Friday | 18 Mar 2016

Fairy tale return for Frenchman Fabre

It’s the type of feelgood story you would expect to find in the fiction section of your local bookshop.

Sixty-one-year-old grandfather Michel Fabre returns to rallying after almost 27 years away from the sport, enters the WRC 3 support category in the FIA World Rally Championship and tops the standings after the opening three rounds!

Property developer Fabre netted maximum points at Rally Sweden and Rally Guanajuato Mexico to add to eighth in the season-opening Rallye Monte-Carlo, and holds a healthy 29-point lead over Norwegian hotshot Ole Christian Veiby – 42 years his junior.

The Frenchman journeys back across the Atlantic next month for Rally Argentina (21 - 24 April), when another maximum points haul would allow him to start dreaming of a possible title before many of his rivals have even started their campaigns.

“After our victory in Sweden we took the WRC 3 lead and it’s a good feeling,” said Fabre, who drives a Sainteloc Racing-run Citroën DS 3 R3T partnered by Maxime Vilmot.

Fabre holds a 29-point lead in WRC 3

“The happiness is maximum, even if the conditions at Monte-Carlo weren’t easy. Sweden was difficult, too, but I’m satisfied. Argentina is extremely difficult but I hope I can be in the points.

“It wasn’t, and still isn’t, a question of thinking about the title, but finishing each round, enjoying myself, and scoring points if possible by making the top ten,” he added.

Fabre drove in more than 60 rallies and hillclimbs in the 1970s and ‘80s, making his WRC debut at the 1986 Tour de Corse and winning his class at the island rally three years later. His comeback began last year with two French Cup events before moving up to WRC 3.

After Argentina Fabre’s next event will be Rally China (8 - 11 September). In the meantime Junior WRC contenders, who are also registered for WRC 3, will have the opportunity to eat into Fabre’s advantage before the Marseille man ends his campaign in Corsica and Australia, with Spain as an optional eighth event.

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