Mon 06 Feb 2023

ACI Team Italia expands ERC commitment to include three young talents

Italian motorsport federation ACI is expanding its commitment to young stars contesting the FIA European Rally Championship by upping its support to include a third driver in 2023.

Through its ACI Team Italia talent nurturing initiative, Automobile Club d’Italia will continue to back Alberto Battistolli, 25, and 21-year-old Roberto Daprà, while adding Mattia Zanin, also 21, to its roster of prospects for the future.

Battistolli is preparing to build his experience in the headlining ERC category for Rally2 cars having finished seventh overall in 2022, with Daprà returning to mount a second FIA Junior ERC campaign after placing fifth in the category last season.

Zanin, meanwhile, is a new addition to the ACI Team Italia squad and will join Daprà among the Junior ERC ranks.

Simone Scattolin and Luca Guglielmetti will co-drive Battistolli and Daprà respectively with Battistolli armed with a Škoda Fabia Rally2 and Daprà competing in a Peugeot 208 Rally4. Zanin will count on Fabio Pizzol for co-driving duties in another Peugeot 208 Rally4. Long-standing ERC team Delta Rally will run the young Italian trio.

Confirmation of the ACI Team Italia ERC line-up came during the ACI Champions’ Awards in Vicenza, Italy, last Friday. 

Battistolli, Daprà and Zanin are part of the eight-strong ACI Team Italia intake for 2023, which also includes two circuit racers plus three other rally drivers.

Damiano De Tommaso (pictured celebratng) will contest the Campionato Italiano Assoluto Rally Sparco, the Italian national championship. Having won the ERC-counting Rally di Roma Capitale alongside co-driver Giorgia Ascalone last season, the 27-year-old is highly rated.

Meanwhile, Valentino Ledda and Giovanni Trentin, who were both born in 2007, will undertake a programme of events in Estonia and Latvia as they start on the road to possible ERC campaigns in the future. They will be supported by two experienced co-drivers, Anna Andreussi (Ledda) and Danilo Fappani (Trentin).

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