Gigi Galli on Citroen Xsara WRC of the Aimont Racing Team finished the first leg of Rally Sweden in 24th position After the short Super Special stage of yesterday at the horse trotting track in Karlstad, the rally came into play this morning.
Gigi Galli on Citroen Xsara WRC of the Aimont Racing Team finished the first leg of Rally Sweden in 24th position
After the short Super Special stage of yesterday at the horse trotting track in Karlstad, the rally came into play this morning. Seven special stages have been run for a total of 113,81 timed kilometers, with the protagonists of the World Rally Championship battling on the icy and spectacular stages of this difficult, fast and fascinating rally. Gigi Galli was able to find the right rhythm on the snowy and sometimes iced ground and a good feeling with his new Citroen Xsara, and won SS 3 Hara 1, 11.32 km long, and was holding the fifth position in the overall classification. During the repetition of the stage Likenas (SS5) 21.78 km long, he went off a snow bank and lost 5 minutes, therefore he dropped to 27th in the overall classification. In SS 7 Vargasen, 24.63 km, the longest stage of today's leg with a big jump 10 km after the start known as "Colin's Crest" because of a great performance of the ex World Champion Colin McRae, Gigi Galli and Giovanni Bernacchini did a good time and move up the leaderboard. Some of the special stages were slippery in the morning and those re-used, had ruts and patches. The last special stage of the day was the Hagfors Sprint, 1.87 km long, a twisty and tight test, illuminated by spotlights and even though it was snowing thousands of spectators lined the route.
"Our purpose in Sweden was to learn more about the new car and gain experience for the next world races of our program" said Pierfrancesco Zanchi CEO of Aimont Raging Team "The start was astonishing, Gigi won a stage and was 2nd and than 5th in the leaderboard, this was much more that what we would expect. Getting off the road in these conditions was not something too strange, the problem was that in that section there were few spectators and was therefore difficult to get the car back on the route, so we lost time. The car wasn't damaged and Galli in the following stages was able to maintain a good pace. The rally is still quite long and we would try to keep this pace"
"We started fast this morning, than we saw that we were doing not bad and we pushed a bit" said Gigi Galli at the end of Leg 1 "Anyway our main objective here in Sweden is to gain experience and get to know the car in order to be able to manage it in all kinds of conditions. Get off the road can happen, too bad. Now we will go on without taking too many risks and finish the race with wealth of experience, that will help us to proceed in our World Rally program". Tomorrow's second leg will start at 05.45 from Karlstad and the arrival will be in Karlstad again at 19.20 and it comprises 7 Special Stages, all of them near Hagfors where the Service park is located, with a total of 141.96 timed kilometers. The first stage Lesjofors will start at 08.03.