Kalle Rovanpera, 2022 world rally champion, to celebrate his title win, at RallyLegend (13-16 october), together with Jari-Matti Latvala, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Team Principal.
“Dakar the legend”, with Franco De Paoli and his compelling story and KTM riders Giovanni Sala and Gioele Meoni, another great appointment.
Giacomo Agostini at RallyLegend: Trio of wonders with Arnoux and Merzario.
Republic of San Marino. It will be a real Rallylegend coup to have Kalle Rovanpera, the youngest ever World Rally Drivers’ Champion, in attendance just two weeks after winning the title, which he secured mathematically and two races ahead of time at the New Zealand rally in early October, with the Toyota Yaris Rally1 of team Gazoo Racing WRT. Joining the highly anticipated Kalle, who will take part in the Legend Stars with a Toyota Celica ST 185, is his Team Principal Jari-Matti Latvala, the director of said success and a Rallylegend fan in his own right. He will be racing with a Toyota Celica ST 165 belonging to his own team, Latvala Motorsport. “Something I’ve been working on for several months – explains Vito Piarulli, one of the organisers together with Paolo Valli – and it’s come together thanks to Latvala’s friendship and respect, but also his high regard for Rallylegend. Another great exclusive for the Rallylegend fans”.
Dakar The Legend: Franco De Paoli tells of his twenty epic Paris-Dakar Experiences.
The legendary Paris-Dakar will also be in the spotlight at Rallylegend. Franco De Paoli, a well-known name among those who love the African races, will be on hand to tell of his own particular adventures. Having been struck by the ‘bug’ for Africa, in 1979 he also discovered a passion for the Rally-Raids and enjoyed them as a fan before participating in twenty editions of the Paris-Dakar as a privateer driver, and four as a journalist. This, as well as twelve Pharahos Rally in Egypt, eight Atlas Rallies in Morocco, five Rallies of Tunisia, the Qatar Rally, and other similar events. He did not settle for traditional vehicles and opened his own workshop, which gave birth to prototypes such as the Rover 3.5 4×4, various evolutions with Range Rover mechanics, the wonderful Red Typhoon, the Audi Quattro Dakar, the Twinax Audi Quattro, the various editions of Mitsubishi Pajero, and the 700 cc DAF 4×4 truck. De Paoli himself will recount all this and more at Rallylegend Village on Friday 14 October at 3pm, along with Miki Biasion and Juha Kankkunen, they too former rally raid stars. The event will take place against a backdrop comprising two Range Rovers and an Audi Quattro in its Dakar guise, as well as a formidable Man Rothmans truck complete with original trim.
THE TWO-WHEELED DAKAR ALSO AT RALLYLEGEND: WITH KTM, GIOVANNI SALA AND GIOELE MEONI
And there will be even more Dakar at Rallylegend. A rally raid that has written pages of history with its tales of courage and also pain, and not only with its cars but with its motorcycles too. The KTM brand has played a key role in the history of the Dakar and will be in attendance in San Marino with Giovanni Sala and young Gioele Meoni, son of the unforgettable Fabrizio, who won the African race in 2001 and 2002 before tragically losing his life there in 2005. Sala was the last Italian rider to reach the Dakar podium, having competed in ten editions. He will be at Rallylegend with the 2003 KTM 950 Rally. Gioele Meoni, who has inherited his dad’s love for motorcycling and African rally raids – and who will be in San Marino with father Fabrizio’s 2002 KTM 950 Rally – is set to take on the next Dakar with a KTM 450 Rally. “The race is a vehicle, the solidarity the purpose”. These few words sum up the spirit of the Dakar 4 Dakar project, conceived by Gioele, to realise – if only in part – the dream he shared with his dad of racing the Dakar together. But the humanitarian goal is equally important, to raise funds for the construction of a school in Dakar, in memory of sister Chiara, who recently died. A noble project, but also an ambitious one, which deserves to be heard.
GIACOMO AGOSTINI AT RALLYLEGEND: A MARVELLOUS TRIO WITH ARNOUX AND MERZARIO
Giacomo Agostini will also attend Rallylegend, making up a marvellous trio with René Arnoux and Arturo Merzario as they meet with the public on Saturday 15 October at 10am, at the Sparco stand. Agostini, the most successful motorcycle rider of all time with 15 world titles to his name (eight in the 500cc class and seven in 350 cc), raced mainly for MV Agusta between 1963 and 1977. “Ago” then moved on to cars, from 1978 to 1980. At 36, and with little four-wheeled experienced, he couldn’t expect to compete at a high level, but he nevertheless scored podiums in both Formula 2, with the Chevron B42 BMW, and in Formula Aurora AFX, a British championship with former Formula 1 cars, where he competed with the Williams FW06 Cosworth. In 1979 he was able to take part in two non-championship Formula 1 races, the Race of Champions in England and at Imola, placing tenth in his home race.
THE LANCIA FULVIA HF, WINNER OF THE 1967 TOUR DE CORSE, AT RALLYLEGEND
And for refined rallying palates there is the Lancia Fulvia HF, winner of the 1967 Tour de Corse, which was registered by Squadra Corse Lancia and raced by Sandro Munari and Luciano Lombardini fifty-five years ago. Visitors will be able to admire it at the Pirelli stand in Rallylegend Village. The car was equipped with Pirelli Cinturato tyres for its first international win, which was also a first for the Fulvia and for Sandro Munari. On that occasion, the Lancia Fulvia HF-R of Munari-Lombardini got the better of the undeniable queen of the Tour de Corse, the Renault Alpine. Sandro Munari has always considered the 1967 Tour de Corse to be his greatest victory, one that seemed impossible prior to the event. He considers it even more significant than his 1972 Montecarlo win, which brought him notoriety and extended the racing life and production of the Fulvia. Recovered in the 2000s, the Fulvia HF has been fully restored to its original state.
THE RALLYLEGEND “SHOWMEN” SET TO PUT ON A SHOW
Rallylegend has always been the kingdom of sideways and jumps. Even those who strive to win in their category still want to put on a show for the spectators. But there is one group of spectacular drfivers who register for the event with the sole intention of making show. Show both themselves and the spectators, who deem them real idols. After the premature passing of Austrian driver Christof Klausner, who was killed in a road accident last year and who had delighted everybody for years with his performances aboard the Audi Quattro, Rallylegend has created the CKLegend category, which brings together his “emulators”. Paolo Diana, who has fixed the engine of his souped-up Fiat 131 Racing, is one of these, and was also a great friend of Klausner, along with Irishman Frank Kelly, with the Ford Escort MkII. Not forgetting the lively Lada 2101 and VFTS of Hungarian drivers Tibor Boroznaki, Istvan Dudas, Arpad Merencsics and Attila Toth.
THE “SMALL” STARS OF RALLYLEGEND
But it’s not just the four-wheeled queens of rallying who take centre stage at Rallylegend. There are also a number of “princesses”, a fixed presence at Rallylegend, who win the admiration of fans around the special stages. The 1998 Fiat 126 Bis is just one example, driven by Flaviano Polato, but also the 1989 Trabant 601 raced by German pairing Derda-Krajewski and the rare 1998 Subaru Vivio 4WD – the same one that a fearless Colin McRae took to the 1993 Safari Rally no less – and that will be piloted by Polish pair Gadomski-Bosek at Rallylegend. These three “small” stars will compete in the “Classic” category.