Thursday, 31 August 2017

Patrizia Sciascia

Patrizia in 2004

Patrizia Sciascia was the Italian Ladies' Rally Champion in 2005. She has driven in five WRC rounds: all five San Remo rallies between 1996 and 2000. Her best finish was 32nd, third in class, in 2000.

She was born in 1971 in Sanremo. Her father was a rally driver and she was interested in the sport from an early age.

Fittingly, the Sanremo Rally was her first big international event, in 1995. Her car was a Peugeot 309 and she does not appear to have finished. She returned to Sanremo in 1996 and got to the finish this time, in 41st place. Her car was an Opel Corsa.

Her next two Sanremo Rallies, in 1997 and 1998, ended in retirement. She used a Ford Escort Cosworth in 1997, and a Renault Clio Williams in 1998. The Clio became her regular car for the next four seasons.

She continued to compete in Italian national rallies, with her annual WRC outing at Sanremo. In 2000, she finished in the top ten for the first time, coming in tenth in the Rallye Limone e dei 100,000 Trabucchi, held in Piedmont.

It went a little quieter for Patrizia for the next two seasons, but one highlight was a seventh place in the 2002 Rally Alba. She was driving the Clio and was one of 71 finishers.

In 2003, she took another step forward in her rally career with her first podium. Driving the Clio again, she was third in the Andora Rallysprint. That year, she alternated between the Clio and an Opel Astra, with the familiar Clio giving her better results. She was 19th in the Rally della Lanterna and won class N3 in May. The Astra may have been more difficult to drive, but it was in this car that she ventured back into international competition, after a break of two years. She entered the San Marino Rally, a European Championship round, and was 49th, eleventh in class.

For 2004, she settled on Cristina Biondi as a co-driver. The two had worked together on and off in 2003. Patrizia went back to the Clio as her car of choice; she only drove the Astra once, in the Rally Prealpi Trevigiane Terra. She was 39th and second in class. Again, the Clio suited her better. She was third in the Andora Rallysprint at the start of the season, and third again in the Rally del Valli Imperiesi in October. In between, she had her best-ever finish in the Sanremo Rally, which was no longer a WRC round. She was eleventh, and won class A7.

Between the end of 2004 and the start of 2005, Patrizia was announced as the winner of the “Woman in Blue” prize. Subaru Italy was keen to recruit an all-female crew for a shot at the Italian ladies’ championship, and she was judged to be a better bet than Monica Burigo, who started rallying at about the same time.

Patrizia duly won the ladies’ prize in 2005. Her car was a Group N Subaru Impreza and her best results were two fourteenth places, in the Sanremo and San Marino rallies. She was a frequent top-twenty finisher and was also sixteenth in the Mille Miglia, which had been revived as a stage rally.

In 2006, she stayed on as a Subaru Italy driver. Her programme was shorter than in 2005, but still included some of the big Italian rallies. She was 20th in Sanremo, co-driven by Samantha de Colle this time. Her best result was another third in the Rally del Valli Imperiesi. She was the leading Group N competitor.

Her contract with Subaru ended after 2006 and she returned to rallying the Clio. She was fifth in the Andora Rallysprint and contested some Italian sealed-surface events. The best of these was the Beta Rally Oltrepo, in which she was 19th. She was 27th in Sanremo.

2008 started in the same fashion. She drove the Clio in the Targa Florio and Mille Miglia, finishing 23rd and 27th. This led to a ride in a Peugeot 207 S2000 car. Its first outing was Sanremo, where Patrizia did not finish. Later, she entered the Rally del Valli Imperiesi again. This was always a good event for her, and she was fourth this year.

She was fifteenth in the 2009 Targa Florio, driving the Peugeot, and later used it for the Sanremo Rally. It wasn’t one of her best Sanremo drives, but she was solidly midfield in 32nd place. In between, she had a one-off drive in the Impreza for the San Marino Rally, and drove the Clio in the Rally Friuli Alpi Orientali. Both of these yielded more midfield finishes.

After 2010, she became a very occasional driver. She picked up another Peugeot 207 seat for Sanremo in 2010, finishing 30th. It was a round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) this year.

She was 15th in the Ronde di Andorra in 2011, driving a Clio. Later in the year, she won her class in the Ronde Enna, Sicily. She was sixth overall.

In 2015, she came out of retirement for a guest appearance at the Monza Rally Show, driving a Peugeot 207. She did not finish.

Away from motorsport, Patrizia works as a lawyer. She has been involved in motorsport-related cases, including disputes with the Italian motorsport authorities.

(Image copyright Rally Company)

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