Great show and crowd of spectators for the “premiere” of “Eberhard time challenge” that celebrated the opening of rallylegend 2022 yesterday.
Also many appointments at the rally village today afternoon.
Shakedown, the “appetizer” of the rally that starts tonight for the night time leg.
Republic of San Marino. The charm of the night, an overflowing and joyful audience, all the 185 crews lined up at the start: the first edition of “Eberhard Time Challenge”, the novelty that opened Rallylegend 2022, was another great success. It consists in a three kilometres of a special stage that awarded the first three drivers of each class with Eberhard & Co prizes and a bonus of seconds to “take away” from the time of the real rally. A celebration of passion that the crews’ commitment push to a high level adrenaline.
In the final absolute classification, Alessandro Furci, “an entrepreneur by choice and a driver for love” as he defines himself, flanked by the valuable driver here as a navigator Andrea Nucita, drove his Skoda Fabia R5 2020 of BS Sport into the firs place, preceding a very fast driver like Luca Pedersoli, with Anna Tomasi, with the 2011 Citroen DS3 WRC and the 2017 Skoda Fabia R5 of Riccardo Lopes and Stefano Bruzzese.
The highest part of the absolute classification has been occupied by the most modern and fastest WRC and R5 cars where the eleventh overall (and first of his class) of Simone Romagna and Cristina Caldart with their 1990 Lancia Delta Integrale stands out. The San Marino driver Marcello Colombini, flanked by Selva, placed his BMW M3 to the 14th place immediately ahead of the Citroen C3 R5 of Rachele Somaschini and Daiana Darderi, the only female crew at the start. Jari-Matti Latvala, Team Principal Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, flanked by Ferm, also pushed his 1987 Toyota Celica ST 165 in a great position (19th overall).
SO MUCH PUBLIC AT THE SHAKEDOWN: THE SET UP FOR THE RACE ARE IMPROVED
So much public in a festive atmosphere for the first act with the engines on of Rallylegend 2022.
An eagerly awaited “appetizer”, as the rally starts in the evening.
Everything took place with regularity and both the “big” members both the many passionate crews at the start were able to tune the magnificent cars that will take part in Rallylegend 2022.
RALLYLEGEND VILLAGE: MANY MEETINGS WITH THE CHAMPIONS OF THE HISTORY OF RALLY AND MUCH MORE.
The series of legendary encounters at Rally Village started with great news: Dakar the Legend, car and motorcycle riders who participated in the famous African marathon and more. Franco De Paoli, very well-known by those who love African races told a fascinating story of passion for motorsport. Thanks to his admiration for Africa he discovers a passion for Rally-Raids in 1979 as well. He approached to rally as a simple enthusiast and then he participated as a private driver in twenty editions of the Paris – Dakar and in four as a journalist. He also participated in twelve Pharahos Rally in Egypt, in eight races in Atlas Rally in Morocco, in five Rally in Tunisia, in Rally in Qatar, in addition to other similar events. Together with De Paoli another Italian legend of African races is Beppe Gualini, one of the protagonists of the African races and the Camel Trophy. Miki Biasion and Juha Kankkunen brought their contribute, having also been protagonists in the rally raids a few years ago. Two Range Rovers and an Audi Quattro in the Dakar version, the perfectly restored Land Rover Camel Trophy, together with a powerful Man Rothmans’ truck, in the original layout are the backdrop to the meeting.
There was still talk of Dakar at Rallylegend. The KTM brand is a significant part of the great history of the Dakar and brought Giovanni Sala and the young Gioele Meoni, son of the unforgettable Fabrizio, to San Marino. Giovanni Sala was the last Italian motorcyclist to get on the podium of the Dakar, which saw him at the start ten times and brought the 2003 KTM 950 Rally to Rallylegend. Gioele Meoni, who brought to show in San Marino and has climbed and dropped from the starting podium and finish stage with the 2002 KTM 950 Rally which belonged to the great Fabrizio, he faces the next Dakar with a KTM 450 Rally.
THE MCRAE FAMILY AND “BEST IMPREZA” AT RALLYLEGEND
Hollie McRae, daughter of the unforgettable Colin, together with grandfather Jimmy and her almost complete family, are a very prestigious presence at Rallylegend. Hollie is the godmother of the event and was also an active part in “Best Impreza McRae Edition”, another great event of Rallylegend 2022. After the great interest aroused in the last edition, “Best Impreza” returned to San Marino, presenting the important developments of this project, with the Subaru Impreza Group A, made as part of this operation which, from 13 to 16 October, will make their debut in the race on the occasion of the twentieth edition of Rallylegend. In the group of “Best Impreza”, which has in Carlo Boroli the creator, the coordinator and the indefatigable soul, also Piero Liatti, former Subaru official driver and winner of the 1997 Monte Carlo rally, in charge of the tests and final tuning of the Impreza Group A specimens, which will be among the great appearances of Rallylegend 2022. At the presentation at the Best Impreza hospitality a “parterre de roi” of attendance: Miki Biasion, Juha Kankkunen, Malcolm Wilson, Harri Rovanpera, Andrea Aghini, Rui Madeira .
“RALLYLEGEND SURPRISE”: A PAIR OF RALLY SHOES OF COLIN MCRAE TO KALLE ROVANPERA
Never banal encounters, beautiful stories and even strong emotions in the situations that are created in the Rally Village. Like in “Best Impreza” where, with the complicity between the McRae family and Vito Piarulli, a suggestive and also moving idea was born. At the end of the presentation, Kalle Rovanpera was accompanied by the Toyota Gazoo Racing staff to the Best Impreza hospitality, where Hollie McRae was waiting for him, with a trophy packed with a pair of shoes from dad Colin. A sort of handover between Kalle, the youngest world champion, and Colin, the driver from whom the Finn took away the lead, the title he won in 1995 at the age of 27. The delivery was a truly engaging moment with an amazed and moved Kalle Rovanpera thanking him: “It was a wonderful surprise, it was a great honour to receive the memory of a great champion from his family and from Rallylegend”.
DREAM NAMES AT THE LANCIA 037 TRIBUTE 40 YEARS
They couldn’t miss the forty-year celebration of the Lancia 037’s debut, an extraordinary rally car that positively marked their legendary careers. And the Lancia 037 Tribute 40 Years was answered by a fantastic group of champions. In a very crowded Sparco stand, there were two-time World Rally Champion Miki Biasion and Christian Geistdorfer, who apologized by Walter Rohrl, who was unable to be at Rallylegend due to personal problems. There were the beloved Markku Alen and Ilkka Kivimaki, the two main crews in the conquest, in 1983, of the constructors’ world rally title by the Lancia 037, the last Two Wheel Drive to win the world championship, thanks also to the contribution of Bettega- Perissinot and Vudafieri-Pirollo. Guest of honour at Rallylegend Cesare Fiorio, Sporting Director also in this great Lancia Martini Racing enterprise, and also present Adartico Vudafieri, Andrea Zanussi, Tonino Tognana, Gigi Pirollo, Andrea Aghini, a beautiful group of legendary Lancia mechanics, headed by the historical leader Rino Buschiazzo. Meetings accompanied by a static and dynamic display of the most significant and winning Lancia 037s, in the liveries that marked an unforgettable era of rallies. Together with the “sisters” of the time, the new and fascinating Kimera, the modern project by Luca Betti.
EBERHARD AWARDS KALLE ROVANPERA WITH A HIGHEST QUALITY WATCH
Mario Peserico, CEO of Eberhard Italy, wanted to reward Kalle Rovanpera for his great achievement in the 2002 World Rally by giving him a prestigious watch from the Swiss Maison.