Daniel Elena drives his old Golf: “I'm even more demanding”
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Daniel Elena at Cardif Bay
Daniel Elena at Cardif Bay. Photo source: commons.wikimedia.org

Daniel Elena drives his old Golf: “I’m even more demanding”

For the 20th edition of the rally, Daniel Elena the most successful Monegasque co-driver in the world along with his best friend Olivier Campana took the wheel of his favourite Golf for the third time recently in Reims.

When asked what drives him to participate in this rally, Daniel Elena responds on the other end of the line without any hesitation: “Motor sport is my passion and my job; it’s my life.”

There is no need for further explanation: this sport flows in his veins. It is logical, therefore, that the most celebrated Monegasque co-driver in the world has signed up to his fifth historic Monte Carlo Rally.

As an enthusiast and as a Monégasque, for this legendary event in the history of the Principality he praises” the unique and good atmosphere and the conviviality” that is felt here. One small detail that counts, as it did for each of the historical rallies, is in the driver’s seat that Daniel Elena will take for the start, a few days after his return from Dakar, which he lost by a hair.

The co-driver seat in the Golf was saved for his best friend, Olivier Campana. And the two friends, who recently started the race in Reims, used their favourite Golf for the third time. “We gave her the same colours, violet and fuchsia, that she had when we drove together in our first rally twenty years ago,” said Daniel Elena.

“I’m even more demanding”

As teenagers, they would take their moped to go and see the racing cars of Monte Carlo. “We still share our passion for sport today, it’s an adventure between friends,” explains Olivier Campana.

Last Monday, the two friends warmed up for a prep session on the roads of Entrevaux. It had been one year since they had driven together, but the familiar instinct soon kicked in.

“Driving at 50 km/h is possible for everyone,” joked Daniel Elena when describing how he felt having his hands on the wheel, after this test.

In the car, regarding his co-driver, he calls himself “even more demanding, I take myself for a real driver,” laughs Daniel Elena, though his friend counters: “That’s not true, he’s really nice and I’m fortunate to share my passion with a world champion.”

In terms of conviviality, these two are already ideally positioned.

Twelve Monegasque crews

Out of the 338 signed up for the race, there are a dozen crews of Monegasque origin and licensed to the Automobile Club of Monaco to take part in this rally, an event which is clearly historic in the hearts of Monegasque people. Among them are Didier Segond, CEO of Segond Automobiles, but also Marie, Didier and Jean-Philippe Mourenon, all members of the same family, or even Tiffaney Perino and Harriet Ross who make up a 100% female crew signed up with a Lancia Fulvia. For the record, two Monegasque drivers (Jean Ferry and Patrick Curti) won in 2003 and 2013 (Gérard Brianti and Sébastien Choll). This year, what could be better?

Whether it’s one of the Monegasque teams mentioned above or Daniel Elena and Olivier Campana zooming by in their Golf at the Rally, this event will be sure to inspire pride in the hearts of Monegasque audience members.



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