After a week of rest, Rally Italy organizers have departed Sardinia and decamped to the north of Italy to begin the historic work of preparing their nation’s second World Rally Championship round in a single season.
At the start of this week just 10% of the work needed to organize Monza Rally, the eighth and final round of the 2020 WRC, had been completed. It starts 41 days from today. Should we be concerned?
Not a bit of it. It’s going to be an Italian job completed in the same vein as the six-week sensation that was Rally Italy earlier this month.
Automobile Club Italia senior consultant and Rally Italy director Antonio Turitto is the man at the wheel of the December 4-6 event.
“It’s a lot of work to do for Monza but I am confident for this job because I have a very professional team,” Turitto told DirtFish “It’s the same team for Sardinia.
“After that event, they sleep for one week and then start again to Monza. In Sardinia we made the rally in six weeks and then one week before we have to make some of the roads all over again because there was this big storm. It was a lot.
“But once we take a break, from October 19 we are working on Monza.
“Right now we are looking at the roads we will use outside of the circuit to decide where to go. When we started [on Monday] we have only 10% of the work we need to get done, done already.
“We have a lot to do, but to have two rallies in Italy – this is a nice challenge.”
The Monza Rally will run within the confines of the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza on Friday and Sunday with roads used in the surrounding mountains on Saturday.
There’s plenty of speculation that stages included on the Rally Trofeo ACI Como, which runs as a standalone event on November 6-7, will be part of the itinerary. But that speculation is wide of the mark according to Turitto.
“I don’t think we use the Como stages,” he said, “I think we can find some other nice roads. We have some ideas.”
While the idea of a world championship round spending two days at a race track might seem strange, there’s been a rally at Monza for the last 42 years.
DirtFish understands the nature of the event will shift more towards a traditional rally with less of the ‘show’ element. For example, time penalties for hitting cones will not be part of the plan in December.
Monza Rally is always one of the most popular fixtures in the Italian motorsport calendar, with fans pouring in to watch the likes of seven-time winner Valentino Rossi and Dindo Capello switch disciplines and take on the stages.
The organizers will have to resign themselves to limiting spectator access this season, with COVID-19 restrictions rising once again in the Lombardy region.