- Among the 150 teams that are already registered are great names in motorsport, an extraordinary cast of vehicles and an outstanding female presence.
- From 17th to 20th March, Girona and Fornells de la Selva will be the epicenter of the rally, with different activities to bring the rally closer to fans.
- The event will score for the FIA European Historic Rally Championship, the Spanish and Catalan championships, in addition to the Legend category for vehicles of special interest.
Girona is already preparing for a new edition of the oldest rally in Spain. From 17th to 20th March, the 70 Rally Motul Costa Brava will once again bring together the best teams and drivers of historic rallies in Europe, among many other outstanding figures in this sport.
All of them will enjoy the legendary roads of Girona and a crowd willing to enjoy a unique cast of teams and vehicles, such as Lancia Stratos, Audi Quattro, Lancia Rally 037, Opel Manta 400, Fiat 124 Sport Spider or Opel Ascona 400, among many more.
With less than two weeks to go until registration closes, the rally already boasts a spectacular list of 150 entries, divided between the categories of Sporting, Regularity and Legend (exhibition).
This edition will have a greater international role than ever, with more than half of the teams coming from foreign countries, a sign of the prestige of an event that has been held since 1953.
The rally returns this year to its traditional season start date for the European and Spanish Historic Rally Championships, a fact that will allow the presence of the best specialists, including the 1982 winners (“Tony” Fassina – “Rudy”) or the winners in 2015 and 2017 (“Lucky” – Fabrizia Pons), among many other prominent national and international figures.
Girona and Fornells de la Selva, double epicenter of the 70 Rally Motul Costa Brava
Girona will host once again the parc fermé and the rally start and prize-giving ceremonies in the Parking del Pont de Pedret, a privileged area located just opposite its historic centre.
For the second consecutive edition, Fornells de la Selva will host the service park, where the teams will set up a real motorsport camp that fans will be able to approach with free access.
The rally will have 12 special stages, 6 different, for a total of 155 kilometers chrono. The activity will begin on Thursday 17th March, when the ceremonial start will take place at 6:30 p.m.
On Friday 18th March there will be six stages, divided into two loops of three stages each: Els Àngels, Santa Pellaia and La Ganga. Between both loops there will be a regrouping in Palamós, where the vehicles will be exposed in front of the Platja Gran. The day will end at parc ferme from 6:50 p.m.
The decisive day will arrive on Saturday 19th March, with the dispute of the last six stages, divided into two loops of three stages: Osor, Collsaplana and Cladells, with a regrouping at noon in Santa Coloma de Farners. The cars will be received at the podium in Girona from 6 p.m.
Given that the final classifications will be published late at night, the award giving ceremony will be held on Sunday 20th March at 9 a.m. on the podium.
40 years after their triumph, “Tony” – “Rudy” return (Lancia Stratos HF)
When in 1982 Antonio Fassina appeared at the 30 Rally Costa Brava with a finely tuned Opel Ascona 400 Conrero, the European title already had a favourite. Under the pseudonym “Tony” and co-driven by “Rudy”, an acronym for Roberto Dalpozzo, the Italian couple had a long road ahead of them to the continental title that they successfully started in this event.
“Tony” and “Rudy” were great athletes on the European rally scene, both as a team and individually. Together they wrote brilliant pages with their Conrero Squadra Corse’s Ascona 400 and achieved the European title 40 years ago.
Previously, and as a Jolly Club driver, “Tony” Fassina, three times Italian Champion, had participated in various world rallies, obtaining a resounding victory in the Rally Sanremo in 1979 with a Lancia Stratos HF. Precisely a Lancia Stratos HF will be the car that “Tony”-“Rudy” will use to participate in the 70 Rally Motul Costa Brava.
Jacques Alméras – “Tilber” return to Girona
A mythical couple repeats for the second consecutive year at the 70 Rally Motul Costa Brava: Jacques Alméras and his co-driver “Tilber”, at the wheel of a Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.0.
The Alméras surname is closely linked to the Rally Costa Brava since in 1980 one of its Porsche 911 won it with Antonio Zanini at the wheel. Very soon the “Alméras Frères” label became famous for its fabulous structure competing and triumphing in all kinds of competitions.
Jacques, 73 years old, is the youngest of the famous brothers from Montpellier, he has been European Hillclimb Champion three times and has also an extensive record in rallying.
The history of “Tilber” (Christian Gilbert), 71, is as impressive or more than that of his pilot, since he has accompanied the main French figures: Guy Fréquelin (with whom he was French Champion in 1985), Saby, Andruet, Nicolas, Béguin, Delecour, Clarr, Vincent, Chatriot, Cudini, Ballet, even Ari Vatanen and a long etcetera.
In 2021 Jacques Alméras-“Tilber” celebrated 40 years of his triumph at the Critérium des Cévennes by participating in the 69 Rally Costa Brava. They were so delighted that they will repeat.
The return of the Fiat 124 Sport Spider winner in 1972
A great comeback in the 70 Rally Motul Costa Brava. The Fiat 124 Sport Spider 1600 Gr.4 will participate again in the rally with a very special driver: Massimo Macaluso, son of the Italian co-driver ‘Gino’ Macaluso who won, with the same “gem”, the Rally Costa Brava in 1972 (20th edition) alongside Raffaele Pinto.
Massimo, who will be competing with his co-driver Antonio Celot, shares with his father the same passion to rally with Fiat vehicles, although little comparable to the remarkable machines ‘Gino’ co-piloted.
This participation has great importance as it allows, half century later, a double commemoration: the victory of the vehicle in the Rally Costa Brava and the entry of the rally in the European Championship.
The Fondazione Gino Macaluso per l’Auto Storica, founded in Turin by the will of the family, makes it possible to celebrate this double anniversary in style
Luigi ‘Gino’ Macaluso won with Raffaele Pinto the European Rally Championship (after 5 victories, including the Rally Costa Brava) and the Mitropa Cup in 1972, and the Italian rally title in 1974 with Maurizio Verini, in both seasons with Fiat 124 Spider and Fiat 124 Abarth versions, respectively.
Five female drivers already confirmed
The organization of the rally is working to showcase female talent and that the 70 Rally Motul Costa Brava be an example of female participation in classic motorsports. In this regard, a Ladies Cup has been launched, with prizes for the best classified, and an exclusive discount plan.
So far, five female drivers and four 100% female teams have already been confirmed, including European historic rallies specialists (Tiffaney Perlino-Michelle Perlino, Marina Orlandi-Mariarosa Vicari) and also important names in national motorsport: Belén García (W Series driver) – Sonia Ledesma, Mercè Martí – Núria Bergel and Paloma Meseguer – Ismael Pina.
The 70 Rally Motul Costa Brava is posible thanks to the collaboration of Ajuntament de Girona, Diputació de Girona, Secretaria General de l’Esport i l’Activitat Física de la Generalitat de Catalunya, Ajuntament de Fornells de la Selva, Ajuntament de Palamós and Ajuntament de Santa Coloma de Farners; and the sponsorship of Hotels Ultonia, GT2i, Blunik, Michelin, Loterías y Apuestas del Estado, Rallycar, Riki Cars, Centro Porsche Girona, Tecnigas, Ibis, Àgora, Alkamel, Garatge Internacional, Suprametal, Alcalà Technology, Sport, L’Esportiu and Integral Apps.
Text: Press RallyClassics with the collaboration of JAS Info Service.