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ATTILIO BETTEGA CUP

        2021

Our Videos of past editions

INTRODUCTION

I want to dedicate the first part of the article of our fourth participation in the 2021 Attilio Bettega Cup to a friend who, in addition to having taught me many things about the world of regularity, is one of the reference points of the national organizational panorama. So before the narration of the events that happened before, after and during the race, let me open this parenthesis dedicated to Ivo Strapazzon, organizer of the Attilio Bettega 2021 Cup.

THE STRENGTH TO DARE

Our life is like a long journey whose destination is unknown to us. Along its path we pass countless tests that will make us laugh, cry, angry but which together will help us to change into something new. Often, having reached a first goal, we feel a deep desire for change, renewal. The desire to constantly rekindle the magic of the first time, the need to marvel at one's actions and the advice of friends. This year I will do it in media, a friend told me in unsuspecting times. At first glance I did the math and thought it was really difficult to reach the number of participants. There was a risk of taking a bloodbath and ending up with very few members. In addition, it was necessary to make the leap into the void and abandon a safe ground, by now consolidated. Well, today I returned from the trip I realized that when the determination and passion are so strong, we are able to transform a dream into reality and overwhelm the participants with emotions in what we can now define the regularity race with the highest average. beautiful of Italy. But what makes it so precious and unique in its kind? Surely the sincerity of the passion that the organizing group is able to transfer to the participants.  It is thanks to this love for the discipline combined with the experience gained in the field that the perfect mix of sounds, lights and colors is achieved that project the participant back in time. This year they have reached the quota of 136 members which for average regularity in Italy, represents an exceptional milestone. And then after so much effort, endless meetings and kilometer-long phone calls, we arrive at the day of the race and all that remains is to step aside, with that humility that great personalities are endowed with and enjoy the show perhaps along some tests, or by replacing a timekeeper. in difficulty due to the cold, because it is cold at the Attilio Bettega Cup. In those moments, when you get to the heart of your event, you can observe the competitors before the start, the sailors who pass the postcard to the CO, their faces drawn before the initial shot in the special stage. Then, in that moment everything is clear and time seems to stand still. The sound of a Lancia Stratos echoes in the air and we are all children again.

 

THE MONTHS OF LONG PREPARATION

Let's go back to us and begin to tell how we prepared for this event that gave us great emotions. We can't say it was a walk in the park. We would not be honest with you or even with ourselves. This does not mean that it is a difficult or impossible race. It depends on the goal you want to give yourself. You can participate to enjoy the roads and the pleasure of driving and good company, perhaps with an eye to the clissifica but oriented towards fun. Or you can aim high trying to take care of every little detail that can help us improve our race performance. So let's start with the preparation of our A112. The bulk of the work was to change the driver's driving position to avoid the famous cramp in the right leg that always came and went after about 8 hours of driving in previous editions and which made me lose sensitivity on the brake pedal. New seats have been installed, along with some improvements on the on-board instrumentation.

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A SNOW AND ICE DRIVING COURSE

So having resolved the driving position, the study of the routes, we decided that the time had come to take an advanced driving course on snow and ice to improve the mastery of the car in critical conditions. So on January 15th, we loaded our car on the trolley and left for Livigno without knowing what adventure we were about to face. In fact, after about three hours of travel, in a short coffee break we meet locals who, coming down from the mountain, warn us of a big disturbance that has been pouring heavy snow on Livigno right from the morning. We look into each other's eyes and panic arrives. Our car with which we tow the trolley is a two-wheel drive and arriving at the track safe and sound with freezing temperatures, about minus winds at altitude and abundant snowfall in progress seems like a feat in the enterprise. We immediately call Oliviero who proves to be precious and advises us to continue with the trolley to Bormio and then continue with the A112 to Livigno. So we did but what awaited us was an arctic landscape as you can see from the image taken at Customs. I would like to recommend the course a posteriori as much of the result obtained at the 2021 Attilio Bettega Cup is the result of this preparatory work. The mastery of the car in braking downhill on the hairpin bends, the corrections of the trajectories but above all the knowledge of the behavior of the car on ice was decisive

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SO MUCH WORK BUT THAN SATISFACTION

Also in this case I can say that many hours of preparation, hard work and sacrifice have increased the awareness of what we were experiencing. It is like when you decide to look very deeply at a single aspect and you discover that within what is known there is a universe of details that make the difference. I chose not to make the usual video of the event in order to fully enjoy it and so it was. Free from video equipment, I was able to greet the many friends present at the event. Talk to them, hear their experiences and treasure them. Understanding how much love and dedication each of the participants puts into preparing for the race. Become part of the manifestation myself as I have not felt for a long time.  

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THE PRE-RACE DAYS

We are on Wednesday, the morning in the office goes by quickly with the thought of leaving in the early afternoon. We have scheduled a ride to a trusted mechanic for a routine check and then off along the highway that will take us to Bassano. Once your luggage has been placed in the hotel, everything is ready for the next morning, a day entirely dedicated to reconnaissance as usual before a medium-sized race. We especially love this discipline because it does not only involve the day of the race but allows you to experience different pleasures including the journey dedicated to the inspection of the route where in addition to the technical part and management of the tools you can give yourself some breaks to fully admire the beauties of the route that the organizer designed for us. The eyes filled with blue beyond the window and the blinding snow in the early afternoon sun dazzles us.

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THE FIRST FEELINGS FROM THE TESTS

After taking the driving course, I was almost sure that I would face the ice tests more determinedly. Having dealt with the reconnaissance of the PM1 San Giovanni, Paola and I find ourselves in a small nightmare. We start and immediately after a few curves we are faced with a road surface characterized by hard and angular ice that faced with the simple thermals used in reconnaissance seems impossible to face at over 40  average. A whole series of thoughts began on choosing the best tire for the race. Bolted or not? In the end, fortunately, it is the organizer who chooses for us, forcing all participants to start with studded tires, a choice that will prove to be a winning choice for the safety and control of the car on snow and ice in the race. We arrive in the late evening on PASSO GIAU and we immediately notice the complexity of this test where the hairpin bends disappear in a narrow corridor created by the snow walls that here exceed three meters thanks to the abundant snowfall this year. The cold outside the passenger compartment becomes pungent and even fatigue begins to be felt. We do not want to consume all our energy in the reconnaissance and therefore we decide to go and try the last test of Passo Valles and then return. However, we total over 400 km traveled in one day starting at 10 am and arriving at the hotel after midnight. The balance of the two pre-race days is good. The feeling is that it will either do very good or very bad. We do not run for the middle ground. But now all to bed that tomorrow is the big day.

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A FIRST CHOICE STARTING PARK

Who would have thought that we would be able to compare ourselves with the best pilots and navigators of the average in Italy? This was one of the great surprises of this edition and now, once we have done things, we can say that it didn't go so badly. Scuderia Centro Nord, a small reality among environmental giants. But let's not run and go to the start.

We present ourselves this year with two crews.

A112 for Cenna / Scalia

BMW for Garghetti / Giordano

Just the latter in their first experience in medium regularity. With Giorgio we started with the preparation already this fall. One of the first things we did together was to determine the characteristics of the car to buy. Lots of low-end torque but above all rear-wheel drive which he loves to drive. Then the surprise came with the photograph of the BMW in Mobil livery as shown in the photo, which seemed to have been reborn a few days before the race. For them too many sacrifices but how often can happen when you face such a demanding test or you fall in love with the sport or you hate it. When I met their eyes upon arrival, I knew that the magic was triggered.

 

THE RACE, PURE HYPNOSIS

The medium regularity allows a gradual approach to the world of historical rallies. It is not necessary like in speed rallies of a large investment. Just a historic car registered by 1990 and then off we go to the adventure. It is easy to feel like pilots when in the middle of the mountains you can see the marshals' gazebo which indicates that Time Control has been reached. A 70s / 80s rally atmosphere within everyone's reach.

 

Ten media tests have characterized this edition and some have really made a difference in the standings. Along the way, the hypnotic tunnels through the snow walls of Passo Duran or Passo Giau have marked indelible memories. We still wonder, how the photographers managed to resist the cold along the descent of Passo Giau. On the side of the road, closed with no escape route between two shores of snow to assist and capture the perfect shot. I have mine, which will remain forever in the memory drawer. The car runs fast and hides in the curves. The white of the snow is even more intense when hit by the light beam of our car lights. In the headphones a voice guides me as in life through the curves and supports me. The outside world no longer exists. It's just us and our feelings. The car obeys docile and responds as we expect. The final standings will offer us a big surprise. A 24th place overall out of 136 cars. The best prize after so many months of work.

 

An article by Stefano Cenna

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