102nd Targa Florio: Champions battling on the streets of the classic Sicilian rally

Everybody against ten times winner Paolo Andreucci in the third round of the Italian Rally Championship


Thursday, May 3rd, 2018 – A few hours are left before the 102nd Targa Florio, the rally organized by Automobile Club Palermo in collaboration with Automobile Club d’Italia. The best of the Italian Rally Championship, that runs here its third round, will be at the start, as those of the 2WD Italian Championship, Junior, Regional Championship Sicily and Italian Rally Historic Cars. The wait is going to end tomorrow Friday, May 4th at local 17:30 in the square Giuseppe Verdi in Palermo, right before the super special stage “Blutec” that will also enjoy live streaming through the ACI Sport website and Facebook page of the Italian Rally Championship.

Regarding the main actors of the classic Sicilian rally, all eyes will be on Paolo Andreucci, Anna Andreussi and their Peugeot 208 T16 R5. The Tuscan winner of the first two rounds of the Italian Championship (i.e. Ciocco and Sanremo), will get to the start as the main contender in the race that suits particularly his driving as he won it ten times. Rivals are strong in this season and will definitely try and challenge him, as done in the previous rounds of the campaign.

Among the main rivals of the champion from Tuscany, Simone Campedelli will be on Fiesta R5, Andrea Crugnola on another Fiesta R5 and Umberto Scandola on Fabia R5 run by Skoda Motorsport Italia. The first will have co-driver Tania Canton on his side and gets to Sicily resolute to build on the second place obtained in Sanremo. The second and co-driver Danilo Fappani on Ford Fiesta R5 run by Ford Racing Italia will try and repeat the good performance put in in the first two races and fight for the victory. For Scandola, this race comes in the best moment to try and bounce back from the bad luck of the first two rounds of the series, that ended with the third step on the podium at Sanremo. He will continue to learn the new Dmack tyres on the particular Sicilian tarmacs.

The warmth of supporters will push especially Marco Pollara and Giuseppe Princiotto, on the second car lined up by Peugeot Italia. The two have been very quick so far, but also unlucky. The driver from Messina will certainly run a strong race on the streets he knows very well and will have the chance to show his value on the R5. Fans will also cheer the performance of some always very quick underdogs like Andrea Nucita on Hyundai I20 R5 and Salvatore Riolo on Skoda Fabia R5.

Strong performances are also awaited from the other drivers entered in the Italian Championship like Antonio Rusce, on Ford Fiesta R5, Rudy Michelini, on Skoda Fabia, Luca Panzani on Ford Fiesta Evo II, Kevin Gilardoni, on Ford Fiesta, as well as from the Skoda Fabias driven by Giacomo Scattolon, Leopoldo Maestrini, Federico Santini and Alessio Profeta. Giuseppe Testa will also be back in Sicily on Ford Fiesta R5, after skipping Sanremo.

The race in Sicily will also be valid for the 2WD Italian Championship, Italian Rally Junior and Italian R1 Championship. In the 2WD, Ivan Ferrarotti, will try and fill the gap to Riccardo Canzian top, as the latter will not be present here, but he will also have to fend off the attacks moved by Christian Lucchesi on Abarth 124 Spider, Nicola Fiorillo, Alessandro Nerobutto and Damiano De Tommaso, who will run the Targa also in the Junior. In CIR Junior, the Peugeot Team and Aci Team Italia driver, will have to track down his rivals, particularly Tommaso Ciuffi, who is leading the standings and Andrea Mazzocchi, as both are ahead of him, but will also have to face the challenge of rivals of the likes of Lorenzo Coppe, Davide Nicelli, Jacopo Trevisani, and Stefano Strabello, all on Peugeot 208. Rachele Somaschini will also be present on Peugeot 208 R2. She is also partaking in the Italian Women Trophy.

The Italian R1 Championship will see six Suzuki Swift R1B present in Sicily but they will also contest the Suzuki Rally Trophy. Giorgio Cogni leads the Swifts so far but will have to face the challenge of Simone Rivia, Andrea Scalzotto, local hero Sergio Denaro, Stefano Martinelli and Fabio Poggio. Marco Limoncelli on DR1 SR run by A.S.D. LM Motorsport Racing will also contest the Italian R1.

The Targa Florio number 102 will start from Massimo square in Palermo tomorrow May 4th, while the finish line is set for Saturday, May 5th in the heart of Cefalù, Garibaldi square. The final classification will be drawn at the end of 16 stages comprising 155.03 km competitive in a total liason of 594.16 km.

Edition 2017 in the picture.