by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 55
Tragedyat Bulgaria Rally TRAGEDY caused the World Championship candidate Rally Bulgaria to be stopped after an accident cost the life of Italian co-driver Flavio Guglielmini on the first stage of the second day of the event. He had been competing alongside Swiss driver Brian Lavio when their Peugeot 207 S2000 left the road on a fast left hand bend, hit one tree, spun round and impacted a second tree on the co-driver’s side. Lavio was extricated from the wreckage and taken to hospital where his condition was stated to be stable. Guglielmini is reported to have died at the scene. They were lying eleventh overall at the time. The rally itself was being led by Giandomenico Basso, ironically the driver with whom Guglielmini made his mark in international rallying name. Apart from a season in the inaugural FIA Super 1600 Cup series most of Guglielmini’s subsequent career was spent in Italy where he competed with many top national drivers including Alex Fiorio and Andrea Aghini. The 2009 Rally Bulgaria counted for the FIA’s European Championship and was run in sweltering heat in the Rila mountains south-east of Sofia. Naturally smooth low-grip asphalt roads were made even more challenging for drivers by a lot of sand lying on the surfaces. 37 drivers started the event. The first day consisted of three mountainous stages done twice with a central service park in the valley below the rally headquarters town in the ski resort centre of Borovets. Fiat driver Basso was in his element, taking the lead straight away and winning every stage. He pulled away until he was more than a minute in the lead. Corrado Fontana initially gave chase in his Peugeot with Dimitar Iliev’s Mitsubishi lying third despite understeering. Popov had brake problems on the first stage. After the third stage Basso led Bulgarian driver Krum Donchev in front of Fontana and Michal Solowow. Conditions were exhausting for both drivers and cars in the mid-day heat, several Peugeot drivers reporting engine overheating. In the afternoon loop of stages Donchev had a broken shock absorber bearing but retained his place, Betti passed Iliev into fourth place but then dropped back to seventh with gearbox trouble and later retired at service. Popov punctured but finished the day in sixth place behind Iliev. In the two-wheel- drive category, Czech driver Antonin Tsulak immediately took the lead in his Citroen S1600 but was passed by Todor Slavov’s Renault Clio R3. However, Slavov slowed with overheating problems and Tsulak went ahead again. The rally re-started early on the Sunday morning. Most of the second day stages were repeats of the first day stages but run in the opposite direction and Basso stormed further ahead until the accident happened. The route was blocked behind the first few cars by the crash. When the severity of the incident was apparent, the rally was immediately stopped. The accident happened where GPS contact was not possible, but the organisers were alerted when the marshals at the following mid-stage control points reported that the Lavio’s car had not passed them. The FIA must now decide what championship points can be awarded from this event. If full points (except supplemental points for Day 2) are awarded, there is a three-way tie after five rounds in the ERC between Basso, Solowow and Donchev, all with 43 points, ahead of Fontana with 37 and Betti with 31. The Pirelli Star Driver points from this event were awarded to Davide di Benedetto (Peugeot 207 S2000) and jointly in the two-wheel category between Tlustak and Slavov. The next ERC event is Madeira Rally which also counts for the IRC series. Bulgaria Rally 1 Basso/Dotta 2 Donchev/Yordanov 3 Fontana/Cassina 4 Iliev/Yanakiev 5 Solowow/Baran 6 J + N Popov Fiat Grande Punto S2000 Peugeot 207 Super 2000 Peugeot 207 Super 2000 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX Peugeot 207 Super 2000 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX 1h32m16.7s 1h33m45.1s 1h34m17.1s 1h34m48.8s 1h34m49.5s 1h35m15.2s