Jean-Pierre Gatti and Bertrand Chagot were rewarded for their patient, methodical and common-sense approach with victory at the Rallye Mont-Blanc Morzine. Continuing the hard work they have been putting in all season, the Haute Savoie duo kept it simple on their return to one-make racing at the wheel of a car they needed time to get to grips with. In recording his maiden Clio R3T Alps Trophy win, Jean-Pierre Gatti has moved out of the shadows and into the light and has proved he has what it takes to break into the battle Michaël Burri and Olivier Courtois have been waging since the start of the season, with everything still to play for in the race to grab the two slots for the Clio R3T Alps Trophy final at next year’s Rallye Monte-Carlo.
Day one of the Rallye Mont-Blanc Morzine ended with Michaël Burri and Anderson Levratti holding a narrow 1.2-second lead from Jean-Pierre Gatti and Bertrand Chagot, with Olivier Courtois and Hubert Risser finding themselves 17.2 seconds back after hitting a rail. As the rain came down on Saturday, Jean-Pierre Gatti made his move in the 28-km Côte d’Arbroz special, taking 12.9 seconds out of Olivier Courtois and 35.6 out of Michaël Burri. Having carved out a precious lead, the Annecy driver spent the rest of the day skilfully protecting it, eventually claiming victory ahead of Oliver Courtois and Hubert Risser.
Unable to get the best out of his Clio R3T in the wet conditions or to find the right set-up with his team, Michaël Burri conceded valuable seconds on what turned out to be a disappointing day. Yet though it was a rally to forget for the talented Swiss driver, he remains the Clio R3T Alps Trophy points leader after four rounds, as the standings show. Round five is the Rallye International du Valais on 29-31 October 2015.
Photo: Massimo Prati