12 May 08
Stobart VK M-Sport Ford team principal Malcolm Wilson says he’s confident Gigi Galli will be in the fight for a podium place on the forthcoming rally in Sardinia.
The event marks the first time that Livigno resident Galli, and his co-driver Giovanni Bernacchini, will tackle their home event with the Stobart team, and this year represents the Italian’s best chance so far to prove himself on home ground.
After crashing out of the most recent round, Jordan Rally, on the first day, Galli re-started and made steady progress back up the leaderboard to finish eighth - setting three fastest stage times along the way. “I was pleased that Gigi found his pace in Jordan, said Wilson. “And hopefully he can take this speed into his home rally; I feel confident he’ll be battling for a podium here.”
This will be Galli’s seventh attempt at the Italian round of the WRC and his third on Sardinia. His best result came in 2004 when he won the Group N classification and finished sixth outright in a Mitsubishi Lancer. In 2006 he competed in a Pirelli backed Peugeot 307 but retired on day two with engine failure. He missed the event in 2007 due to a lack of funding.
“Well, finally we have come to my home rally!” said Galli. “I’ve taken part in this race a few times since it was moved to Sardinia in 2004. It is a very technical, tricky and difficult rally with very hard gravel roads and lots of loose stones. One of the stages I like most is Monte Lerno, the one with a very big jump that is so easy to catch out unwary drivers. I really look forward to getting there, to see all the Italian fans, and hopefully we can find the right rhythm and pace from the beginning.”
With Stobart regular Henning Solberg transferring to the Munchi’s Ford squad for this rally, Britons Matthew Wilson and co-driver Scott Martin are in the second Stobart team Ford Focus.
“Last year I was running just outside the points before we retired but the feeling was good and the notes were working well so hopefully we can develop on this a bit more and finish in the points, said Wilson. “I am pleased to be scoring for the Stobart team again this year. Jordan was a good result for us and I’m confident we can post a strong points finish here for the team.”