Gigi Galli and his co-driver Giovanni Bernacchini in a Citroen Xsara WRC of Aimont Racing Team finished 13th overall their first rally of the 2007 season, the fast and difficult Rally Sweden, second round of this year FIA World Rally ...
Gigi Galli and his co-driver Giovanni Bernacchini in a Citroen Xsara WRC of Aimont Racing Team finished 13th overall their first rally of the 2007 season, the fast and difficult Rally Sweden, second round of this year FIA World Rally Championship.
After a good start on Friday and the win of the third stage of the race Gigi Galli went off the road losing 4 minutes and several positions in the leaderboard. The major purpose in this race was to get to know the car and be able to manage it in the best way and in all kinds of situations, therefore Gigi adopted a more cautious driving. During the second leg he had a steadier driving and improved a bit with each stage. The team made few changes on the car that proved good, unfortunately towards the end of leg 2 a brake pipe broke and Gigi finished the race in very difficult conditions.
The third leg started this morning at 06.30 with a lower temperature compared to the previous days, - 21C. The leg provided 5 special stages, two to be repeated and the last one the short Super Special Stage at the horse trotting track in Karlstad. The first stage of today's final leg was SS Barka, 30,96 km long, a new stage and one of the longest of the race, while the next stage was SS Malta, 11,25 km long, that remained the same as in the past editions. The iced route, that hasn't been used before yet, was in good conditions but during the second pass the ice melted a bit and the surface became rough showing gravel. Under a cloudy sky and with a temperature around 10C, there were lots of spectators all around the Karlstad arena for the last stage of the event.
Gigi galli and Giovanni Bernacchini in their Citroen Xsara WRC tackled the last leg without taking too many risks and obtaining some good stage times, familiarizing more and more with the car and with the iced route, for when they are going to race in the next round of the championship, Rally Norway.
"It's been a positive race" said Pierfrancesco Zanchi Team Manager of Aimont racing Team " We started the rally scoring very good times and showing our potential. Gigi disputed a steady race, acquiring experience and familiarizing with the Citroen Xsara and this was our purpose here in Sweden. Few changes have been made on the car and I have to thank you the Citroen engineer Emily Le Fur, who did a great job, as well as all the whole Aimont Racing Team. The whole team worked very well together. There was a good and cooperative feeling. Now we will analyze all the data we gathered in this race in order to tackle the next close rally in Norway".
"An useful and positive experience" said Gigi Galli at the end of the rally "Today we had few problems with the clutch in SS 18, that 31 km long test, therefore in the next stages we've been cautious. The purpose we had at the start has been reached, now we know much better the car and we will use all this next week at Rally Norway".
The whole team will move to Hamar tomorrow to get ready for their next appointment, Rally Norway. A rally that has been added to the World Rally Championship this year for the first time, so is going to be new for most world rally drivers and teams. The Shake down will take place on Thursday February 15th and the three legs on February 16th, 17th and 18th.