top of page


Regularity Champions in Italy 2018


Champions of Italy Regularity at average 2018

On February 1, 2019, the crew of Paolo Marcattilj and Francesco Giammarino, winners of the Italian Medium Regularity Championship 2018, will leave Milan aboard their 1954 Triumph TR2. Francesco Giammarino tells us about  the 2018 season  which saw him as a protagonist right from the start.

The 2018 season for me was full of very positive results both nationally and internationally.

We start in February with the excellent result at the 2018 Monte Carlo Rally with the 1954 Triumph TR2 alongside Paolo Marcattilj: the victory obtained in class 1 (the one that brings together the older cars built before 1961) is still a result more prestigious if we consider that it also represents 13th place overall out of over 320 participating crews.

MARCATTILJ-GIAMMARINO premiazione montec

This year, however, another important objective was represented by the first edition of the Italian Medium Regularity Rally Championship: for the first time the Aci Sport automobile sports federation has decided to include this specialty, so widespread abroad but much less in Italy, among the national championships. Again with Paolo Marcattilj and with the support of Porsche Classic Team, we decided to take part in the entire championship with the high-performance 1967 Porsche 911 T with which we won the Acropolis Rally in Greece a few years ago. The championship began with the Rally dei Laghi in Varese, a race made particularly difficult by the rain and snow, the result of which remained sub-judice for a long time (however  albeit with delay, victory was finally recognized  absolute). Then followed the Sanremo Rally where we did not shine at all, finishing in points but only ninths and then the Rally Campagnolo in Vicenza where we still got on the podium with a third place but where we made some small mistakes that excluded us from the games for victory. At this point, in the middle of the championship, further successes were needed to aim for the title, successes that arrived in the three final races: the prestigious Targa Florio in Sicily, the Rally della Lana in Biella and finally the mathematical certainty of the title with the victory at Rally of the Island of Elba. 


Also noteworthy is the collaboration path undertaken with the Porsche Classic Team with which we have created a series of theoretical and practical training events that have led some passionate owners of vintage Porsche cars to deepen their knowledge of races for historic cars, a path that has led to the creation of a team that officially participated with three crews in the Elba Rally where, on its debut, it won the prestigious Scuderie Cup.


The season was enriched for me by other important successes in the fastest French VHRS races where with Giorgio Schon and the powerful Porsche Carrera Gr.4 of Team Balletti we brilliantly won the Grasse Rally and conquered an important second place in what I believe to be the most demanding race ever; The Tour de Corse Historique (a whole week on the difficult Corsican roads with really strong competitors ...). Finally, success also at the Antibes Rally: victory we obtained, against all odds, with Giorgio Schon's small Alfa Romeo Giulia 1.300 against much better performing cars.

Also in the Italian classic regularity I had the pleasure of supporting Luciano Cacioli in some races on the small Autobianchi A112 Abarth where we won a nice victory in the Valle d'Aosta Cup in September.

t.corse giammarino.jpg

Now the attention, as has become tradition in recent years, goes entirely to the preparation of the next edition of the Monte Carlo Historique Rally: starting on 1 February 2019: the crew and the car are the same as in 2018 but this year there are two important news: for the first time after many decades AC Monaco has also planned a departure from Milan so we will have the pleasure of lining up in Piazza Duomo with 70 other crews who have chosen the Italian location as their city of departure (in addition to  Glasgow, Reims, Bad Hombourg, Barcelona, Monte Carlo and Athens). The second and more technical innovation is the increased difficulty created this year by the organizers who do not provide the lengths of the special stages by not indicating the precise point of arrival of each.  test which complicates the game a lot and requires very careful and thorough preparation. Our car is still being prepared today and in particular we have chosen for this edition a configuration with shorter gear ratios in order to improve performance especially when exiting slower corners and in steep uphill sections. In the next few days we will carry out tests for a total of about 2,500 km. in about 4/5 days with the hope that the snow, not yet descended on the race course, will not show itself during the tests (I remember that last year in reconnaissance we spent a snow-covered afternoon in a ditch near Valence and then conclude with a flourish with a not too soft support against the shovel of a large snowplow in Entrevaux in the mountains above Nice).  


The 2019 edition is characterized by long and complex tests which, if in large part they resume tests already made in previous years, in other respects the organizer proposes new and on average very long solutions. The first test (ZR 1 Montauban - Saint Andrè de Rosans) of 49 km, which arrives after about 16 hours of long transfer from the cities of departure, will open the dances on February 2: it is a complex test with 5 steps and sections from interpret carefully. The longest test ever will take place on February 3 and is no. 3 La Croze - Antaigues of over 57 km. which, however, apart from an initial narrow and tortuous stretch, does not present great difficulties and should not be covered in snow. On the same day there will also be the Burzet test, always treacherous and, to date, all snowballed: it will be done in a new, more complex and longer version (49 km). Do not forget on the 3rd day of the race the legendary Col de l'Echarasson (ZR 7) with the narrow forest road usually covered with snow and on the same day the ZR 9 Col de Meneè both in the uphill and in the following downhill is usually completely icy. The most difficult however seem to be the last two tests of the event: the Zr 14 Col de Braus / La Bollene Vesubie, 35 km of deadly curves of which 17 uphill hairpin bends that lead to Peira Cava and the passage on the Col de Turini: it will represent a nice test bench for those who aspire to a high ranking result. Even the last test the ZR 15 Lantosque / Luceram will be really tough to do, both in the uphill part, narrow and often icy, and in the descent towards Luceram, wide but dotted with hairpin bends.

Both tests will then be done at night, so the difficulty increases ...


We did the reconnaissance in December (about 4 days including round trip from Italy): on average we did not find difficult funds which allowed us to do a good job of evaluating distances and references. We have recorded a lot of information that will enrich a road book that contains not only the distances and the route references but also “rally” notes for the most difficult sections. This year the organizer does not provide the distances of the tests making everything more difficult, so it was necessary to carefully evaluate the measurements obtained in order to then carry out the right calibrations in the race. We will bring three types of tires to the race: traditional thermal winter Michelin for non-snow sections, partially studded Pneus Sisteron for mixed terrain with ice plates and compacted snow and narrow, fully studded Pneus Burzet for total snow conditions.

bottom of page