CIR 2019: a new campaign starting from Ciocco

The 42nd Rally Il Ciocco and Valle del Serchio, the first of the 8 rounds of the Italian Championship, will kick off the season on Friday, March 22nd from Forte dei Marmi. This is going to be quite an exciting challenge involving new and well-known protagonists of International rallying. CIR tarmac, CIR 2WD and CI R1 at the start too.

Il Ciocco, March 20th, 2019 - It was an old due Italian Rally Championship. The #CIR19 is all set to launch a new campaign this coming weekend with the 42nd edition of the Rally Il Ciocco and Valle del Serchio. The race organized by Organization Sport Events will take place on Friday, March 22nd and Saturday, March 23rd in Forte dei Marmi, Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, will open again the highest rallying Italian championship that will unfold in 8 rallies, 6 of which on the tarmac and 2 on gravel.

The main theme is the Italian title. CIR is looking for a leader and considering the absence of the reigning champion Paolo Andreucci, who is now a Peugeot coach, a lot of drivers will aim to get his heredity. Two of the main actors of 2018 will certainly put their names forward: Simone Campedelli and Tania Canton on Ford Fiesta R5 run by Orange1 Racing and M-Sport, that will fit Pirelli tyres this time around. These will be Ford Racing Italia’s cards for the Constructors championship. Some unknowns will characterize CIRA 18 champion Andrea Crugnola as the Italian changed a lot, starting from the switch to the new Volkswagen Polo R5 run by HK Racing fitting Pirelli tyres, up to the new co-driver Pietro Ometto. Several new lineups will join the usual ones and will aim to the top. Among these, Luca Rossetti and Giandomenico Basso. Rossetti will take the Citroen C3 R5 of PSA Grou to the debut. This will be the second candidate to the Constructors title. He will have Eleonora Mori at the notes and the pair will employ Pirelli tyres. Basso will also come back. He will hunt for the lead after his last successful participation in 2016 when he won the title. Basso will have Lorenzo Granai at the notes on the Skoda Fabia R5 run by DP Motorsport branded Loran. The most interesting unknown is a new entry: Craig Breen. The Irish driver coming from WRC will have all the eyes on him starting from Ciocco, where he will make his debut on Skoda Fabia R5 run by Metior Sport with co-driver Paul Nagle.

Several strong crews will also compete for the Italian Tarmac Trophy. Rudy Michelini and Michele Perna will try and confirm their lead on Fabia R5 run by PA Racing. They aim to kick off the new campaign with the same positive results scored at Ciocco. Giacomo Scattolon, third last year in the Tarmac trophy, will also take part to this season with Matteo Nobili at the notes on Skoda, while Antonio Rusce, again with Sauro Farnocchia, will be on the new Volkswagen Polo R5 of HK Racing and X Race Sport. The Italian Alessio Profeta, will be present on the Czech R5 with Sergio Raccuia this time. An eye is worth to be kept on Stefano Albertini and Kevin Gilardoni. The two time Italian WRC Champion will be back to CIR after being close to the Junior title in 2014. Danilo Fappani will be reading the pace notes for him, but the two will be on Fabia R5 in this season. Gilardoni will also be back to the Italian championship with Corrado Bonato on Hyundai i20 R5. Marcello Razzini and Gianmaria Marcomini will be a new entry instead on Fabia R5.

The growth of Emil Lindholm on the Korean i20 R5 is going to be interesting as the Swede is continuing with his experience on the Italian tarmac. Andrea Marcucci will make it to the start on Peugeot 208 T16 R5. Ciocco is going to be a chance for a timed test for Marco Pollara and David Castiglioni on Ford Fiesta R2 ahead of the CIR Junior that will start on April 11th with the Rallye Sanremo.

The challenge in Italian 2WD Championship is going be unmissable. Tommaso Ciuffi will try to be the benchmark as this year he will be the main driver of Peugeot Italia. He will have Nicolò Gonella again at the notes on 208 R2B. Luca Panzani of Ford Italia will be at the wheel of the new Ford Fiesta R2 run by M-Sport with Francesco Pinelli. Three young drivers will also be present: Jacopo Trevisani, Christopher Jr Lucchesi and Davide Nicelli, all on 208 R2B hunting for the Peugeot Competition 208 Rally Cup TOP. The women challenge will see the young Rachele Somaschini (Citroen DS3 R3T) against Patrizia Perosino (208 R2B).

The Renault Clio R3 Top will start together with CIR with 5 crews among which 2018 winner Ivan Ferrarotti.

The Suzuki single make trophy will also feature big numbers. This series will change its format this year switching to the Suzuki Rally Cup only in CIR and CIWRC. A total of 15 Japanese cars fitting Toyo Tyres will challenge each other for the title, all Swift Sport R1 with the only exception of a Baleno Booster Jet driven by Giorgio Fichera. The attention will be on the 2018 winners: Corrado Peloso and Simone Rivia, respectively in the Cup and Trophy, as well as home hero Stefano Martinelli.

The Twingo RS 1.6 of Manuel Innocenti and the DR of Marco Limoncelli will join the R1 Italian trophy.