Normally the home of Formula One’s Italian Grand Prix, La Pista Magica – Monza – played host to something a bit different this weekend.
The non-championship Monza Rally Show took place over three days, and the event attracted an assortment of top-flight talent from multiple disciplines. One of those drivers was former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kurt Busch, who finished 32nd in his rallying debut.
But while the Outlaw couldn’t find the top of the leaderboard, he was able to meet up with newly-crowned Formula One champ Lewis Hamilton, who did not compete in the main rally but in a special ‘masters show’ on Sunday:
As for Busch’s thoughts on the event, he said in a release from sponsor Monster Energy: “It’s a blast to race in a foreign country and race against some of the world’s best. In the Masters’ Show, I surprised myself in it and I think I closed out my Sunday very strong.”
Hamilton also said that he had a great time, adding that he wanted to “work with my guys to get a car together so I can come back and compete next year – to do some rallying would be great.”
Also among the main rally competitors at Monza were MotoGP icon Valentino Rossi and Red Bull Global Rallycross star/Gymkhana creator Ken Block:
In the end, former F1 pilot Robert Kubica won the rally over Rossi in come from behind fashion. He was down 5.1 seconds to “The Doctor” entering the final stage, but Kubica finished with a flourish and ultimately beat Rossi by 12.5 seconds.
“We took the same tires but I knew already after the first loop that I was quicker than him, for some reason he did not have the same pace as before,” Kubica said in a team release. “I’m very pleased to win, especially for all the guys at the A Style team.
“Yesterday we took the wrong tire choice, which was too hard, but today it was just right. Throughout this rally, the tire choice was very complicated because of the mixed conditions but we managed to get it right most of the time and enjoy a really good fight against a fantastic driver like Valentino, so I am very happy.”
Some more photos from the event: