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Carlos Garcia Fessman will restart on Day Two under Rally 2 Regulations in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X after his campaign on Day One of Rally d’Italia Sardinia came to a premature end on the road section to SS2. Heading out this morning towards Sassari, the destination of today’s Remote Service, Fessman was focused on gaining as much experience as possible on the alien Italian gravel and his first ever competitive outing in Europe.

The Venezuelan was pleased with his progress on SS1. He didn’t have any ‘moments’ and he felt confident in his Lancer as he quickly began to learn the style of the Sardinian roads. Unfortunately, approximately 3km from the end of SS1, he began to suffer from turbo problems.

The high temperatures outside the car worked against the cautious driving style Fessman had chosen to adopt on his opening loop, causing the antilag system to overheat. Unusually high levels of oil loss en route to SS2 then forced him to retire from the leg in order to protect his engine and place in Rally d’Italia for Day Two.

The car was in good shape when it returned to service and is ready to go tomorrow morning after a successful turbo replacement and additional routine checks. Fessman can’t wait to get back out on the first stage of Day Two, SS9, a typical Sardinian test, with narrow, twisty roads.

Short though his Day One campaign was, Fessman’s experience today should help his confidence when he heads out again in the morning: “It was a shame to retire from the day so early on, but we’re always learning and our priority had to be saving our Mitsubishi for tomorrow. It’s a totally new experience for us competing here in Sardinia and we want to get as much experience as possible.”

Team Manager Bruno De Pianto is disappointed not to see Fessman with more kilometres under his belt as he heads into Day Two, but feeling positive about tomorrow: “Sardinia isn’t an easy rally and the heat of the day makes the conditions even tougher to tackle. This is just the start of Carlos’ journey in the WRC and we were all pleased at how calmly he handled his problem this morning, working well with the team, so that we could make sure he’d be back in action on Day Two!”

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