International Motorsports Roundup For Oct. 18
* Giandomenico Basso / Mitia Dotta powered to a second Rallye Sanremo victory in their M-Sport- prepared Ford Fiesta RRC. The duo clinched the penultimate round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge by more than half-a-minute on home turf. Despite the 54th edition of the legendary rally being plagued by unpredictable weather, Basso was in dominant form on the Italian asphalt. He sprinted away from his pursuers from the first stage and won five speed tests over the two-day event to claim his sixth IRC career triumph and second of the season. The result lifted the 39-year-old into fourth in the IRC standings, despite having contested just four of the 12 rounds to-date.
* Nasser Al-Attiyah / Giovanni Bernacchini led a Ford Fiesta RRC podium clean sweep in the Jordan International Rally, round four of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship in the Dead Sea region. Despite having to sweep away gravel from the slippery stage surfaces, the Qatari driver claimed his sixth triumph in the event and his 43rd MERC career success. He and Bernacchini came home just over half-a-minute ahead of Roger Feghali / Joseph Matar, with Yazeed Al-Rajhi / Michael Orr just under two minutes further back in third. The trio claimed all 16 of the fastest stage times, with six for Al-Attiyah and five apiece for Feghali and Al-Rajhi. Al-Attiyah and Feghali are tied for second in the drivers’ championship with two rounds remaining.
* Yağız Avcı / Bahadır Gücenmez clinched the FIA East European Rally Cup crown, by finishing third in the 45th Serbia Rally in Belgrade in their Ford Fiesta S2000. The result made history as Castrol Ford Team Türkiye became the first Turkish team ever to win a European championship.
* Changan Ford Racing Team clinched its fourth successive China Touring Car Championship manufacturers’ crown, and the fifth in the last seven years, courtesy of third and fourth-place finishes for Rainey He and Tengyi Jiang at Shanghai Tianma Circuit. After sealing his third pole position of the campaign in his Ford Focus 1.6T, He finished third in this penultimate round of the season and leads the drivers’ standings by two points with one round remaining. Jiang took fourth after beginning the race seventh. The final round is at Shanghai International Circuit and the last time Changan Ford competed there, the team claimed a top four lock-out.
* Recently-crowned MSA British Formula Ford Champion Antti Buri made the most of his title-winning prize by topping the timesheets during his maiden test in a USF2000 single-seater around the Indianapolis Grand Prix circuit in the USA. The 23-year-old lived up to his ‘Flying Finn’ moniker at the legendary ‘Brickyard’ by setting the fastest time by half-a-second. He backed up that form by lapping fifth-quickest in the more powerful Star Mazda car. Both the USF2000 and Star Mazda championships form steps on the Mazda Road to Indy ladder designed to propel drivers all the way to the headlining IndyCar Series.
* Jeroen Swaanen / Robin Buysmans won the Rally Land van Altena in the Netherlands in a Ford Focus RS WRC, ahead of Herman Kobus / Erik de Wild in a Fiesta S2000, who added to their runner-up laurels with first in class.
* John MacCrone / Stuart Loudon achieved class victory and finished second overall behind the wheel of their Ford Fiesta R2 on the Tunnock's Mull Rally in Scotland.
* Piloting a Ford Fiesta R2, Xavier Baugnet / Johan Jalet won their class in Rallye de Luxembourg, with Arnaud Dedouaire / Gregory Antoine finishing third in class in a similar car.