Max Rendina (ITA) got off to a cracking start at Rally México. He set the fastest times in the WRC 2 Championship Group N Cup on Thursday night’s street stage in Guanajuato and on nine of yesterday’s 10 tests, which together total 149.63 competitive kilometres. As many cars fell by the wayside, Rendina took his Ralliart Italy-run Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X successfully through the dusty Mexican stages on his first outing outside Europe to finish Day One 12th overall.
It was a tough day, but Rendina adapted to the conditions, confidently navigated through the stages by co-driver Mario Pizzuti, to close the day third in the WRC 2 category with a 2 minute 57 second lead in the Group N Cup. His Mitsubishi worked well throughout. His only trouble came on the road section between SS6 and SS7 when he took a 20 second penalty after having to stop to clean out his air filter which had filled with dust on the previous stage.
After an otherwise uneventful day, Rendina was pleased to reach evening service unscathed and is ready to tackle Day Two with the same determination: “It wasn’t an easy day. I set out with a clear vision and one goal – to get to the end of today’s stages without any serious problems. With Mario’s help, I did that, but we had to focus and push on in very testing conditions. Now I have a better idea of the Mexican gravel and what to expect tomorrow, so I hope that if we stay calm and drive like we did today, we’ll make it safely to the end of the rally. To hold our current position and win the Group N Cup on our second event in a row would be a fantastic bonus, but for now we have to concentrate on getting to the finish.”
Ralliart Italy Team Manager Bruno De Pianto was very pleased with Rendina’s performance: “Of course, it’s great that Max is leading the Group N Cup. Mexico could hardly be more different from Monte Carlo, but he’s managed to get straight to the front of the field on both events, despite not having any previous experience on either. However, even more impressive is for him to be 12th overall at the end of Day One on a difficult rally, in tough conditions with a Group N car. Everyone at Ralliart Italy is very proud of this performance and we hope to see him reach the end of Sunday’s stages on the same form!”