Rendina extends lead in Group N Cup

Ralliart Italy Rally México Day Two‏

Day Two at Rally México was a tough test for Ralliart Italy-run Italian pairing Max Rendina and Mario Pizzuti. That said, they were pleased to finish the day promoted to second in the FIA WRC 2 Championship, while extending their lead in the WRC 2 Group N Cup to 3 minutes 17 seconds. They were resolute in their determination to make it through all 170.08 kilometres of today’s competitive stages – and they did.

However, the day wasn’t all plain sailing. Approximately 10 kiloemtres before the end of SS13, the last stage before midday service, Rendina hit a rock damaging the front of his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X. Fortunately, he was close enough to the end of the morning loop that he was able to nurse his Lancer back to service. Rendina didn’t lose time from his impact in the stage. He did take a 30 second penalty for being late out of service. However, this was a small price to pay in order have a car strong enough to survive the rough Mexican terrain in the afternoon.

The second loop was going well until Rendina unfortunately lost just under a minute on SS17, the penultimate 2.21 kilometres test of the day after he fell foul of the ruts left in the road from the WRC cars ahead of him. Losing his line, he had another small impact and picked up a slow puncture. Unable to change his tyre before SS18, the last stage of Day Two, he was careful not to make the same mistake twice, driving conservatively through the final Super Special to make sure he made it to the overnight halt safely.

After an arduous day, Rendina is happy with his achievement and still focused on making it safely to the finish tomorrow: “What a day! It wasn’t easy, that’s for sure, but we made it. When Mario and I set our minds on something, we never give up. I’m really pleased with my position. Our focus is of course on the Group N Cup leader board and taking home a good number of points to add to our 25 from Monte Carlo. However, it feels great to be second in the WRC 2 overnight. It would be a real bonus if we could hold this position until the end of the rally.”

Team Manager Bruno De Pianto is impressed with Rendina’s endurance on his first outing in Mexico: “You can see from the troubles of drivers ahead of Max on the road that Mexico isn’t an easy rally and it’s proving to be a real challenge for everyone. For me, it’s a great achievement for Max and Mario to have come this far without any serious problems, while never letting the pressure get to them. I really hope they can round it off by sealing their second victory in a row in the Group N Cup tomorrow.”