Campedelli chosen to give new Fiesta R5 ERC debut
Simone Campedelli will have the honour of giving M-Sport’s all-new Ford Fiesta R5 its FIA European Rally Championship debut when he lines up for Rally di Roma Capitale from 19-21 July.
Winner of the event in 2017, the Italian competes under the Orange 1 M-Sport Rally Team banner in the Italian championship (CIR). Having won the famous Targa Florio in Sicily back in May in M-Sport’s previous-generation Fiesta R5, Campedelli will use its replacement to chase ERC and CIR points on the asphalt-only Rally di Roma Capitale and will be among the contenders for victory.
“I’m so excited,” said Campedelli, 32. “It’s a big chance and Iam so appreciative that M-Sport gives me this opportunity. We’ve created a good partnership with them, and they really believe in us and they really believe in the Italian market. They are close to me and they trust in me. For example, we could have continued with the older version of the car, but they said ‘no, we are building a new car for you’. I want to say thank you to Malcolm Wilson and Maciej Woda for putting the effort in.”
Campedelli is due to get his first turn behind the wheel of his new Fiesta R5 during a private test on Monday before he takes part in the official test on Tuesday.
“I hope to find immediately the right confidence with the car,” said Campedelli. “From Malcolm’s side he told me straight, ‘Simone, the car is quicker, of that we have no doubt, you must use it, we are confident you can make a strong performance and we would really like to push you in the new car.’”
Of his target for Italy’s ERC counter, Campedelli said: “It’s a rally I like, and we can be quick, but we also have a new car and we must remember this. For sure it will be a hard challenge against the ERC drivers who can make an impressive pace with a really low knowledge of the stages and know how to fight in all kinds of conditions. But we also have to take care about the Italian championship.”
Based on the Ford Fiesta ST-Line and powered by an EcoBoost engine, M‑Sport has worked closely with the Ford Motor Company to “ensure the new Fiesta R5 provides a big step forward in terms of pace and performance”, according to the car builder.
Meanwhile, Rally di Roma Capitale, which signals the start of the second half of the 2019 ERC season, begins at the famousCastel Sant’Angelo in central Rome at 19h00 CET on Friday 19 July with the finish scheduled for Rome’s seaside retreat of Ostia on the evening of Sunday 21 July. In between are 16 stages over a competitive distance of 203.40 kilometres.