MOTORSPORT NEWS Rally

First pics: Bertelli’s Batmobile

These are the first pictures of the 2017-spec Ford Fiesta World Rally Car that Lorenzo Bertelli will campaign this year. Given his family connections to the Prada fashion house, it’s no surprise that Bertelli’s car again has a stylish look. Last year his mirror-finish Fiesta wowed voters to win the WRC 6 Livery of the Year award.

Bertelli’s “Batmobile”

Its replacement goes down a similar but different route, with mirrored bodywork retained above the line of the door handles and a contrasting matt black look beneath. The addition of red pinstriping to the lower wings and strakes gives it more than a passing resemblance to the iconic Batmobile of the 1960’s TV series.

The Italian privateer tackled 24 championship rallies in the previous model Fiesta RS WRC, most recently Rally Sweden earlier this month where he retired with an engine problem. He will progress to M-Sport’s latest, more powerful, car for the upcoming rounds in Mexico (9 – 12 March) and Argentina (27 – 30 April) and is expecting to reap the benefits

Bertelli’s previous mirror-finish Fiesta was last seen at Rally Sweden.

Bertelli said: “I can’t wait to get behind the wheel of the new car in Mexico. From the outside the new generation car seems to be a lot quicker than the previous model. Also I was not so lucky on the last events in the 2016 car, so a change is very welcome and I am confident about the new car’s reliability.”

Last year Bertelli finished eighth at Rally Guanajuato Mexico and it remains his best WRC result to date. He has had just one day to familiarise himself with the new car before the rally, but he expects the high altitude stages will help him get used to the extra power it offers.

“I have done a test in Spain but I think Mexico is the best event to start using a 2017 car, since with the altitude the power difference with the old car is a bit less,” he explained.