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GP Week : Issue 10
I } . II J t It . . ' rJ.'"'" .-: -.1 I . =- - .......... -gin the final stage. stages held in the hilltop roads constructed two thousand years ago by the Romans, every action pictu re was worth a place in a Gallery. The places the rally visited were fantastic. Volterra, Siena, Gubbio - locations where the rally cars paused to be photographed in front of age-old buildings. But if there is one thing that we sorely miss about the present day Rally d'italia, it is the Italian teams. It is trite to say the sport hasn't been the same since Lancia left the scene in the 90s, but never has this been so true as on this event. The team sought, and usually succeeded in dominating everything in sight. Every year strenuous efforts were taken to hold the event in early October. That was so that the event would take place within days of the latest homologation listings. m WRC INSIGHT . ... . --t .-- . _ ,.dr_calntiill-".' ..\-.. ,'" .\-", . .;. " .. .. 'þ . ',' ; ..... . r-ì .. . ....t . - - .._ \tl" ... ...\, . '. " . "J,' ii' .... -'T-,.... _... " "'- . ....... ...r . . .. . .. .... - -L:IJ ..w: I II I, J YO //; I .. ' :,f tJj. " I . ,\ioYlStal rfstar ,11 " . CJ!þ vs FNIC crþ Colin McRae on Stage 7bis, Leg 2. Sanremo Rally, Italy, 5 -7 October 200 1. No coincidence, then, that the Stratos won its first World Championship rally on October 5, 1974. The tales of the Italian teams on this event would fill a book - such as the year when Fiat entered seven cars, and four of them retired on the first stage - including two which collided with each other. Or the Alfa Romeo which burst into flames and was gutted on the autostrada in 1980, a fate that also befell Mitsubishi in 1994. For the people of Sardinia, however, the last 50 years are not part of the image. This will not be the 50th Grande Rally Mondiale, for them it is the 5th Rally Sardegna. However, they are well on their way to creating a newltalian rally sport dynasty. Always looking into the future, seemingly forgetting anniversaries. 45