Four questions to Pierre Campana

He looks back on five days of competition

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28 January 2010 - 18:47
Four questions to Pierre Campana

Fresh from finishing second in class and 12th overall on his debut Monte Carlo Rally, round one of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, Pierre Campana looks back on an amazing five days of competition...

How do you rate your performance on the Monte Carlo Rally?

PC: "First of all, just being on the rally was a dream come true. The Monte Carlo Rally is a mythical event, which is as well-known as the Le Mans 24 Hours or Indianapolis 500. When I was a child I used to watch the Monte Carlo Rally and hope that one day I would have the chance to compete there. So this year I have already fulfilled an important ambition. As for our performance, I’m very pleased. Above all, we came to Monte Carlo to learn. It is an extremely specialised rally where experience is important, so it is hard to do well on your first visit. To set two stage times in the top 10 overall, finish second in the IRC two-wheel drive Cup, and to be challenging for the win in the Clio category has definitely exceeded our expectations. I’m really delighted."

How hard was it to adapt to the conditions in Monte Carlo?

PC: "The thing with Monte Carlo is that the conditions are constantly changing. So in some places it is quite easy to adapt: you have a good feeling with the car and with the road. Then, in the next second, you can have no grip at all. It’s not unusual for a stage to start in bright sunshine and then finish in heavy snow. So you cannot ever adapt yourself to the surface in the way that you would during a more conventional rally, because the surface is constantly changing. The more you drive though, the more you get a feeling for the roads and the sort of tyre choice that might be suitable for a stage or a loop of stages. We’ve learnt a lot and we’ll definitely be stronger next time."

How much help did you have to secure an entry on the most famous rally of the year?

PC: "I have a lot of people to thank for making this participation possible. Firstly my management company Quadra Sports, who also look after my training and marketing. Also, I would like to thank Ellip6 for sponsoring me on the event. They have introduced a new simulator entertainment concept to the public, which I can really recommend: it’s as realistic as the genuine thing! The Munaretto team did another great job to prepare our Renault Clio R3, which ran perfectly throughout the rally: we only had one small problem with a water tank that sprayed onto the windscreen during the penultimate stage. BFGoodrich also supplied us with perfect tyres. I would finally like to thank my co-driver Sabrina de Castelli too, who did a great job with the pace notes in tricky conditions."

What now for the future?

PC: "Good question! For me the answer is simple: I want to drive on as many rallies as I can and build on the valuable experience that I have gained to date. But of course these things all cost money, so our programme will be dictated by the budget we obtain. We’ve made a good start to the Clio Trophy so far and we finished third overall in it last year with just two participations, so it would be fantastic to continue with that this season; particularly as it visits two more rounds of the IRC in Belgium and the Czech Republic. Having seen the Super 2000 cars in competition, I would love to get the chance to drive one of those as well; they look and sound amazing."

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