Trofeo Cave di Cusa 2021, the story

Passanante wins the Campobello derby, but the star is Martina Montalbano

Martina Montalbano, protagonist at the Trofeo Cave di Cusa 2021

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The third round of the Italian Historic Car Championship of classic regularity was won by the duo, in race and in life, formed by the Sicilians Mario Passanante-Annamaria Pisciotta on a 1937 Fiat 508 C for the colours of the team F.M. Franciacorta Motori. Passanante is the third driver to win in three rounds of the Cireas.

Behind the already Italian champion, two other local crews: Francesco and Giuseppe Di Pietra, father and son in a 1958 Fiat 600 in the colours of the AMAMS Tazio Nuvolari team and Giovanni Moceri navigated by ACI Palermo president Angelo Pizzuto in a 1939 FIAT 508 of the reigning Italian champion Classic Team.

The race took place over a distance of 186 kilometres with 65 time trials, two of which were cancelled, and had 29 starters.

To be mentioned the participation of some crews coming from the north, who faced the transfer and made the buffer as required by the Sicilian regional regulations 48 hours before entering the island.

Worthy of mention then for the Nettuno Bologna team, Massimo Bilancieri and Marisa Simeoni on a 1968 Alfa Romeo1750 GTV, Armando Fontana with the A112, Valerio Rimondi-Liana Fava with the beautiful Porsche 911 S Targa and the fourth crew of Fausto Governato-Maria Luisa Chillemi with the 1976 Lancia Beta Montecarlo.

From the north also came Alberto Diana competing with local Fabrizio Falanga, with the Fiat 508, Alfonso Facchini and his wife-navigator Luigia Olivetti with the Mg A Roadster of AMAMS Tazio Nuvolari, who will unfortunately be excluded from the final classification, and Roberto Ricci with Giacomo Sergio Giorgi with Autobianchi Y10 for the colours of the Scuderia Grifone.

The race was hard fought until the end and only 6 penalties divided the first two considering only the actual penalties acquired.

At the first time control, after 17 stages, the general classification, without coefficients related to the age of the car, was commanded by the Sicilians Leonardo and Giuseppe Maria Ippolito with the 1946 Fiat 1100/A ahead of Passante-Pisciotta and the solitary Salvatore Cusumano of Classic Team, with A112 Abarth 58HP of 1974. At the foot of the virtual podium, the excellent Martina Montalbano with her father Salvatore on A112 Abarth 70HP of 1975.

At the next time control, in Salaparuta, after 28 trials the classification was led by Cusumano with 7 penalties in front of the duo formed by Angelo Accardo-Filippo Becchina with the 1938 Fiat 508 and the colours of FM Franciacorta Motori followed by the two Montalbano at 13 penalties. Father and son Francesco and Giuseppe Di Pietra, with the Fiat 600 for the colours of AMAMS Tazio Nuvolari, also moved up in the classification. Passanante-Pisciotta dropped to sixth place.

After 41 timed trials, the lead was taken by Di Pietra, ahead of Passanante-Pisciotta, Accardo-Becchina and the doctor of Campobello origins Moceri with Pizzuto. So it was all over at the end with yet another upheaval in the classification. The Montalbano disappeared from the upper parts of the same, for a heavy penalty on trial No. 32.

The event prepared in detail has offered great natural and historical suggestion, with the steps from Selinunte, Santa Margherita Belice, Montevago, the city of "The Leopard" and then again the places of the earthquake of Belice from Salaparuta to Gibellina with passage to the Cretto of Burri.

An unwanted but uncontrollable guest was the rain, which fell heavily for long stages of the race.

"It was a very difficult race, emphasizes the winner Passanante, because we also encountered a lot of mud on the road that obviously complicates things for us with older cars. I'm very happy, I risked going off the road a couple of times but in the end I enjoyed it like crazy. We had some very strong rivals chasing us. We probably managed to make the difference in the night trials where we made fewer mistakes and managed to keep a certain line and a certain average".

Now the championship moves again to the North, on 17 and 18 April at the Valli Biellesi Oasi Zegna.


Overall, the surprise is Martina Montalbano

The final ranking valid for the Italian championship after the first three already mentioned, Passanante, Di Pietra and Moceri, saw in fourth position Accardo-Becchina, followed by the lone Salvatore Cusumano with A112 58HP of 1974 and the colours of the Classic Team, Giuseppe Maccario-Michele Luciano with A112 of 1970 of Nettuno Bologna, Francesco Commare-Roberta Trombetta with A112 E of 1972 of the same team, as well as Alfonso Tumbarello- Rocco Angelo Tumbarello with A112 Abarth of 1981, Rimondi-Fava and in tenth place Ricci-Giorgi of Grifone.


Teams Ranking, at Classic Team, Moceri not enough

Victory for the team Nettuno Bologna thanks to the placings of Maccario-Luciano, Bilancieri-Simeoni and Fontana-Sircello. Just behind the Classic Team ASD team thanks to the placings of Moceri-Pizzuto, Cusumano and Giovanni Isgrò-Rocco Bivona with the Fiat 1100 of 1956.


Categories the revenge of Cusumano

In the RC2 with three classified, for cars built from 1931 to 1950, the best were those of the overall classification: Passanante, Moceri and Accardo


In RC3 for cars built between 1951 and 1969, the Di Pietra duo dominated, ahead of Bilancieri-Simeoni and Salvatore Innocenti-Giovanni Alessio Ippolito in 1965 Fiat 600 D.


The RC4 with cars from 1970 to 1981 that had 13 classified, after Cusumano, Maccario and Tumbarello saw Commare and Rimondi. At the sixth place Franco Maurizio Vigilante- Morsa Vincenzo on A112 of 1970 followed by Alberto and Vincenzo Santoro with another A112 Abarth 58HP of 1972. Only eighth the couple Montalbano.


R5 Among the less dated cars, the victory went to Ricci-Giorgi, ahead of Francesco and Federico Caro, on Seat Fura of 1985, while third was the crew Fontana-Sircello.




The 2nd grouping for cars from 1931 to 1946 mirrored the Rc2 category with Passanante, Moceri and Accardo.

The 3rd grouping with cars from 1947 to 1961 saw the victory of Di Pietra.

In the 4th grouping for cars between 1962 and 1965 we find the lonely Innocenti-Ippolito

Among the cars between 1966-1971 belonging to the 5th grouping after Maccario, we find the already mentioned Vigilante, Bilancieri and Gino Bozzardi - Dario Di Castri on Opel Gt 1.9

The largest group, the 6th, for cars from 1972 to 1976, saw nine classified. After the aforementioned Cusumano, Commare and Rimondi, Santoro and Montalbano we find Maurizio Indelicato, navigated by Francesco Puntrello on Autobianchi A112 Elegant of 1976.

The seventh grouping for cars between 1977 and 1981 was won by Tumbarello in front of Mario Giunta-Andrea Ienna in an Autobianchi A112 Abarth of 1979.

Group 8 went to Caro ahead of Armando Fontana.

Finally, the 9th group saw the victory of the solitary Roberto Ricci and Giacomo Giorgi on Y10 of 1990 of the Grifone team