07.01.2021 – More than 85 requests to take part have been filed. Next to the protagonists of the series led by reigning champs Ivan Carmellino and Simone Firenze, some stellar names will also be present like Craig Breen, Andrea Crugnola, Tamara Molinaro, Alberto Battistolli, Eric Scalvini and the French Dimitri Vergely.
The Ice Challenge – Italian Ice Championship 2021 – is about to start on a high and announces a stellar and full entry list at the eve of the first two rounds to be held in Livigno on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th January.
More than 85 requests have been filed in the past few weeks, which is a historic result for the series organized by BMG Motor Events that has never held a round with such great figures before. At the end of the entry procedures, in agreement with ACI Sport’s Commission for Sport Off-Road & Cross Country Rally, all the 72 entrants that finalized their entry have been admitted.
“We are proud and excited for this result – the organizers commented – “we put our body and soul in The Ice Challenge and kicking off with such great numbers and names is a good satisfaction for everyone involved. We would like to thank ACI Sport, the Off-Road & Cross Country Rally Commission and Gianluca Marotta that have always believed in the project to relaunch this discipline and that agreed to extend the participation to all the admissible entrants”.
A total of 31 cars, 8 kart-cross, 11 legend cars and 5 side-by-side/buggy will make it to the start of the much-awaited double-round in Livigno.
Not only figures, but also the quality of the drivers present will make this an historic weekend for the Italian ice-snow series as National and International stars coming from the most varied disciplines of motorsport will be present, from rallying, to track racing, hill-climbing, off road, rally cross and touring cars. The two reigning champions Ivan Carmellino will be present in the Fiat Punto Proto and Simone Firenze will debut with the new Semog Bravo Sport.
The Hyundai official WRC driver Irish star Craig Breen will take part in the The Ice Challenge and will get to Livigno to have some fun behind the wheel of a buggy that will allow him to train ahead of season 2021. The Italian Rally Champion Andrea Crugnola will also be at his debut on a kart-cross in this spectacular series. The French ace Dimitri Vergely will also compete in the same category for an exciting fight for the top.
Back to cars, last year’s winner in Cervinia Tamara Molinaro will be in a Skoda Fabia R5 as the Citroen C3 R5 is ready for the Monte-Carlo, while Rachele Somaschini will be at his debut on the ice in the Citroen C3 R5 that she has been driving at the ACI Rally Monza and Tuscan Rewind in the past season. The young Italian driver is an ambassador of the Fondazione Ricerca Fibrosi Cistica with her project “Correre per un Respiro” not only will increase the number of female drivers present in the series, but will also carry an important message on scientific research.
Alberto Battistolli will debut on the ice. He secured an extraordinary P3 at the Tuscan Rewind and will continue his growth in the Skoda Fabia R5 after his only experience on winter conditions at the Winter Rally Covasna Metalubs 2020. Eric Scalvini will compete in a Fiat Abarth 500 Proto, that he recently tested at Pragelato. The driver that is contesting the TCR Italy will certainly be one to keep an eye on.
It is impossible to cite all the strong drivers, but some of these are Luciano Cobbe, in the Kia Rio of Gigi Galli, Aldo Pistono and Andrea Caspani, in Opel Astra ex Snobeck, Sergio Durante in the new Giannini 350 GP4, Corrado Pinzano in a Skoda Fabia R5. The Bormolini lot will also be complete: Andrea and Marco Gianesini will be in the Skoda Fabia R5, as Mirco with Alessandro Furci, while Mauro and Mattia Cola will compete in a Mitsubishi Lancer Proto. The 2020 winner Alessio, will be present with Oliviero and Loris with Michele, that come from the experience at the Italian Junior Rally Championship in the Skoda Fabia R5. The managers of the Ice arena of Livigno – the splendid setting of the opening meeting of The Ice Challenge 2021 – will aim to a strong race in their home turf.
Gabriella Pedroni will be back to the series and will share the 2WD Opel Corsa with Stefano Nadalini. Other entrants present include Rudi and Lukas Bicciato (Lancia Delta), Fredi and Raffaele Silvestri (Lancia Delta), the latter also competing in kart-cross, the legendary Panda 4X4 of Piergiacomo Riva, the powerful Audi A1 Proto of Marco Togni and Igor Memeo, Adriano and Massimiliano Zanatta (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI), Jean-Claude Vallino (Opel Astra), the Citroen DS3 N5 of Oriano Agostini and Claudio Sergio Cantoni, that will debut at The Ice Challenge.
The single-make category Legend Cars will also be at the debut. The exciting American rear-wheel-drive cars pushed by the 3 cylinder 900cc Yamaha capable of 140 bhp will have 11 pairings challenging each other for the title led by the Italian champions Gianluca and Simone Borghi and the 16 years old Rita Sammartino. This challenge is quite awaited as it will be the only one with rolling start (weather and safety conditions allowing) that will therefore produce several neck-neck battles. The excitement is high after the test in Pragelato as these cars will produce a great spectacle.
The weekend will take place in two distinct days that will count as two separate rounds. The action will kick off at 8:00 on both days with free practice followed by qualifying and the three heats at 10:30 that will be won by the fastest on track. The Master King, the 1 against 1 battle will take place at the end of the day if the conditions will allow that. This exciting battle has been memorable in Livigno last year.
The event will be run behind closed doors due to the current sanitary emergency and without spectators. The live streaming coverage of the event has been confirmed though and will cover both racing days. The feed will be available at the official Facebook page of The Ice Challenge, while the website www.icechallenge.it will report on the unfolding of the two days with timely updates and live timing.