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33rd Nuvolari rally

33rd Nuvolari rally

The ever-popular Nuvolari rally: not as hard-paced as the 1000 Miglia but fun-packed and just as beautiful. This year, Team Ecurie Bertelli comprised three Aston Martins and a Jaguar XK 120 with our experienced support crew on hand to keep them running sweetly. Thankfully, no raging storms hit the course, unlike like last year!

Rob Burt with partner, Ashley, in their 1930 International piloted the oldest Aston of the three. The organisers had made an error with the entry and had the model designated as a 15/98. This may have set the index/handicap less fairly against them as the 15/98 has an extra 500 ccs under the bonnet but I don't think Rob minded and was here to enjoy himself. Next in the chronological lineup was regular rally competitor Joe Hurwich and son, Andrew, with their 1931 International Le Mans. Joe has enjoyed the Nuvolari rally several times now. Third in the team was seasoned rally competitor, Martin Tacon, joined by partner Leslie, in their lovely 1933 Le Mans. Youngest car in the team was that of Steve Gibson and his son Ben in their XK 120; the versatile workshop already having turned their skills to prepping the car in the preceding weeks.

The event started as usual in Mantova, at the Piazza Sordello. Before many miles had passed, all 275 cars reached the Modena circuit where they completed some chrono trials on the track. After lunch, the route wound through glorious Italian countryside and villages before culminating at Rimini as darkness fell and dinner awaited.

Day two was an earlier 7am start. The course took them towards Tuscany and the southernmost part of the route at Siena, including some beautiful hilly sections. Back north-eastwards through towns and open landscapes, stopping at San Marino and then on again to the day’s end at Rimini for the grand dinner.

Day three included a second circuit – Imola - hosted by Alpha Tauri F1 Scuderia, where competitors drove on the famous tarmac. Then onwards, through Ferrara for the finish and prize-giving back at Mantova.

In the daylight hours, the task of the hard-working support team is to journey ahead of the team to be on hand for any technical needs as the competitors pass by. Then, push on ahead again to rendezvous at the next agreed point. By night, whilst drivers and co-drivers enjoy wining and dining, the support crew don head torches, roll up their sleeves and service the vehicles ready for the next day. Their hard work is rewarded with the happy smiles and good-natured banter with the competitors and, best of all, the successful finish of all four Ecurie Bertelli cars after 1,130 kilometers. Such mechanical reliablility doesn't happen by chance of course and is testament to the skills and attention to detail of the whole EB team and the preparations made well in advance. Well done to all!

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