Luca Rossetti and Matteo Chiarcossi, with their Abarth Grande Punto S2000, earned at the Rallye du Valais the mathematical certainty of being European Rally Champions for the third time – the first crew to do so in the history of the continental series. The European Rally Championship is the international motorsport series with the longest tradition, with the first edition dating back to 1953 while the World Championship was first held in 1973.
Luca Rossetti said: “I dedicate the victory to Ing. Wester (CEO of Abarth n.d.r.) who has always believed in me, and to all the people at Abarth. I am proud to have won this title with an Italian car. For me it is an honour to race with them; I hope with this win to have repaid them for their trust. Our season has been troubled as we have sometimes had problems, but this only gives a better taste to the result we obtained. I thank all those who contributed to this success, and in particular Michelin and United Business, who has been taking care of my sports management for years.”
At the Rallye du Valais, Luca Rossetti ended the first leg in second place overall, first among the drivers of the European Rally Championship title. However, the end of the leg offered a small thrill as 2kms from the end of the third special stage the gearbox broke, an issue that did not prevent the Abarth crew from ending the first day in the lead and gaining the points necessary to win the continental title.
The second day Rossetti started very fast, jumping up to take the overall lead after the first stage before being forced to retire due to another mechanical failure. Rossetti was therefore unable to finish the rally, and to try and repeat the victory of 2010, as he would have wished to celebrate at best. Luca and Matteo will now enjoy their well-deserved success in view of the 2012 season.