Elba Storico

“Pedro” and Emanuele Baldaccini made a complete comeback to take victory ahead of an ailing Toto Riolo Photos Fotosport

Pedro”, flanked by Emanuele Baldaccini took his Rally 037 to victory in the September 15-17 XXVIII Rallye Elba Storico - Trofeo Locman Italy, the penultimate round of the European and Italian Historic Rally Championships, a victory that was only revealed in the final stage. The crew overcame a 40-second penalty for a late time control on the first day, to climb back up the leaderboard and mount their challenge in the closing stages.

With past Elba winner, Sicilian Salvatore Riolo, navigated by Alessandro Floris, debuting his Subaru Legacy, trading seconds and fractions of seconds on the final day with the Lancia, a blinding final stage from Pedro saw him turn a deficit of 2.8secs into a lead of 8.7secs, while the Sicilian suffered from a ruptured front axle. But more drama was to come. As Riolo limped towards the finish line the Subaru’s clutch failed in the final transit section and the crew’s secure second place was transformed into a retirement.

Nicholas Montini and Romano Belfiore (Porsche 911) were thus promoted to second place nearly two minutes down the road from what had been the leading pair, and Eric Comas, even further back, took third with the Lancia Stratos he shared with Yannick Roche.

Screen Shot 2016 10 03 at 15.43.26Weather was mixed on Friday, while day 2 was run in summer condi ons.Sadly the Saturday saw Riolo and Floris re re their Subaru on the nal transit stage within sight of a second place 

Another unfortunate Sicilian was Domenico Guagliardo (Porsche 911 SC RS GR. B), the overall winner in 2015, who was involved in an accident during the last stage when he was heading for a podium finish after a spectacular second half of the race. There were also retirements for “Lucky” Battistolli in PS 6 with engine problems in his Lancia Rally 037 and FIA competitor Lucio Da Zanche (Porsche 911 RSR), who retired on the last morning when running in fifth place overall.

Pedro naturally also took his FIA Category 4, leaving him, and co-driver Baldaccini, both reigning FIA Champions, with an unassailable lead in the 2016 Category points table, while veterans Angelo Parisi and Giuseppe d’Angelo also increased a commanding Category 1 lead by taking the class in their Porsche 911. Category 3 winners were Marco Superti/Marco Dell’Acqua (Porsche 911 SC), while Montini and Belfiore preceded Comas in Category 2, who overtook Alberto Salvini’s Porsche Carrera RS for Category silver in the final stage.

The concurrent Elba Graffiti, which counts as a round of the FIA European Regularity Championship, was won by Belgians Christian Crucifix and Joseph Lambert, driving a Ford Anglia, with Germans Kurt Schimitzek and Barbara Meir a mere two points down in second place in a Lancia Delta Integrale.

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