Ralliart Italy returns to the 2013 FIA World Rally Championship this weekend with 35-year-old Carlos Garcia Fessman of Venezuela behind the steering wheel of one of their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X cars. The team not only has three Production car World Championship titles to its name, but is also recognized as the structure behind the 2009 / 2010 Pirelli Star Driver programme. This pedigree makes Ralliart Italy a good starting place for any driver beginning a career in the WRC. Never having driven outside the Americas before, Fessman joins the team looking to learn new terrains and build on his existing experience.
Fessman cuts an impressive figure at over 190cm tall and will be the first Venezuelan driver ever to compete on a European round of the WRC. Having taken on Rally México earlier in the year, the ex-professional basketball player hopes Rally d’Italia will be the first in a series of European events he will take on this season. The Sardinian stages are rougher and throw up more dust than the gravel Fessman usually competes on. However, he can’t wait for this new challenge and was impressed by the spectacular surroundings when recceing the stages.
Rally d’Italia marks Fessman’s first trip to Europe. He hopes the event will also mark a new stage in his rallying career: “I can’t wait to start the rally on Friday. I’ve never driven on gravel like on the Sardinian stages. It’s a great opportunity for me and I really looking forward to testing my speed against the other drivers. I want to find my level and gain as much experience as possible to take to future WRC events.”
Team Manger Bruno De Pianto is pleased to welcome Fessman on board and start a partnership with Venezuela: “Ralliart Italy is a team which has always worked on driver development and strives to create long-term relationships with drivers and sponsors. We are very pleased to start a cooperation with both Venezuela and their national Ministry of Sport. We will all work hard to ensure that Carlos gets the best support possible during Rally d’Italia and has a good start to what we hope will be a long career in the WRC with our team.”