Remembering when... ERC gladiator Bouffier won in Rome by 0.3s!
Bryan Bouffier defeated Kajetan Kajetanowicz by 0.3s in a thrilling final-stage shootout for FIA European Rally Championship glory in Italy on 17 September 2017.
Bouffier started the closing 11.75-kilometre test on Rally di Roma Capitale trailing the double European champion by 0.5s, but went quicker by 0.8s to win the closest finish in recent ERC history, as the lead changed hands a staggering nine times in 12 stages.
“For sure it’s amazing to win and especially in these conditions when you are fighting like hell,” said Bouffier, who became the first two-time winner of the season in the Ford Fiesta R5 he was sharing with co-driver Xavier Panseri. “We did our best and it’s amazing, it’s so great I start to fly a little bit. In all sport it’s nice to fight, it gives you adrenalin and this is what I enjoy. Big thanks to the team and to my sponsors for my two victories.”
Jan Černý won ERC Junior Under 28 for the first time in sixth overall behind Bruno Magalhães, Grzegorz Grzyb and Simone Tempestini, with fellow ACCR Czech Team driver Filip Mareš claiming his maiden ERC Junior Under 27 victory.
Tibor Érdi Jr secured the ERC2 laurels to close to within four points of the championship lead heading to the final round in Latvia. Elsewhere, Tamara Molinaro wrapped up the ERC Ladies’ Trophy title as Emma Falcón lost out on an event win when she retired with engine problems one stage from home.
Rally di Roma Capitale’s first appearance on the ERC schedule began in spectacular fashion and culminated in a dramatic final stage showdown. After bringing parts of central Rome to a standstill on Friday evening with a driving tour of the historic city under police escort, a floodlit superspecial stage in front of thousands of fans proved another highlight ahead of the ceremonial finish in Ostia, a popular seaside destination on the banks of the banks of the Tyrrhenian Sea and a short drive from Rome.
This year’s Rally di Roma Capitale from 20-22 July, the event’s sixth running, forms round five of the 2018 FIA European Rally Championship and round three of the ERC Junior Under 28 and ERC Junior Under 27 championships.