Sanremo ERC: Giandemenico Basso holds off Bryan Bouffier to win
|By Dan Cross||Saturday, October 12th 2013, 15:54 GMT|
Giandemenico Basso held off a determined Bryan Bouffier to claim his third Sanremo Rally victory.
The double European champion, who trod carefully through the first leg of stages, entered the final day in second position and then reaped the rewards when erstwhile rally leader Paulo Andreucci ran into difficulty.
Basso began the last loop of stages with a 17.4s advantage over Bouffier, which was whittled down to just seven seconds prior to the final test through Colle d'Oggia.
The Frenchman fell at the final hurdle, however, and suffered a puncture in the stage, costing him 1m46s as a consequence and dropped him down to fourth overall.
Bouffier's misfortune was Esapekka Lappi's gain, as the 22-year-old - on only his second European Rally Championship outing - rose to second by beating his nearest rival Alessandro Perico at the very end.
Perico, a former winner of his home event, held on to third for the majority of the rally despite spinning into a barrier and damaging his Peugeot's rear suspension during the final morning's loop of stages.
Stefano Albertini claimed a comfortable fifth after reporting problems with his brakes during the penultimate stage, while erstwhile rally leader Andreucci made a comeback of sorts by finishing sixth, albeit 7m50.6s off the lead.
Compatriot Umberto Scandola had an equally torrid final day.
He started it in third place and with a shout of taking the win, but the domestic championship winner lost four minutes on the opening stage of the day after suffering a puncture, before his engine overheated and curtailed his involvement in the event.
Craig Breen found his form during the last loop of stages once his steering rack issues were fixed, though suspension damage incurred on yesterday's penultimate test cost him five minutes and any chance of victory.
Leading positions after SS10: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Giandomenico Basso Munaretto Peugeot 2h37m37.3s 2. Esapekka Lappi Skoda +1m43.0s 3. Alessandro Perico United Peugeot +1m47.1s 4. Bryan Bouffier Delta Peugeot +1m52.9s 5. Stefano Albertini Racing Lions Peugeot +2m10.4s 6. Paolo Andreucci FPF Peugeot +10m01.0s 7. Federico Gasparetti Pistoia Renault +10m35.2s 8. Alex Vittalini Phoenix Citroen +11m40.2s 9. Michele Tassone Tassone Renault +11m48.8s 10. Vasily Gryazin Kruzmanis Ford +12m26.3s ERC retirements: Umberto Scandola SA Skoda SS7