Ralliart Italy Team Manager Bruno De Pianto recognises that time penalty was unavoidable, he also hopes that Rendina will have the chance to fight back on Day Two.
Ralliart Italy-run Italian pairing Max Rendina and Mario Pizzuti currently lie third in the WRC 2 Championship Group N Cup at Rally Argentina. Rendina had a steady start to the day, focusing on making it through the opening stage without falling foul of the mud after having selected tyres with the gargantuan 51.88 kilometre SS3 in mind.
Despite this careful planning, Rendina still encountered difficulties on SS3 when he broke one of his turbo supports on his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X and began to lose turbo pressure from the middle of the stage onwards, costing him almost a minute. That said, he put in a solid time and finished the test one minute faster than anyone else in the Group N Cup.
Since it was impossible to repair the broken support, the team decided to change the entire turbo at midday service as a precaution. However, a complication in the replacement process meant that Rendina suffered a four minute time penalty for exiting service late.
The afternoon got off to an equally complicated start as the organisers awarded Rendina a notional time for safety reasons. Fortunately, Rendina saved the best for last and confidently navigated Ascochinga / Agua De Oro on his second pass to complete it 1 minute 50 seconds faster that Group N Cup leader Juan Carlos Alonso who is competing this weekend on home soil. Max copy 5
This strong finish left Rendina only five seconds off second place and 2 minutes 35 seconds behind Alonso. With his confidence increasing, Rendina still recognises the challenge ahead of him and is pleased to have completed Day One: "It was a crazy day. I got some good times, but I also had few a problems! I want to thank the team because they managed to fix my Mitsubishi at midday service and that wasn't an easy job! Now I hope tomorrow I'll be on good form and able to put some pressure on the first two cars in the Group N Cup."
While Ralliart Italy Team Manager Bruno De Pianto recognises that today's time penalty was unavoidable, he also hopes that Rendina will have the chance to fight back on Day Two: "I'm really sorry for the time lost when service ran over, but I believe we made the right choices. I'll never compromise on safety and it was important to make sure Max's car was performing as well as possible. I believe this is what allowed him to get such a good time in SS5 too. Now he's finished the day safely and will be ready to take on tomorrow's stages with new energy."