Looking at the final standings of the recent Campagnolo Historic Rally, held as the final act of the first round of the Italian Historic Rally Championship, one might be tempted to enjoy another consistent performance, but Matteo Luise was actually chasing the all day of racing, penalized by a tire choice that slowed him on the first lap of the morning in wet to dry conditions.
The Adria driver, still at the wheel of his Group A Fiat Ritmo 130 with Melissa Ferro at his side, appeared at stop control of Saturday’s first two outings with a net loss of over a minute already, having to resort to unsuitable tires for the context.
“It’s really a shame,” says Luise, “because we had to start the first special stages with rain tires that weren’t the best. Since we didn’t have the seven Pirelli tires available, nor the rubber boots, which they don’t make in our size, we switched to the Avon tires. Anyone who knows about rallies understands the conditions we were in. Unfortunately there was not much we could do other than contain the damage of this situation.”
Team Bassano’s flag-bearer, supported at the technical level by Silvano Amati and Valentino Vettore, dropped to twenty-fifth place overall, taking advantage of the stabilization of weather conditions to take the lead and launch a remarkable comeback.
We had to wait for the fourth time trial, that of “Santa Caterina”, to find the Polesine in the top ten, seventh overall in the special, with a jump that put him twelfth overall.
We returned to “Gambugliano” and Luise, third in practice, had already moved up to seventh overall.
A position consolidated with the partial fourth place in the final “Recoaro 1000”, since the subsequent “Santa Caterina” was canceled due to bad weather, and which allowed him to close a record consisting of seventh place in the best possible place in the general classification , from fourth place in the fourth classification and from another undisputed area in class A-J2/2000.
A booty that allows him to archive the first round of the CIRAS on the third step of the overall podium, coupled with the precedence in the fourth group, in group A and in the two-thousand class.
An ending that also allows Ferro to appear on the upper floors of the classification reserved for navigators, albeit together with other colleagues, in pitch number five.
“Apart from the mishap of the first tests” – Luise adds – “we can only be very satisfied with the result achieved.” The times were interesting, we knew the level of the starting park in Campagnolo and it is great for us and our little Ritmo Importance of bringing home a third and a fourth place in the special classification. This rewards the work of Silvano Amati and Valentino Vettore, who have given us a car that has worked very well. Of course I’m still a little disappointed because it would have been nice to see where we would have been without that tire factor. Nevertheless, we can be happy that we ended up at the top in all our categories in the CIRAS group and in third place in the overall ranking. Now we start a new fight again.”