On the day of Sebastien Ogier’s ninth victory in the Monte-Carlo Rally, the Monegasque race that ended on Sunday afternoon was a record best. 33rd place overall for Lorenzo Bontempelli, dentist in Rho.
From Rho to Montecarlo Rally, Bontempelli: “Achieving the goal”
In the Montecarlo Rally, Bontempelli managed to score the first goal of the new year at the end of the 18 special stages that started on Thursday evening on the Col de Turini. With the Skoda Fabia R5 Evo prepared by the PA team in the WRC2 class paired with Gianni Pinna: “We hit the target, finishing the race without causing any damage to our car and that was the main thing” He says.
An interesting race that has reached its 91st edition this year, with a lot of history and tradition, which launches the public world championship where famous names from the world of this discipline have passed. And for Bontempelli, 33rd place overall, fifth among the Italians, this is undoubtedly a goal full of satisfaction also because Brianza is more comfortable in GT races between the sides and variants of the track rather than those of roads squeezed between rocks . and hairpin bends.
But as it often happens, experience (he was a two-time Ferrari Challenge world champion in the same round and winner of the GT Open championship in 2011) and passion for the engine was an additional weapon. Allowing him to better manage the pitfalls of this race which Bontempelli summarizes as follows. “The biggest difficulty was the darkness and the first special steps that took place at night, also because of the lack of a good group of lights”. he explains.
«I knew the track would be very difficult, difficult and I imagined dirtier roads and the presence of snow. Fortunately that didn’t happen as it would have been more of a problem. For the rest I didn’t have any problems, I learned to manage the race with due calmness, learning test after test, improving my driving style. This allowed me to improve my times after each stretch of time, to move up the position in the standings, to be closer to my opponents».
Bontempelli in Montecarlo, transition from track to rally
Not only the fastest opponents, but above all those who come from the world of rallying and the main players in the specialty. In addition to the problem with the darkness, Bontempelli also had to learn the behavior of the car at the beginning of the first special stage: “I had problems at the beginning because I hadn’t tested the car and without doing any tests, I had to get a feel for the car in the race.” continues.
However, the final balance is positive. «I am satisfied, even the comments received from the insiders were good and surprising, as I am a “track” driver and not a rally driver. But I don’t give up circuit races for public meetings, this never». he adds. «The rhythms of competition in these events are very intense and difficult, there is no rest, everything is very fun. The distance covered is also long, we covered more than 325 kilometers of special stages and thousand kilometers of transfers. Not counting the 1500 km of reconnaissance in the three days leading up to the race. In total, about four thousand kilometers per week».
But a race like this also holds a lot of emotion: “Getting off the stage in Piazza del Casinò for the world trials, one of the most important in the world and to be among the 75 riders registered for this race is an honor”. he concludes. «An interesting feeling, especially that he has not found in other categories in which I have raced».
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