The Hyundai Rally Team Italia driver took 1m53.3s to complete […]
The Hyundai Rally Team Italia driver took 1m53.3s to complete the 2.72-kilometre stage to edge out two-time FIA European Rally Championship winner Giandomenico Basso by 0.6s.

“Honestly it was not an easy stage,” said Crugnola, an ERC Junior graduate. “I made some small mistakes but I think other drivers did because it’s a new stage for everyone. The rally tomorrow will be really tough so we have to stay focused and see where we can be.”

Andreas Mikelsen was third fastest for Toksport WRT as he prepared to start Saturday’s leg first on the road in his Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo.

“It was cold tyres but flat out,” said the Norwegian. “It’s not easy but we had an okay stage. We could be faster, it was not an optimal run but it was risky to go flat out in there so it’s a fine balance. I have no idea [about our road position for tomorrow]. I don’t know, there’s probably a reason why the Italian drivers start further back.”

Behind Mikkelsen, Nil Solans was fourth quickest with Qualifying Stage pacesetter Nikolay Gryazin fifth.

“It was okay, a nice stage,” said Gryazin. “We did a stage before in Rome where you just needed to do hairpins. Here you need to work and it’s difficult with the concrete barriers. I was completely not pushing. I have a lot of pop-off openings but we were not losing too much. Our race starts tomorrow.”

Craig Breen was sixth fastest for Team MRF Tyres followed by Škoda Rally Team Hungaria’s Norbert Herczig. Giacomo Scattolon beat ORLEN Team’s Miko Marczyk into eighth place with Erik Cais completing the top 10 for Yacco ACCR Team.

European championship leader Alexey Lukyanuk was P12 in his Saintéloc Junior Team Citroën, but it was a tough start for Italian championship pacesetter Fabio Andolfi, who damaged a wheel hitting a concrete block. “I made a mistake in one corner, I am sorry,” he said.

Caracalla ACI Roma was a new addition to the Rally di Roma Capitale itinerary for 2021 and was the work of event organiser Max Rendina and his team at Motorsport Italia. Located close to the Colosseum and Circus Maximus, the stage started from Via San Balbina and totalled 2.72 kilometres over a loop around the Terme di Caracalla, repeated twice.

Rally di Roma Capitale resumes with SS1, Rocca di Cave 1, from 09h53 local time. ClickHEREfor live timing.
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