Rally di Roma Capitale 2021 - 23-25/07/2021
Starts: 19h00, Friday July 23, Castel Sant’Angelo, Rome
Finishes: 18h00, Sunday July 25, Fiuggi
Headquarters: BW Hotel Fiuggi Terme Resort & Spa, Via Capo i Prati 9, 03014 – Fiuggi (Frosinone)
ERC appearances (since 2004 restructuring): 4 (2017-2020)
Stage distance: 190.09 kilometres
Liaison distance: 447.70 kilometres
Total distance: 635.07 kilometres
Free Practice (for priority drivers): 08h30, Friday July 23 (4.02 kilometres, Fumone)
Qualifying Stage (for priority drivers): 10h45, Friday July 23 (4.02 kilometres, Fumone)
Shakedown (for all drivers): 12h00, Friday July 23 (4.02 kilometres, Fumone)
The rally in 100 words: The progression of this asphalt event from Max Rendina’s Motorsport Italia organisation is impressive. First run in 2013, Rally di Roma Capitale made its ERC debut in 2017 as Italy returned to the European championship for the first time in four years when Rallye Sanremo was on the calendar. It proved a big hit and continues to flourish. From event hub Fiuggi crews tackle challenging stages north, west and southeast of the spa town, while a new stage around the Terme di Caracalla in central Rome provides another exciting spectacle. The rally also counts for Sparco Italian championship points.
Event eligibility: ERC1, ERC2, ERC3, ERC Junior, ERC3 Junior, European Rally Championship for Teams, Abarth Rally Cup, Clio Trophy by Toksport WRT. ERC-MICHELIN Talent Factory incentives available
What’s new for 2021? The fifth Rally di Roma Capitale to count for the ERC kick-offs with a spectacular superspecial stage in the heart of the Eternal City with the all-new Caracalla ACI Roma stage due to take place from 20h00 CET on Friday July 23. Located close to the Colosseum and Circus Maximus, the stage will start from Via San Balbina and will total 2.72 kilometres over a loop around the Terme di Caracalla, repeated twice. SS1 Caracalla ACI Roma will follow the ceremonial start at Castel Sant’Angelo from 19h00 and the traditional Roma parade. In other changes, Collepardo – Civita on Sunday is a new addition, but the famous Pico stage is not included on this year’s itinerary.
The route in short:
Saturday July 24: Following Friday evening’s festivities in Rome, the serious action begins on Saturday morning west of Fiuggi with the 7.25 kilometres of Rocca di Cave, which follows the same route as in 2019 and 2020. The first five kilometres feature 18 uphill hairpins on the climb to Rocca di Cave. The last two kilometres to the finish in Capranica – Prenestina are more flowing in nature. With a 1.50-kilometre liaison section to SS2, Rocca Santo Stefano, there’s no respite. The 19.70-kilometre test starts in Capranica with a very technical and fast initial section that also includes several changes of rhythm until the route reaches Rocca Santo Stefano, where a steep and challenging descent leads to the stage finish. SS3, Affile – Bellegra, is 7.34 kilometres in length and begins at the exit of Affile village with crews negotiating a very fast and technical road. It’s uphill for the second part towards Bellegra with high speeds and some very spectacular hairpins adding to the challenge. Following a regroup and service in Fiuggi, Rocca di Cave and Rocca Santo Stefano are repeated in their entirety in the afternoon, but the return to Affile – Bellegra starts from the 4.40-kilometre mark for streaming requirements and runs over a distance of 2.94 kilometres.
Sunday July 25: Two loops of three stages, plus a third visit to the day-opening Fiuggi – Guarcino test make up Sunday’s deciding action. It’s an early wake-up call with SS7, which covers 19.87 kilometres, due to get underway at 07h45 local time. The stage begins in Fiuggi and incorporates Guarcino, a Rally di Roma Capitale classic, and includes three notable changes of rhythm, jumps and a high-speed section towards the finish. Collepardo – Civita is next up with the 10.62-kilometre layout a new addition to the itinerary. It’s technical with numerous hairpins. Santopadre – Arpino is located southeast of Fiuggi and is the rally’s longest stage at 21.17 kilometres. Identical to the route used for the last two years, the stage begins with a twisty section on high-grip asphalt for approximately 3.5 kilometres. The next 4.5 kilometres are narrower before the stage widens again on a fast section close to the village of Santopadre ahead of a series of challenging bends on the run to the finish. The third visit to Fiuggi – Guarcino is due to begin at 17h15 local time with the podium scheduled from 18h00 in Fiuggi.
2020: Alexey Lukyanuk/Dmitry Eremeev (Citroën C3 R5)
2019: Giandomenico Basso/Lorenzo Granai (Škoda Fabia R5)
2018: Alexey Lukyanuk/Alexey Arnautov (Ford Fiesta R5)
2017: Bryan Bouffier/Xavier Panseri (Ford Fiesta R5)
2016: Umberto Scandola/Guide D’Amore (Škoda Fabia R5)*
1: Rome’s famous Colosseum, which traditionally features on the pre-rally Roma parade route, is the largest amphitheatre ever built. Construction began in AD 72 and was completed in AD 80.
2: In stark contrast, Rally di Roma Capitale took place for the first time in 2013 and joined the ERC roster in 2017.
3: The commune of event base Fiuggi, to the southeast of central Rome, was made famous by its natural spring water and the healing powers it possesses.
4: Rome was one of two European capitals to host the ERC in 2019 with Nicosia home to the Cyprus Rally.
5: Italy has celebrated 23 European championship triumphs over the years. Giandomenico Basso and Luca Rossetti are both multiple winners.