- The event concludes in Girona after two very selective stages, with 240 teams that have shown the very best of European historic rallying and with a great atmosphere.
- Victories for “Zippo”-Arena (FIA EHRC), Ventura-Autet (RFEDA Sporting), Manresa-Amblàs (FCA Sporting), Santamaría-Rentería (RFEDA Sport Regularity), Moreno-Noguera (FCA Sport Regularity), Bru-Lafite ( RFEDA Regularity) and Miró-Matavacas (FCA Regularity).
- The 71 Rally Motul Costa Brava has had 60% of international teams, from 21 different nationalities, more than 60 women participating as well as legendary drivers such as Miki Biasion and Jacques Alméras.
It has been a complete success. The 71 Rally Motul Costa Brava has made Girona vibrate this weekend with the very best of historic European rallying. The participation of 240 teams has been an absolute record for the event and, moreover, for a rally held in Spain. The itinerary through the most selective sections of the country has delighted the drivers and spectators; the level of the cars has been excellent, and the organization of RallyClassics has been exquisite in an event of great complexity.
The prestige and notoriety of the Rally Costa Brava are obvious in every piece of information: 60% of the teams have been international, from 21 different nationalities. In addition, there have been more than 60 women, between drivers and co-drivers. Women already exceed 20% among the total number of co-drivers.
With these ingredients, the 71 Rally Motul Costa Brava has given an unbeatable starting point for the FIA European Historic Rally Championship and the Spanish Championships (Sporting and Regularity). It has also scored points for the Catalan Championships and has included a Legend category for exhibition, with a selection of machines and also truly legendary drivers.
The spectators have enjoyed a great time with a true living museum of historic rallies. The parc ferme in Girona has been filled with 240 cars of 28 different brands, including around thirty units of the different versions of Porsche 911 and Ford Escort RS, and around twenty BMW M3. Also, several Lancia Rally 037s, 2 Lancia Stratos (one driven by Tony Fassina, winner of the 1982 Rally Costa Brava) and 8 Delta Integrale; 6 Audis, with a spectacular Quattro S1 E2; three Alpine Renault A110; rarely seen models like a Ford Escort Maxi Kit Car, and many more.
The oldest car has been the Seat 1400 B of Seat Históricos team, driven by the former Spanish Rally Champion Mia Bardolet. It is a model that this year celebrates its 70th anniversary, since it was presented in 1953, the same year that the Rally Costa Brava was born.
Miki Biasion celebrates the 40th anniversary of his first win in the Costa Brava
The 71 Rally Motul Costa Brava has had many points of interest in all categories. Even so, the most exciting and nostalgic event has been the participation of Miki Biasion, two-time world rally champion (1988 and 1989). The Italian driver has participated in the Legend category at the wheel of the same Lancia Rally 037 Totip with which he won the 1983 Rally Costa Brava, a victory he repeated in 1985. The Costa Brava was the first rally contested by Biasion outside of Italy, and the beginning of his rise to the top of rallying.
Miki Biasion, with Antonio Feltracco as co-driver, has given a great show in the stages he has contested to celebrate this 40th anniversary, and has shown great availability both on the podium and in the service park, where he has not stopped signing autographs and taking pictures with the fans. Biasion has also been the master of ceremonies at the arrival of the 71 Rally Motul Costa Brava, where he has received the top finishers with the checkered flag and handed out some trophies at the awards ceremony.
Another great name of the rally has been Jacques Alméras. The well-known driver and mechanic from Montpellier is very popular in our country for having prepared the Porsche 911 SC with which Antonio Zanini won the 1980 Rally Costa Brava and the European Championship that year. Alméras has driven one of his Porsche 911 in the Legend category, accompanied by “Tilber”.
In the right seat there have also been legendary names to highlight; for example, those of Fabrizia Pons and Françoise Conconi, historical co-drivers of Michèle Mouton in the 70s and 80s. Pons has won two editions of the Rally Costa Brava together with “Lucky”, with whom this year she has won Category 4, with a competitive Lancia Delta Integrale 16v. The participation of Pons and Conconi has given a boost to the RallyClassics #MotorDona program.
The #MotorDona program has strong support from Motul, sponsor of the Rally Motul Costa Brava for the second consecutive year. This year, the brand specialist in lubricants has also participated in the rally with a 4-car team in Regularity. One of the Team Motul cars was driven by cyclist Joaquim “Purito” Rodríguez, one of the best cyclists of his time, accompanied by fellow cyclist Oliver Avilés; two vehicles have been in the hands of journalists and the fourth, for the Dakar experts Josep Maria Servià and Fina Román.
Another famous driver was pastry chef Jordi Roca, from Celler de Can Roca, the best restaurant in the world, who had a great time behind the wheel of a Seat 124 Sport Coupé from the Seat Históricos team.
Unbeatable itinerary and many attractions in the service park
The 71 Rally Motul Costa Brava got underway on Thursday afternoon, when the Sporting teams already made a first night stage, the hillclimb to the Santuari dels Àngels. On Friday the Regularity and Legend teams were added, and almost 240 vehicles made two loops through the stages of Els Àngels, Santa Pellaia Curt and Salions-Sant Grau.
On Saturday, the second leg consisted of two more loops through the stages of Osor, Collsaplana and Cladells. These are some of the most attractive sections in the country, where the history of this sport has been written.
The event has enjoyed sunny and almost spring weather, even though it rained on Saturday night, while the park was already emptying of cars. The teams have contested 13 sections (12 for Regularity and Legend), with a total of 176.765 kilometers against the clock.
The park fermé in Girona has been the starting and finishing point for each day. On Thursday afternoon there was an autograph signing session and on Saturday night, the prize-giving ceremony of the 71 Rally Motul Costa Brava, all next to the river and the famous old town of Girona.
For the third consecutive year, the town of Fornells de la Selva has been the stage for the massive service park of the rally, with a lot of parallel activities around the big tent of the „village“, live music, a virtual rally with simulators and an exhibition of Dakar vehicles. Fornells has had a great atmosphere, with entire families enjoying the work of the mechanics and all the other incentives to have a good time.
Results 71 Rally Motul Costa Brava
FIA European Historic Rally Championship
The 71 Rally Motul Costa Brava was the first event of the season for the FIA European Historic Rally Championship. With 63 vehicles entered in this category, the Italians “Zippo” and Nicola Arena have achieved victory in Category 3 and have also been the fastest team in the rally, ahead of Jean-François and Aline Berenguer (Ford Escort RS1800). In this category, the outstanding leaders were Karl Wagner and Gerda Zauner (Porsche 911 SC 3.0), but a mechanical issue on the first drive through Cladells pushed them back to third position. “Zippo” – Nicola Arena thus joins the select group of winners of the Rally Costa Brava, and they do so in their second participation in this event.
In Category 4, victory for “Lucky” and Fabrizia Pons (Lancia Delta Integrale HF 16); in Category 2, Tony Fassina and Marco Verdelli (Lancia Stratos) repeated the victory of 2022, and in Category 1, victory for Ernie Graham and James O’Brien (Ford Escort Twin Cam).
Spanish Rally Championship for Historic Vehicles (Sporting)
The rally was also the first event of the season in the Spanish Championship for Historic Vehicles. Jordi Ventura and Josep Autet (Ford Sierra RS Cosworth) won in the Pre-90 category. In Pre-2000, Rubén and Francesc Farrerons (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI) prevailed, and in Pre-81, David Nogareda and Xavi Lozano (Porsche 911 Carrera RS).
In the Classics category, Pau de las Heras and Gerard Alsina (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI) won, with a final result that places them among the top five Sporting cars of the rally. The fastest in the spectacular Open category were Marco Bianchini and Giulia Paganoni (Subaru Impreza WRC99).
Also in the Open category was the French team made up of Fabienne Pommier and Jacqueline Casamayou (Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV), who won the #MotorDona trophy for the best female Sporting team.
Catalan Championship for Historic Vehicles (Sporting)
Among those registered in the Catalan championship, Joaquim Manresa and Miquel Amblàs prevailed, with a Subaru Impreza 555, ahead of the Sierra Cosworth of Ventura and Autet, and the Porsche 911 SC of Joan Riberas and Álvaro Menéndez.
Spanish Rally Championship for Historic Vehicles (Regularity Sport)
In the Regularity Sport modality, Asier Santamaría and Roberto Rentería (Ford Sierra RS Cosworth 4×4) repeated the victory they already achieved last year in the Rally Motull Costa Brava. The other positions on the podium were for the brothers Jaime and Enrique Carbonell, also with a Sierra RS Cosworth 4×4, and José Luis Moreno – Isidre Noguera, with a BMW 320i.
Spanish Rally Championship for Historic Vehicles (Regularity)
In the Regularity championship, a bitter fight to the tenth separated the Porsche 911 SC from the winning team of Christophe Bru and Bernard Lafite from that of the second placed, Carles Miró and Ivan Matavacas.
The American Amy Lerner and the Belgian Sara Bossaert (Fiat Uno Turbo i.e.) won the #MotorDona trophy for the best classified women’s team in Regularity.
Regularity Sport Catalan Championship
In the Regularity Sport of the Catalan championship, Moreno and Noguera won ahead of Ramon Dalmau and Antoni Moragas (BMW 325i). Jordi Fanlo and Daniel Robledillo, at the wheel of a Porsche 911 SC with an RS look, had led this classification for almost the entire event, but in the penultimate stage they fell to third position.
Regularity Catalan Championship
Finally, in the Catalan Regularity championship, the winners were Miró and Matavacas. In the remaining positions on the podium, a tie for tenth between Mia Bardolet and Carles Jiménez (Seat 1400 B), second at the wheel of the oldest car in the rally, and Antoni Verdaguer and Maria Jesús Mora (Porsche 944 Turbo), third.
The RallyClassics Africa has been presented
RallyClassics has taken advantage of the celebration of its most emblematic event, the Rally Motul Costa Brava, to present its new project, RallyClassics Africa. It is a regularity rally-raid for classic cars that will be held in Morocco from 16th to 21st September, with 5 stages (one of which is a „marathon“ stage) and a total distance of about 1,000 kilometers. The rally-raid will be open to classic 4×4, 4×2 and trucks, and there will also be an Open category for SSV, protos and modern 4×4, always in Regularity.
The design of the itinerary and the road-book begins next week, with the collaboration of the Rally Dakar experts Josep Maria Servià and Fina Román, who have been one of the 240 teams participating in the 71 Rally Motul Costa Brava.