.:: Tre Gazzelle: a man and his dream ::.

In the world of rallies and races it is frequent that a group of friends or impassioned decides, almost always for game, to joint their own strengths to race or to create an association that allows them to live to full contact with their passion. The luckiers manage sometimes to realize their purpose and this is what happened to GIORGIO LEONETTI, good Turinese manager who, in 1975, established the team BRUNIK. LEONETTI, began this activity almost for game, well aware of how the environment of the rallies was made. In fact years before, in 1969, he already raced as co-driver and driver on board of cars like PORSCHE, LANCIA STRATOS and FIAT 131 ABARTH. The idea to establish his own rally team came to the manager during such period. To race to high-levels it was necessary often to plan the competitions, managing to the best the recognitions, displacing the assistances in the strategic points so that to always easily have the correct tyres and the correct exchanges. LEONETTI, perfectionist in this, in 1975 decided to improve this activity buying three Fiat 125, to use as fast cars for the assistances, so strengthening a fundamental mechanism for the carrying out of a rally. To face the competitions in a more serious and prepared way, he decided therefore to stop his driver career and to devote himself to the races from a logistic point of view. It was born therefore the team BRUNIK that, after six years of tests, became the point of reference for the national teams for the conquest in 1981 of the national title.
In 1982 the decisive turn. LEONETTI understands that this is the moment to aim aloft and decides, with the approval of the ex-president GIORGIO BOSETTI, to make to relive the memorable deeds of the TRE GAZZELLE, a team that was considered the elite of the rally world at the beginnings of the years '70. The objective was that to excel in the CIR (Italian Rally Championship) and punctually the success arrives with the conquest of the italian title reserved to the teams and of the victory in the group N, category reserved to the series cars.
In the 1983 season TRE GAZZELLE introduces itself to the races at the same level of JOLLY CLUB and GRIFONE, thanks to the support of many sponsors and of the car companies LANCIA and ALFA ROMEO, that entrusts the management of their cars, on the fields of competition, to the Turinese team. Many titled crews bring the LOGO TRE GAZZELLE on the broadsides of their cars, among them the unforgettable ORMEZZANO-BERRO (this last one today TEAM MANAGER of the team FERRARI in F1) on ALFA GTV6 group A and CINOTTO-CRESTO with the newborn Lancia RALLY 037. For these and other crews a really professional organization, composed by a staff of mechanics endowed with every equipment (six van-shop and two fast autos) in order to make any mechanical intervention in every place and in every situation. The team staff is completed with the figure of the sporting manager LUCA PAZIELLI, good strategist in the logistic management tied up to the sponsors and the drivers.
With the arrival of the groups B and of the LANCIA 037 particularly, also arrive the first "true and important successes" for the white-orange team.
The 1984 season begins at the top, thanks to a fast and regular driver, a man who tested himself in the A112 Trophy, lost only because of team orders, and who demonstrated his qualities also with absolute cars, in particular the LANCIA 037. We are speaking about CARLO CAPONE, quietly arrived to the court of LEONETTI, immediately showing his qualities. The victories in the rallies BOUCLES de SPA, RACE RALLY, ZLATNI PIASSATZI, together with the positionings in the other competitions bring to the TRE GAZZELLE the continental success and, with it, the title of Top Team belonged, up to that moment, only to the rivals MARTINI RACING, JOLLY CLUB and GRIFONE. Although conquered the success in the best way, the strong Turinese driver withdraws from the races leaving the difficult job to the TRE GAZZELLE to look for a good substitute.
The continental adventure in 1985 begins with optimism. Two strong crews are lined up to repeat the success of the precedent year: ZANUSSI-CRESTO and PREGLIASCO-CIANCI, and a third one SNIJERS-COLEBUNDERS supported by the Belgian team BASTOS in the dispute of the national title. For all of them a car: the LANCIA RALLY 037, a tested car, good and performing, still able to dominate on the European roads, despite of the four wheels drive cars power. ZANUSSI and PREGLIASCO, at the end of a season stingy of successes, will respectively be fourth and fifth in the final classification, each one with only one victory, in Antibes for ZANUSSI and in Cyprus for PREGLIASCO. Things go better for SNIJERS who, with the successes in the rallies CIRCUIT DES ARDENNES, BIANCHI, HASPENGOW, VALAIS, TAC, WALLONIE, BELGISCH INTER-KAMP, VIN, gets the Belgian title bringing to the TRE GAZZELLE the second important success, although gotten abroad.
In 1985 other drivers raced with the white-orange colors, among them we remember the lamented ATTILIO BETTEGA, second in COSTA SMERALDA and ADARTICO VUDAFIERI, first in the RALLY SHOW of MONZA.
1986 is the last year of rally of the group B cars. The best national teams JOLLY CLUB and GRIFONE, respectively engaged in the Italian and European Championships, excel in almost all the competitions getting the successes in both the championships. A worth surely goes to their best drivers: CERRATO (JOLLY) and TABATON (GRIFONE) but also to their cars, these LANCIA DELTA S4 so unlucky in the World Championship but nearly unbeatable in the continental competitions. The program of LANCIA-CORSE group didn't foresee a S4 for the TRE GAZZELLE, confined to a secondary role in the European championship, with the "old" 037, by now completely squeezed. The crews present in the continental series are PREGLIASCO-CIANCI, at the end of their career and only eighth in the final classification, the young PANONTIN-FERFOGLIA, at the debut on the 037 after the victory in the Fiat Punto Trophy and the Belgian SNIJERS-COLEBUNDERS, in struggle up to the last competition for the first place, lost only against a FABRIZIO TABATON in uproarious form. For the TRE GAZZELLE, in this last groups B performance, many positionings and only one success gotten by SNIJERS on the Cyprus gravel. The Turinese team faces the following year, perhaps the last at the maximum levels, with the knife among the teeth. Only a car, the new LANCIA DELTA 4WD, is awarded to the Belgian SNIJERS to retry the climbing to the European title, but also this time there is no hope for the Team of LEONETTI against a superlative DARIO CERRATO, surely one among the best interpreters of the ABARTH car.
In 1989, finally, after a meaningless year, the new TRE GAZZELLE retries the continental success. In the last period the president LEONETTI leaves the charge to GUIDO VERENUS, magistrally helped from MAURIZIO PERISSINOT, came back to the races after a dreadful accident occurred at the TOUR DE CORSE. This time the cars are no more the powerful 037 group B, but some lessperforming LANCIA DELTA 4WD group N, prepared and managed with the collaboration of ABARTH. The adventure of the newborn CHALLENGE Group N doesn't bring the hoped results: a bell of alarm, maybe, for a withdrawal announced by the world of races that punctually arrived after many years at the top. The great successes of the small official team cannot be certainly forgotten, above all those great "friendly" battles with the rivals of the JOLLY.

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