• Oriol Vilanova // English

"Blue Beauty" never fails

This was the first time RACC had been in charge of a Classic car Rally and, given its extensive experience in organising leading automobile events, the event looked sure to be a success.

There was a broad scope for admissions: from 1947 to 1986. I opted for one of my favourite cars, which, unfortunately, I had not used for almost 2 years. A few days before the race, I decided to prepare it and check that everything was working properly. Obviously it took some effort for it to start up after such a long period of lethargy, but when it did it afforded me a huge smile.

I realised that the roadworthiness certificate was out of date, and when I went to renew it they found that the front brakes were imbalanced. Fortunately, the vehicle passed at the second attempt, after putting right a small loss in a cylinder which had soaked the drum with brake fluid and compromised braking efficiency.

The closer we got to the day of the Rally, the more excited I got. For me, it would be a great test for one of my favourite races, the Mille Miglia, and the ideal scenario to debut with a Blunik (for experts in regularity, this is the best thing to achieve high precision in time-trials). I would also be accompanied on this adventure by my Italian friend Daniele Rizza. We struck up a great friendship after attending the Mille Miglia last year. This was the first race we competed together at the wheel, and it undoubtedly will not be the last. Apart from being an outstanding mechanic and a wonderful driver, Daniele is also one of the best restorers in Italy, and is in charge of preserving important collections such as the Bulgari collection from his facilities in Rome. Daniele came out to Barcelona the day before the Rally, time enough to check and test the vehicle.

We did a few kilometres, went over the spare parts list, installed the regularity devices and ensured everything was in place ready for the race.

Everything seemed ready and in order. And we decided to spend the night in Barcelona to avoid