Andrea Crugnola secures 2023 TER – Tour European Rally round 4 success at #RA Rally Regione Piemonte
Stéphane Lefebvre denied victory by a technical problem after a great performance
In the fourth round of the 2023 TER – Tour European Rally, the crews competed in two days of great sporting action, the challenging vineyard-laden hill roads of the Langhe Roero Monferrato UNESCO World Heritage providing the perfect background for #RA Rally Regione Piemonte.
2-time Italian Champion Andrea Crugnola, codriven by Pietro Elia Ometto took victory at the last stage, after doing his best to match Lefebvre’s pace during the two days of competition. With his Citroën C3, the winner of the 2023 series opener secured a second consecutive success in Alba's Piazza San Paolo, climbing on top of the provisional TER – Tour European Rally standings at the mid-season point.
After taking second place in the event’s TER standings in the 2022 edition, 2014 JWRC and WRC3 Champion Stéphane Lefebvre made the most of his Citroën C3 Rally2. With Andy Malfoy calling the pacenotes, the crew took the lead from the opening test, gradually increasing their advantage before a technical problem on the penultimate test forced them to settle for second.
The third step of the podium rewarded Fabio Andolfi. Returning to the series, he showed a good pace on the Škoda Fabia Rally2 he shared with Nicolò Gonella. A steady third until some technical issues hit on stage 6, but the former WRC2 driver regained the time lost with the victory in the two final stages.
Kiwis Hayden Paddon and Jared Hudson, 2022 TER – Tour European Rally champion, and provisional leader of the 2023 TER W Series thanks to a record 10th win in Otago Rally a fortnight ago, gained valuable experience for his first time on tarmac with the Hyundai i20N Rally 2, finishing fourth. Frenchmen Mathieu Arzeno and Romain Roche took another Škoda Fabia Rally2 to fifth, in their first 2023 event.
With a Volkswagen Polo R5, Alberto Dall’Era and Luca Beltrame could not repeat last year’s fifth place result and finished sixth, with the Škoda Fabias of locals Massimo Marasso codriven by Luca Pieri and Swiss R5 novice Yoan Loeffler with Hervé Faucher closed just outside of the top 10.
2022 TER Ladies Trophy winner Rachele Somaschini clinched another category win, codriven by Arianna Faustini on a Citroën C3 Rally2.
Second 2023 TER – Tour European Rally event for Stefan Gottig with Natalie Solbach-Schmidt, always enjoying new experiences with their Škoda Fabia.
With a great performance after an unlucky season debut, Roberto Daprà with Luca Guglielmetti took TER Junior honours and an excellent seventh place with a Peugeot 208 Rally 4.
Another great drive rewarded Fabio Farina and Gabriele Zanni with the second TER 2WD victory in as many 2023 events, pulling them clear of their rivals on top of the category standings.
Photo: ACI Sport