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Mon 04 Apr 2022

No worries for Battistolli after Azores roll

Alberto Battistolli’s Skoda Fabia Rally2 will soon be back to full health after his roll at the Azores Rallye last month.

The Italian star was on target to claim sixth overall before a roll on the Power Stage dropped him to ninth.

The car tipped onto its side at a low-speed hairpin corner and had to be righted by spectators before a frustrated Battistolli crabbed his way to the finish. 

He is still unsure exactly what caused the incident, but told FIAERC.com that repairs are already well underway in preparation for Rally Islas Canarias next month (12 - 14 May). 

“We were lucky and unlucky at the same time,” he explained. “I think some suspension and arms are broken, but the car integrity is pretty much fine. 

“There is still a lot of damage, but the car will be ready next week after a lot of work and of course we will be fine for the Canaries.

“We haven't actually understood if it was a mechanical failure before the roll, or if the car just fell into pieces for a roll at 20 kilometres per hour, but it was really strange for us. 

“[Azores] was one of the most beautiful rallies that I've done in my life, the stages were amazing,” he added.

Battistolli was one of multiple FIA European Rally Championship stars competing in Rally of Nations Guanajuato at the weekend. 

He was forced to retire with dust billowing into his borrowed Mitsubishi Evo 9, while Team Italy colleague Andrea Mabellini also failed to finish. Spain’s Nil Solans and Pep Bassas also succumbed to mechanical issues 

Azores Rallye 2022: Event Recap

“It ended not the way we hoped, but it was a great experience,” said the 24-year-old. “Let’s say the car was not a piece of cake. 

“On the first day, unfortunately we ran out of fuel because the fuel tank did not have the capability to have the fuel for the whole loop of stages. 

“We restarted on Sunday, but we had an issue with the car that meant a lot of dust was coming in. There were probably some holes that formed during the first stages. 

“The situation was so bad that we had to retire because it was really difficult breathing for us on the stages. We took that decision since we were not fighting for anything, as Andrea was already out of the game and we couldn't do anything to make Team Italy go higher.”