Double ERC champion Basso happy to lose to Lukyanuk
Giandomenico Basso said the need to prioritise Italian championship points ruled out a battle for Rally di Roma Capitale glory with Alexey Lukyanuk.
The two-time FIA European Rally champion won Rally di Roma Capitale last year but, 12 months on, was comprehensively outpaced by his Russian rival on day one, with Lukyanuk winning all six stages on offer to open up an overnight lead of 34.1s.
Although Basso cut that margin on leg two courtesy of three stage bests, he reached he finish in Fiuggi trailing Lukyanuk by 16.1s on what was his first outing in a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5.
Despite the defeat, Basso netted a strong haul of Italian championship points with scores awarded on both legs of Rally di Roma Capitale.
“We are really happy about the work we completed,” said Basso. “On day one we left Lukyanuk to have some fun because after [Andrea] Crugnola’s retirement we decided to think about the [Italian championship points]. On leg two we tried to keep the pace of Andrea but he was very fast. But this has been a good opening of the season in the new car with HK and Loran.”
Basso’s HK Racing team-mate, Alessandro Re, finished a strong P11 on his ERC debut.