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Va Va Voom


With rally racing in his blood, it is quite understandable that ex-Vice-President, Pedro Calado is running for Mayor of Funchal.  As part of his election campaign, he has already highlighted some of the causes that are close to his heart, including the health and wellbeing of the people of Funchal, the regeneration of the city, mobility, animal welfare and a deep commitment to the city’s youth.  

As such, he asked those under the age of 30, to submit ideas that they thought would both benefit the city and its younger inhabitants, with the finalists being invited out for a brief rally drive with his rally driving team mate Alexandre Camacho.  So you can imagine my surprise, when I was contacted, and asked if I would like to join them.

Of course I had to say yes, and although my driving has gone from boy racer to driving with Miss Daisy, there was no way that I could not go! Even though I was the granny of the group!

I think what impressed me the most, apart from the fact that I was allowed to go out for a drive as well,  was the total professionalism.  The car was already in the ‘pit’ when we arrived, and before any of the three finalists were allowed in the car, both Alexandre Camacho and Pedro Calado performed a series of test drives, where the car was checked after each section.

However, age does have its advantage, and after being told where I had to place my feet and that I had to adopt a braced position, as otherwise I’d flop about all over the place – it was termed slightly more technically than that –  and with a roar of the engine, we were away, whizzing around corners making as much noise as possible, a quick 180° on a mid section of a hill and back up again (the road had been closed for the event, and the police were in attendance).

All I can say is James Bond, eat your heart out!  It was a fantastic experience, and I would like to thank everyone for being so kind, especially in inviting me!

There were three finalists on the first ‘rally drive experience,’ with the remaining finalists being invited out for a drive on the 2nd of October.

All I can say is that my poor little Hyundai I10 is still reeling from the shock of my drive back!!!!


Ready for the off!

Samantha Gannon

info at

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