CIR JUNIOR A FULL 2019
VITA 🇮🇹 BEGINS CIR 🇮🇹 JUNIOR CAMPAIGN WITH SANREMO 🇮🇹 PODIUM FINISH
VITA BEGINS CIR JUNIOR CAMPAIGN WITH SANREMO PODIUM FINISH
Rising Italian rally star Mattia Vita’s path to the World Rally Championship began with a solid podium finish on Rallye Sanremo, securing vital points in the Italian Junior Championship which awards its champion a drive in the 2020 Junior WRC.
Sanremo is one of the icons of rallying, having been part of the World Rally Championship until 2003, with former winners including legends such as Sebastien Loeb, Colin McRae, Markku Alen and Sandro Munari. The all-asphalt event takes place in the mountain roads above the Ligurian coastal resort, using stages that form part of the sport’s history. The route is characterised by changeable asphalt, with a variety of surfaces that is matched only by the mix of weather conditions.
Once again, the Sanremo Rally showcased both sunshine and showers this year, as well as night stages, adding yet more elements to the formidable challenge. This year, the Sanremo Rally formed the first round of Mattia’s Junior championship campaign, with the top prize of a budget towards next year’s Junior WRC campaign.
Mattia began the event on the back foot, with Sanremo his first event in a rally car for six months. The last time he had set foot in a car to rally competitively was on Rally Liepāja in October 2018, while many of his class rivals had already clocked hundreds of competitive kilometres in 2019.
Rather than risk making a costly mistake, Mattia drove a sensible event, persevering as others faltered. Knowing he needed to pick up experience aboard his ACI Team Italia Ford Fiesta R2B – a car he’d never driven competitively before this week – and also bank CIR Junior points for his title aspirations, that approach paid off with a third place finish.
There were still signs of Mattia’s underlying pace on show towards the end of the event, as his confidence began to build up once more in drier conditions. He fell only 0.4s short of a CIR Junior stage win on the 10.53 kilometre San Bartolomeo test.
“We came home with some points and got some experience, which is the main thing, but I still think we could have done better,” said Mattia. “On the dry stages we had the speed to fight for victory. On the wet stages, we unfortunately didn’t make the right tyre choice, and that compromised our race. In the end though, we got to the finish of this very long and demanding rally and got back into the rhythm of driving, which was important. I like the car and I loved the rally: it feels amazing to be behind the wheel again. I think we’ve made a solid start, all things considered, and we can definitely move forwards from here. Thanks to my new co-driver, Massimiliano Bosi, for an excellent job, to the Italian automobile federation ACI for their faith in me. and of course to all my sponsors and partners who make our programme possible.”
Mattia’s next stop on his six-round CIR Junior programme will be Rally Adriatico, which takes place on May 4-5. He was competitive on his debut outing on the event in 2017, running in podium contention from the outset until being forced to retire.
MATTIA’S 2019 PROGRAMME 🇮🇹 🌍
12-14 April Rallye Sanremo CIR 🇮🇹
4-5 May Rally Adriatico CIR 🇮🇹
13-16 June Rally d’Italia Sardegna WRC 🌍
19-21 July Rally di Roma Capitale ERC 🌍
30-31 August Rally del Friuli Venezia Giulia CIR 🇮🇹
3-6 October Wales Rally GB WRC 🌍
24-27 October RallyRACC Catalunya – Rally de España WRC 🌍
23-24 November Tuscan Rewind CIR 🇮🇹
For more information, please contact Anthony Peacock. 🇬🇧
Copyright © 2019 Mattia Vita. All rights reserved.
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Photos: ACI Team Italia 🇮🇹 By Motorsport Italia 🇮🇹 WRC Team
SAN REMO, April 15, 2019