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Fessman Finland13aThe Ralliart Italy technicians worked into the night to prepare José Alexander Gelvez’s car for Day Three of Rally Finland. Their hard work paid dividends when Gelvez successfully navigated through all eight of the Day Three stages to finish second in the WRC 2 Production Cup: “It was a very difficult rally. It’s very fast and we’ve had to face all kinds of different challenges. The first day was harder than the others as I was learning the stages. We wanted to try and improve all the time. Today in Ouninpohja, I saw all kinds of other cars having problems, so I focused really hard just to stay on the road and finish the rally, which was our goal from the start. It was great to end the event third in the Production Cup I have to thank Ralliart Italy and all the team, because they always gave us a car in the best shape possible to tackle such a tough rally!”

Carlos Garcia Fessman also undertook the 130 kilometre Day Three challenge, but unfortunately wasn’t as lucky as his teammate. After a strong start to the event on Days One and Two, Fessman approached the Day Three stages at his usual measured pace, focused on reaching the end of the event unperturbed.

However, after a strong first loop, the iconic Ouninpohja stage claimed Fessman on his second pass. A butterfly jammed causing the engine to cut out and the ex-professional basketball player’s event came to a premature end. Fessman was disappointed to leave the competition on the penultimate stage when lying third in the WRC 2 Production Cup. However, he has a positive attitude and now looks ahead to Rallye Deutschland and the new challenge of the WRC Tarmac: “After having a great weekend, we were improving stage-by-stage. We knew that Finland was a difficult and fast rally, but everything seemed okay. However, suddenly during the second pass of Ouninpohja we had a problem, which took us out of the race when we only had a few more kilometres left to make. That’s rally! My co-driver and I tried to fix the problem, but we couldn’t finish the stage. However, we’re pleased to have improved our stage times during the event. This proves we’re growing as a crew. Now we are looking forward to starting to prepare our next rally in Germany.”

Team Manager Bruno De Pianto was sorry to see Fessman retire at the last minute, but pleased that Gelvez reached the end of his first ever European event successfully: “It’s been a fantastic rally with the guys. Having Alex in the team has been great. He and Carlos are very good friends and have a very professional attitude, which creates a really great atmosphere in the team. They and Venezuela are very welcome additions to the Service Park. Now I can’t wait to see what happens in Germany!”

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