Driving the roads that have made the history of world rallying is a dream come true and for Gabriele Rossi the days leading up to the start of the Antibes Côte d’Azur Rally are always full of emotions.
After a few seasons marked by spot racing, the driver from Bastiglia has decided to devote himself this year to an ambitious program consisting of three out of six scheduled participations in the Tour European Rally Historic, starting directly in France.
So it’s up to Monte-Carlo in the summer, which takes place from May 18th to 20th, to get Team Bassano’s flag-bearer to cross national borders, always paired with Fabrizio Handel in the Assoclub Motorsport Ford Sierra Cosworth Group A.
“We are ready to emigrate to France,” says Rossi, “and, joking aside, we will start with two main goals that are equivalent. You will be emotional because together with my inseparable captain Fabrizio we have decided to live this second life between historic cars that gives us experiences that we can recount and tell each other after we retire. On the other hand, we will compete for the TER Historic, a championship organized by passionate people. I have to admit that this year Antibes was already one of the destinations to drive on roads that made rally history, but the push that our friend Tim Metcalfe gave us in Sardinia last year really drew us in and that’s the way it is we are here, ready to go.”
After finishing second overall at the Bianco Azzurro in early April, Rossi wanted to further raise the bar of competitiveness and make further technical improvements to the Sierra.
“We already tested some further developments of the Sierra in San Marino,” emphasizes Rossi, “and I have to say that they paid off well given the many compliments we received in the race.” Together with the guys from Assoclub Motorsport , in particular Manuel Bonfadini, to whom I sincerely thank, we continue to develop this Sierra. I can’t wait to go to France.”
Two days of competition are planned, starting on Friday May 19th, divided into three special stages, totaling around fifty timed kilometers, divided into “Levens – Duranus – St Jean la Rivière” (11.55km). , “Tournefort – Massoins – Villars sur Var” (13.10 km) and the longest of the day, the “Alpes d’Azur” (27.66 km).
The following Saturday, more than a hundred kilometers will be covered as the routes “Gourdon – Cipières” (9.84 km), “Col de Bleine – le Mas – Aiglun” (25.78 km) and “Conseil Départemental 06” are repeated twice . (18.13 km) to complete the total of nearly one hundred and sixty kilometers.
“Managing the vehicle, the tires and the spirit will not be easy on such a long journey,” concludes Rossi, “but after Elba we learned. I make no predictions, we will meet again in the end.