Targa Florio, Luise’s new trump card
The time to lament the Costa Smeralda mishap, a third overall loss from the failure of a screw in the gearbox, is over and it’s already time for Matteo Luise to play another fundamental card ahead of the title in the Italian Championship Historic Car Rally ready for the Targa Florio Historic Rally.
Between Friday and Saturday, the tricolor caravan will stop at one of motorsport’s most iconic spots on a global scale and the Adria driver, still competing with his wife Melissa Ferro in the Fiat Ritmo 130 Group A curated by Silvano Amati and Valentino Vettore, will have a new opportunity to take advantage of, given the particular nature of the territory to which it will go.
“The Costa Smeralda and the Targa Florio are two congenial races for us” – says Luise – “because we have the opportunity to put the human factor above the technical without any particular altitude difference. In the two island races, the cavalry count relatively as they race on flatter special stages, so coming home with important results here can make a big difference in the championship. In Sardinia we were third overall but a broken gear screw stopped us, causing us to lose the first key map of the Tour of the South. Now we have the Targa Florio and we have to make the best of it.”
A Sicilian stage that last year put the rider from Polesine, porter of the Bassano team, in the spotlight of the news, here second overall, first in group and class.
“In 2022 we did well here” – emphasizes Luise – “and we brought home a really important result that allowed us to fight for the Italian title until the last race. It could already be a crucial away game for the standings as a good exit from Sicily would allow us to further strengthen ourselves in the fight for the top of the Italian championship.”
If we scroll through the provisional classification of CIRAS we find Luise in ninth place in the absolute classification, together with De Bellis and Nerobutto, but also in second place in the fourth grouping and in Group A, less than twenty-nine from the top , with the primacy among them to defend the two-thousanders of group A and eleven lengths ahead of the first of the pursuers.
There will be two days of competition, starting from Friday May 5th, during which the protagonists of historic Italian racing will be seen in the only special show “Nino Vaccarella” (2.22 km).
The following Saturday, May 6th, the challenge will be postponed by two stages to the “Targa” (10.90 km), “Lascari – Gratteri” (11.55 km) and “Cefalù” (13.90 km) stages to repeat in a row.
The final is entrusted to the “Vincenzo Florio” (8.68 km) and the third round to “Lascari – Gratteri”.
“Special stages with so much history,” Luise concludes, “I like that. One part will be the same as last year, while another will be brand new to us. It will be a tough away game but we hope to come back with a good result. We need it to get back into full fighting.”