It couldn’t be otherwise. Thierry Neuville in Hyundai i20 R5 he was the best at the end of the first special sprint of just 1.98 km of the Il Ciocco Valle del Serchio Rally, the opening race of CIR 2021. The Belgian, accompanied by the now usual Martijn Wydaeghe, preceded the Italian champion by 2 “7 , as well as home idol Paolo Andreucci on Skoda Fabia R5, winning the 4 extra points up for grabs. The Garfagnino presented himself with an unprecedented navigator. Instead of life partner Anna Andreussi, this time on his right is Francesco Pinelli.
Third place of the day for another well-known name in the WRC, but definitely more accustomed to Italian racing, that is Craig Breen himself on Hyundai i20 R5.
Fourth at 2 ”9 was the Skoda Fabia EVO of Stefano Albertini, who therefore won the last point up for grabs.
Reigning champion Andrea Crugnola, who switched to Hyundai, entered fifth position at 3 ”7, ahead of Giacomo Scattolon’s Volskwagen Polo R5 and Tommaso Ciuffi’s Skoda Fabia R5, both with the same gap from the top.
Alessio Profeta in a Skoda Fabia E5 mocked Luca Bottarelli’s Ford Fiesta R%, albeit by very little. Closing the top 10 was Erik Cais’ Ford Fiesta Rally 2, at the start to warm up ahead of ERC’s debut.
Only seventeenth at 5 ”8 Giandomenico Basso on Skoda Fabia EVO due to a problem at the start.
Among the R2s, the Ford Fiesta Rally 4 of the Estonian Robert Virves preceded the Peugeot 208 of Ilario Bondioni and of Claudio Gubertini.
Il Ciocco and Valle del Serchio Rally classification after PS1:
- T. Neuville Hyundai i20 R5 1’55.410
- P. Andreucci Skoda Fabia R5 +2.720
- 3 C. Breen Hyundai i20 R5 +2.776
- S. Albertini Skoda Fabia EVO +2.973
- 5 . A. Crugnola Hyundai i20 R5 +3.709
- G. Scattolon Volkswagen Polo R5 +3.809
- T. Ciuffi Skoda Fabia R5 +3.809
- A. Profeta Skoda Fabia R5 +4.208
- L. Bottarelli Ford Fiesta R5 +4.225
- E. Ford Fiesta Rally 2 wharf +4,226