Coppa Bettega 2021, The Story

The first edition in Media was positive with 134 crews at the start, marred by the "affaire chiavette".

Maurizio Verini in Audi Quattro, protagonist at the Coppa Bettega 2021 | © PhotoZini

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The Attilio Bettega Cup, for the first time held as a medium regularity event, was a real success in terms of participation and the quality of the cars.
The number of participants, 134, the quality of the cars, including some winners of the Rally Montecarlo Historique and all the Italian specialists, a fleet of cars to "shine", the proposed route of 350 km, in the midst of walls of snow on the most challenging passes of the Dolomites, have made the event of high value.
The victory went to the Swiss brothers Ferruccio and Carlo Nessi, with their Mini Cooper S and the colours of Brescia Corse. Behind them Daniele Perfetti - Colombo on a Lancia Stratos, of Kessel Classic, while the third step of the podium went to Maurizio Verini navigated by Keller, with the Audi Quattro 2.2 Turbo and the colours of the Scuderia del Grifone.
These were the three crews that fought from the beginning for the overall victory, alternating in the provisional first place, with the inclusion in some stages, of Kamata-Zini with the Porsche 911 T2.4 at the end, however, sixth overall, preceded by De Sanctis-De Sanctis with the Lancia Stratos and Tosetti-Bernardelli from Brescia at the debut on Porsche 911 2.5 ST, after many years of Montecarlo Storico with the Lancia Fulvia HF.
To close the first ten absolute places, the Friulians Rigo-Puhali, seventh on Lancia Fulvia HF 1600; Seno-Arena, with the Opel Kadett GTE eighth; Alexia Giugni-Cristina Biagi, with the Porsche 356 A, first in the Ladies Cup, winners also of the Porsche Cup for the 356 model and ninth overall, while the tenth place went to Marco Leva-Paolo Casaleggio with the Lancia Fulvia HF 1600.
Among the teams, the challenge between Scuderia Grifone and Milano Autostoriche went to the former, which also lined up 23 cars, against the 16 of the Milanese association, chaired by the always enthusiastic Antonio De Martino.
The organisational effort of the Rally Club 70 association coordinated by Ivo Strapazzon, deux ex machina of the event, surrounded by many volunteers who are members of the club, was rewarded at the end by positive comments on what was proposed. Even if in Italy," commented Strapazzon, "regularity races at medium speed have not yet assumed the importance they deserve, the conditions are right. We were not so confident about the massive presence of competitors and the consensus received for this first edition. It was a lot of work, but the satisfaction of seeing the competitors happy and entertained makes it all worthwhile. We saw the assistance vans along the route, which recalled a rally setting from many years ago, when the Coppa della Favera to which the event refers was the only winter rally".
The competitive spirit, which is never a bad thing, brought thoughts back to those times. Interpreting the thoughts of the participants, among others, was Danilo Scarcella, from Genoa and the doyen of regularity rallying, which he has been practising for years, taking part in races in France and in the Italian championship since it was established four years ago. "An exceptional race without comparison with the classic race organised until last year. Challenging of course, but very satisfying. A difficult race, as the metres of the various passages marked on the radar were not indicated on the vignettes. As one experienced navigator put it, "it was all about feeling". The transfer times were also good, never too long.
The only thing to note is that there was no start light at the start of the trials, but the willing timekeepers who gave the go-ahead. It was a pity that there was a 4-5 second difference between their chronometer and the GPS, used as a reference for each start. After a bit of confusion on the first run and talking among the competitors it was realised that it was better to start with your GPS time set to the exact minute, as indicated on the time card.

Among the starters and with an excellent result also the Italian rally champion in 1974 and European champion in 1975 with the Fiat 124 Maurizio Verini. Congratulations to the organiser," said the driver from Riolo Terme. The large presence of qualified crews, also due to the cancellation of the Montecarlo Storico, has rewarded a beautiful race and attracted many drivers usually engaged on the tubes in the classic regularity. Undoubtedly, it was a good signal for medium regularity, which needs to grow and develop. I prepared the race and I went better than I expected. In medium regularity you need a lot of concentration, which affects your driving. Then you have to be good in some challenging sections where it is difficult to keep the average and then you need a rally driving".
The last word went to the winners, the brothers from Ticino who have taken part in the Historic Monte Carlo where, when they do not have car problems, they are always well placed. This is our first time here," they said in unison. We have also brought some friends because it is important to work, but also to have fun. There is no doubt that the name "Italian Monte Carlo" is appropriate for the Attilio Bettega Cup. It was a pity that there was no snow on the road, but the race was challenging even without it. With these routes it could only be so. Just think of the last and longest trial with 27 hairpin bends".
The prize-giving ceremony, held at the Glamour Hotel in Bassano del Grappa, was not attended by all the prize-winners. The regulations required the presence of the crew to collect the prize and therefore several cups were not delivered. A pity," stressed Strapazzon. Being present is a sign of respect for the organisers as well as for your friends and opponents.
The next day on the social networks there were complaints about the excess of technology used by many, which allow to reduce the difficulties on the route, (instruments equipped with GPS) that could take away the fun inherent in the ability of the navigator, intended as a physical person. For the time being, the rules of the Italian Medium Regularity Championship do not allow the use of advanced instruments and exasperated technologies. So for pure regularity drivers the possibility to have fun is still there.

Special Prizes
In addition to the first three absolute prizes, the Ladies Cup, the Porsche Cup, of which we have already mentioned the assignees, a special prize, a glass plate, was awarded by the Scuderia Grifone in memory of Attilio Bettega, driver in 1977 and winner of the A112 Trophy that year with the colours of the Genoese team. The winner was the Swiss Perfetti with the beautiful Stratos. The Grifone then decided to give to charity the kitchen won and raffled by the sponsor Arredamenti Gasparotto. A gesture appreciated by all with a big applause to the present managers. 

Coppa delle Scuderie: Grifone ahead of Milano Autostoriche and Club 91 Squadra Corse
Among the 18 teams present, the victory went to Scuderia del Grifone with Verini-Keller, Giugni-Biagi and Leva-Casaleggio. Behind them the Milano Autostoriche with Seno-Arena, Cavagna-Seneci with the Renault 5 at the absolute debut that behaved well throughout the race, and Rossi-Terenzi with the Lancia Fulvia Coupe 1.8. The third step of the podium went to Club 91 Squadra Corse, with Flocchini-Giacometti in a Lancia Fulvia 1.3, Gallo-Paccagnella in a Suzuki Swift GTI and Rossetto-Libero in a Fiat 124 Spider 1.8. Wooden cup for the Team Bassano that lined up the strong driver Andra Giacoppo with his Fulvia Hf 1600 navigated by Del Maso.

Under 30: Riccardo Leva, good blood does not lie!
The winner is the rookie and the son of art Riccardo Leva with Pacchiarotti on FIAT 127 that preceded Mion - Foroni with Porsche 911 and Zonta - Righi on Opel Manta Sr 1.2.

The challenges are also heated in the various classes, for each of the five groups present.

Class up to 1300 cc
Victory for the solitary duo Bonnet-Solomatina on Alfa Romeo Giulietta Ti. In group 1 class 2 among the five finishers the victory for the already mentioned Giugni-Biagi ahead of Schreiber-Ravera with the Porsche 356 A and Cabella-Corinti on Triumph 3. Behind Miatto-Farsura, specialists in classic regularity, here with the Porsche 356 the winners of the 2020 Coppa Bettega when it was classic regularity, Molgora Parzani from Brescia with the Triumph TR2 for the colours of Franciacorta Motori.

Class up to 1,300 cc
The podium is composed of the absolute winners Nessi-Nessi who preceded the winners of the Montecarlo a few years ago, Aghem-Cumino with the Lancia Fulvia 1.2 started very badly and from the last positions of the first stage, authors of a great recovery. The third step of the podium went to the duo Torra-Torra with the unusual Vw Maggiolino 1200.

Class from 1,300 cc to 2,000 cc
The podium saw Canteri-Grassi with the Lotus Elan, ahead of Zanoni-Fontana with the Ford Cortina Gt 1.5 and Pozzan-Saletti with the Porsche 356 Sc. A mention is in order for Chiesa-Fasciolo with Alfa Romeo Giulia TI 1600 at the foot of the class podium. 

Class up to 1,300 cc
Saverio Mazzalupi with the navigator Lozza and the colours of the team Le Nonnette Ruggenti, on board of Innocenti Mini Cooper Mk3, won ahead of Sommaruga-Fumanelli with the Renault Gordini R8 and the Brescians Flocchini-Giacometti with the Fulvia 1.3 S.

Class from 1,300 cc to 2,000 cc
The group was won by Rigo-Puhali who preceded Leva-Casaleggio and Gandino-Merenda with the Saab 96 V4. Gandino is also one of the promoters of the rebirth of the Scuderia Grifone and is involved this week in the Coppa della Pace classic regularity event. A versatile driver who gets good results in every category. At the foot of the podium, two specialists of medium races, even at European level as Rossi-Terenzi of Milano Autostoriche

Over 2000 cc class
In the class over 2.000cc victory for the lonely Todoerti-Maggi with the Porsche 911 T 2200

Class up to 1.300cc
The class 1 of the fourth grouping saw the victory of the young Leva-Pacchiarotti, who preceded Cattaneo-Cattaneo, son at the wheel and father at the notes, who at their first average race have steadily occupied the first seven positions in the overall standings, until the small A112 with only 48 horsepower did not penalize them on the sloping ascent of the Giau Pass, making them fall in the overall standings to 16th place overall. In the same class, third place went to De Angelis-Briani, with the beautiful Ritmo 60, which with the same driver two years ago placed third overall at the Rally di Montecarlo Storico.

Class from 1,300 cc to 2,000 cc
In the group 4 class 2 victory for the excellent Seno with the professional navigator Arena who hoped for a better result after the tests made on the route since Thursday. Behind them, the Lumezzanesi Cavagna-Seneci with the latter as navigator leaving the classic regularity and regularity sport where he is usually engaged as a driver. The Renault R5 brought to the race for the first time ever, has given positive feedbacks. The third step of the podium went to a top driver of classic regularity Andrea Giacoppo expected at the Coppa della Pace of the Italian championship of classic regularity and in the trophy Tre Regioni of regularity sport, which at Bettega was navigated by Del Maso. Behind the most numerous class with 33 participants, we find Deserti-Torlasco with the Fulvia Hf 1600 and Bonamini-Ambrogi of Scuderia Grifone with the beautiful Fiat 124 Abarth Rally Gr.4.

Class over 2,000 cc
The class 3 of the fourth grouping saw the most powerful cars ever on the podium. Perfetti-Kessel, Verini-Keller, and De Sanctis-De Sanctis with the second Stratos present. At the foot of the podium, at the debut with the Porsche 911 2.5 St the crew of Lake Garda, Tosetti-Bernardelli, by now launched towards the top levels of the specialty.

Class up to 1,300 cc
The class 1 of group 5 was won by Gallo-Paccagnella with the Suzuki Swift ahead of Danieli-Scabello on A112 Abarth and Mellini-Casini with A112 Elite.

Class from 1,300 cc to 2,000 cc
The fifth grouping class 2 was the prerogative of Concari-Drovandi with the beautiful Lancia Delta 4WD ahead of Tovena-Didonè with Alfa Romeo 33 1.5 TI and the female duo Varotto-Lazzaretto with Peugeot 205 GTI.

Class over 2000 cc
Finally, in the last awarded class, the 3 of the fifth grouping, the victory went to the Italian champions Vellano-Molina with the Audi 80 4, decidedly undertone in the Bettega Cup, who preceded Cattelan-Cadamuro with the Mercedes 190 2.3.