45-year old Giandomenico Basso cruised to victory on the fifth, asphalt round of the 2019 European championship’s Rally di Roma Capitale, based at the Italian capital. Nikolay Gryazin took an immediate lead but then went off the road on the second stage. Leading after the next two stages was Andrea Crugnola’s Skoda until he lost two minutes with a puncture, after which it was Basso took control. A puncture for Simone Campedelli on the new version Fiesta cost him about 40 seconds and prevented an outright victory and he eventually finished the rally a half minute behind Basso’s Skoda Fabia R5. Many drivers including Hiroki Arai and Umberto Scandola lost time with punctures, while another former European champion, Luca Rossetti, had a broken rim and also went off. In the later stages Crugnola fought hard to catch the leaders. With three stages to go he passed Filip Mares into fourth place and there was a tantalising delay for the results of the final stage, which eventually saw Campedelli confirmed second ahead of Lukyanuk.

The turbocharged three cylinder Fiesta R1 of Daniele Campanaro.

In the two wheel drive Junior category Norwegian Sindre Furuseth led until he went off the road on the last stage of Day 1. The winner was Estonian Ken Torn, despite going off the road and damaging the suspension. In the supporting National category division and ineligible for the ERC, as it did not run on specified control tyres, was the turbocharged three cylinder Fiesta R1 of Daniele Campanaro, who dominated the class, the car also on the debut of the type.

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