Monday | 16 Nov 2020

Monza: inside line on the stages

As a two-time world champion co-driver, Tiziano Siviero knows what he’s looking for when it comes to planning a special stage.

He’s the man who helped devise some of Rally Italia Sardegna’s more challenging routes and now he’s turning his hand to the FIA Word Rally Championship finale at ACI Rally Monza (3 - 6 December).

The event, a late addition to the Covid-19 affected calendar, will be a combination of thrilling on-track action at the Milan circuit, combined with three of northern Italy’s most challenging asphalt road stages close to Lake Como.

Describing those three tests that will form Saturday’s leg of the WRC counter, Siviero said the roads he’d found were the best in the area.

“I went to see timed sections throughout all Lombardy region and these stages are all three of the best stages to drive,” said Siviero, who made all but one of his 78 WRC starts alongside fellow Italian Miki Biasion.

Monza organisers detail WRC finale schedule

Monza organisers detail WRC finale ...

Classic circuit corners including Parabolica and Lesmo, steeply banked curves, tricky gravel sections and a day in the foothills ...

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“Evaluated as a whole, they are fast with very fast sections, but, because they develop on the roads of the mountains, there are also some narrow and slow sections. The track varies from wide to narrow, with changes in surface and grip.

“Selvino (25.06km), the first stage, has continuity of rhythm, with changes of asphalt. You go from uphill to downhill and from a roadway that was first wide and then narrow.

“It also has some slippery sections because they are in the shade and also full of leaves. In short, it is a truly world championship test.

“The second, that of Gerosa (11.09km), is shorter and faster with an uphill start, but it is easy for there to be big gaps because you have to know how to drive it and know how to take the right pace.”

It is the final stage of the loop, which will be driven morning and afternoon either side of service at Monza, which Siviero believes will be the most decisive of the day.

Video: Rally Italia Sardegna heli special

“The third stage, Costa Valle (22.17km) is certainly the one that will be feared the most by the drivers. It has a slow first part followed by a very fast part, a very technical section and a stretch almost like a track,” he explained.

“The stage then ends with a final descent where it takes heart and courage, proof that if you don’t do it with the right rhythm and concentration, you can also lose important seconds.”

Thursday night’s opening 4.33km Monza Legacy test includes the circuit’s pit lane.

Friday and Sunday’s action, on stages called Junior, Roggia, Grand Prix and Serraglio, features famous circuit corners including Parabolica, Lesmo and Rettifilo, steeply banked curves and tricky gravel sections in the track complex.

Full itinerary here.