While Rally di Alba (2 August) might be an asphalt event in the hills on twisty roads above Turin and not super-fast gravel around Tartu, team principal Andrea Adamo says the event offers a valuable opportunity to bring his team together ahead of the WRC’s restart.
“Every chance like this is an important one,” he said. “It’s not just about the drivers and co-drivers getting back to the car and competing. Of course, we know they have been missing some time competing, but to be out this weekend is really important for the whole team.
“You know, testing is testing, but you really work more when you are in the competition. In the test, you change the gearbox, but you don’t have the same pressure. In the rally, it’s different.
“To have everybody, the team, the media people, everything it means we are coming back to the normal life a little bit more.”
Alba will be Tänak and Neuville’s first event working together since Rally Guanajuato México in March. Adamo believes it is another opportunity to display how well their relationship is developing.
“I am so impressed by the way Thierry has been so humble about Ott joining us. He has been open-minded and willing to do everything he can to make it work. It’s the same coming from Ott,” he said.
“When they are testing, they are working together and moving the car in the right direction. We are making good progress. People were worried about competition in the team, but we have co-operation.
“Of course, we know when the rally starts, it’s all about the competition. Away from the rallies, we’re together,” Adamo added.
Pierre-Louis Loubet will also compete in a privately-entered i20 World Rally Car, with Dani Sordo and Craig Breen in R5 versions.
Rally di Alba features three loops of three stages covering 102.90km.