Bad News in 81st 24hr Le Mans 2013 - Aston Martin driver Allan Simonsen killed in a Brutal Crash

The 81st 24 hour Le Mans started at 15:00 hours local time, and within the third hour Allan Simonsen crashed into the barrier at high speed in his No.95 Aston Martin.

The horrific crash resulted in the death of the Danish racing star. Rest in Peace Allan. May your soul rest in peace..

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Sebastien Ogier does The Italian Job - Wins Rally d'Italia Sardegna | WRC - 2013

Second and final day at the Rally d'Italia Sardegna started at the first stage at a little past eight in the morning today. Mads Ostberg was the first to open the day's action with the maximum penalties due to crash yesterday & to restart today, while Ogier was the last among the WRC cars.

SS9 Monte Olia 1 [19.27km], Mikko Hirvonen went fastest through the flying finish, boosting his confidence - perhaps a way too much [as he crashes early in the following stage, to retire]. Thierry Neuville was the second quickest, while the VW drivers started with a cautious opening with 3rd, 4th & 5th respectively.

SS10 Terranova 1 [14.82 km], Sebastien Ogier is the fastest, Neuville & Sordo follow quickly behind. It Mikko as he went off road and got stuck, no big damage to the car but couldn't get back on road and hence retired of the rally.
was disaster for

SS11 Monti di Ala 1 [22.25 km], is the stage that will be of utmost important to the drivers as this will be the power stage in the second run and again Ogier clocked the quickest. Neuville & Latvala are now above a minute behind in the overall scoreboard. Latvala now replaces Sordo in the overall third.

SS12 Coiluna - Loelle 1 [22.35 km], in the last stage before mid-day and final service, Latvala finished quickest. Ogier & Mikkelsen finished second and third, making it a 1-2-3 stage finish for Volkswagen. WRC class debutant Evans & Kosciuszko are on a healthy fight.

30 minutes Final Service

All went smooth at Service Park Olbia, Sardegna. Tyre strategy falls into place here onwards, as the limited tires are taking a toll on the dry & rough stage surfaces. The next set of stages will be on tire management to have the best ones for the power-stage to earn those vital bonus points for the championship.

SS13 Monte Olia 2 [19.27km], Latvala takes the stage win, and hopes his tires are well conserved for the important power-stage. Ogier takes a smart move and carefully finishes in 4th. Mikkelsen is just 0.2 seconds down & Neuville are in 2nd and 3rd.

SS14 Terranova 1 [14.82 km], Andreas Mikkelsen had an unfortunate off in a slow corner and broke a suspension and retires, making only 10 cars into the WRC fight. Ogier is fastest, Neuville & Latvala behind him.

SS15 Monti di Ala 2 [22.25 km] - Power Stage, as expected Sebastien Ogier won the Power Stage. Thierry Neuville & Jari-Matti Latvala took away the reminders.

SS16 Coiluna - Loelle 1 [22.35 km], Thierry Neuville takes a first - second place finish, his best in a WRC rally, by going second fastest through the final test. Latvala takes the final stage win, says "Speedwise I've taken a step forward. Happy with the car, it's fantastic. Good feeling, the boys did a great job."
Ogier finishes third quickest through the final stage, & right away climbs on to the roof at the end of the stage, to celebrate the 4th win this season for himself and to Volkswagen. A commendable job by Elfyn Evans to finish his debut WRC drive in 6th overall, just 0.9s ahead of Michal Kosciuszko.

Robert Kubica took the WRC2 victory in Citroen DS3 RRC with over four minutes to the second placed Abdul Aziz Al-Kuwari in a Ford M-Sport Fiesta RRC and Lorenzo Bertelli in third place.

Christian Riedemann took WRC3 win, Keith Cronin in second, and third by Stephane Consani all in Citroen DS3 R3T '.

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VW, Citroen & Ford | its a Three Way Battle to End Day 1 @ Rally Italy - 2013

Competitive stages of Rally Italy was opened by Khalid Al-Qassimi in his Citroen DS3 WRC today early morning. Being the road sweeper, he battles the day with most slippery surface and with many tiny scary tales to tell later. The start order was decided by yesterday's Qualifying trial and the fastest drivers choose to start at the late order, hence J.M.Latvala was 13th to start the opening stage of the rally.

Monte Lerno 1, SS1 [31.8 km] - being the longest special stage of the rally, and bad luck hit the fastest Finn Latvala as his front left tyre ended with a puncture. Sebastien Ogier was the one to cross the finish mark fastest.

Castelsardo 1, SS2 [14.0km] - Latvala fought back, won the stage and also moved up to 7th overall from 12th. Separating the next step is more than a minute gap ahead. Russian Evgeny Novikov / Ilka Minor retired after a spectacular crash, lucky nobody was hurt, including both the crew.


Tergu Osilo 1, SS3 [14.93km] - Ogier takes one more stage into his victory bag, Latvala is just 0.3s slower than him.WRC2 class leader, Robert Kubica had a moment of scare when he lost grip and brushed his car against a wall, but lucky to finish with just cosmetic damage.

Castelsardo 2, SS4 [14.0km] - After a quick remote service, the repetition of the morning stages begun by Thierry Neuville striking hard and taking the stage win. Ogier is fast enough for a second quickest finish, while Mikko times a third fastest.

Tergu Osilo 2, SS5 [14.93km] - One more stage win for Theirry Neuville and he moves up a position to 4th overall. Ogier & Latvala quickly fall behind him.

Monte Lerno 2, SS6 [31.8 km] - Ogier fastest & also the best tyre saver. Mikko's rubber is worn the most. P.G. Andersson stops in the stage, he had a drive shaft issue before the start of the stage. Thierry continues to push and passes his team-mate Mads Ostberg to take the 3rd overall finish. "I'm feeling really good and confident in the car now. I'm really enjoying driving it. If I can climb into the top five after what happened on the first stage, that would be the perfect result," says Latvala.

After yet another quick service, the competition followed to the last stage, which will be run twice but in darkness. Equipped with additional light pods, the cars & crews have to tackle the last 27.1 km with utmost care, as a disaster could be waiting for them.


Gallura 1, SS7 [13.55 km] - It went with much drama, as hanging dust created a visibility issues to much of the late runners. Latvala flies again and wins the stage. Caution is the word of importance to the rest of the crowd.

Gallura 2, SS8 [13.55 km] - Sordo completes for the day, says, "To be honest I thought it would be bad...but now...it's really fantastic to drive like this." Evans the WRC debutant says, "Car's been perfect, we just want to get out tomorrow and enjoy ourselves." Mads rolled in the stage. Latvala takes one more night stage victory & moves to his ambitious 5th overall, with Mads unplanned exit.

Overall Top 10 positions at the end of Leg-1 [Day-1]

PosDriverTeam/CarTime/Gap
1Sebastien OgierVW Polo R WRC1h40m47.3s
2Mikko HirvonenCitroen DS3 WRC+46.6s
3Thierry NeuvilleM-Sport Ford RS WRC+49.7s
4Dani SordoM-Sport Ford RS WRC+1m19.4s
5Jari-Matti LatvalaVW Polo R WRC+1m44.0s
6Andreas MikkelsenVW Polo R WRC+1m55.4s
7Martin ProkopCzech Ford RS WRC+4m50.4s
8Michal KosciuszkoLotos Ford RS WRC+6m25.6s
9Elfyn EvansM-Sport Ford RS WRC+6m34.5s
10Robert KubicaCitroen DS3 RRC+8m35.3s

See you early tomorrow for the final day action & drama..
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Sardinian Gravel Roads are Ready - Jari-Matti Latvala Flies Quickest | WRC - 2013

Italy is not just famous for the trademark food-pie, Pizza, but also for heritage of its motorsport and  fan-base. Just before the nearing of the mid-season break, its time for some Italian narrow sandy, gravel roads high speed/adrenaline rush of two days of action filled weekend at the Sardinian island, Italy.


The pre-event practice and Shakedown that went down today in good flying colours witnessed the pace of the last event winner, Jari-Matti Latvala going fastest of the 14 WRC cars and chose [in an unique way the event organisers offered] to start 13th in the opening stage, early morning tomorrow. The two day affair of the gravel event has a total of 16 stages equally distributed with 8 stages each per day.



P.G.Andersson has returned for the WRC arena after quite some break in a proper WRC car, this time with a M-Sport's Fiesta RS WRC. Reigning WRC Academy champion and M-Sport's Fiesta R5 test driver Elfyn Evans has been blessed with a Fiesta WRC as Nasser Al-Attiyah had other commitments to full-fill in his homeland. Polish driver Michal Kosciuszko has changed to Fiesta WRC from the Prodrive Mini WRC, thus ending the mark of the last car in the world rally stages.

Here is the below onboard video of Mikko Hirvonen doing the shakedown stage. Enjoy & see you tomorrow for more report on the happening of the day's action. Sit tight and enjoy the video.

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Indian Gaurav Gill Wins - Rallye de Nouvelle, Caledonie | APRC - 2013

After a rainy night at New Caledonia, with cancellation of 5 of 8 stages - rally leader Gaurav Gill won at a comfortable margin of more than a minute. “The final day was obviously a short day but it was still good miles although the heavy overnight rain meant it was slippery in the morning. It was hard to underdrive, which is what I was doing to get to the finish but it’s been a good weekend for us. We were quick from the shakedown having come here with good confidence from New Zealand. Now we have some good points for the championship,” said Gaurav at the end of the rally.

The rest of the top order also didn't change for APRC point scorers, with Sanjay Takale taking the second top position, while Simon Knowles on the final perch.


Overall
Position

Crew Nat Vehicle
Leg
Time
Diff
Leader
Previous
Car

1
TEAM MRF
Gaurav
Gill
   + Glenn Macneal
INDSKODA Fabia S2000
IND

   + NZL

0:32:41,60:00:00,00:00:00,0
2
SANJAY TAKALE
Sanjay Takale

   + Sean Gregory
FRASUBARU Impreza
IND
   + MLZ

0:39:37,80:06:56,20:01:08,0
3


SIMON KNOWLES
Simon Knowles

   + Margot Knowles
AUSMITSUBISHI Evo 9
AUS

   + AUS

0:39:41,40:06:59,80:00:03,6

With the collection of points so far, Gaurav Gill leads the championship after his team-mate Esapekka Lappi failed to earn any points with yesterday's crash. Next round of APRC is at Australia, mid next month.
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