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GP Week : Issue 41
Three championships for co-driver Bernacchini 35 year-old Italian co-driver Giovanni Bernacchini, son of the legendary Portugal Rally-winning Fiat team co-driver Arnaldo, is competing this year with two drivers, in three FIA championships! Sitting alongside Nasser Al Attiyah he is contesting both the PCWRC and the Middle East series, and is competing in the European Rally Championship alongside fellow Italian Luca Betti. “Everything was going well until the Middle East organisers changed the dates for Jordan and for Syria, so it will mean having to miss Valais, Ypres and Madeira which is upsetting,”he explained. The season started well with outright victory with Nasser in Kuwait and then they came fourth in PCWRC in Portugal. His programme with Betti starts at the Mille Miglia. European series starts The FIA’s European championship starts its 57th season this weekend at the Mille Miglia on the shores of Lake Garda in North Italy. This event doubles up as a round of the Italian national series but the rival Italian championship Peugeot, Subaru and Fiat teams are missing the event, due to an unexpected expansion of the Italian series for which these teams had not budgeted. For this reason, reigning European champion Luca Rossetti is not due to appear but his Fiat teammate Basso will. Basso, the 2006 champion, is aiming to regain the ERC title this year, and must take part if he is to 18 enter the necessary six rallies this year. Peugeots are strongly fancied in this year’s ERC. Leading drivers are Michal Solowow from Poland and Corrado Fontana from Italy, while an exciting new project is the Kimera team which will run a Peugeot for Luca Betti. There are 11 rounds of the series, and drivers must start in six to qualify for the championship. Petter’s mystery illness A Monaco hospital has provisionally diagnosed Petter Solberg’s illness after Cyprus Rally as being a form of Legionnaires’disease. Petter’s PR agent says that a full report is awaited and until then they can’t not confirm these suspicions. After several days bed- ridden, Petter appeared to be recovered and was in fine form in Portugal where he scored fourth place in his eight year- old Citroen Xsara WRC, even if he felt tired. He regretted that his weakness had prevented him from fully celebrating his third place in Cyprus … and was talking endlessly about his recent drive in a Formula 1 Ferrari!