Fri 09 Feb 2024

ERC Take Five with Alberto Battistolli

With 20 FIA European Rally Championship starts to his name, Alberto Battistolli is having to respond to the pressures of working for the family business by cutting back on his ERC schedule in 2024.

But he’ll still be getting behind the wheel of his Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 this year, starting with former ERC champion Miki Biasion’s Rally Racing Meeting in Vicenza, Italy, this weekend, as the 26-year-old explained.  

You’ll be working with not one but more than 100 co-drivers this weekend. What will you be doing exactly?
“I am working with the Associazione Gabriele Borgogni Onlus, a charitable association that is helping the families of victims of road accidents. I have given the chance for people to join me in my Škoda Fabia RS Rally2. I received 300 applications but selected 40 on a first-time basis and I will then select 80 more to join me during the event. They agreed to pay 20 euros directly to the association to join me so I’m hoping to do some good and raise some money for this association. I will also present my new livery, which will be very different from the previous year.”

Is this a cause that’s close to you?
“It was just something that’s important. We are rally drivers and driving on the road is everything for us. Any little gesture we make is well perceived because we have to send a message that we are road-responsible and we are not part of the problem, but we are the solution because we can teach young drivers how to behave properly on the road.”  

In terms of competing, what are your plans for 2024?
“Unfortunately, I will not take part in the full ERC, I think two or three events. I am stuck in the office now and I will try to concentrate more on work and this path. I will do Rally di Roma Capitale for sure and I will also have the time to do the Italian Gravel championship because it’s easy for the schedule.”

You were a regular in the ERC in both 2021 and 2022. How did those two seasons help you to develop as a driver?
“It was, for me, an adventure and I have the best memories of my life in it. It is a championship that taught me so much in so little time. I’ve done wrong things, I’ve done good things, I’ve laughed, I enjoyed, I suffered. It was a concentration of emotion in every race. It is a pleasure to be part of it, to discover all the types of surfaces, the roads, to travel so much and have the possibility to be open-minded. You get used to different situations and different places and your reasoning is different.”   

Looking back, what has been your best ERC moment so far?
“The 2022 season. I don’t have one moment but that season, of course Barum [Czech Rally Zlín] was not part of it due to the crash, but until that point, I was enjoying it so much. Still, I was doing lots of mistakes, I was flipping the car in so many different situations and it was a nightmare economic wise, but I always enjoyed it. Every day I was with a smile on my face and I could see the growth in myself, so I was really satisfied with it.”

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM