Rallye Sanremo (Italy) - 12-13 Oct 12

Posted: October 12, 2012 10:39 PM - 4566 Hits

Round 12 - 2012 Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC)

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First stage each day (Times are Ireland / UK)
SS1 - Fri - 13:34
SS5 - Sat - 08:05

Breen and Nagle return to IRC in Rallye Sanremo

Posted: October 11, 2012 9:28 AM

This weekend Craig Breen and Paul Nagle return to the IRC for the Italian event IRC, Rallye Sanremo. Craig renews his partnership with French team Sainteloc Racing and Paul returns to the series that he triumphed on, in 2009.

"The schedule is pretty hectic at the moment, after finishing on SWRC France there no time off but this is what we live for." said Craig on Monday

"I added Sanremo to my schedule some time ago and we tested with the team (Sainteloc) last week, all went well and I’m looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of the Peugeot 207 S2000." added the Irish driver.

The 54th Rallye Sanremo is yet another iconic event on the IRC calendar for Breen this year. He began his Intercontinental Rally Challenge campaign with 5th on the Circuit of Ireland and recorded a very worthy 6th place on the 'Tour de Corse'. His last outing in the series was in Sicily and was the scene of the tragic accident that claimed his former co-driver Gareth Roberts.

Rallye Sanremo is based in the city of Sanremo and around the Mediterranean coast of western Liguria in north-western Italy takes place within a 27 hour window, starting on Friday at 12.30hrs (CET) with shakedown. The special stage action is divided into two parts for the opening day, three stages in the afternoon, then the queen stage of the rally 'Ronde' 44km's which is scheduled to start at 21.00hrs.

Day two Saturday takes in a double loop of three stages beginning with the 'Colle Langan 1’ at 09.05hrs, service in Sanremo just after noon and with the second loop being completed by 15.20hrs

Looking ahead to the rally, Craig said,
"I'm delighted to have the opportunity to compete in the IRC again. Driving the Peugeot 207 S2000 on the Circuit of Ireland was a new experience for me this year and I was really happy with my result in Corsica. We completed a good test last week and I'm full of confidence after my recent success in the SWRC. This year’s Sanremo is compact but still very tough. I’m looking forward to the 44 km’s of the Ronde stage on Friday night. I'm sure the weather will play a part, even if it’s fine, fog can cover a stages making it very challenging. It's my first time to take part in the rally but I'm lucky as Paul was here three years ago with Kris (Meeke) and won this event as part of their championship winning season so that's a great help. There’s some stiff competition with the IRC regulars and the usual amount of Italian entries but for sure we’ll be doing everything we can to get a good result for the team.”


Posted: October 9, 2012 2:10 PM

The Intercontinental Rally Challenge heads to Rallye Sanremo and the Italian Riviera next week for the final all-asphalt event of the 2012 season. And with the outcome of the coveted IRC drivers’ crown still far from settled, a thrilling battle is expected when the action gets underway on Friday 12 October.

A mainstay of the IRC since its formation in 2007, Rallye Sanremo actually hosted one of four IRC pilot events in 2006. With the competitive running contained within a 25-hour window, there will be little time for the crews to visit the town’s casino and tempting restaurants as they focus instead on the tricky and narrow mountain stages overlooking Sanremo and its glorious Mediterranean coastline.

After taking the start in Sanremo on Friday afternoon, competitors tackle three stages before a lengthy regroup. While fans will be able to get close up to the cars stationed in the town’s Piazza Borea d’Olmo, drivers and co-drivers will get a welcome respite prior to tackling the daunting 44-kilometre Ronde stage, which goes live at 21:00hrs local time and takes place under the cover of darkness.

Following the overnight halt in Sanremo, Saturday’s itinerary includes three repeated stages from 09:05hrs split by service in the host town where the first car is due to cross the finishing ramp at 17:35hrs. The rally-closing Colle d’Oggia stage will be shown live on RAI Sport 1, with daily highlights of the event on Eurosport and RAI.

Rallye Sanremo’s stages are characterised by fast and flowing sections, frequent changes of rhythm, and blind and open corners with rapid climbs and descents commonplace. The ability to find the optimum ‘racing’ line and maintain a high level of speed are essential for recording competitive stage times. Road surfaces are predominantly smooth, albeit with some sections of broken asphalt. The undulating nature of the roads places a great strain on the cars with the engine, transmission and brakes all being subjected to heavy punishment. The possibility of rain and fog simply adds to the challenge.


*As well as hosting round 12 of the IRC, Sanremo is the venue for an annual song festival.
*Sanremo is affectionately known as the Citta dei Fiori, the city of flowers, due to its flower market.
*The Liguria region, where Sanremo is located, has a reputation for olive oil production, which is used with basil to make pesto, a popular Ligurian speciality.
*Sanremo rose to prominence as a holiday destination with several grandiose hotels built overlooking the sea, including the Royal Hotel, the rally’s headquarters, which was opened in 1872.
*Multiple winner Sandro Munari is one of the legends of Rallye Sanremo. Such was his fanatical following that spectators would get on their hands and knees and kiss the asphalt he’d just driven on.

With title leader Andreas Mikkelsen set to conclude his 2012 Intercontinental Rally Challenge campaign on next month’s Cyprus Rally, the stage is set for his closest rivals, Juho Hänninen and Jan Kopecký, to narrow the absent Norwegian’s advantage in their similar ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000s.

Hänninen is 43 points behind Mikkelsen with Kopecký a further 10 points adrift of his factory team-mate starting the all-asphalt counter, where ŠKODA can secure a third IRC manufacturers’ crown. However, they will both come up against formidable local opposition as they chase maximum points.

Paolo Andreucci, the reigning Italian champion, won in Sanremo in 2010 and will be a major force in his Peugeot 207 Super 2000. Giandomenico Basso, in an M-Sport Ford Fiesta RRC, was victorious on Rally San Marino in July and won Sanremo’s pilot IRC event in 2006. Umberto Scandola will also be capable of running at the front in his ŠKODA Italia-backed Fabia, while rising star Stefano Albertini was a contender for IRC 2WD Cup honours in 2011 and is embarking on his first season in S2000 machinery.

Craig Breen returns to the IRC for the first time since the accident on Targa Florio Rally Internazionale Di Sicilia that claimed the life of his best friend and former co-driver Gareth Roberts. The Irishman will pilot a Saintéloc Racing Peugeot alongside new navigator Paul Nagle, who partnered Kris Meeke to IRC title glory in Sanremo in 2009.

Portugal’s Bruno Magalhães, a former IRC event winner, makes his second start of the season in a 207 S2000, while Munaretto Peugeot pilot Pierre Campana will be looking to build on the podium he scored in Corsica having won his class on a practice rally in Italy recently. Florian Gonon completes his three-event IRC schedule in a second Saintéloc Peugeot. Other S2000 contenders include Hungarian Janós Puskádi and Italian Alessandro Perico, while Harry Hunt steps up to the category from the IRC 2WD Cup with the vastly successful Kronos Racing squad.

IRC Production Cup
A close fight is expected between Italy-born Romanian Marco Tempestini in his Subaru Impreza R4 STI, Robert Consani (Renault Mégane RS), who took the category lead with victory in Bulgaria last time out, Italian Max Rendina and Ukrainian Vitaliy Pushkar. Rapid Subaru trio Andreas Aigner, Toshi Arai and Jarkko Nikara are all late additions to the entry in their Imprezas. Italian veteran Marco Cavigioli will be chasing more points, while Martinique driver Johan Heloïse returns to IRC Production Cup duty after recovering from a hand injury.

With title rival Harry Hunt switching to a Peugeot 207 S2000 for Sanremo, Robert Consani will be aiming to pull clear in the title battle with a top score aboard his Renault Mégane RS. Italian Junior champion Simone Campedelli, the IRC 2WD Cup winner in Sicily back in June, will be a threat, as will Bryan Bouffier, who gives Peugeot’s 208 R2 its competition debut. Andrea Nucita and Austrian Renault Clio R3 driver Michael Kogler will be out to impress, as will Elwis Chentre in his Fabia R2. Mikko Pajunen, a stage winner on the Prime Yalta Rally in a Fiesta S2000, is back on board in his Renault Twingo R2 alongside Kimi Räikkönen’s former co-driver Kaj Lindström. Andrea Crugnola will also be quick.

Peugeot’s Italian champion on his hopes of winning again in the IRC

What does it take to win this rally?
“It’s a very tough rally: I’ve won it twice and on each occasion you feel a real sense of achievement. You need a certain sensitivity to the changing weather and grip I think; it’s a very variable rally and if you can adapt well to different circumstances and make the right tyre choices then you are in a strong position to do well.”

As an Italian rally driver what does it mean to you to be taking part?
“Sanremo is very special, because as an Italian driver this is just a legendary event and all of our world championship history is here. It’s one of the most difficult rallies in Italy – maybe the most difficult actually – so it means a lot to me to be taking part. I’m really looking forward to it, as always.”

How will you prepare?
“Just in the usual way. It’s important to have a good recce and make sure that the pace notes are right but you can only prepare up to a certain point: a lot about Sanremo comes down to how the conditions are at the time. Then you just have to drive on your instincts, but if you study the route carefully you can have a good idea of how the conditions are likely to be.”

What are the major challenges?
“Probably the biggest challenge is the weather. You can have rain or fog or it could be completely dry – or maybe a combination of all three. In the region around Sanremo the weather is hard to predict, so you should expect everything. The night stage is always a huge challenge too: something seems to happen there every year.”

What's your best and worst Sanremo memory and why?
“My best memory was winning there for the second time in 2010 with the Peugeot 207. It was a very exciting rally where I had a lead of less than a second with three stages to go and we fought so hard to the end. My worst memory was 1997; we were actually leading in front of all the world championship regulars with the Renault Mégane, but then we had to retire after we cut a corner and something broke: it was incredibly disappointing.”

And finally, where would he recommend fans go to eat during the rally?
“There’s a special atmosphere at the Ristorante Dall’Ava in San Romolo: that’s essential for all rally fans. When I am in town, I normally eat at one of the restaurants near the port. They’re all good really: it’s very hard to eat badly in Sanremo!”

Seeded Entry List

Posted: October 9, 2012 2:08 PM

Craig Breen, Sanremo test with SAINTéLOC Racing

Posted: September 25, 2012 10:16 AM

Continuing their IRC program, Saintéloc Racing will run two Peugeot 207 Super 2000 rallycars on IRC Rally Sanremo 12-13 October. In order to prepare for the event, Craig Breen/Paul Nagle and Florian Gonon/Sandra Arlettaz will conduct a Sanremo test session next Monday 24th and Tuesday 25th of September.

Winner of S-WRC Rally GB, Craig Breen returns to the Intercontinental Rally Challenge and Saintéloc Racing at Rally Sanremo. Before he gets behind the wheel of the 207 Super 2000, the Irishman still has a lot of emotions from his GB win:
"I’m still reeling from my victory in Wales, where we always had good results. We won the FSTi in 2009, we finished second in S-WRC in 2010 and we clenched the FIA WRC Academy last year. After the tragedy at Targa Florio, my S-WRC win without Gareth was still very hard but the triumph was the best tribute I could give him.”

After this success on gravel, Craig wants to display the same level of performance on asphalt.
"I have not driven on the surface for several months. It is good that we were able to schedule a test session early for the event.” says Craig, “I hope to continue the form I displayed during the Tour de Corse, even though I know that Sanremo is quite different. We start with the goal to get into the top 5 and why not get on the podium if the pace is there. This week we need to find the correct setup and that is why this test session is so important."

Sanremo will not be the last event Craig will contest with Saintéloc as he will also take part in the Rally Condroz-Huy, Belgium, from November the 2nd to the 4th.

Craig Breen / Paul Nagle to enter San Remo

Posted: September 6, 2012 11:48 AM

Craig Breen will take part in San Remo, driving a Sainteloc Peugeot 207 S2000

Rally Guide / Event Website

Posted: September 6, 2012 11:44 AM

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