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Fri 22 Jul 2022

Palomo bids for repeat glory in Rome

Óscar Palomo bids for his second consecutive victory in the FIA Junior ERC and ERC4 categories at Rally di Roma Capitale this weekend (22 - 24 July).

The Spanish youngster tops a 21-strong entry of Rally4-specification machines at the Fiuggi-based counter - 11 of which are eligible for Junior ERC points. 

Palomo, driving a Peugeot 208 Rally4, moved into the Junior ERC lead after edging Toni Herranen at Tet Rally Liepāja, overtaking Laurent Pellier - winner of the first two rounds - when the Frenchman rolled his Opel Corsa Rally4. He also tops the ERC4 standings by 22 points.

The 19-year-old admits asphalt is not his strongest surface, although he’s keen to prove a point once the action gets underway on Friday evening. 

“I prefer gravel, but I am going to work hard. I think I can make a good rally in Rome and I am aiming for the same result as Liepāja,” he said.

Ford Fiesta Rally4 teenager Herranen also prefers loose-surface rallies and this weekend marks his asphalt debut. The Finn tested earlier this week and early feedback was good. 

“I’m really looking forward to it,” he explained. “There are a lot of new things ahead of us - it’s our first Tarmac rally - but we had some good tests to prepare for the weekend.”

Despite his dramatic outing in Latvia, Pellier only trails Palomo by five points in the junior standings. He’ll be looking to make amends and take victory number three of the season, while Renault Clio Rally4 driver Andrea Mabellini - an Italian expert - will also be one to watch.

Victor Hansen fields his trusty Fiesta and Roberto Daprà has switched to a Clio for his home round. Also debuting in new machinery is Lithuanian driver Justas Simaška, who has swapped his Fiesta for an NGS Racing-prepared Peugeot. 

Other entries include Martin Laszlo in another Clio as well as Mattia Vitta and Daniel Polášek in a pair of Ford cars. 

  • Full coverage from Rally di Roma Capitale will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.