Abarth strengthen their squad for Valais

Abarth strengthen their squad for ValaisFrom IRC media [ 18/10/2008 ].
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The factory Abarth team will field a third car on the Rallye du Valais next week, for up-and-coming Italian star Umberto Scandola. The 23 year-old, who is a protégé of Abarth, made his debut on the Intercontinental Rally Challenge last year and led the last IRC round in Sanremo convincingly.

He also drove on the Madeira Rally this year, substituting for an unwell Anton Alen. Just as was the case in Sanremo, Scandola now joins Giandomenico Basso and Alen in the factory squad for Valais: an event where he finished third last year. Scandola's mission will be to help the drivers' title bid of Basso, who is closing in on IRC series leader Nicolas Vouilloz (Peugeot Belgium). An Abarth spokesman said: "It's very positive news for Abarth and for the IRC series. Umberto is a talented young driver who we are trying to develop, and Sanremo once more showed his potential. He was a podium finisher last year in Switzerland and we hope that he can repeat that performance this time as well."

Scandola will be co-driven by Guido d'Amore, who guided him to the podium on the Swiss stages last year. "I can honestly say that Umberto is really quick," said d'Amore. "Considering that he only has a limited programme, it's quite amazing that he doesn't take long to get up to speed."
The Rallye du Valais takes place from October 23-25.