This period after opening the walls until the first stage of the WRC in Estonia is interesting, because various rallies in Europe which received only a constellation of local significance, this summer accept such guests and their equipment that they could only dream of before.
WRC racers need to get their speed, and because the number of tests is tightly regulated and limited, they have to look elsewhere for racing kilometers. In one local Finnish rally, Katsuta Takamoto rode with a Toyota Yaris WRC during the opening ceremony ramp, and in another – Esapekka Lappi with a Ford Fiesta WRC. And if the Katsuta was dominant, then the return of the Esapeka ended after driving just 300 meters. But in the area of western Italy, between Genoa and Turin, there has been a rally festival that any other country in Europe or the world could envy. The European Championship stage near Rome was already strong in the sense of the participants, but the Rally di Alba is yet another level.
Normally, Rally di Alba is the event of the Italian WRC Championship. The name may be a little tricky, as there aren’t that many WRC cars. Last weekend, only two such crews C.Fontana with Hyundai i20 NG WRC and S.Miele with Citroen DS3 WRC gathered in this championship class. But in addition to them, a bunch of R5 and smaller caliber cars is also participating in this championship. So usually the list of participants is usually very Italian, but last year this event received a very important guest – S. Loeb with this generation Hyundai i20 WRC. Sebastian did not show up this time, but Hyundai team manager Andrea Adamo made sure that this rally celebration would be remembered by people for a very long time.
Adam’s complex and infinitely interesting personality. And such personalities are really lacking in the rally world. And here, with one hand, he is taking away a place in the car from fast and loyal drivers, the other is sparingly giving people an unforgettable sight. The region where the rally took place has been hit particularly hard by recent problems that have shaken the world. The lost lives reached A. Adam’s own family. So he promised himself and others that when the opportunity arose, he would do anything to make people smile again. That’s what he did. Hyundai badges started flashing in the list of participants of the Rally di Alba, with very strong names and cars. 4 Hyundai i20 WRC cars of this generation started in a specially designed class – WRC champion O.Tanak, T.Neuville, P.Loubet, and local star L.Pedesoli behind their wheels. Hyundai was joined by 2 Ford Fiesta WRCs with local rally celebrities as well. And in the main classification, there is also a strong landing of the Hyundai team with R5 cars – D.Sordo, C.Breen, O.C. Veiby, J. Huttunen, and G. Munster.
And the event really succeeded, gathering crowds of spectators and really lighting smiles on their faces. The combat speed sections were uncompromising. Neuville showed Tanak that there was still room for improvement, and in the R5 car standings, Breen overtook his teammates and rivals to secure a better chance of sitting in a WRC instead of an R5 in the remaining stages of the WRC.
Say Thank You and become a part of Rally Week
Photo by – Davide Giaccioli