Fiesta Rally 2 and Christopher Lucchesi in the 208. The Italian R1 was won by Davide Nicelli Jr. in the Renault Clio, who led the French RS Line of Pier Francesco Verbilli.

In the Suzuki Rally Cup, Simone Goldoni won the battle with Giorgio Fichera, both in the Swift R1 Hybrid. The two were followed by the young Igor Iani, also in the Swift Hybrid.

In the 6th Zone Rally Cup ACI Sport, the victory out of the 66 entrants went to Federico Gasperetti and Federico Ferrari, Skoda Fabia R5. The two got past Luca Panzani and Alessia Bertagna, Skoda Fabia R5, in the closing stages. The podium of the Tuscan CRZ was completed by Claudio Arzà and Massimo Moriconi in the Citroen C3 R5.


OVERALL CLASSIFICATION RALLY IL CIOCCO E VALLE DEL SERCHIO: 1. Neuville-Wydaeghe (Hyundai I20 R5) in 1:02'32.2; 2. Albertini-Fappani (Skoda Fabia Evo) a 22.7; 3. Basso-Granai (Skoda Fabia Evo) a 31.4; 4. Andolfi-Savoia (Skoda Fabia R5) a 40.1; 5. Michelini-Perna (Volkswagen Polo R5) a 1'00.3; 6. Ciuffi-Gonella (Skoda Fabia R5) a 1'10.9; 7. Paperini-Cicognini (Skoda Fabia R5) a 48.4; 8. Signor-Pezzoli (Volkswagen Polo R5) a 1'24.0; 9. Andreucci-Pinelli (Skoda Fabia R5) a ; 10. Crugnola-Ometto (Hyundai i20 R5) a 1’27.5

SPARCO CIR AFTER ROUND 1: 1.Albertini (Skoda Fabia Evo) 21 pt; 2.Basso (Skoda Fabia EVO) 15 pt; 3. Andolfi (Skoda Fabia R5) 12 pt; 4.Michelini (VW Polo R5) 10 pt; 5.Ciuffi (Skoda Fabia R5) 8; 6.Signor (VW Polo R5) 6.

CIR ASPHALT AFTER ROUND 1: 1.Albertini (Skoda Fabia R5 EVO) 23 pt; 2.Andolfi (Skoda Fabia) 15; 3.Michelini (VW Polo R5) 12

CIR 2WD AFTER ROUND 1: 1.Nucita (Peugeot 208 Rally4) 15; 2.Guglielmetti (Ford Fiesta Rally2) 12; 3.Lucchesi (Peugeot 208 Rally4) 10.

The pictures: the final podium of the Rally del Ciocco and, below, the Skoda Fabia R5 Evo of Albertini and Basso