Milan, June 23, 2012 – Last year’s San Crispino Rally, held on the gravel stages of Tuscany that previously formed part of the World Rally Championship, holds happy memories for Pirelli, with Peugeot Italia driver Paolo Andreucci claiming his sixth Italian Rally Championship title: the fifth he has taken with Pirelli.
The San Crispino Rally, the second gravel event of the Italian Rally Championship that takes place from 29-30 June, is one of the most picturesque events on the calendar – with flowing gravel stages around the historic town of Gubbio.
It’s an event where Pirelli has enjoyed plenty of success on the past, which it is aiming to repeat this year with top drivers such as Andreucci, Alessandro Perico and Matteo Gamba – all of whom will be driving Peugeot 207 S2000s.
Reigning Junior Champion Simone Campedelli is back in the factory Citroen Italia DS3 R3T on Pirelli tyres. Finnish driver Mikko Pajunen, co-driven by Kimi Raikkonen’s former navigator Kaj Lindstrom, also adds San Crispino to his schedule, having performed strongly in the Junior rankings up to now with his Renault Twingo.
However, one of the biggest stars of the show will be Harri Toivonen: the brother of rally legend Henri Toivonen. The younger Toivonen brother, now aged 51, will be driving a Group N Mitsubishi Lancer on the event in a rare rally outing, having previously competed on the 2011 Rally Legend show in San Marino – where the Pirelli P7 Corsa Classic was first launched.
Toivonen, who officially retired from driving in 2002, spent most of his career in racing cars, finishing in the top 10 at Le Mans. However, rallying is his first love, with the Finn having campaigned a Group B MG Metro 6R4 on the World Championship in the 1980s. “When I was driving at the Rally Legend show, I realised how much I missed it and how much I loved it,” said Toivonen. “We actually found a good pace straight away and I remember saying to my co-driver ‘Toivonen is back!’”
Pirelli will bring the hard K2 and medium K4 tyre (for normal gravel surfaces) as well as the XR tyre (for abrasive surfaces). These tyres all have a winning record, featuring similar technology to the covers seen on the World Rally Championship from 2008-2010, which enjoyed a failure rate of less than 0.02%.
San Crispino also counts for the Italian Gravel Championship, which is currently led by Pirelli-equipped driver Mauro Trentin in a Peugeot 207 S2000, while Massimo Pedretti – who is leading the European Historic Championship with Pirelli in a Lancia 037 – makes his debut on gravel.
The San Crispino Rally gets underway in Gubbio at 1200 on Friday 29 June, returning to the town at 1800 after four special stages. On Saturday, the crews tackle six more stages, ending the event at 1830 after a total of 125.56 competitive kilometres.