The final four special stages of the XXXI Rally Elba Storico were run yesterday with the final classification of the penultimate rally of the 2019 European Historic Sporting Rally Championship being confirmed that evening.
The number five Audi Quattro was the top EHSRC car on the rally, with ‘Zippo’ and Nicola Arena finishing sixth overall behind five locally entered cars. The Category 3 competitors finished 2m07.7 behind the overall winners, the Porsche 911 RS of Alberto Salvini and Davide Tagliaferri.
Category 4: Another win for Will Graham
There were several early retirements, including the Lancia Delta Integrale of Category 4 championship leaders ‘Lucky’ and Fabrizia Pons, a problem with the engine on the first leg proving terminal for the Italians. Mats Mysell and Esko Juntila took up the Category 4 EHSRC mantle only to retire as well on the first Saturday Special Stage.
The top Category 4 EHSRC finisher was the BMW M3 of Will Graham and Michael Johnston, the 20 points putting Graham at the head of the Category 4 standings by just two points from ‘Lucky’, with one rally remaining in Hungary next month. Tim and Steve Jones were the second of the Cat 4 EHSRC finishers, claiming 16 valuable championship points in their Ford Sierra RS Cosworth.
Category 3: ‘Zippo’ wins but Wagner leads the Championship Battle
A superb fight back by Karl Wagner and Gerda Zauner saw the Austrians finish third in Category 3 EHSRC points standings and they have set up a four way battle for the title in Hungary next month.
‘Zippo’ and Nicola Arena claimed the 20 points for the win ahead of the Porsche 911 SC of Pentti Veikanenen and Timo Jaakkola. Wagner’s 911 SC finished ahead of the Toyota Starlet of Esa Peltonen and Jykri Saarto. There are now just eight points covering these four crews ahead of the final round next month.
Category 2: Change of Fortune for the Johnsens
Anders and Ingrid Johnsen finally put their run of bad luck behind them by finishing as the top EHSRC competitor in the Category 2 standings. The Swedes, who had retired from the class lead on three events earlier in the season, finished 10th overall in their Porsche 911 RSR to claim the 20 points and keep them in the race for the 2019 championship title.
The Porsche 911 RS of Paolo Pasutti and Giovanni Battista Campeis was second, just nine seconds behind the Johnsens at the end of the 10th and final stage. Rally Alpi Orientali Category 2 winners Maurizio Pagella and Roberto Brea were the third EHSRC entrant across the line, 20 seconds ahead of championship leader Carlo Mylle and Olivier Laporte in a Porsche Carrera RSR, with the Alfa Romeo GTam of Laszlo and Edit Mekler just nine seconds behind them.
The result means that just seven points cover the top six crews, with Carlo Mylle on 78 points. There is all to play for in Hungary next month.
Category 1: Parisi and D’Angelo Extend Lead in Elba
Antonio Parisi and Giuseppe D’Angelo added another EHSRC victory to their tally in their Porsche 911 S to extend their championship lead to seven points ahead of the final round next month. Their nearest rivals, Ernie and Karen Graham in the Ford Escort Twin Cam, finished second 1m26.9 behind the Italians. The Category 1 title will be decided between these two crews next month.
Both BMW 2002 Tis of Elias Kivitila and Carlo Fiorito failed to finish the rally, the car of Fiorito retiring on SS4 and Kivitila’s BMW on SS8.
Round nine of the 2019 FIA European Historic Sporting Rally Championship will take place in Hungary, the Mecsek Rallye, on 10th-13th October.