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Monte Carlo

Autotest Motorsport: World championship goes down to the wire

Monte Carlo, 10-27-2019

The Monte Carlo E-Rally finished on Sunday morning – and there were no grounds for celebration for the Audi Autotest Motorsport Team from Lana, which had already captured the manufacturers’ championship, in the principality on the Côte d’Azur.

The Audi Autotest Motorsport Team got off to a brilliant start to the penultimate race in the FIA Electric and New Energy Championship on Wednesday, with team principal Josef Unterholzner and co-pilot Francesca Olivoni ranking third at one point. On the second day of trials, Guido Guerrini/Emanuele Calchetti were on course for a place on the winner’s rostrum in the second Audi E-Tron; only the world championship leaders Fuzzy Kofler/Franco Gaioni never really got into their stride in the south of France. After that, the team from Lana suffered one blow after the other: First Unterholzner/Olivoni’s car was suddenly without power and it had to be towed away between special trials 7 and 8. Then Guerrini/Calchetti lost their chance of a podium at the finish. For the first time this season, the Audi Autotest Motorsport Team failed to end a race among the top ten. Guerrini/Calchetti did not manage better than 13th, while Kofler/Gaioni trailed them in 16th and Unterholzner/Olivoni finished well back in 35th spot.

Victory went to the French duo Frédéric Ozon/Marjorie Glatigny, ahead of Artur Prusak/Thierry Benchetrit (POL/FRA) and Frédéric Mlynarczyck/Christophe Marques (FRA/FRA). Going into the final race of the season, Prusak/Benchetrit have overtaken the duo Kofler/Gaioni from South Tyrol and now lead the pilot’s and co-driver’s standings by a very narrow margin. That means the title race will go right down to the wire. “It’s really exciting and that’s good for the sport. But the manufacturers’ championship isn’t enough for me. I want to win all three titles,” was how team principal Josef Unterholzner summed up the situation ahead of the grand finale.

The 13th and final race of the season will be staged in Valencia, Spain, on November 16 and 17.