Giandomenico Basso is the new leader of Rally di Roma Capitale following a dramatic start to the deciding leg of round three of the 2021 FIA European Rally Championship.
The double ERC champion, who was fastest on SS7 to cut Andrea Crugnola’s overnight advantage to 3.4s, snatched top spot from Crugnola when the current Italian title-holder damaged a tyre on SS8.

“In one corner in the pacenotes I had ‘don’t cut’, but some cars in front had cut this corner and had moved some rocks in the middle of the road,” Hyundai Rally Team Italia driver Crugnola explained. “I caught one of these rocks and had a puncture. Sometimes to be on the safe side is not safe, it’s like this.”

There was more drama on SS9 when ERC points leader Alexey Lukyanuk crashed into a tree (pictured). Lukyanuk and co-driver Alexey Arnautov were uninjured, but the stage was red flagged to enable a rescue crew to tend to their stricken Saintéloc Junior Team Citroën C3 Rally3, which briefly caught fire.

But there were no such problems for Efrén Llarena, who charged to his first outright stage win in the ERC with the fastest time on SS9 in his Rallye Team Spain-entered Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo. Llarena, a former ERC3 Junior champion, and co-driver Sara Fernándes now occupy the final spot on the podium, 37.0s behind leader Basso and but only 8.9s down on second-placed Crugnola.

Norbert Herczig (Škoda Rally Team Hungaria) and ORLEN Team’s Miko Marczyk complete the current top five with Fabio Andolfi sixth, despite picking up frontal bodywork damage striking a post at a chicane on SS7.

After eight stages, Javier Pardo topped the ERC2 order ahead of Suzuki Motor Ibérica team-mate Joan Vinyes. Pep Bassas (Peugeot 208 Rally4) held a 6.0s advantage over Jean-Baptiste Franceschi (Renault Clio Rally4), who leads ERC3 Junior by 9.4s ahead of Alejandro Cachón.

Ken Torn has built a clear lead in ERC Junior in his M-Sport Poland Ford Fiesta Rally3. Dariusz Poloński holds first place in the Abarth Rally Cup with Yigit Timur 9.0s ahead of Paulo Soria in the Clio Trophy by Toksport WRT.

Following a regroup and service in Fiuggi, SS10 is due to get underway at 13h09 subject to confirmation. ClickHEREfor live timing.
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