WRC »

IRC: Panizzi signs with Proton for Sanremo

Gilles Panizzi signs with Proton for the IRC event at Sanremo
Former Peugeot WRC driver Gilles Panizzi has signed a deal to contest the latest round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge in Sanremo.

Panizzi will team up with Niall McShea in the Proton team for the event, which he has won three times in the past, with the Frenchman set to help with development of the Satria Neo S2000.

While currently a one-off deal for the Sanremo event, the partnership could become more long-term depending on the outcome of the weekend.

"I never expected to be here,” Panizzi admitted. “In my head I was done with driving competitively a few years ago. But then the opportunity came up to be part of something completely new and use my experience to benefit a manufacturer trying to come up in the sport.

“We are both using this event to get to know each other, and if we each feel that the conditions are right at the end of it, then we will look at a longer-term collaboration. I'm considering this rally more as a test than a competitive event: it's been two years since I've driven so it's not realistic to expect to be on the pace straight away and I'm going to be surrounded by drivers who are a lot younger, hungrier and match-fit than me! What I can do is make a few suggestions to develop the car in the long run.

“I drove the Proton very briefly in Britain and it felt like a very good car, a good base. Now we have a test, but this is just before the start of the rally, so there will not be the possibility of making any dramatic changes before we begin. We are just going to take each stage as it comes, as it's impossible to predict how we might get on. If we can see an improvement in the car and the times over the course of the rally, and if we get to the finish, then it will be a good achievement.

“I love coming to Sanremo as it's a fantastic rally that brings back many happy memories but there's certainly going to be no pressure this time, as we have no particular expectations. I always give a hundred percent and I've got a serious job to do but I'm also going to enjoy myself: it's always a huge pleasure to drive a rally car on these roads, particularly when you were not expecting to!"


Tagged as: Panizzi , Sanremo , Proton , IRC

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Gilles Panizzi (FRA). Rallye Monte Carlo, 24-27th January 2008.
Paolo Andreucci - Peugeot 207 Super 2000
Giandomenico Basso - Peugeot 207 Super 2000
Umberto Scandola - Skoda Fabia S2000
Harry Hunt secures the IRC 2WD Cup for a second time. Cyprus Rally [Pic credit: IRC]
Andreas Mikkelsen and Ola Fløene celebrate in Cyprus after winning IRC title #2 [Pic credit: IRC]
Cyprus Rally winner Nasser Al-Attiyah on the podium with Andreas Mikkelsen [2nd] and Toshi Arai [3rd] [Pic credit: IRC]
Nasser Al-Attiyah /Giovanni Bernacchini. M-Sport Ford Fiesta RRC. Cyprus Rally. [Pic credit: IRC]
Simone Campedelli - Citroën DS3 R3T
Jan Kopecky - Škoda Fabia Super 2000
Giandomenico Basso - M-Sport Ford Fiesta RRC
Federico Gasperetti - Renault Mégane RS
Craig Breen wins Colin McRae Flat Out Trophy in Sanremo
Alessandro Perico - Peugeot 207 S2000
Giandomenico Basso - M-Sport Ford Fiesta RRC
Jan Kopecky - Škoda Fabia Super 2000
Paolo Andreucci - Peugeot 207 S2000
Petar Gyoshev. Mabanol Sliven Rally [Pic credit: IRC]

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


ForzaCockermouth

September 18, 2010 7:11 PM

Panizzi had been accused of illegal recce by Delecour. It was well known that Gilles did this throughout his career. (A cheat some may call him, I saw it with my own eyes on French Championship round) Complete maniac, that did Peugeot's reputation no good in WRC. Remember the time that he got overtaken by someone on Safari, then assaulted the driver of the car at the stage stop? Idiot. By the by, is it doing Proton any good developing the car when they keep swapping the drivers about?



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.