- On Thursday evening, Girona hosted the starting ceremony, followed by the first stage of the rally for the Sporting competitors.
- The 71 Rally Motul Costa Brava has a record-breaking entry list of 240 teams, with a large female participation and 60% of international teams.
- The main star of this edition, two-time world champion Miki Biasion, has made a ceremonial start with his Lancia Rally 037, on the 40th anniversary of his first victory at Rally Costa Brava.
The 71 Rally Motul Costa Brava launched this evening, with the Sporting participants contesting the first night stage, the iconic Santuari dels Àngels, next to Girona. The event resumes on Friday, when the Regularity and Legend teams will be added to the caravan, and will last until Saturday night, after two intense days of competition.
The 71st edition of the oldest rally in Spain has reached a record-breaking list of 240 teams, which places the Rally Motul Costa Brava as one of the largest events of European historic motorsports. Thus, the rally organised by Club RallyClassics gives the best possible start to the FIA European Historic Rally Championship and the Spanish Championships (Sportingy and Regularity). It also scores for the Catalan Championships and includes the Legend category.
The list is not only splendid in quantity, but also in diversity and quality. More than 60% of the participants are international, from 20 different nationalities, including Argentina and the United States. This shows the great interest and prestige of the Rally Motul Costa Brava among international specialists and, in addition, the national scope of the event, which runs through some of the most famous sections of the country.
As if it were not enough, this edition highlights again the RallyClassics’ #MotorDona program, which started just a year ago. This year, the female participation exceeds 60 women, mostly co-pilots (over 20% of the total co-pilot), such as veterans Fabrizia Pons and Françoise Conconi (who run alongside Michèle Mouton in the 1970s and 1980s), but also Sporting drivers such as Tiffaney Perlino and Fabienne Pommier, and regularity pilots such as Amy Lerner, Judit Florensa and Helena García.
Miki Biasion, the great star
However, the biggest name of this edition is undoubtedly Miki Biasion. Two-time World Rally Champion (1988 and 1989) participates in a Lancia Rally 037 in the Legend category, and tonight he has made the ceremonial start from the podium.
The participation of the Italian champion is historic because this year marks 40 years of his first victory in the Rally Costa Brava with this car. Biasion repeated participation and triumph in the Costa Brava in 1985 and then made the final leap to the World Rally Championship. The Rally Costa Brava was the first rally outside Italy by Biasion; seeing him again in action on the roads is a milestone loaded with emotion and nostalgia.
Miki Biasion and his 037 are one of the highlights of the 71 Rally Motul Costa Brava, but not the only one. Among the 240 participants we can find most European and Spanish champions of historic rallying.
Among the great favourites for the victory are Lucky (Luigi Battistolli) and Fabrizia Pons in their Lancia Delta HF Integrale 16v. Together, “Lucky” – Pons have won two Rally Costa Brava editions of the last era. Also the current European category 4 champion, Ville Silvasti, with is the experienced co-driver Risto Pietilainen with another Lancia Rally 037. There are three other former winning teams of the rally: Marco Bianchini – Giulia Paganoni (Subaru Impreza WRC 99), Valter Chr. Jensen – Erik Pedersen (Ford Escort RS1800) and Jean-François Berenguer – Aline Berenguer, also with an RS1800.
In addition, apart from Miki Biasion, in the 71 Rally Motul Costa Brava competes another former winner, Tony Fassina, the winner from 1982. The Italian drives a Lancia Stratos, an iconic model that will make the spectator’s delights in both the stages and the Fornells de la Selva service park.
The Catalan rally is a true living museum, with the participation of unique machines from Gr.4, Gr. B, Gr. A, Kit Car, WRC, etc. in the categories of Sporting, Regularity and Legend. In addition to the Stratos and various 037s (including an ex Attilio Bettega version), spectators will enjoy the presence of a pair of Fiat 124 Abarth Rally similar to the ones that won the first edition of the Rally Costa Brava scoring for the European Championship in 1972, and the participation of Jacques Alméras with one of his Porsche, with the experienced co-pilot “Tilber”.
Another attention focus is the participation of the Team Motul, which runs four vehicles in Regularity. The brand specialist in lubricants sponsors the event for the second consecutive year.
The 71 Rally Motul Costa Brava is not limited to cars driving through the legendary stages of the event; Girona and Fornells de la Selva are two epicentres. Girona will also be the starting point of the first leg, Friday morning, and the arrival of the teams Saturday evening, with the subsequent prize-giving ceremony of the event there.
Fornells de la Selva is the site of the service park and promises to be a crowded place. In addition to being able to observe closely the mechanics’ work, around the “village” there will be a lot of activities: food trucks, live music, a virtual rally with simulators and an exhibition of Dakar vehicles.
Rally information now available at RallyClassics website
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