IRC: Franz Wittmann Monte Carlo Rally preview

Franz Wittmann already knows his tactics for the Monte Carlo Rallye Foremost, the Interwetten Racing driver thinks on the art of finding the right tune Last Turesday the new project of the Interwetten Racing Team was introduced to great media...

Franz Wittmann already knows his tactics for the Monte Carlo Rallye

Foremost, the Interwetten Racing driver thinks on the art of finding the right tune

Last Turesday the new project of the Interwetten Racing Team was introduced to great media interest. Only a few hours later, Franz Wittmann already left his first tracks in the snow with the Peugeot 207 S2000. On the following Friday he departed for Monte Carlo where the recce for the 78th edition of the legendary Rallye Automobile Monte-Carlo already started at Saturday. Thus the Lower Austrian had to cope with 969 kilometres in his private car prior to even tackling the first recce kilometre. After all, such ist the distance from Wels to Monte Carlo.

Wittmann: "That is no problem. In earlier times the Monte Carlo Rallye commenced from locations in all of Europe. Back then one also had to drive that long in order to even reach the start in Monte."

Exactly, for when Franz Wittmann senior finished overall tenth in 1986 at the Monte he took up the rally from Bad Homburg, Germany. And if one looks at the map one can see that the distance from the health resort in the Taunus to Monte Carlo also measures exactly 969 kilometres.

Back to this year's rally. The prologue has already been scheduled for Tuesday evening. This 8,83 kilometres long course shall define the starting order and is not taken into account for the ranking. The first ten will then start in toppled order on Wednesday.

Wittmann: "This is a kind of tuning into the rally. It is, of course, disadvantageous to finish tenth and be forced to take up the rally as first car on Wednesday. But at least you're sure to get TV coverage. But I won't put pressure on myself for even starting position 15 doesn't mean all is lost in Monte."

Especially not on day one. For there one has to complete 144,88 special stage kilometres (4 special stages) with only one tyre service. All other repairs that can't be undertaken by the drivers and co's themselves are prohibited.

Wittmann: "In such a case the rally can be over faster than you think. Therefore we will calmly continue the art of finding the right tune. There will be other rallies this year where we will attack to the fullest."

Those who survive this day stand a good chance of reaching the finishing line in Monte. Even if the Interwetten-driver knows of another challenging highlight close to his heart: the special stage "Peira Cava - La Bollene Vesubie", better known as Col de Turini. Prior to this very stage the only Austrian in the IRC field had had to retire last year.

Wittmann: "One dreams of this SS. And since quite a lot of dreams have already come true for me this year I am very confident that we will also conquer the Col de Turini on Friday."

The "78th Rallye Automobile Monte-Carlo 2010" will commence on January 19 at 17.00 in Valence with an eight kilometres long prologue. Its main objective is to decide the starting order. 15 special stages with a length of 405,1 kilometres are scheduled until the crossing of the finishing line on January 23 at 1.15 in the morning in Monte Carlo. The overall length measures 1.669,56 kilometres since the rally leads from Valence to the almost 400 km distant Monaco.

Currently the starting field of this year's Monte Carlo Rally consists of 63 teams, amon them 20 drivers who, like Franz Wittmann and co- driver Klaus Wicha (staring number 12), steer an S2000 car. From the Rally World Championship, this time vice-champion Mikko Hirvonen, Sebastien Ogier and Toni Gardemeister will compete as guest drivers in the IRC series. One should also note the participation of Polish Formula 1 driver Robert Kubica who wil steer a Renault Clio R3.

-source: sportpressedienst

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About this article
Series Other rally
Drivers Mikko Hirvonen , Toni Gardemeister , Robert Kubica , Klaus Wicha , Sébastien Ogier