It was a soon-forgotten debut in the International Rally Cup for Daniele Zamberlan, the sole flag-bearer at the start of a series that saw the Xmotors team take the spotlight and climb to the top step of the overall podium last year.
The driver from Casale sul Sile, defending the colors of the Maser team that renewed its partnership with La Superba from Padua, appeared on the starting line with a Group A Peugeot 106 Rallye managed by Avior Racing and shared with Enrico Nicoletti on the note.
Already at the end of the exploration, the first alarm bell sounded.
“This was a completely new race for us” – says Zamberlan – “and we couldn’t complete all three permitted reconnaissance passages. Only on a few rehearsals did we do three laps, while in most cases we just wrote down the notes and corrected them. This factor undoubtedly made the difference in such a complicated away game. The tests were as fast as they were technical and the constant changes to the surfaces were very demanding.”
The challenge opened on Friday and the Treviso native, the only starter among the 1006 in Group A, secured the lead without difficulty, using the first part of the race to take action on a new car, and closed a good twenty from -eighth in the general RC4N group.
“After the last couple of seasons on an R5” – Zamberlan points out – “it wasn’t easy to get back to 106, so the first three specials were useful to try to get used to a context again for a moment, that we hadn’t experienced in a number of years. Despite that we were very happy because the car was really spotless thanks to the work of the guys from Avior Racing.”
The following Saturday, Zamberlan began to pick up his pace and managed to gain three positions in the group and eight overall at the stop control of the ‘Due Colli’.
The concluding “Due Mari” determined the last word on the two days in the Treviso area.
“We were almost at the end of the penultimate special stage” – adds Zamberlan – “and I think there were only a few hundred meters to the end of the stage. We came into a dip too fast and had trouble braking. We braked a hundred feet, maybe forty, and hit a tree right next to me. We’re still dizzy, but fortunately we’re perfectly healthy apart from a few ailments that match. We really didn’t need it because the blow was really very strong and our 106 suffered serious damage. In the coming days we will evaluate with the guys from Avior Racing, with Xmotors Team and with La Superba what to do in view of the Taro. It was a real shame because getting eliminated like that when you’re alone in the class and only have one special stage left really hurts, especially in the economy of a championship in which we want to be a protagonist. The next few days will be able to clarify our future.”