What we can say about 14th edition of the bigest and greatest show on the world? Yes, it is deserve that kind of name, italians just know how to prepare a good show. There was a plenty interesting racing cars – from Group B, WRC, Group A to Kit cars and “little ones”.
Organizators also invited some legendary drivers like Marcus Gronholm, Gilles Panizzi, “Lucky”, Luca Pedersoli, Piero Longhi, Armin Schwarz, Gustavo Trelles, Andrea Navarra, Juha Kankkunen, Alister McRae and also some show-mans like Haydon Paddon, Paolo Diana, “Zippo”, Cristof Klausner, Vaclav Pech and Miki Biasion.
Special stages were the same on almost all editions. They really are the right short stages, which ones include all possible from real rally stages. From hard corners, muddy sections, jumps, tricky corners to gravel sections, hard cuts and night stages. Interesting for crews, photographers and spectators.
One word about spectators. We were talking with fans almost from all world. They come from Hungary, Finland, Great Britain, Belgium, Germany and also Japan! From what we were seeing, 70% of them come there because of rally passion, 20% because of party/drinking and 10% are “new ones”, who don’t know a lot of this sport.
We can saw all of them, unfurtunally also in tragical accident.
After many years of “close moments” from racing car to spectators, come accident where crew #44 lost a control of their racing car and drove into middle of spectators group behind bales. One spectator died immediately, six or seven others was hard injured.
Event was stopped immediately, price giving ceremony was cancelled. It was a sad day around of stadium in San Marino. Sincere condolences to family, which lost their member.
Safety was improved this year on some locations, but is so hard to tell some peoples what can bring a little mistake or technical issue on racing car. We hope that this isn’t end of this great event and that sponsors won’t escape. But if you go on official event site, there isn’t available any of informations of this event (and also sponsors). First time that we saw something like that.
There are several very important sponsors, but service area is so empty, without the right passion. There is just Volkswagen and some other no-rally sponsors, who are really don’t interesting from fans side. At 9 am on Sunday, there are all closed! We can’t describe that situation. There were just several booths with some racing and collecting stuff and this is this. A big minus!
Also this year was a bad weather so organizators had a little less of visitors. Less were also crews on finish. A many retirements on this event, but also this is part of this sport.
Crews in Star section weren’t driving for time. In Myth section won “Lucky” ahead “Pedro” (both Lancia) and Navarra (Subaru). Riolo (Audi) won in Historic section ahead Bianchini (Lancia) and Calzolari (Talbot).
On Top 10 places in WRC section were eight WRC cars. Pedersoli (Citroen C4 WRC) won ahead Vojtech and Olczyk, both in Peugeot 206 WRC. On high fourth palce was Panizzi with Peugeot 306 Maxi, who also won in Kit Car category. Second in this category was Brusori (P10 with Renault Clio Kit Car) with more than five minutes behind Panizzi.