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2006 Fiesta SportingTrophy International Champion Alessandro Bettega visited M-Sport last week ahead of his FIA World Rally Championship debut in the 2006 Ford Focus RS world rally car.
It was announced in July, as part of his package for winning the 2006 FSTi series, the Italian will enter the event as part of the Stobart VK M-Sport Ford team with support from his long-term partners, TRT La Scuderia.
The trip to M-Sport was a familiarisation session for both he and co-driver Simone Scattolin with the Focus RS and the M-Sport team who will be aiding their Corsica challenge. The pair spent two days in north England beginning with a small shakedown at a local airfield where Stobart driver Matthew Wilson showed Bettega the ins and outs of the Focus RS before handing over the wheel for the Italian to complete 30 kilometres of tarmac testing.
Back at the M-Sport base, 26-year-old Bettega was introduced to his team of mechanics and chief engineer Tim Jackson and was given an in-depth briefing on the car and its running gear. On the final day he was taken through logistic and regulation procedures to become fully aware of how the top-level teams operate on a world championship event.
Bettega was delighted with the trip to M-Sport gaining an exceptional amount of knowledge which he will take with him ahead of his first true test at the top level of the sport.
2006 Fiesta SportingTrophy Champion Alessandro Bettega said:
“We had a really great couple of days at M-Sport which I think will help me a lot going into Corsica. The first day I arrived we went straight to the airfield to test the car and having Matthew [Wilson] there was very helpful, he showed me how everything worked and explained the launch control to me which we practised a few times. After the shakedown Tim [Jackson] introduced me to the mechanics who will be looking after the car in Corsica and then explained absolutely everything about the car to me and showed me some pictures of things that can go wrong out on a stage. Finally I spent time in the logistics department going through all the regulations and information I need to know about the rally. This was a very beneficial trip and now that I have met the team I am really looking forward to Corsica and driving the 2006 Focus.”
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