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Merli at the Rally del Brunello: a puncture, then a comeback

Christian Merli, with his co-driver Massimo Furlini, showed a splendid performance in the Skoda Fabia R5 at the Rally del Brunello in Tuscany. Immediately penalised by a puncture just one kilometre into the first special stage, he was able to come back.

Christian’s comments
“I’m disappointed. After the start on Friday we immediately sustained a puncture and lost 40”. I kept going through the special stage, finishing 26th, and changed the tyre afterwards. Then we started our comeback. Everything went very well. We climbed up to the fifth place overall. But in the penultimate stage I arrived fast in a left-hand corner immediately followed by a right-hand one. I went wide, and with two wheels on the grass I couldn’t get control of the Fabia back and hit the embankment. It’s a shame, because we were doing well. The team GF Racing had prepared an excellent car for me.”

The race
The first few special stages of the Rally del Brunello near Siena take place on Friday afternoon. In the Castiglion del Bosco stage, in a light rain, Merli suffers a puncture soon after the start. He keeps going and finishes the special stage in 26th place. He is last overall, and his goal is compromised. In the penultimate of the seven special stages on Saturday Christian is forced to give up one kilometre before the end.

The Rally del Brunello
The rally started in Montalcino on Friday afternoon, beginning with the stages Castiglion del Bosco and Cosona. Then from Saturday morning the other seven special stages, with the teams returning to Montalcino around 19.00. The rally measured 344 km in total, 82 km of which made up the nine special stages.

Translation by Ruth Scheithauer

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