Battle of the 16-year olds in Italy

Written by Martin Holmes on .

The Finn, Kalle Rovanpera, and the Bolivian, Marco Bulacia, 16-year olds who are specially licenced to compete in Italy, will meet each other for the second time on gravel, this time at the San Marino Rally.  

Marco Bulacia left with codriver Fernando MussanoMarco Bulacia (left) with co-driver Fernando Mussano. (Photo: Rallylink)Rovanpera, who drives a Peugeot 208 T16, says that Italy presents a completely different challenge from the Baltic rallies where he previously had competed.  

“Two completely different kinds of event.  In the Baltic they have very fast stages, here you must drive on slow roads,” Rovanpera said.  

He drives in the same team as the veteran Italian champion Paulo Andreucci.  

“Paulo has been very helpful, always providing us with information.  For us this has been very important.”  

The Bolivian drives a Fiesta R5 Evo, who explained: “We planned this visit to Europe after winning the top category in the Bolivian championship.  

“Spain originally had agreed to allow me to compete, but then also did Italy.  

“My challenge has been to get used to the (four wheel drive turbocharged) car in place of the Toyota Corolla.  

“When I go back home and drive the Toyota again, it is like I have to change the ‘chip’ in my mind, it is all complicated.  And the roads in Italy are very different.  

“Back home the roads are wider, there are more rocks and precipices.”
 
- Martin Holmes