Ralliart Italy-run Italian pairing Max Rendina and Mario Pizzuti were thrilled to pick up the maximum 25 points in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X in the FIA WRC 2 Championship Group N Cup at Rally Australia this weekend for the fifth time so far this season. The Coffs Harbour based event marked Rendina’s last points scoring event this season in the Group N Cup where six scores out of seven count towards the final series standings. With five wins and one fourth place, Rendina ends his season at the top of the leader board with 137 points.
Closest rival, Juan Alonso currently has 111 points, but two rounds left to do. Accounting for one dropped score, the 26 point difference means that Alonso would need to win both his upcoming rounds to steal the top spot and Cup title from Rendina. That isn’t easy to do, but it also isn’t impossible, so Rendina knows he now has to spectate the next events with baited breath as Alonso’s performance will decide both their fates: “It’s certainly a tense position to be in. It isn’t easy being at home waiting to find out if you’ve won the series or not, but Mario and I gave it our best this year so we couldn’t really have done any more.”
2014 marked Rendina’s first season competing outside Italy, so he’s slightly amazed to find himself in with a chance of winning the Group N Cup title: “We set out this season focused on learning the stages of the events on the WRC calendar, with our eyes set on coming back in 2015 and going for the title. To find ourselves in with a shot this year is more than we could have hoped for. Of course, although we were new to the stages, our team Ralliart Italy is very experienced, which helped us hugely! We definitely couldn’t have got this far without them.”
And as for Rendina’s first outing in Australia? “It’s been great! The people have been really friendly and it was very interesting to compete on the unusual clay stages. This year we’ve had the chance to tackle events on four different continents – that in itself is a very special experience we’ll never forget.”
Ralliart Italy Team Manager Bruno De Pianto will also be watching carefully to see what happens on the remaining events and if Rendina can take the Group N Cup title on his debut WRC season: “Mathematically, Max is in with a very good shot of winning the title, but we all know rallying, so we also know that anything can happen! Max has worked hard this year and been focused and I’ll be delighted if he takes home the trophy at the end to show it. Everyone at Ralliart Italy will have their fingers-crossed for him!”