RMCH 2024: GAROSCI – BRIANI ON BOARD THE FIAT RITMO N°165

The Rallye Montecarlo Historique is a one-of-a-kind race, described to us by the crew 165 Riccardo Garusci and Rudi Briani

Riccardo Garosci, can you tell us about this race from your point of view?

I find myself, for the fifth time in my almost fifty-year career as a driver, at the start of the Monte Carlo Rally. It is the fifth time: 3 editions of the modern WRC and 2 in the Historique version, like this one which starts from Milan. It’s a beautiful race, almost the same route as the modern one but on roads open to traffic and therefore with double attention, where sometimes even an ‘easy’ average of 50/h is impossible to respect (e.g. Turini). I do the Monte because, in addition to the sand of the deserts (Rudy and I are among the very few Italians to have done the Dakar on 3 continents…) I like the snow. But, this year too, as in 2022, I fear that we will remain… dry! That’s fine too: Alessio De Angelis and Promotor have made a great car available to us (especially if there is snow) as in 2022: the Fiat Ritmo with Alitalia colors which debuted at Monte in 1975. We are here, as always to have fun and be with mates from different teams and countries. We will have the colors of Grifone, the historic team that brought many champions to rallies. With Promotor’s preparation and assistance, I am sure that we will put a car on the road that has made many enthusiasts dream. After all, I myself chose the Rallies because that day in January 1972, still without a driving licence, I too, a young boy but already a fan, was there in the port of Monte Carlo, rejoicing in the victory of the ‘little’ Lancia Fulvia driven by ‘Great’ Sandro Munari…

Your navigator, Rudy Briani, returning from the Dakar Classic and the WRC as a reconnaissance team, you are a close-knit team…

Faithful companion of many adventures is Rudy Briani with whom last year in January, in our first Dakar Classic (after 4 of the modern ones for me and 7 for him…) we finished fourth overall out of 90. This January he returned, to improve: second overall with Traglio jr. and again with a Nissan Terrano as in 2023.

I remember when I involved him in (our) first Paris-Dakar in Africa, in 2001… he was just over twenty years old but already with clear ideas and determination, sometimes too much so! Then together in 2007 as winners of the Rally Raid World Cup in T2 with Ralliart’s Pajero (and in T1 the winner was Carlos Sainz, now over 60 like me and just winner of the modern Dakar in Arabia). 

Rudy, who left in early January for the Dakar Classic, came down to get into the WRC reconnaissance car and now to the historic… 

I’m very happy with second place in the Dakar classic, very close to first, this year has been a tough adventure. Then the Monte Carlo WRC went very well, rallying is my strongest passion, it was wonderful even though being a scout and therefore starting well before everyone else, you see very little. You can savor the environment a little from a distance, but you experience the atmosphere. Now let’s start with the historian with a splendid car and his friend Riccardo with whom we will soon celebrate 25 years together. This year there are some regulatory changes… we’ll play it and see how it goes. The current weather conditions indicate roads without particular atmospheric conditions that could have a particular impact… there is no snow or ice. It is always a great emotion to leave for this rally which boasts participation of the highest level with a number of participants. Doing well here has great value.

And we will follow them and collect other testimonials and comments!

Cristina Biagi x Promotor Classic MAGAZINE

Cristina Biagi x Promotor Classic MAGAZINE