As part of the FIM International Six Days of Enduro (ISDE) the FIM Enduro Vintage Trophy (EVT) is an opportunity for competitors to embrace machinery of yesteryear and watch past masters in action.
Arguably three of Enduro’s most decorated competitors are Italians Giovanni Sala, Stefano Passeri and Mario Rinaldo, entering into the Vintage spirit and competing together in the fourth edition of this much-anticipated event in Portimao.
Six times an FIM ISDE winner – most recently in 2000 – Sala is enjoying the rare chance to spend time with friends Passeri and Rinaldo in a competitive environment.
“It feels romantic to share these moments again with Mario and Stefano,” tells Gio. “We won the FIM ISDE together in 1997 and now we are back racing Enduro – it’s a special situation.”
Of course, the passing of time has changed numerous things in Enduro – most notably machinery. Sala – racing a Pre ’79 KTM – is finding that out first-hand as the EVT riders share the same race course with hundreds of modern machines.
“I’ve all the power I need, except stopping power,” Sala explains with a smile. “When it’s muddy the brakes struggle more compared to modern bikes so you have to reset your mind for that.”
“Also, I’m missing modern suspension – it’s only the end of day two and I can really feel those bumps!”
With Italy announced as the destination for the ninety-fifth FIM ISDE in 2020, is Sala now tempted to compete on home soil?
“Seeing the FIM ISDE come to Italy will be amazing, but I’m not sure yet if I will race. I need to finish this week first and then decide. For now, I’m just happy reliving my youth!”