Skoda Motorsport World Rally Team driver Toni Gardemeister finished sixth at this year's 19th Bettega Memorial Rallysprint in Bologna, which was won by Italian Andrea Navarra for the sixth consecutive time.

Taking place alongside the annual Bologna Motor Show the head to head shoot-out at the Grafic Arena always draws a capacity crowd of enthusiastic Italian fans.

Approximately 30,000 spectators were reported on Saturday and on Sunday. Run over three days, and including a night race on Saturday, the event is run in memory of the Italian rally ace who was killed during the 1985 Corsica Rally and has been held every year since.

This year's event, run on a mixed tarmac and gravel surface, drew a star-studded entry including newly crowned World Rally Champion Petter Solberg, 2002 Champion Marcus Gronholm, and new Subaru recruit Mikko Hirvonen.

"It was quite impressive to compete in front of such a passionate crowd, and it is great fun to drive the Fabia WRC on these kind of tracks," said Gardemeister, "I made big slides and saw a lot of waving hands. But it was not so easy - I stalled the engine once and the track was quite slippery although it was faster than in previous years. Never mind, it was a good way to close off a challenging season. Now I look forward to a nice vacation."

 

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