HONDA CIVIC TYPE R R3 ON CLASS PODIUM IN MONTE CARLO The JAS Motorsport Honda Civic Type R R3 has finished on the podium in its class at the Monte Carlo Rally, the opening round of the 2008 FIA World Rally Championship. Luca Betti was the third...
HONDA CIVIC TYPE R R3 ON CLASS PODIUM IN MONTE CARLO
The JAS Motorsport Honda Civic Type R R3 has finished on the podium in its class at the Monte Carlo Rally, the opening round of the 2008 FIA World Rally Championship. Luca Betti was the third two-wheel drive car home, ending up in a creditable 19th place overall ahead of many more powerful four-wheel drive entrants. The new Honda, which is built to the latest FIA Group R' regulations, has performance roughly equivalent to a Super 1600 car but with much more contained costs. Having been launched just three months ago, it has already built up a reputation for speed and reliability thanks to a consistent string of podium finishes in its class. The Monte Carlo Rally is a classic event held over the mountain roads of the Ardeche region in France and the Alps above the Principality of Monaco itself. The rally drew to a close on Sunday with a spectator superspecial that used parts of Monaco's famous Grand Prix circuit. The new Honda Civic Type R R3 is eligible to enter the Junior Championship this year as well as the Intercontinental Rally Challenge and a variety of other national and international championships.
Car n.68 Luca Betti (I) - Giovanni Agnese (I)
The Monte Carlo Rally is one of Luca's favourite events, which he was contesting for the fourth time. On the opening loop of stages held during the night on Thursday he had a spin, which cost him some time, then he struggled to find confidence with his set-up in the intermittently slippery conditions on Friday and Saturday. While the roads were mostly dry, there were some rogue patches of ice that made it difficult to find a good rhythm. On Sunday, over the legendary Col de Turini stages, Luca found the pace he had been looking for. The Italian set times just behind the World Rally Cars and ahead of the top Group N runners (even beating one of the World Rally Cars on SS18). Throughout all four days of the event, the JAS Motorsport Honda Civic Type R R3 was entirely reliable, giving no problems at all.
Luca Betti: "I've enjoyed the Monte Carlo Rally a lot, but it's a pity that I wasn't able to find the perfect rhythm sooner. Once I had full confidence, we were able to push very hard and secure our podium position in the two-wheel drive class. The last day was very good for us: we went flat-out and I think we were able to show just how fast a modern Group R car can be compared to the four-wheel drive competitors.
Stefano Fini, JAS Motorsport chief engineer: "Our objective for this event was to prove the reliability of the car over a challenging asphalt event, and I'm very pleased that the car gave us no problems at all. Despite the extreme demands of the rally route we've managed to take another podium finish, and on the last day we also showed the winning pace of our package. It's a great way for our Honda Civic Type R R3, which is available now to all our customers, to start the 2008 season."