Basso happy to run first on the road in San Marino
"I am not afraid starting first"
Giandomenico Basso insists starting at the head of the field on Rally San Marino, round seven of the all-action Intercontinental Rally Challenge, holds no fear.
Basso will lead the 34 starters over Friday’s five stages, which begin with the 19.33-kilometre Sestino test at 10:55hrs local time, in the M-Sport Ford Fiesta RRC he shares with fellow Italian Mitia Dotta.
Ordinarily drivers running first on the road on gravel events can expect to lose time by cleaning the stages of the loose surface stones to make a smoother passage for those running behind.
However, road cleaning is less of a factor on Rally San Marino, particularly with the crews contesting the historic section of the event running ahead of the main international entrants.
“I am not afraid starting first because the historic cars can help to clean the road,” said Basso. “I have a good feeling with this car and also with the gravel of San Marino. These things can help me to compete against Andreas Mikkelsen because he will be the man to beat here.”
Mikkelsen will follow Basso through Friday’s stages with Sepp Wiegand third, Umberto Scandola fourth, Patrik Flodin fifth and Germain Bonnefis sixth. The top 12 drivers are due to run in two-minute intervals although this remains subject to approval by event officials.