The rumour had been going for some time, but now the official confirmation has arrived: the two-time Italian Rally Champion, and winner of the 2011 Slovenian Championship, Piero Longhi, will take part in the 2012 edition of the International Rally Cup. After the victory a few weeks ago at the Rally of Adria, Longhi will return to action at the Rally Internazionale del Taro, scheduled from May 4th to 6th in Borgo Val di Taro / Bedonia (Parma – Italy).
With his usual enthusiasm, Longhi said: “I am very happy to take part in the International Rally Cup, there are very exciting rallyes with plenty of fast drivers, with a range of cars and champions of high value, both for quality and quantity, it certainly will not be easy and my opponents will surely give me much trouble. The last time I took part in the Rally del Taro was in 2003, I will therefore have to try to become immediately familiar with the route and find the best feeling with my car to achieve the best possible result”.
On the roads of Emilia, the former Italian champion will be joined by the “faithful and evergreen” Gigi Pirollo, on board the Mini WRC, one of the current top cars, a star of the 2012 World Rally Championship.
In addition to the Rally del Taro, Piero Longhi and team Twister Corse, in cooperation with United Business, which ensures the sports management of the driver, are defining the programme for 2012. This may include taking part in one or more rounds of the Italian Rally Championship, again with the Mini, but in RRC-spec (Regional Car), moved by the fact that such a car, albeit of a different brand but in the same version, won Rally 1000 Miglia a few weeks ago.
Pier Liberali of United Business said: “Longhi is certainly one of the fastest and more experienced drivers in Italy today, and he is one of the most solid at European level, for United Business he is a guarantee in terms of performance and results, proof of it being the title of Slovenian Champion, won last year, together with Pirollo: they had a new car, a completely new team and on new roads, but with their confidence and experience they have won! The participation of Piero at the International Rally Cup was immediately shared by Sergio Terrini and Stefania Giacomini of Twister Corse. I am very grateful to them for the support they have given to Longhi in the last three years, and to Michele De Luca and Ciro Steffen who provide the car, for my part I fully agree with this choice, today it is really hard to find, not only in Italy but in Europe, an entry list so rich in cars as the one offered by the International Rally Cup races, I wish to congratulate the organizers who see a reward for the efforts and the enthusiasm that they have provided in these years”.
The 19th Rally Internazionale del Taro will start at 16:01 on Saturday 5th May, with two special stages, after an overnight stop, the race will resume at 7:31 on Sunday 6th May, with the remaining eight special stages for a total of 123.61 timed kilometres for a total route of 452.55 km, with the finish scheduled at 5:50 p.m. on Sunday, May 6th at the end of a route that promises to be technical and very spectacular, the race, as per “tradition”, will be followed by a large and enthusiastic audience.