The 45th Rally of Salento is the fifth round of the Italian Rally Championship

Lecce 15 June 2011 – The Italian Rally Championship will be on stage in Puglia from 16 to 18 June for the 45th Rally of Salento. The historic race will be held in the south of Italy's heel and has been organized by the Automobile Club Lecce in collaboration with the Scuderia Piloti Salentini and the Ciocco Centro Motori.

Four races run so far, four more still to run for the Italian Rally Championship that has expressed some verdicts in the absolute classification but that is also living decisive stages in terms of the Junior and Production classifications.

The young Andrea Nucita is called to defend his leadership on several sides as he is leading the Italian Junior Championship, the Two Wheel Drive Trophy, the Renault Clio R3 Top Trophy and the junior classification of the same single-brand championship too.
In the tricolored series reserved to the youngest drivers, the Sicilian currently leads Andrea Carella from Piacenza, both on Renault New Clio R3C.

Citroens also appeared quite strong at the horizon with the official Ds3R3s driven by Simone Campedelli and Andrea Crugnola. In fact, Campedelli is currently third in the Junior tricolored classification and won the debut race at the 1000 Miglia.

Even more uncertain is the situation in the Production Championship. After an amazing start, Maurizio Angrisani had to withstand the counter-charge of Fabio Gianfico, both on Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X; the two drivers are currently just 6 points apart with Angrisani leading the charts.

Not less thrilling is the situation in the absolute classification though. All the strongest drivers of the highest series will be at the start of the 45th Rally of Salento: the reigning Italian Champion Paolo Andreucci on the official Peugeot 207 S2000, with Anna Andreussi reading the notes, leads the classification with 100 points, obtained thanks to the hat trick in the previous round of the championship. Luca Rossetti on Abarth Grande Punto S2000 will hunt for a meaningful first victory in Salento, supported by the very good times set at the Targa Florio guarda tutti dall’alto dei suoi 100

Behind the leading couple the situation is more tangled: the Veronese Umberto Scandola on Ford Fiesta S2000-A Style will look for useful points and perhaps even the first victory to give some continuity to his season. Scandola, with Guido D'Amore at his side, is followed closely by the driver from Bergamo Alessandro Perico, who is also driving a Peugeot 207 S2000 that will also be called to defend the leadership in the Independents. Elwis Chentre and Gianfranco Cunico's gap from the frontrunners is still recoverable and the two will push their Peugeot 207 S2000 to try and fill it.

The programme of the 45th Rally of Salento will start on Thursday 16 June with pre-race verifications, the Shakedown and the starting ceremony and two stages within the La Conca circuit.
Day two will be held on Friday 17 June and will comprise of three stages on the “Specchia” (14,87 km) and “Ciolo” (11,72 km) with the end of the day scheduled for 20.15 (local time, GMT+2) in Mazzini's square in Lecce. Day three is scheduled for Saturday 18 June and its programme will be starting from Lecce at 8.00; drivers will run two stages on the “Miggiano” (12,54 km) and“Palombara” (18,34 km). The second run of these stages will be proceeded by the stage “Mare del Salento” (1,61 km), live on Italian TV Rai Sport Due. The Rally's final chequered flag is scheduled for 18.30 in Mazzini's square in Lecce. The total racing will involve 739,09 Km, 152,46 split in 13 stages.