IRC - 2012 | Mabanol Rally Sliven, Bulgaria | Round 11

Coming weekend, it is time for the 11th round of the IRC series, 2012 season's Mabanol Sliven Rally, Bulgaria.This time was no conflicts of dates with this rally, yet the top teams' are missing from the action. It is quite natural feeling for any manufacturer to stay away from the competition after it has nearly 180 points up the nearest rival, and so would be the reason for Skoda to stay put at their home. Despite this effect the entry list is good 45 cars. There are about five S2000 cars, two R4, four Group N4's & rest are the two wheel drive cars, mostly FWD.

The rally is an all asphalt rally with tricky road sections and changing grip conditions. The event is held from last 32 years and is one of the celebrated events of the European Rally Championship.

Below is the action clicks on this compiled into this video.

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INRC 2012 - Round 1 : K1000 [SSS] - Live Relay

The Spectator Special Stage is going live in a few minutes from the BIEC arena, Bangalore.

The live relay is covered by []
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K1000 - 2012 | Recce Report.. [2]


Markers notation:

Green Dot marker. Stage Start
Red Dot marker. Stage Finish
Pink Dot marker. Service Park

marker B. SS2. Flying finish [village] 
marker C. Saddahalli
marker D. Palicherlu
marker E. Dogaranayakanahalli
Orange track. Possible spectator routes on gravel roads,
Yellow & Pink transport section to SS

Distance between markers
A to B = 1.5kms
B to C = 0.9kms
C to D = 3.5kms
D to E = 5.0kms

A to 1 = 2.6kms
1 to 2 = 1.8kms
2 to 3 = 1.2kms
3 to 3a = 0.5kms

GPS Coordinates of  Point A  : Lat=13.4630765 & Lon=77.860989
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K1000 - 2012 | Recce Report.. [1]

Recce went really smooth at the three stages, Blackberry, Clay & Blueberry. Service area all ready with just tents that were being pitched during noon. We did a recce of all the three stages & was really thrilled how fantastic it really was!!

Unfortunately, we didn't stop to take any pics enroute, as we were busy in checking the vantage points and mapping the stage to help spectators to make it to the vital points. We are not promising anything big, but are giving it a honest try to make our best & hope it really serves the point. The spectator guides will be published soon, but its a the onus of the user to check it at its best. we will be marking some sure shot points, which are easy to reach and tried and tested last year by us, but the rest will might not be at par.

Coming back to the stage[s] report, all the stages are pretty smooth with some undulations and very few jumps.

Blackberry SS :

Pros : Stage start and some sections of the stage are very much approachable with very little trek to watch the action, but it is mostly straights with some 90° turns at the first 1/3 of the route. [This will be marked on the vantage points Recce report which will be published soon with google maps & coordinates.] 

Cons: But you may have to do a trek or some small time offroad drive to get to see actions in some faster corners, hence may waste some time to get to the powerstage of the rally, i.e., Blueberry [SS9].

Clay SS :

Pros : Stage finish & about 2kms to the end is really neat with lots of safer spectators spots, but it takes a hike to get there. [Again the coordinates, route will be disclosed in the next report.]

Cons : Stage start is not accessible as it the approach will be blocked atleast a 'kilometer and a half', as the road to get there is narrow and it will definitely block the competitors cars if you try to get there by own transport.

Blueberry SS :

Pros : This is can be definitely for those who dont want to run about and just want to see some good action for a lots of sections of the stage, though at a distance [perhaps a binocular or some distant vision gadgets will help] but a definitely not a misser. It has some approaches that are close to public road sections which are just a few steps away. [Coordinates and details will be shared soon in next report].

Cons : As this is the 3rd / 6th / 9th SS of the rally, expect a lots of retirements in the previous stages and lesser competition to be spectated, but it is really an awesome stage for photo/videographers to shoot along with friends and family.

Whichever might be your choice of stage, weather condition, or other for matter below are the listed must have's.
  1. Umbrella - Expect the stages to be either Sunny / Rainy and hardly any trees to take shelter.
  2. Drinking Water - almost deserted stages
  3. Snacks/Food - almost deserted stages
  4. Good pair of shoes & denim wear [preferrably] - expect slippery gravel tracks and thorny bushes along.
  5. If being there for the first time, then a print out of the maps [that will be posted in the next report soon here]
Optionals :
  1. A GPS device/phone with GPRS connectivity will certainly help.. BSNL should have good coverage, if not others.
  2. Camera for good pics/videos
  3. Foldable lightweight Chairs & Umbrella for enjoyable time there..
Advisory tips :
  • The third stage is mostly in forest department jurisdiction, so better take care for no open fires & avoid smoking as there may be a chance of forest fire.
  • Small time wild animals were noticed in 2010 edition, like small wild boars, so better take of children & weaker, if they are accompanied to spectate.
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FMSCI - INRC - K1000 Rally | 2011 - A Review

Countdown clock is ticking! The first round of the FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship is going live this weekend. The rally happens to be around the just after the auspicious Lord Ganesha festival, which almost every Indian consider it as a good omen to begin with a new start, or even just re-start. Until last season, the competition looked nice, but with the new regulations it looks very exciting and confusing about how the event would unfold in the competition grounds.

If you people don't like to guess or worry about it and can't wait for the piece of action soon, then here is just the video for you people to savour just before the event begins. This is the previous season's competition on almost the same stages for this year.

This year's action is coming soon just beyond this weekend, just brace up for it here and in the event specific channel.

So with the objective set of this perfect weekend.. we suggest that you folks stay hooked to this channel for more updates!!
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APRC, IRC & WRC | Triple International Rallies | Final Report

APRC round of Rally Hokkaido, the fifth round in the championship was all too dramatic, with the top teams completely out of the podium chase as all the cars battling out lost early on final day stages. It was Proton Motorsport's ace driver McRae who retired first with heating engine issues of his Satria S2000, then his team-mate the new recruit Juha Salo who retired from his 3rd overall place, he had thought that he was the leader when he saw Gill retired. But he too retired after he hit a culvert and ripped off a wheel from his Proton Satria S2000.  

But it was the shocker from the lone car from Team MRF who was leading the rally, driven by Indian driver Gaurav Gill who too retired after 3 morning stages when the clutch of his Skoda Fabia S2000 broke at the start line of SS15.

Dramatically the win was handed over to Japanese Yuya Sumiyama with the trophy, while the New Caledonian Daniel Palau took second place, but the third was taken by ex-PWRC Champion Karamjit Singh in a Proton Satria R2, a FWD car!

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In the IRC scenario, out of the 36 cars only 14 cars made it to the finish with 22 retirements in the entire rally. Yagiz Avci of Turkey won the event with a comfortable 3minutes lead of the closest rival.

Here is a clip of the top 3..

The Ukrainian challenge!

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In what it took nearly a 8 rallies gap for the blue oval to finally clinch the top podium position, finally yielded at Wales for JM Latvala donning the top and Petter Solberg with the final position, Loeb being the filler in between at second.

In the powerstage, Mikko Hirvonen claimed the maximum while Sebastien Loeb took 2 and Latvala the last one additional points to his championship points kitty bag.

The final frontier - Wales Rally GB

Here is what Citroen had to say about the Ford threw at them this weekend at Wales.

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IRC - 2012 | Prime Yalta Rally, Ukraine - Update [Day 1]

Wales Rally of the WRC round might have overshadowed this exciting rally of the IRC series for this year, but has never failed to appeal to its fans & followers. The top level competition may not be competing in this round for obvious reasons and might have left a vacuum in the competition, but the event has managed to keep its humour in the best like in the past.

Ukrainian Protasov has maintained his lead in the Superior Fiesta RRC car ahead of Turkey's Avci & iVizin.

Here is the top five finishes at the end of Leg 1, with another six stages to go for the final day.

Diff. pr.
Protasov Y. - Nesvit K.
#1 Ford Fiesta RRC
Avci Y. - Gücenmez B.
#2 Ford Fiesta S2000
3.Vizin L. - Zsiros G.
#5 Škoda Fabia S2000
Consani R. - Klinger N.
#11 Renault Megane RS
Cosma V. - Dorca F.
#28 Citroen C2 R2 Max

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Leg 2 - WRC 2012, Wales Rally GB | Latvala extends Lead..

In an epic battle to the top of the podium, after a very long time Ford boys and Ford themselves seems to have cracked the spot.. Latvala and Solberg have stuck to the first & second position and have managed to have kept the long time champ at an arms length. Loeb is not far behind Solberg with just over 6secs and has the potential to overcome the final terms, however, Petter has his share of last minute mishaps in his kitty bag. Hope he manages to keep it the way it is, till the end which he always desires to. Loeb doesn't look too keen to go for the hunt as he knows that keeping the cool is it what it makes a champion & he is bloody sure how it has to be done, I guess & also pretty sure he does!! His team-mate Mikko Hirvonen is down in 5th & still seems like he is learning the car rather than competitive. Mads Ostberg is on 4th, being on the privateer is really great thing to do.

The day ending looked much like this on the scoreboard.

Overall Results at the End of Leg 2 [SS13]

1.3J. LATVALAM2:18:
2.4P. SOLBERGM2:18:29.8+24.5+24.5
3.1S. LOEBM2:18:36.2+6.4+30.9
4.10M. ØSTBERGM2:18:55.2+19.0+49.9
5.2M. HIRVONENM2:19:27.7+32.5+1:22.4

With another six stages on the final day [3], it is going to be really exciting to watch & speculate who will get to the top honours at the Welsh rally round the season. 

The best of rally live, by Michelin!

Day 2 - Official Broadcast Video

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APRC | Rally Hokkaido | 2012 | Day 1 - Update

Indian driver & Team MRF Tyres driver Gaurav Gill Leads ahead of the pack with a comfortable 53.6s ahead of the nearest rival & more than two minutes ahead of the championship contender Alister McRae.  
Gaurav has maintained the lead from the first special stage till the end of the End Leg and has continuously improved on his position since then. Being alone with no other driver to lead in the team looks like, has certainly gave him a leverage to this position.

Driver  Vehicle
Time Diff Ldr

Toshi ARAI

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Day 1 - Update | Wales Rally GB - 2012 | JM Latvala Leads

In a thrilling battle for the ace place, Ford boys were at home! Initial two stages it was the veteran Ford driver, Petter Solberg who was upfront on the charts. On the third stage, he dropped to third overall and Latvala who was close behind and sliced nearly 5 seconds ahead of the second fastest, only guy to make it under 16m mark, which he kept on increasing the gap with remaining stages under wraps down the others.

It was a healthy 12.1s up the second placed Petter and nearly 21seconds the championship leader. 'But you never know', with two more days and 11 more stages, 'Anything can happen'!

Below is the awesome action of Day 1 highlights video by Michelin - Best of Rally Live!

Day 1 | Top 5, Overall Standings

Lead# Comp#Driver
Diff to Leader
1. 3Jari-Matti LATVALA1:25:05.70.0
2. 4Petter SOLBERG
3. 1Sebastien LOEB
4. 10Mads ØSTBERG
5. 2Mikko HIRVONEN

Complete Day 1 Action from the Official Broadcast!

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Wales Rally GB - 2012, WRC : Free Practice & Qualification

Welcome to the most exciting round of the WRC season, Wales Rally GB. Welsh forest roads witnessed the daunting spectacular action by the WRC cars this Wednesday.

In the qualification stage, Sebastien Loeb clocked the fastest time to the entire lot & got the opportunity to choose his best start position for today's tests. Petter Solberg was almost there with just a few milliseconds down the 8-time champ & Mikko Hirvonen was third fastest of the lot.

The dry conditions of the free practice & qualification gave the drivers their full confidence, which really showed in their flamboyant driving displayed by all the top drivers to clock the minimal time. Estonian Ott Tanak took a particular corner to the next level, while almost loosing the road and escaped from a mishap just by a whisker! Proton Motorsports also have their attack on two S2000 Proton Satria's, in different championships this year on the same weekend, ie., here in Wales for WRC, and in Rally Hokkaido for APRC championships.

It has split its base two car/crew Alistar McRae & P.G.Andersson with each of their core crews in either of the events, with new recruits for the weekend one each for the different events. Tom Cave would be on the second car in Wales Rally & Finn Juha Salo would be on the other car for the APRC event. The young Welsh based driver Tom it is a great opportunity for the young in his early 20's.

An excellent video of the Recce by NLP.

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Day 0 : 

Here are some jaw-dropping videos from the Qualification stage.

Citroen Racing's video:

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Wales Rally GB : Recce Begins!

The reconnaissance or simply recce begins for the Wales Rally GB for the weekend. Its going to be muddy and interesting... only if it rains!! But since the rally is moved up before the rains settle, it may not be so dramatic in this season, compared to last year's rally.

The rally stages are lined up on the forest roads that are rich in flora and fauna and will be as scenic as it used to be in the past. Also, there is a notification by the organisers about the fatal tree disease that is on the rampant in the forest and some special care has to be taken care of it spreading beyond the contained area. The disease is said to have not affecting people and animals, but is really threatening to the fauna.

Hence, as a precautionary measures, the rally organisers have notified that the cars or vehicles used to get to and from there has to be washed thoroughly as soon as possible, and also if possible in the immediate exit of the forests. Same goes to the clothes worn by the folks been there, also their pets and stuff they carried along and back. 

All these beautiful photos are taken by McKlein photography. As we can see, the stages are mostly bone dry, maybe a bit of damp patches below the trees and near the streams otherwise it is bone stock dry!

McKlein team have done their recce previously to the competitors to identify the locations to do their job, which they do at its best! i.e., Photography!

Here is the location at which Micheal 'Beef' Park had his last few minutes in the fatal collision against a tree. Later, fans and his close ones have put up a memorial plaque on this very same tree in his memory.

[All pictures courtesy McKlein]

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Here is also a video of the 20yr old Tom Cave, who would be driving for Proton Motorsports, in the Proton Satria S2000 interviewed by Colin for NLP.

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Hamilton blazes to top honors at Italian GP - F1 2012

In the F1 circuits, Lewis Hamilton won the Italian Grand Prix after both strongly placed, Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel retired. Sergio Perez made an outstanding effort by climbing up from 12th on the grid to finish second just 4.3s behind the leader, while Fernando Alonso finished third after starting from 10th but couldn't stop Perez who passed him seven laps from the end of the race.

Felipe Massa finished fourth in his Ferrari, Kimi Raikkonen managed a finish with fifth who is also the title contender this season.

With this win, Lewis second in the championship has just one point advantage ahead of Kimi and two to the last two season champion Vettel, whereas the championship leader at the moment Alonso has an healthy 37 points ahead of Hamilton. With another seven rounds to go this season with 175 points up for grabs, it will be too early to come to predict that who would be picking up the big trophy.

The next round is the Singapore GP between 21-23 September.

[pictures courtesy]
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