It was a successful weekend for Molly Taylor with Citroen Ds3 R3 at the Ronde della Val d’Orcia, an Italian gravel rally in the heart of Tuscany.

The event featured one 11-km stage repeated 4 times, and attracted a field of 114 cars including WRC, S2000 and S1600 in action on the former WRC Sanremo rally stage.

With Molly’s usual co-driver Seb Marshall absent, Italian co-driver Giacomo Ciucci stepped in alongside the strong Australian lady driver and had his first experience with pacenotes in English.

With 44 4WD cars starting, Molly & Giacomo showed impressive pace and set the fastest 2WD time on the first stage.

Molly said “The first part of the stage was foggy and conditions were tricky so we were pleasantly surprised to set the fastest time straight up. Giacomo did a fantastic job adapting to the conditions and calling English notes for the very first time. For the second loop we didn’t anticipate the temperature rising as quickly as it did and we chose the wrong tyres, which were completely destroyed by the end of the stage. At that point we were disappointed to drop some time, but we really enjoyed the battle to get back up in the last two stages. It was a terrific weekend, and a good preparation for Rally GB; the car feels great. The guys at the team did a fantastic job as always and I owe this rally to them for making this possible. I would also like to thank Giacomo Ciucci who did a top job. It was such an enjoyable weekend, the Italian rally community are so friendly and welcoming, it was nice to be a part of it all”.

The United Business driver finished the Rally first in the R3T class, second in 2WD and 12th overall. After this remarkable performance, Molly Taylor will now tackle Wales Rally GB in fashion attempting to end her season on a high, after winning the first ERC Ladies’ Trophy in the 2013 FIA European Rally Championship, in an event where she did very well in 2012.

Racing Press

United Rally Management s.r.l. |  V.le delle Terme, 97 |  27052 Salice Terme/Godiasco (PV) ITALY |  Tel.0383/944916 Fax 0383/934583
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Sebastien Ogier snatches back the Win - RACC Rally Catalunya, Spain | WRC - 2013

A fantastic turn-around of dominance by the new world champion, who seemed to have poised to get back his lost ground with that puncture he had yesterday. Sebastien Ogier claims another rally win, as his team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala losing his lead with an unfavourable start position to clean the loose gravel being first on the road today. With the 1,2 finish also secures the manufacturer's championship for Volkswagen in their debut WRC season. Bravo!!

Local star - Dani Sordo did his share of best driving, but being second to open the stages was not good enough either, and he ended up loosing a wheel in SS14 to be enlisted in the retirement list. His team-mate Mikko Hirvonen finished in 3rd place, which comes as a consolation for the french-team as they lost their manufacturer crown to the newcomer.

In WRC-2, Robert Kubica was the undisputable leader, and sealed the championship title and would soon would be switching to a WRC car in Wales Rally GB.
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Dani Sordo Delights Home Crowd - RACC Rally of Spain | WRC - 2013

Even those winding well barricaded & constructed circuit like asphalt roads of Catalunya showed some teeth, and Sebastien Ogier was the one the first to find out in the top class of rally cars. His team-mate, Jari-Matti Latvala, had put a word of caution - but Frenchman seems like to have ignored it and ended up with a broken wheel, and lost nearly a minute from his commanding rally position.

It was the last set of asphalt stages of the rally, also for the championship and the leader-board was shuffled with one car[d]. In SS6, Ogier did a cut & hit something hard enough to chip off a good chunk of the wheel - resulted in a flat tyre and lost almost a minute dropping straight to 6th overall. Although he recovered two positions, still not sufficient to re-claim the lead and it will not happen until the top order competition does something similar to even out.

The penultimate asphalt stage, the second run of SS8 Colldejou being the Power Stage, went without any shows of dropping time for road-order tactics due to tomorrow's starting position for gravel stages. Perhaps, it was due to the slippage of the Frenchman's spot for racing to the top, and also because it did also bestowed some vital bonus championship points. A commendable strategy by the event organisers to control such unsporting tactics, I must say!

Anyway, it was Thierry Neuville who claimed the max 3 points to his championship score, while Ogier & Latvala had to be satisfied by couple and single points, respectively. Sordo finished 4th quickest, maybe conserving his advantageous position rather than going for small counts, or maybe tactical game did happen. Who knows?!

By the end of the rally's final asphalt stage in the city of Salou, Latvala & local WRC hero Dani Sordo are locked on to the battle for the top spot, separated by just 1.6secs apart.

Belgian driver, Thierry is 29.3secs down the rally leader, while the newly crowned WRC champion, Ogier is locked horns to the final podium step with the Belgian will have to start with a deficit of 46.5s to his team-mate rally leader, Jari-Matti.

A similar fight is brewing right down for the top 5 position between Mikko Hirvonen at 57.8s & Evgeny Novikov, who is just 0.1secs down the Flying Finn.

The bigger task is with the service crew, who have change the car's complete setup from Tarmac spec to Gravel spec in just about 75mins to spare, and also the crews have to switch their mindset to the loose surface - from the stiffer ones today.

In the WRC-2 category, Robert Kubica continues his domination with a healthy 4minute lead, Elfyn Evans retired in the final stage, hence Sepp Wiegand & Yazeed Al-Rajhi complete the top 3 spot. In Junior WRC, the rally leaders Pontus Tidemand & Jose A.Suarez crashed out at the same spot in SS5, luckily nobody was hurt and Yerey Lemes leads.

Also if we recall the situation in 2011, the front order cars, especially no.1 on the road might just be in good position to avoid any hanging dust which could hamper the visibility - hence affecting speed. If not then it is a different game altogether. What if it rains? Well, anything can happen! So stay tuned, until then good night! ¡hasta mañana - see you tomorrow!

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VW Boys Lead by End of Day 1 - RACC Rally Spain | WRC - 2013

picture source
Rally Espana kicked off with the opening set of three stages late in the day, actually in night at around 20:18, local time. Sebastien Ogier continued his dominance an kept a very healthy margin with his fellow competition, and he did it in style by winning all the three stages of opening leg.

Local WRC hero, Dani Sordo was a tough competition, and he climbed to a strong 2nd by the end of SS2, but unfortunately lost time in the night's last stage and had slipped to third overall. Jari-Matti Latvala, another VW Polo R driver finished in a strong second place by the end of the stage.

Qatar M-Sport's emerging talent, Thierry Neuville was not able to find his perfect rhythm and is 19.1secs Citroen WRT's no.1 driver Mikko Hirvonen sits further down by another 8.2secs in 5th overall. Andreas Mikkelsen, Evgeny Novikov, Mads Ostberg, WRC class debutante - Hayden Paddon, and Martin Prokop finish the top 10 positions respectively.
down the leader in 4th overall.

Rally resumes early tomorrow, with the repetition of the last stage of today as the opening stage for the day, and later resumes with a fresh itinerary with a monster 42.04km special stage with another 26.48km stage, which will be run twice [after a mid-day service] and ending the day with a super special at the city of Salou. 

It is definitely going to be an spectacular winding and circuit type roads to feast for tomorrow. Don't miss for updates at our FB page, and on twitter account. Until tomorrow, despedida!
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The Penultimate Round - WRC, 2013 | RACC Rally de Espana [Spain]

The RallyRACC-Rally de Espana is an unique event from past seasons of the WRC and also for being the only true mixed surface round of the season. Nowhere else any other WRC event has three days of rallying been split across gravel and asphalt. Here in Spain the first day's competition is on gravel, with the last two days running on tarmac.

The use of asphalt and gravel stages on the same event not just increases the challenge faced by the crews due to quickly adopt to the different driving style requirements, it also sums up a complete change over of the car's specification, from gravel to asphalt - the mechanics and engineers have to accomplish it in a restricted time frame.

Based on Spain’s Costa Daurada in the country’s Tarragona region, the event is always one of the highlights of the WRC season. While being a popular finale during the 2012 season, the Rally de Espana has been moved back to October for this year to be the penultimate rally and allows Rally Wales GB to take its traditional spot as the championship's final event. However, organisers are still predicting a huge number of fans to travel to the popular seaside tourist town of Salou to enjoy the party atmosphere and visit the permanent service area at the PortAventura theme park.

In 2011, whilst the opening day in Spain was in theory a gravel-only leg, just one repeated stage took place entirely on gravel. There were two repeated stages using a mixture of gravel and asphalt as a means of increasing the challenge for the drivers and raising the spectacle for the many spectators following the action.

But, as ever, it’s the sweeping race circuit-style asphalt roads that characterise this event that will once again dominate the competitive route. To be quick this year, drivers must maximise their pace through the high-speed turns by taking the optimum line at all times. [excerpts from]

Technical aspects of this dual surface rally, explained in this video!

In yesterday's shakedown stage, local star & WRC driver Dani Sordo was fastest, quickly followed by Ogier & others. Here is a short video by

Rally starts with SS1 Querol [21.26 km] at 20:18 [local time, Salou], 25th Oct 2013.
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Molly Taylor to Compete in Wales Rally GB - 2013 | United Business


For the strong Australian lady driver, the right conclusion of a season which saw her win the Ladies’ Trophy within the FIA European Rally Championship.

United Business, the company which takes care of her sports management, has decided to enter her in Wales Rally GB, final round of the World Rally Championship, which will take place in Deeside from 14th to 17th of November.

Like last year, Molly codriven by Seb Marshall will race with the Citroen DS3 R3T with the unmistakable United Business livery.

Molly Taylor said: “I am delighted to be back rallying on the Wales Rally GB, where last year we did very well winning two prestigious awards. For Seb and I it will be a great way to end the season rich in satisfactions and we hope to put in practice what we have learned this year”.

Pier Liberali, Team Principal of United Business, said: “After a season which was in many ways hard and difficult and which however saw Molly and Seb win with great determination the Ladies’ Trophy, we as a company deemed right, both for the experience and as a reward, to set up their participation in the last round of the World Championship. Our society, one minute after the end of Croatia Rally where Molly won the title, began to think about the 2014 season. We are looking into various opportunities both for the car and the championship. We await the publishing of the International calendars to decide together with Molly which will be the best solution for next year. Molly Taylor is quite probably the most famous lady driver in the world currently and one of the main representatives of Australia worldwide. We hope that some Australian companies will be our partners in the next season”.

To prepare the event at best United Business has scheduled a test session for its crew, to take place on Monday November 11th, to find the best feeling with the challenging welsh roads.

Racing Press
 United Rally Management s.r.l. | V.le delle Terme, 97 | 27052 Salice Terme/Godiasco (PV) ITALY | Tel.0383/944916 Fax 0383/934583
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Seb. Ogier WINS Rallye de France, as Seb. Loeb Crashes Out | WRC - 2013

With the rush of thoughts running through my confused mind, due to the outcome of an eventual day, today, as it enters into the books of history - which marks a monumental milestone in the rallying motorsport history, it is getting both, hard to believe and difficult to digest! It was supposed to be 'the day' of Sebastien Loeb, but the result was not really we all had expected. It was the younger Sebastien, Ogier who took the rally victory.

The day rise to wet countryside and roads soaked with a never-ending rain, and it was Seb.Loeb who SS15 Vignoble de Cleebourg 1 [14.6km]. He crashed out over a long-tightening-right-hand-curve, to finally loose the car off the road into a ditch before landing on the Citroen DS3's roof. The dramatic exit did have one effect basically, to take out a worrying pressure off the other three podium contenders.
ended up turning turtle in the very first stage,

Ogier quickly grabbed the opportunity to claim the stage victory, and also took the overnight overall lead, off a slender margin of 1.5s, from his team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala, who finished 14.5 seconds down the new leader and to overall 3rd. But the overall position of Dani Sordo remained unchanged, who was second quickest.

For the remainder of the rally, Ogier managed his position well enough not to loose his now advantageous spot, so did the other two podium contenders.

Robert Kubica won the WRC-2 category with a huge margin over Elfyn Evans, what could we expect from the pole on a sealed surface rally! Gilbert closed on the WRC-3 class.

With a heavy heart, we bid goodbye to the fantastic-duo who never stopped to please us with their performance behind the wheels of Citroen world rally cars.

Thank you Sebastien Loeb & Daniel Elena! You both are fantastic!

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Latvala the New Leader - Rallye de France, Alsace | WRC - 2013

Second day at Rally France was totally action packed, with close calls, punctures, spins and much more over some foggy, & some drenched roads. In simple words, it was a fun rally to watch the whole time and with it being live on the internet - was definitely fantastic.

Early stages of the day opened to cold, foggy and wet stages, making the stages difficult for the crew to tackle. Overnight rally leader, Thierry Neuville struggled to keep the lead, and was mostly successful, although he was challenged stage after stage, all-through the first loop of the day's major stages.

Sebastien Ogier was fastest through SS8 & SS9 by over a second to Neuville, it was Sebastien Loeb who took the stage win of SS10 and here the Belgian struggled to a fifth fastest finish. The stage win also added the 900th stage win to Loeb's career line.

A remote service for the cars and a munch break for the crews, by mid-day it was enough to let the fog to clear away, but not for dampness. Most of the sections of the repitition of the morning's stages were either damp or under the umbrella of moderately pouring rainy clouds. As most of the cars were setup for the soft-compound tyres - well suited for damp conditions, did even out the pressure.

It proved to be a unlucky stage for the rally leader, as the Fiesta suffered a left-rear puncture and he eventually lost the lead and any chance of a prospective podium position with a huge time-lag of over a minute to the new top 4. His loss enabled the quickly trailing Dani Sordo to the lead, though the Finn - Jari-Matti Latvala was not quick enough, even after being immediately behind the young Belgian. It was Ogier who was quickest in SS11 & SS12.

Neuville sprung back to a stage win in SS13, yet the gap is too large to claim unless any of the cars top on him in the leaderboard have similar issues. It never happened, and Ogier took the final stage victory, and Latvala was quick in the final SS14 to move to close the day in his leadership.

By the end of the day, top 4 cars are separated by a miniscule 5 second, and the final day tomorrow is going to be an absolute fun & never miss to all the rally fans across the globe. And if definitely looks like it is going to be Seb.vs.Seb. tomorrow, with a Spaniard & Finn to add the flavour.

Top 5 Overall - After SS14

Pos    No    Driver
2.10D. SORDO
4.1S. LOEB
   2:20:08.7   +1:05.4   +1:10.4

Word of advice - Don't miss it tomorrow, as it will go into the books of WRC history!

In WRC-2, Robert Kubica has a unchallenged leadership, with Elfyn Evans & Rashid Al-Ketbi, finishing in top 3. Q. Gilbert continues to lead WRC-3.

Junior-WRC rally finished with the day's stages & Pontus Tidemand won the event, and with it the Junior World Rally Championship too, with more than 130 points to it. He was in the second place until SS10, and when the rally leader Yerey Lemes - who also suffered a puncture in SS11 and thus promoted Tidemand to the lead.

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Thierry Neuville Leads, Rallye de' France - Day 2 | WRC - 2013

City of Hagenau woke up to the early rumble of World Rally cars, to witness day 2 of the event starting early with the first car getting through the opening stage [SS2 - Klevener 1, 10.66] at 09:18 [local time]. Sebastien Ogier lead the rally starting first, till Tomas Kostka, being the last of the 12 WRC spec cars.

In WRC-2 class, Robert Kubica lead his breed of cars behind the top level competition, and also kept his lead till the end of day. Jose Antonio Suarez was pretty quick in Junior WRC class, but crashed out early today, and Yerey Lemes took the lead. Sebastien Chardonnet lead the WRC-3 category, while also went on to out-perform some WRC-2 cars in the rally, but at the end of the day - Quentin Gilbert was the leader in the category.

The day's repetition of morning's stages witnessed some dampness, and it meant the right choice did the favour to the quickest drivers. Atleast, it can be named for the reason of the Belgian driver to take the top spot on the scoreboard. Loeb slipped to 4th overall, while Dani & Latvala marked 2nd and 3rd respectively. Sebastien Ogier is not far from the top 4, and sits under half a minute to reach the top rank.

Overall top 5, after SS7.

Pos   No   Driver
1:08:56.5 0.00.0
2.10D. SORDO
4.1S. LOEB
1:09:25.2   +16.5   +28.7

Day 3 opens tomorrow at 09:23 [local time] with SS8 Hohlandsbourg - Firstplan 1, one of the longest with 28.48 km of the day. Will the Belgian extends, or Loeb will strike back, or something else differently? 

Lets see what we have on the stages, until then - Good night!
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Sebastien Ogier & Julien Ingrassia - The New WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONS | WRC - 2013

Volkswagen Polo R driver Sebastien Ogier & his co-driver Julien Ingrassia are the 'New World Rally Champions' of WRC's 2013 season.

In an unique way, with the Power-Stage being the opening stage of the rally, the french-duo claimed their first world title after their nearest [and mathematical opponent], Thierry Neuville who dropped to second to Citroen DS3 driver, Dani Sordo and hence handing over the last technical bit of the excitement for OgierIngrassia to clinch to their title. Ogier also finished third in the power-stage to take away the last single point too.

After SS1 Strasbourg, [PowerStage] Results are as below
1.10D. SORDO
7.1S. LOEB
10.74R. KUBICA

The rally returns tomorrow with SS2, at 09:18 local time! Until then ta da!
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Seb.Loeb vs Seb.Ogier - The Final Showdown, at Rallye de' France | WRC - 2013

In a last of its kind, the Sebastien vs Sebastien [Loeb.vs.Ogier] that is definitely going into the books of World Rally Championship history, we are awaiting for the final action to begin at Rallye de France, Alsace.

This will be his the last official outing of the nine-timer World Rally Champion driver is competing for himself and for us! For all the fans of WRC, & Loeb, this is the last and final chance to witness the clash of the titans. Ogier will be clinching the title [for sure!?] here, and Loeb may win the event, only time can tell us this historical event.

Citroen Racing also went on an extra-mile to design a special livery for Loeb's ride, and insert all his achievement with bold numbers to commemorate their legendary driver's contribution. Loeb's will be the last of the cars that will start today evening, in the rally's opening [Power-Stage, for a change!] stage. His team-mate and another asphalt expert, Dani Sordo finished quickest through the Shakedown.

Belgian & Qatar M-Sport Ford Fiesta RS WRC driver, Thierry Neuville really wants to stop Sebastien Ogier to claim his title right at the opening and point-scoring, Power-Stage. Although his intention is clear to keep the WRC title contention alive as long as possible, it may be quite impossible as Polo WRC driver just needs a single point to claim it. If another two drivers manage to squeeze through the top 3 quickest to claim the rest of the two available points, then it may be possible. [A slight correction here, If Neuville cannot take maximum PS points, then Ogier will be the champion - irrespective of any other wins by the Belgian.]

A good strategy [as it seems strongly to me] by the organisers to allow both the Seb's to enjoy their lime-light, by Ogier taking it tonight with his 1 point deficit title, and later in the weekend to the retiring Loeb. Let us see what happens in a short while from now!

From the press-conference [],

Ogier, on coping with the pressure of being so close to his maiden WRC title: “I think the chance is bigger than ever. It should happen, but there’s still a chance it won’t, so we still have to do a good job here. I feel quite relaxed now. There’s not so much pressure for the championship any more. I just want to get pleasure in the car and for me that means being fast and fighting for victory.” 

Loeb, on finishing his WRC career on home ground: “It’s a nice story to finish here in France. That was decided at the beginning of the season. Now we are here the feeling is okay. There’s always a great atmosphere on this rally and there will be some emotion to be here for the last time. But on the other side I’ve been thinking for some time that one day I will have to stop rallying. I turned that page last year when I decided to finish my last season. This year I just drive some rallies like this to have fun and because we planned it with Citroen.” 

Ogier, on the importance of winning the rally opening Power Stage: “I want to start the rally well, but I don’t need absolutely to win this stage. If Thierry can just accept not to be first then it’s okay! I don’t feel extra pressure to do well, especially as it’s in the city where it’s easy to make a stupid mistake. Of course I’m going to try and start well, with good pace, but I’m not going to be going flat out to try and win it.”

Loeb, on how long it will take him to get back up to speed: “The feeling I think in the car is not bad. The recce was okay, and so was the test. I just hope I will find the rhythm quite quickly and that I will be in the fight.”

Ogier, on how long it will take Loeb to get back up to speed: “Seb has missed a few races but I know that he is really able to come back immediately with a strong performance. He always did.” 

Loeb, on his chances of winning in France this weekend: “If I’m in the situation where I can win, for sure I will try. That’s the same story here. On the other side, I’m not fighting for the championship. Sebastien will be the champion this year. I don’t need some points, I’m just here for fun, so if I’m not able to fight it’s not terrible, you know? In that case I will just take it as it is and have some fun.” 

Ogier, on how he feels about Loeb’s retirement: “It’s difficult to say in a few words. There’s a lot to say. For sure [I have] a lot of good memories, even if everyone always tries to remember the fight and the difficult time we had. But, I mean, it was also something nice in the sport. Sometimes it was exciting with that. Whatever happens now I will forever have a lot of respect for him.”

Loeb, on Ogier’s performance this year: “He did a great season and he deserves his title. He was the fastest all the time and he had a good team. He’s put everything together this year to be competitive and on top immediately. There’s nothing more to say - he deserves to take the title this weekend.”
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United Business can celebrate : Molly Taylor and her codriver, Englishman Seb Marshall win the LADIES ' TROPHY IN THE 2013 EUROPEAN RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP  with two races to go.

An awaited victory for the duo of the Citroen DS3 R3 who won with utmost security the LADIES ' TROPHY after all their opponents slowly lost the pace during the season, this allowed the leaders to be able to drive with even more caution during the Croatia Rally and get to the finish celebrating the title with two races to spare.

Two intense days in Porec, where this weekend the tenth round of the 2013 European Rally Championship took place and where Molly Taylor hit the target she had set at the beginning of the season. ”It was tough, but eventually we made it – she said – I wish to thank the Team, Seb and United Business who believed in me, I had the opportunity to work in a highly professional structure, they have always provided me the best, I thank Paolo Butelli and all the boys, they were fantasctic throughout the season. When you win it all seems easy and completely granted, but the season was tough , Seb and I tackled eight events of the European series, seven of which for the first time, we worked hard to reach this goal. The Ladies' Trophy was won on the field race after  race along with the entire team”.

Seb Marshall: “I am happy. We are a great team , we have proved it throughout the season, we all do a sport that we love, we do so with the utmost professionalism and always give our best. We dedicate the Title dedicate to ourselves and to the whole team, who always gave us an excellent Citroen DS3 R3 which has always been performing and reliable”.

Pier Liberali of United Business , an Italian company which takes care of Molly Taylor's sports management: “Molly and Seb ended Croatia Rally in the best way, in a difficult season but with a perfect final result. United Business was very keen to do well in Croatia Rally, an event which we won twice with Luca Rossetti and where we were the event promoter. For Molly and Seb it was not easy, everything was new, the special stages were difficult and technical, Molly also had a physical problem caused by the petrol fumes inside the cockpit but in the end the title came, the danger and the possibility of error on Croatian roads is always around the corner, they were good not to make mistakes. And now it's nice to be here to celebrate all together. The Ladies' Trophy was our goal as stated at the beginning of the season, Molly Taylor and Seb Marshall reached it, they have proved two excellent professionals. Winning the title with two races to go allows us to carefully consider the season finale, we are considering what may be the best opportunities for our crew, their process of sports and professional growth must not stop with winning this title, we will probably be making some changes to the sports program announced earlier this year, we will decide in the next two weeks. For now I want to congratulate Molly, Seb, Paolo Butelli, Citroen and Pirelli, each of who with their own expertise contributed to this victory. Goal achieved !”


1 Molly TAYLOR (AUS) Points 14
2 Ekaterina STRATIEVA (BGR) Points 12
3 Melissa DEBACKERE (BEL) Points 3
4 Asja ZUPANC (SVN) Points 3
5 Martina DANHELOVA (CZE) Point 1
6 Julie DEVALET (BEL) Point 1
Racing Press

United Rally Management s.r.l. V.le delle Terme, 97 | 27052 Salice Terme/Godiasco (PV) ITALY | Tel.0383/944916 Fax 0383/934583
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