Rallye Sanremo, Abarth 124 rally driven by Italian Enrico Brazzoli to seek the third FIA R-GT Cup win in a row
After the first two races, (Monte Carlo and Tour de Corse), the Italian driver of the Bernini Rally Team is leading the FIA R-GT Cup ranking with full scores.
The Rallye Sanremo will start on Friday, April 12 and consist of ten special stages over two days.
The 66th Rallye Sanremo starts today. It is the third round of the FIA R-GT Cup, currently led by the Abarth 124 rally of Italians Enrico Brazzoli and Manuel Fenoli who won the two previous races (Monte Carlo Rally and Tour de Corse).
With its tortuous route winding through the hills of Liguria, the Rallye Sanremo completes the set of three geographically close races that share the similar technical nature of their special stages. In Monte Carlo it was the variable weather to make the race insidious, while the Tour de Corse was characterised by fast and long special stages. In Sanremo, the Abarth 124 rally will be put to the test on tortuous roads interspersed with long climbs and descents. Situations like these enhance the handling and performance characteristics of the Abarth 124 rally, the undisputed ruler of the Gran Turismo category in rallies that monopolised the FIA R-GT Cup ranking in 2018 placing no fewer than six cars with the Scorpion badge in the first six spots of the standings.
Enrico Brazzoli has already competed on several occasions in the Rallye Sanremo at the wheel of vintage cars, winning the race valid for the European Championship in 2010 and stepping onto the podium several times.
"I am pleased that Sanremo is included in the FIA Cup calendar", Brazzoli declared. "The race is full of memories for me and the course is one of the most technical in the world. I am sure that the Abarth 124 rally will prove to be very fast and competitive on these roads".
The Rallye Sanremo will take place over two days. The first starts in Sanremo on the afternoon of Friday, April 12 at 2:45 and will end at 8 o'clock in the evening after four special stages. The second stage starts at 11 p.m. on the same day and features two special trials at night including the 29-kilometre-long "Mini Ronde". After the pause, the race will resume on Saturday 13 at 10 o'clock in the morning and end at 7 in the evening after four more timed stages. The 487-kilometre course features 152 kilometres timed, split over ten special trials.
Alfa Romeo at GP number 1000 with a livery that celebrates Nino Farina's win at the first Formula One race - Silverstone 1950 - on Alfa Romeo 158
Here we are at race #1000 in 2019: P15 for Antonio, P9 and two points for Kimi. Well done guys – here’s to the next 1000!
Weather: sunny and dry, 19-20°C air, 25-29°C track
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal Alfa Romeo Racing and CEO Sauber Motorsport AG:
“It was a tricky weekend for us, having faced some technical issues on Friday and Saturday. Both drivers did a good job in the race today, managing their individual situations well. We scored some more points with Kimi finishing in P9. Antonio showed a consistent performance and finished the race in the midfield, after starting from the back row. We have some work ahead and will push to come back stronger in Baku.”
Kimi Räikkönen (car number 7):
Alfa Romeo Racing C38 (Chassis 02/Ferrari) Result: 9th. Start on medium (C3) tyres, after 25 laps change to hard (C2) tyres
“The car felt good today. We started from further back on the grid and at least scored some points. In the end I lost the grip on the front tyres. It’s a shame because I was looking after them during the race, but they just got too cold and I slowed down. We will continue working on making improvements and see what we can do in Baku.”
Antonio Giovinazzi (car number 99):
Alfa Romeo Racing C38 (Chassis 03/Ferrari) Result: 15th. Start on soft (C4) tyres, after 7 laps change to medium (C3) tyres and after 30 laps change to medium (C3) tyres
“It was a difficult weekend overall. We started the race from the back of the grid and went with a bit of a different strategy to try and gain some positions. It didn’t work so well in the end and now I just look forward to starting fresh at the next GP in Azerbaijan. I have some good memories from Baku and it will be fun to race there again. We will see what we can achieve.”
Third consecutive victory in the FIA R-GT Cup for Italian Enrico Brazzoli's Abarth 124 rally
R-GT success in the Rallye Sanremo, the third round of the international GT championship.
Enrico Brazzoli and Manuel Fenoli confirmed their position and are leading the FIA R-GT Cup with full scores.
Three races, three successes. This is the score of the Abarth 124 rally of the Bernini Rally Team driven by Italians Enrico Brazzoli and Manuel Fenoli, who once again achieved full scores in the FIA R-GT Cup during the challenging Rallye Sanremo. The GT championship ranking sees the Italian crew in the lead with top scores. The win in Sanremo follows those of the two previous races, in the Monte Carlo Rally and the Tour de Corse.
The 2019 Rallye Sanremo proved to be tougher than anticipated because of the extremely variable weather and the length of the special stages. Competitors found wet and dry on both legs of the race with insidiously slippery patches in the woods that have made choosing the right tyres difficult. Conditions like these exalt the handling, performance and reliability qualities of the 124 rally.
"It was not an easy race for us. The weather was definitely not favourable but it was important to finish this tough race and consolidate our first position in the championship", said Enrico Brazzoli. "In any case, we are very pleased with our result."
The next appointment with the FIA R-GT Cup will be the INA-Delta Rally in Croatia from June 7 to 8.
The first weekend of May will also be the turn of the Rally Islas Canarias, the first round of the European Rally Championship (ERC), which will also kick off the Abarth Rally Cup 2019, the single-brand championship dedicated to the Abarth 124 rally.
Next weekend, young Frenchman Nicolas Ciamin in team with Antony Vilanova will be taking part in the Rallye Lyon-Charbonnières at the wheel of the Milan Racing Team's Abarth 124 rally. This is the second round of the French Championship and Ciamin, having won the first one at the wheel of a R5 category car, will be starting with the number 1 and re-joining the car with the Scorpion badge that last year scored many exploits in races in France. It will be an interesting challenge, because his main opponent in the R-GT category will be expert French driver Romain Dumas, whose prize record includes two wins in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The race will start on Thursday, April 18 and finish on Saturday, April 20 after 15 special stages and a total of 225 km at timed speed.
FCA What’s Behind: international previews of the first two episodes: far north and far south
Today saw the International Press Presentation of the FCA What's Behind project: showing for the first time "a backstage view" of the research and development phases of FCA automobiles.
The launch of the first two episodes of a unique kind of film series: from minus 40°C in Sweden to heat testing in South Africa, FCA is seen testing its latest models in extreme conditions.
Achieving the highest standards of quality, safety, reliability and comfort for every model requires constant work: the FCA What's Behind project will highlight the places, people and technical aspects involved.
Today saw the presentation of the FCA What's Behind project, a series of lively documentary films that narrates the astonishing backstage of the complex R&D phases of FCA-branded vehicles: for the first time, FCA opens the doors of its operative centres around the world.
All motorcar enthusiasts can enjoy a unique privileged view of all the meticulous activities of engineers and technicians working incessantly to guarantee product quality, safety, reliability and comfort in all conditions. This is why the painstaking testing, checks, validations and stress tests take place at the most extreme latitudes: the structural validity of each test project is a key element in active safety, and must ideally be measured in different environmental situations, starting from a temperature range of minus 40°C in Arjeplog, Sweden, to plus 40°C in Upington, South Africa.
Where history and future converge
Places and settings constitute the first theme sections of the FCA What's Behind series: the iceworld of northern Sweden and the deserts of South Africa provide the subject for the first two episodes of this docuseries, while subsequent monthly episodes will offer visits to other FCA centres of excellence such as the Proving Ground of Balocco (Province of Vercelli), the Safety Centre and the research centre "Centro Ricerche Fiat" of Orbassano (Province of Turin). All outstanding latest generation R&D technical hubs: experimental centres, testing circuits, technological facilities and offices devoted to achieving total quality.
Starting the car: the synthesis of unending operations
Once it has explored the places where the history and future of the FCA Group is written every day, What's Behind will explore more specific topics including engine efficiency, technology, attention to detail, comfort and driving pleasure, plus aerodynamics and traction modes. When you sit behind the wheel of an FCA Group car and experience all its virtues - from the simplicity of starting the engine to manoeuvring and then appreciating its safety, quietness, panache and road holding - you benefit from a prolonged complex, demanding and constant process. The FCA What's Behind project opens the doors of the Group to reveal the vast amount of work and expertise that goes into developing each model.
Arjeplog: FCA Proving Ground
Arjeplog is a township area in northern Sweden that covers about 14,500 km2, containing the FCA Proving Ground. Arjeplog offers ideal conditions and facilities for testing cars in extreme low temperature conditions: its latitude is similar to that of Iceland and the temperature can drop to -40°C... but safety is a key priority. The presence of numerous frozen lakes offers many kilometres of testing tracks with ample safe escape routes. Another plus, considering the competitive nature of the sector, is the area's isolation: roughly 1,000 km from Stockholm and from the North Cape, guaranteeing maximum discretion. The grip of the ice is unrelenting, and this makes it possible for specialized technicians to repeatedly carry out tests to fine-tune air conditioning, defrosting and demisting systems, as well as checking the performance of all materials, and the reaction times of the vehicles' many active systems. In addition, the area's spectacular frozen landscape offers low-grip surfaces on which huge icy pistes and slopes have been created. These are used to carry out numerous tests, from the set-up of vehicle suspension to kinematics (structural yielding is here reduced to zero) and repeated testing of tires, brakes, control systems, traction and differential systems. Everything must work perfectly even in the most difficult situations!
Upington: heat testing
If on the one hand Arjeplog's polar temperatures offer FCA perfect cold testing conditions, Upington on the other hand is ideal for brutal heat testing. A town in the northern part of South Africa, close to the border with Botswana and Namibia, Upington lies on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, next to the huge Kgalagadi Park... a name which in the Bantu language means "the waterless place". Upington is one of the hottest areas in South Africa and provides optimal conditions for evaluating the effect of maximum temperature extremes, dust and dryness on correct vehicle performance. To ensure reliability in all conditions, the components and systems of the vehicle are subjected to relentless testing: engines, climate control, safety systems and materials must withstand all weather and landscape conditions. In this part of South Africa, the climate is constantly scorching, which makes it possible to carry out all fine-tuning tests again and again.
Jeep and Juventus Celebrate the 2018-2019 Serie A Championship Win Together
The soccer team with the Jeep® brand on its jerseys has beaten its own record by winning the Italian championship for the eighth time in a row, with five days to go before the end of the season
Juventus has mathematically won the Serie A TIM 2018-2019 soccer championship for the eighth time in a row setting a new national record in the history of the sport. The black and whites have bettered themselves once more showing once again their affinity with Jeep®, the brand that has been accompanying them as Official Sponsor on their winning streak since the 2012-2013 season.
Celebrating the exploit is also a new Jeep advert sealed by the simple but significant pay-off "We are in eighth heaven". It is a reference to the umpteenth Serie A "scudetto" and the proverbial expression "being in seventh heaven" that expresses the feeling of extreme joy. Once again, the strength of Jeep and Juventus is to overcome every limit and to go higher and higher, even to metaphorical places never reached by anyone.
The message underlines the typical Jeep attitude of overcoming every obstacle and raising the bar of any challenge. The winning partnership with Juventus was established and thrives under the banner of common values, such as authenticity and passion. Over the past seven seasons, Jeep and Juventus together have won fifteen titles including Serie A, Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana.
A successful championship also for the Juventus Women who won the second consecutive championship. Jeep proudly colors pink this year which saw women as the absolute protagonists.
Alfa Romeo Giulia triumphs at the “Driver Power Awards 2019” in Great Britain
The Alfa Romeo Giulia wins the Gold Medal for "Ride and Handling", values intrinsic to the DNA of the Italian brand, which transforms every journey into an exciting driving experience.
Follow this link to the new section of the Alfa Romeo Press website listing all international awards won from 2016 to the present.
The Alfa Romeo Giulia was a winner again at the prestige Auto Express "Driver Power Awards", receiving the gold metal in the "Ride and Handling" category. The famous dynamic qualities of the Italian brand, which turn every journey into a thrilling experience always at the service of onboard comfort and safety, proved invincible yet again. As well as being a manifesto of the "Meccanica delle emozioni" concept, the first model in the brand's new generation encapsulates the authentic Alfa Romeo spirit, incorporating the five ingredients that make it one of the world's most desirable brands on the automotive stage: distinctly Italian styling; innovative, state-of-the-art engines; impeccable weight distribution; unique technical solutions; and an outstanding power-to-weight ratio.
Driver Power is the United Kingdom's broadest and fullest customer satisfaction survey, using data collected from thousands of owners, covering everything from reliability to performance and convenience. The Driver Power survey, conducted for the seventeenth time this year, is a credible, real representation of new car owners' opinions.
Auto Express Editor-in-Chief Steve Fowler commented: "The Driver Power results could not be clearer: owners adore their Alfa Romeo Giulia cars. A score of 93% in the overall ranking is very impressive, and the Giulia's first place in the "Ride and handling" category confirms our road-testers' findings: the Giulia is a real dream to drive. Bearing in mind its high scores in the engine and safety categories, not to mention an incredible result with regard to style, obviously Alfa Romeo's decision to build a classical rear-wheel-drive sports sedan has proved extremely popular."
Andrew Tracey, Alfa Romeo UK marketing director, said: "The Auto Express Driver Power Awards are a reflection on what it's like to truly own a new car. The results from this year's awards show that the Alfa Romeo Giulia remains one of the best new cars to own, and the fact that this is based on the feedback from actual customers makes this extremely reliable and trustworthy."