After a testing event, Max Rendina was delighted to claim his second victory in a row in the WRC 2 Championship Group N Cup navigated by long-term co-driver Mario Pizzuti. On only his second WRC outing outside Italy, Rendina again showed determination and focus, which left his Ralliart Italy-run Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X 3 minutes 39 seconds ahead of countryman and second-placed Group N Cup driver Gianluca Linari at the end of Rally Méxcio. To top it off, he finished on the WRC 2 Championship podium, taking a confident third place to finish only 15.9 seconds behind runner-up Lorenzo Bertelli in a Regional Rally Car.
There was a mixture of excitement and relief in the Ralliart Italy service area on Rendina’s return. Confident about Rendina’s ability and endurance, the team was concerned about whether he could hold his position after a new, less powerful engine map was installed at this morning’s service. Rendina’s engine had overheated yesterday after an impact, which damaged the radiator. Following a long service yesterday evening, the Ralliart Italy technicians successfully replaced the Mitsubishi’s radiator and rebuilt the radiator support area. However, it was impossible to reverse the damage done to the engine. The only action, which could be taken to protect the motor and give Rendina the best chance possible of making it to the finish, was to reduce the power of his Mitsubishi’s engine map. Fortunately, this did not seem to have a significant effect on the Italian’s performance.
Rendina is delighted with his victory and his 25 points in the Group N Cup, giving him a maximum 50 points across his two nominated events so far: “I can’t believe it. Mexico was an unknown quantity for me. I always knew I was well prepared and would do my best, but I couldn’t have predicted this result. It’s really fantastic. I had a great car, a great co-driver and a great team. With all this and being cheered on throughout by the Mexican fans who filled the stages – who could ask for more!”
Ralliart Italy Team Manager Bruno De Pianto couldn’t have wanted from Rendina and can’t wait for their next event together, Rally de Portugal: “It was a pleasure working with Max and Mario this week. They’re always focused and they always want to maximise their potential. You can’t really expect more than that from a crew. Mexico is a difficult event at the best of times and they came here without any experience on this terrain or driving at the testing altitudes in the Rally Mexico itinerary – and they won the Group N Cup for the second event in a row. I’m proud and impressed.”