RedBull TV to broadcast live WRC in 2017

Redbull media - WRC car light streak!
Redbull TV announced live TV telecast of longer duration coverage to reach the hungry WRC audience in all parts of the globe and is definitely a great news. Here is below, press release of the same.

  • Live action from WRC stages every Saturday – as well as dedicated highlights programmes every Friday, Saturday and Sunday
  • Viewers can get their fill of the high-octane action for free at or via the Red Bull TV app
  • Former F1 and Le Mans star Mark Webber first in a series of high-profile guest presenters

With non-stop action on snow, mud, tarmac and gravel, the FIA World Rally Championship radiates adrenalin – and next year it will be seen for the first time live on Red Bull TV. The premiere takes place at Rally Monte-Carlo in January, ushering in a new era of unique coverage from Red Bull TV and bringing the breath-taking action to more fans than ever before.

Presented by Mike Chen, Red Bull TV will be broadcasting live on Saturday from each event and will host three stunning new daily highlight shows that feature all the action. Co-presenting the action will be some of the biggest personalities in motorsport, lending a unique perspective to every rally. The first guest will be former F1 and Le Mans driver Mark Webber in Monaco.

All of the programmes will be free-to-air, and will include dedicated 20 to 30-minute highlights shows on the Friday and Saturday evenings of WRC events direct from the service park and a 30-40 minute Sunday evening wrap.

In a groundbreaking new introduction, there will also be a 75-minute Saturday midday special featuring a live stage. This will enable viewers to enjoy unprecedented levels of exhilarating footage as they follow the action in real time from both inside and outside the cars, from the snow-lined speed tests of Monte-Carlo and Sweden to the high-altitude elevation of Mexico and the gruelling gravel forest tracks of Finland, Australia and Wales.

Engaging and informed presenters, news, interviews and gossip will set new standards in WRC broadcasting and bring fans closer to the high-octane action than ever – and heading into an exciting and unpredictable new era of faster and more powerful cars, myriad driver changes and the return of an ultra-successful WRC stalwart in the shape of automotive giant Toyota, the timing could not be any more apposite.

“It’s really exciting that the WRC will be broadcast on Red Bull TV next year,” enthused long-time Red Bull athlete Sébastien Loeb, the most successful driver in the history of the sport. “Fans will now have chance to see the very best coverage of some of the best motor sport in the world entirely for free and at a time that suits them. There’s always a feeling of innovation and excitement around Red Bull, and I’m sure that this will be the case for the new TV package as well.”

The action will rev into life in glamorous Monte-Carlo in January, with the oldest and most prestigious event on the WRC calendar certain to serve as a baptism of fire for the new generation of World Rally Cars. Co-presenting the action throughout the season will be some of Red Bull’s biggest motor sport stars – beginning with former Formula 1 and sportscar star Mark Webber – alongside anchorman Mike Chen.

The first dedicated WRC programme on Red Bull TV is 9pm on Friday 20 January following the end of leg one of Rally Monte-Carlo. All shows will remain available to watch on-demand on Red Bull TV once the rally has finished.

Red Bull TV is available to watch entirely free of charge online at and via mobile, laptop or smart television, or on the dedicated Red Bull TV app, available both for iPhone and Android.
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M-Sport Confirms Sebastien Ogier & Ott Tanak for 2017 WRC season!

M-Sport's 2017 Ford Fiesta WRC car
As expected, and with great hopes and cheering from the fan followers of the sport; former Ford WRC's official outfit M-Sport boss Malcom Wilson confirms that the recent 4-time world champion rally pair, Sebastien Ogier & Julien Ingrassia, to lead their conquest for the 2017 WRC season.

Ott Tänak alongside a new co-driver Martin Järveoja will be in the second Fiesta WRC car and is very excited to be inside the all new beast of a car. 

Four-time world champion had tested the all new Ford Fiesta WRC in Wales last month, two days after trying Toyota’s Yaris World Rally Car in Spain. However, an agreement with M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson was not finalised until Monday.
“There will be a lot of new things this season, but I’m definitely looking forward to it,” said Ogier. “We have a new generation of World Rally Cars and a new team – it’s certainly an exciting time.

“There’s not long before we line-up at the start of Rallye Monte-Carlo and we’ve not had a lot of seat time with the Ford Fiesta WRC, but we’ll give it our best to be ready. We’re aware of the challenges, and I can see how hungry Malcolm and his team are for success.

“It’s funny to think that just a few months ago I was sitting at a motorsport forum at Wales Rally GB saying how nice it would be to work with him one day. I had no idea at the time that it would come quite so soon, but here we are.”

Malcom Wilson has no secrets of his desire to sign Ogier, ever since his exit from Citroen back in 2011.
“We go to Rallye Monte-Carlo with the number one on the door of the Ford Fiesta WRC and the strongest driver line-up we’ve had in years,” he said.

“To say we’re excited about next season is an understatement. We believe we have produced an exceptional car, and we’re in the best possible position ahead of this exciting new era.

“We have worked extremely hard to secure Sébastien and Julien and they believe the Ford Fiesta WRC is the car with which they can best defend their championship.”

Ott Tänak has played a major role in developing the new Fiesta and believes he is a better driver than the one that was dropped by M-Sport for a second time at the end of 2015.
“I had a great season in 2016,” he said. “We got a lot of experience under our belts and I think I became a much stronger driver. It was good to see the speed increase over the course of the year. This is the first time I’ve had a hand in developing a new car completely from scratch and it’s been great to work with the engineers.”

“The power is insane, and almost every aspect of the car has been completely redesigned. At first, I thought the increased power would make it a bit of a handful, but the guys have done such a good job. Every component works together to give incredible control – it really is the full package.

“It will be really interesting next year, and the whole team are very driven towards achieving the same goals. It’s great to have Seb and Julien in the team too. They have a lot of experience and I think we can all learn a lot from them. We had some great battles together this year, and I’m sure that will continue in 2017. There’s so much potential in this team. You can feel the excitement and we can’t wait to get started!”

We all had seen the camaraderie between Ogier & Tanak, but how far will they gel together as part of the same team, while fighting for victories is definitely worth the wait! Also, so far M-Sport has not released any statement about Eric Camilli, but he has a 2017 contract and news on his future is expected shortly.

The unexpected exit of Volkswagen Motorsport from the World Rally Championship had left it's entire driving squad without a drive. While Jari-Matti Latvala's seat has almost been confirmed by the Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC team, it is third driver Andreas Mikkelsen & his compatriot Mads Ostberg perhaps who are left-out without a seat for the upcoming season and we hope they find a rewarding seat soon!
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Finns all the way! Jari-Matti Latvala secures Toyota WRC for 2017

Toyota Yaris WRC with huge tail wing & other aero-kit!

In the wake of the seat crisis for the champion drivers, ex-VW'ians - after their official exit, the entire driver line-up were left out to hunt for a drive next season. Sebastien Ogier was half successful to try out the next-gen WRC cars, and the remaining half reluctant. In the heat-up, the next two & quite important drivers were nowhere heard in the main-stream media.

Jari-Matti, Miikka Antilla & TGR staff, during testing.
Jari-Matti Latvala & Andreas Mikkelsen were already contenders to secure a seat in the 4-time WRC champion driver Tommi Makinen managed Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC Team. 

But the latest talk mentions, that Volkswagen refugee driver Latvala has a drive booked at Toyota's new World Rally Championship team in 2017. Although he is reportedly agreed team's terms, there are a lot going-on on the negotiations table and he says,

"I cannot confirm that I have signed, and have been negotiating a lot with Tommi with my manager Timo Jouhki, but I cannot tell you I have signed."

Jari-Matti's almost secured deal with Toyota makes matters unpleasant for his ex-VW team-mate Andreas, who was also favoured to land up a seat Finnish-Japanese WRC team. Today, Latvala also completed the first tests with a newly upgraded aero for the Yaris WRC.

Almost fully developed VW Polo WRC 2017 spec
Also there is a strong speculation that a private funding from the Middle East and Qatari, Nasser Al-attiyah's name along with Redbull is heard to be the saviour of the project by raising sufficient funds in-time to save the Volkswagen's Polo R WRC 2017 programme. This could also provide a private seat for either Sebastien Ogier or Mikkelsen, or both!

Until the real news pops up, guesses and rumours are ruling the social media hubs!
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Job Opening - WRC Race Engineer Citroën Racing

Dirt storming Citroen C3 WRC 2017 world rally car, during testing.

An excellent opportunity for motorsport engineers, to be part of the Citroen Racing's World Rally Championship programme for 2017 season! English & French speaking abilities is a must for this profile with sound knowledge of the sport with chassis preparation specialisation and upkeeping one Citroen C3 WRC car for the forthcoming season. This comes from the Citroen's motorsport chief Yves Matton himself, and if this doesn't excites you, then probably you are totally sane!

Interested candidates apply at their linkedin post here. Have a look of the Job description below, apply if you possess the skills needed and if interested. Good luck, and see you with the French team! 

Citroen Racing, WRC service support team during the first test of C3 WRC.

Job description

Role purpose :
- It is a full time job, based in Versailles at Citroën Racing workshop.
- The person filling this role will be part of the chassis department.
- He will be a race engineer in charge of one car of the team for the year in the WRC championship.

The main responsibilities :
- Ensure optimum car performance during the rally, using experience and technical know-how.
- Ensure race car assembly according to specifications.
- Support the final build-up of the car and decide on its setup.
- Collaborate with the other engineers and pilots of the team and participates in the specification and set up.
- Coordinate and advise the car engineering and mechanics group.
- Actively cooperate with respective departments helping the development of the car.
- Participate to the various technical meetings, and monitor the resolution of problems during tests and races.
- Can take over responsibility for some test sessions, and ensure its presence on some others.

Skills and qualifications required:
- A degree in Mechanical or Automotive Engineering or equivalent.
- 5 years’ experience as a race engineer
- Excellent up-to-date technical knowledge especially regarding rally cars as well as relevant experience in a track environment.
- Excellent problem-solving skills.
- The ability to analyze and interpret data.
- The ability to prioritize and plan effectively .
- The ability to work under pressure and to deliver high quality to tight deadlines.
- The ability to lead a team.
- knowledge of Magneti Marelli software Wintax.
- knowledge of developer tools (VBA, Matlab, etc ...).
- Fluent English and French language skills.
- Willingness to travel and show a flexible approach to working hours.
- Good communication and team-working skills.
- Solid project management capabilities
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Team India emerges as Champions by winning in their category at RFC 2016 Grand Final in Malaysia

Enthusiastic Gurmeet & Kirpal after the win

Force Gurkha RFC India 2016
champions Gurmeet Virdi and Kirpal Singh Tung beat seasoned international off-roaders to grab the top spot in their category in the world-renowned off-road motorsport competition

Tiranga at Malaysia RFC finale
New Delhi, December 6, 2016: Force Gurkha RFC India 2016 Champions Gurmeet Virdi and Kirpal Singh Tung have put India firmly on the global off-roading map and ensured that their names will find a prominent mention in offroading history. The duo has not only become the first Indian team ever to successfully complete the Grand Final of the Rainforest Challenge (RFC) Global Series, but has also emerged on top in their category at the RFC 2016 Grand Final in Malaysia. Team India scored a total 1,361 points out of 2,400 after the completion of the 20th edition of what is considered to be one of the top 10 toughest motor races in the world. This ensured them the top spot in their category.

Gurmeet Virdi and Kirpal Singh Tung participated in Force Gurkha RFC India 2016 that was held in Goa in July and emerged as the winners of the competition. This win earned them an automatic entry in the RFC 2016 Grand Final, which is the culmination of the Global RFC Series having 25 editions worldwide. While this was Gurmeet’s second foray in RFC Global Final, it was Kirpal’s first ever international off-road competition experience. Gurmeet was the co-driver of Team India in RFC 2014 Grand Final, which was the first time an Indian team had participated in this coveted off-road motorsport competition.

During vehicle preparation back in garage
Unable to contain his excitement on this win, Gurmeet said, “Kirpal and I had decided before coming to Malaysia that we had to concentrate on preserving our vehicle and staying in the competition till the end. Though we definitely dreamt of winning, our focus throughout the week was on avoiding penalties and vehicle breakdown. Now that the final results have been announced, I am finding it hard to believe that our dream has come true. The feeling is yet to sink in!

Gurmeet and Kirpal, though being new to the international off-roading scenario, gave a neck-to-neck competition to seasoned off-roaders despite the fact that they were driving a hired competition vehicle, which they had not even seen till a couple of days prior to the commencement of the competition. 

Luis J.A. Wee, Gurmeet & Kirpal receiving their trophies!
As per Mr. Ashish Gupta, Founder & Director, Cougar Motorsport Pvt. Ltd., the company which organizes RFC India, “I would like to congratulate Gurmeet and Kirpal on their superb performance in the RFC 2016 Grand Final. We brought RFC to India three years ago with the intent of promoting the latent off-road talent in various parts of the country and help promising Indian offroaders gain recognition not only in our country but also internationally. Having an Indian team on the podium in Malaysia this year is like a mission well accomplished.
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Clean sweep Victory for Gaurav Gill, APRC Coffee Day India Rally, Chikmagalur

Gaurav Gill cornering through the tight twisty gravel roads of coffee estates of Chikmagalur, India

Mike Young negotiating a turn in his Subaru R4
Gaurav Gill wins Coffee Day India Rally, the sixth and final event of APRC at coffee estates of Chikmagalur. Starting first on the road and winning all the stages of the Sunday. By this victory on home soil of the 2016 APRC season, Gaurav also has the honours of a clean sweep victory in all the six events of the championship. He and his team Skoda MRF Racing also won the APRC Driver, Co-Driver & Team Championship titles in the penultimate APRC round at Malaysian Rally.

Yuya Sumiyama in Subaru STi R4
Yesterday, Gill's team-mate Germany's tarmac ace Fabian Kreim retired early in SS3 after his Skoda Fabia R5's rear suspension broke in a minor accident and in the process blocking the road for the entire APRC cars who started behind him. No one were injured and the remaining cars had to turn back to the next stage start and the damaged Fabia was cleared from the stage in no-time.

Sanjay Takale in Subaru R4
Gaurav carried on with his stage after stage wins, and ended up in a commanding lead of over 7 minutes to his nearest chaser, New Zealand's Mike Young in a Cusco prepared Subaru R4. Sanjay Takale was the another Indian to complete on the podium, after Fabian early and later retirements of Yuya Sumiyama's Subaru STi R4 who had brake issues in the second run of the Chandrapura special stage (SS6), finally went off the road in a corner due to near failure of wheel stopping device.

The charging Fabian Kreim.
Gill sideways through the gates!
In the final day today, with four stages remaining Fabian Kriem stole the victory of the opening two tests, while Gill took the day's third test to his crown.

Gaurav Gill took the rally victory with a commanding gap of 11m22s over second placed Micheal Young.
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Volkswagen confirms Homologation of the 2017 WRC machine!

Jari-Matti Latvala during tests far before the exit announcement!

Volkswagen Motorsport chief Frank Welsch confirms the homologation news of the fully developed 2017 spec WRC Polo R. Although the recent dramatic and totally unexpected exit from the top rally sport, albeit reigning it for all 4 years since it entered, the Volkswagen Motorsport many times was found testing it's new car. Now it has finally initiated the process of getting the new machine rally ready.

VW Polo R WRC 2017 spec during gravel tests
The recent Dieselgate scandal that demarked nearly 30,000 workers, and the WRC program would be surely hated among those community, and would hurt its market position. With a considerable investment in developing the new machine, it was obvious that a customer/private team program, without the manufacturer's title branding was coming as many had guessed.

Marcus Gronholm was the man behind the wheel during the most tests for developing the 2017 Polo, which concluded last week, and with that the 4-time championship winning manufacturer is expecting private customer teams for the upcoming season.

Tarmac tests of the VW Polo R WRC 2017
"Lots of private teams have been asking to run the car and, while there is no decision on whether we will do that yet, with development 99% complete it made sense to complete the final hoops required for homologation so we can if necessary," said Welsch. "At the moment all I can say people are interested and we are keeping the possibility open."

With that Welsch also confirms that VW was is sticking to it's announced promise of all-electric rallycross cars in the future. "We're looking at, yes," he said. The possibility of Redbull making it happen is quite a possibility too!

With this new announcement, the 4-time WRC champion driver/co-driver and his fellow-former team-mates might have a better chance for 2017? Only time will tell!
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Fierce Battle Ahead in Chikmagalur, Gill plans to take it all! Coffee Day India Rally, APRC

Fabian Kreim powersliding the SSS @Amber Valley School, Chikmagaluru, India

Gaurav Gill & Jr.GG @Ceremonial Start!
Gaurav Gill plans to take the ultimate victory on home soil, after winning all the rounds so far in the 2016 season's APRC. Knowing his immediate competition coming from team-mate Fabian Kriem and Micheal Young, the rally is definitely going to be definitely interesting.

India Rally is also the home for Sanjay Takale yet feels like the other newcomers as he had never competed in Coffee Day Rally earlier in his career, but nevertheless is all excited about the rally. It is also the first outing for the new Skoda Fabia R5 in India, and in the narrow twisty coffee estates of Chikmagaluru it is going to be some big fight as he says as rally of thousand corners.

#Shakedown #IndiaRally at #Chikmagaluru!
Overnight rains before the rally have made the stages more interesting, and all the drivers & crew are mentally preparing for the event, just in case there is more tonight. Spectator Special stage was held today at the playground of Amber Valley School, Chikmagaluru. Fabian Kreim was the fastest among the lot with 2m17.8s on the clock, 0.7s ahead of the country's favourite Gaurav Gill both in Team MRF's Skoda Fabia R5. Yuya Sumiyama was the third quickest today's short 2.21 kms prologue in Cusco prepared Subaru STi.

Sanjay Takale excited to see his Car on the banner!
In INRC/IRC series, Sanjay Takale leads the pack with 2m28.9s, followed by Mahindra Adventure's Amittrajit Ghosh down by a whole 9s in his Mahindra XUV500, while Arjun Rao in a quick third with a gap of 10s to the leader in his VW Polo R2.

Tomorrow is going to be a tough battle for the honours in the dusty, twisty coffee plantation roads of Chikmagaluru. However, more overnight showers are predicted, although they nobody wants it. All they do now is wait till it is dawn again and the rain gods hold it up for a couple more days and then just rally hard!
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WRC 2017, the seat hunt of the reigning 4-time World Champs!

WRC 2017 the hunt for the seat!

As speculated, Sebastien Ogier flew immediately back to Europe after the culmination of the 2016 season final event of Rally Australia. He & his co-driver Julien Ingrassia also missed the WRC Gala for the hunt of new car for the upcoming, newer cars for 2017 season.

Toyota Yaris WRC 2017 during a test
Toyota Yaris WRC, from the Finnish outfit under the name Toyota Gazoo Racing at the helm of Tommi Makinen was the first of it. He reportedly tested the new WRC car of the lot, at Spain on both tarmac (wet conditions) and gravel roads.

Happy Tommi Makinen
Tommi being an 4-time world rally champ himself, had no confirmation about the signup of the reinging 4-time world champ, but was eager to have him onboard.
"Like I said, we are talking to the drivers, but we didn't make the offer yet.
"The problem we have is for the car availability.
"We will run with just the two cars until the spring time and Juho [Hanninen] will be driving on all of the rallies."

Sebastien Ogier & Julien Ingrassia Fiesta'ing a gravel stage
After a quick testing of the Yaris WRC on wednesday, the duo left towards Cumbria for the testing of MSport's Fiesta WRC weaponry.

With Hyundai almost denying a seat for the driveless world champion in their stable, and Citroen not willing to arrange a test drive without a signed contract, Ogier's wish to test all the 4 cars before making decision were left with just 50 percent of the chances of the next gen WRC car's lineup.

An excited Malcom Wilson, said
"The test went well. The car performed very well all day. I have to say it looked very impressive from where I was watching from, it was great to see Seb in the car."
Happier Malcom Wilson!
"People had told me before how straightforward and easy he was to work with and that's just how I found him," he said.
"I was really pleased with the respect shown from him and Julien [Ingrassia, co-driver] and our guys.
"The car started the test in the same set-up it had been when Ott [Tanak] was driving it yesterday.
"Seb drove it like that, then came back and made some changes - he was keen to see how the car felt when he'd made some specific changes. And the good news was that the sun was shining!"
Ogier & Ingrassia soon left to Hannover, for the season ending party (one last time at) Volkswagen Motorsport.

What a musical chair run-up for the top runner! As they notoriously say, "anything is possible"!

We have created a poll to make a survey of the same, please leave your feedback!

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RFC India Winners Head for RFC Grand Finale, Malaysia

After winning RFC India 2016, Chandigarh’s Gurmeet Virdi and Kirpal Singh Tung get ready to battle it out in Malaysia in the RFC 2016 Grand Final

Gurmeet Virdi (left) and co-driver Kirpal Singh Tung
Chandigarh, November 22, 2016: After creating history in July at Force Gurkha RFC India 2016 by becoming the first Indian duo to win the country’s toughest off-road motorsport event, Gerrari Offroaders Chandigarh’s Gurmeet Virdi and Kirpal Singh Tung are all set to hoist the Indian flag in the Malaysian soil at the 20th edition of the Rainforest Challenge (RFC) Grand Final. To be held from 25th November to 5th December, RFC 2016 Grand Final is going to be a mega clash of the best offroaders from across the globe, as they compete for the winner’s trophy at the 2016 Edition of one of the world’s top ten toughest motor races.

RFC Grand Final is the culmination of the Global RFC Series, which has 25 editions worldwide in countries like India, Australia, Russia, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Korea, Myanmar, Ukraine, Balkans, South Europe and North Europe among others. The event was launched in India in 2014 by Delhi-based Cougar Motorsport Pvt. Ltd. and despite being only three editions old, RFC India is today proclaimed by the entire Indian off-road community as the toughest off-road motorsport event of the country.

As per RFC India format, the top Indian driver of the competition gets a free automatic entry to RFC Grand Final. Therefore, Gurmeet will be representing India at the global series’ finale this year. This is the second time that an Indian team would be competing in RFC Grand Final and it is also Gurmeet’s second attempt at this mega event. In 2014, he was the co-driver of the first ever Indian team that participated in RFC Grand Final. This time round, Gurmeet will be competing as the driver while Tung will support him as his navigator.

As per Mr. Luis J.A. Wee, the Founder of the Rainforest Challenge, “It’s really wonderful to see our current RFC India champion making it to the mother event RFC in Malaysia. I am very sure that the skills that Gurmeet & Kirpal have displayed in Goa will be put to good use competing against the other internationals. They are also both very cool players, and such traits plus their improved driving and recovery skills will add to their advantage. So, good luck and best wishes to our Indian champion team!”

This year’s special 20th edition of RFC Grand Final will take place in Pahang, the biggest state in peninsula Malaysia and a tropical paradise for sports & adventure based tourism. The event will have twenty four Special Stages (SS) that will be divided into four progressively difficult competitive legs - the Prologue, the Predator, the Terminator and the Twilight Zone. The competition will test the competitors’ strength, endurance, driving and vehicle recovery skills under extreme off-road conditions and the team with the maximum points at the end of all the SS will be announced as the winner.

Wishing the Indian team luck for the upcoming competition, Force Motors Ltd’s Managing Director Mr. Prasan Firodia said, “Force Motors would like to wish Gurmeet and team good luck for RFC Malaysia 2016. His performance at Force Gurkha Rainforest Challenge, India has raised the bar of Indian off-roading. May he bring the Winner’s trophy back to India!”

For Gurmeet, participating in RFC Grand Final 2014 was a true test of his survival instincts and unlike anything he had experienced before. In contrast to RFC India, where the competitors had a decently-sized support team to take care of the team’s food and other requirements, in Malaysia they had to fend for themselves throughout the competition, having only a skeleton support team of 2 mechanics.

Recounting his experience at RFC Grand Final 2014, Gurmeet said, “We faced a lot of issues with our vehicle and had to deal with all mechanical faults ourselves. Ultimately we had to bow out of the competition because of vehicle failure. It did not really affect us then, as we were happy just to have competed against such renowned and experienced international offroaders, that too in our dream event! However, this is my second attempt at RFC Grand Final and we are very serious about the competition. That’s why we have been extremely careful in our selection of vehicle. After extensive research, we have finalized a Suzuki Samurai, with a 3000 cc turbo engine, which meets all RFC specifications. We are very confident about our technique and skills and are sure that we can give a tough competition to other international offroaders. After all, throughout RFC India 2016 we competed neck-to-neck against and ultimately scored more than Tan Eng Joo and Merwyn Lim, who have won RFC Grand Final multiple times! If the vehicle supports us till the end, then I am quite hopeful of getting a podium finish at RFC Grand Final 2016.”

Gurmeet’s confidence is also due to the exceptional navigation skills of his co-driver, who has a major role to play in RFC. “Kirpal has the spirit of a champion and the patience required to handle pressure situations. He is extremely fit and proactive and comes up with quick and practical solutions to problems. We share a very strong rapport and understand each other well, which makes for a great team work. I am happy that he is accompanying me for the upcoming competition. If he had not agreed to be my navigator, I would not have participated in RFC Grand Final 2016.”

Cougar Motorsport’s Founder & Director Mr. Ashish Gupta is keeping his fingers crossed for the duo and hopes to see some amazing offroad action from them in the upcoming competition. He said, “Both of them are seasoned offroaders and Gurmeet’s graph has steadily grown over the last three years at RFC India. At this year’s edition, they displayed international level of skill and technique that ultimately resulted in their historic win. Since the toughness quotient of RFC India is quite high and they nailed it beautifully, I am confident that the Indian team will give a very tough competition to the other teams at the RFC Grand Final.”
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No rebranded Skoda WRC for 2017, based on VW Polo R WRC


Skoda Motorsport CEO, Bernhard Maier has announced that there will be no Skoda branded WRC car from technology lifted from the fully developed & recently abandoned VolksWagen Polo R WRC. 

In the past couple of day, there was rumour that VW might enter into the top level WRC category, from its fully developed Polo R WRC under its sister brand Skoda. With the homologation process being still active for the developed car, it was natural to such speculations.

On a reply to this, Bernhard said, "It will not happen. We have enjoyed success in rallying and we are enjoying success in rallying, in the WRC2 category.

"We have a successful customer programme that doesn't cost us money and could earn us the championship, so why would I change that?

"Doing more is not always better - what would we bring ourselves in addition to what we are already achieving in rallying?

"A WRC2 championship is fine for Skoda - certainly it provides the best return on money invested, because it does not really cost us."

With this annoucement, it is likely that the 4-time championship winning car will disappear into the dust cloud of its own. A shame indeed!
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Volkswagen Motorsport exits WRC from 2017!

Four times consecutive world champions - Ogier, Ingrassia and Volkswagen Motorsports, Polo R WRC

In an absolute surprise (shocker!?) against what everybody were anticipating of the great battle for the title at the top level of rallying with the newer, more powerful cars in WRC from the upcoming season onwards, Volkswagen Motorsport breaks the hard news of exiting. With the new specification Polo R WRC car recently homologated(?), it was really a hard surprise for everyone following and cheering for WRC campaign.

The announcement explains their shift in horizon towards Electric Vehicles, which are posed to be the future of personal and mass mobility. With the Audi & Toyota brandishing their vehicles at WEC, and the newer Formula E on the news, the move by the VW's may not be shocking though! With this news, the future seats for the crew of VW is wide open for the upcoming and unconfirmed teams. 

2017 spec VW Polo R WRC during recent test.
MSport, Toyota, have a better bargain because of this, but for the sport, loosing a leading manufacturer is not a good news in any perspective. Hyundai and Citroen already have announced their driver-lineup, but however a reconsidering to inducting the 4-time world champion looking for a seat, might shake it up.

As confirmed by the VW Motorsports division, that newly developed car or the current spec will not be available for a customer program. So that leaves most of us wondering and disappointing to loose those super spectacular cars eating dust in their museum or at a car show!? The complete news release, here.
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Paris Motor Show - Toyota Gazoo Racing Showcases Yaris WRC 2017

Yaris WRC Test Car

At the Paris Motor Show, Toyota announced it has reached an agreement with Microsoft to collaborate in the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) series. As part of the agreement, Microsoft will serve as a “technology partner” for the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRC rally team.

Toyota Yaris WRC, Tommi Makinen
Motorsports offer an important way to convey the excitement of driving, and are at the heart of Toyota’s efforts to foster a greater following of car fans and enthusiasts. Conducting these activities under the umbrella of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing allows Toyota to develop its people and improve its products, thereby contributing to the creation of “ever-better cars”. Under the leadership of Team Principal Tommi Mäkinen, Toyota is developing a rally vehicle scheduled to begin competing in 2017.

Using Microsoft technology, Toyota wants to maximize its competitiveness in WRC, whilst ensuring that learnings from the race course can be used to achieve the company’s vision of designing and manufacturing “ever-better cars”.

Toyota Yaris WRC
Microsoft will support TOYOTA GAZOO Racing in three key areas:

Development of a data analysis platform to gather, visualize and analyse various data related to driving which will be utilised in race activities.
Creation of a team information-sharing system to allow team members to collaborate and share various materials such as images and videos efficiently and effectively using a cloud service.
Enhancement of communication with fans through providing services utilizing the cloud and using Microsoft’s display devices to provide them with a front-row motorsports experience.
Today’s announcement builds on the existing partnership between Toyota and Microsoft. Most recently, the two companies collaborated on the establishment of Toyota Connected, a new user experience and product-development company aimed at expanding, collecting and analysing large amounts of vehicle data to help further improve quality, safety and the driving and ownership experience for Toyota customers.

Toyota President Akio Toyoda said: “I believe that, like Toyota, Microsoft aims to enrich society in meaningful ways. Based on the on-going partnership, we aim to further develop our people and enhance our cars through the use of IT in motorsports to promote ‘ever-better cars’.”

Toyota Yaris WRC
Toyota understands the important role that information technology must play in order to further accelerate the development of the automotive industry. Gathering valuable data will help lay the foundation for the future of sustainable mobility. This, in turn, will help create a society in which everyone can live at ease, safely and freely. Another important contributor to a safer automotive future is the Toyota Research Institute1 (TRI), which is focused on artificial intelligence for automobiles, robotics and scientific discovery. TRI is bringing to life Toyota’s vision of autonomous driving, which follows a double approach. The first type of application is ‘Chauffeur Mode’, where the car is fully autonomous. It has the potential to offer mobility to those who would not otherwise have it, such as older people and those with special needs. In order to accomplish this safely, it isestimated that some 14.2 billion kilometres2 of testing, including simulation, are required. Microsoft is an important partner in the test-mile accumulation, since a lot of the work can be done through multi-agent simulation.

The second application of autonomous driving that Toyota is pursuing is the ‘Guardian Mode’ or high-level driver assist. This technology is a further evolution of current safety mechanisms such as Toyota Safety Sense, and is designed to support the driver as necessary, even taking over the car in certain circumstances. The knowledge that they have this safety net, will enable customers to enjoy their drive to the fullest.

The Toyota Research Institute, Toyota Connected and Microsoft are united in their efforts to use cutting edge technology to establish safer, cleaner and more convenient mobility.


Toyota Yaris WRC
The Yaris WRC Test Car that was driven on the Paris Motor Show stage by 4-time WRC champion Tommi Mäkinen didn’t only reveal Microsoft as the technology partner for the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRC team. In addition to Michelin, who is the team tyre supplier, the car also carried the logos of the DMG MORI and Panasonic Corporation, two companies that relate to Toyota’s vision on motorsports, and that have partnered with Toyota for its 2017 WRC endeavour.

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRC project is supported by following partners;

The new regulations for the upcoming season of 2017 is definitely going to be demanding to all the drivers, manufacturers and very exciting for the followers & fans!
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Thierry Neuville seals his seat for WRC 2017 with Hyundai WRT

2017 WRC Hyundai i20 rally car
Thierry Neuville seals his seat for the upcoming season of WRC with Hyundai i20WRC. Well that was fast back to back announcements, and as speculated earlier, he retains his seat with Hyundai for the next season too. Hyundai Motorsport officially confirmed within a few hours after Citroen Racing's announcement of Craig Breen & Stephane Lefebvre's signing up for the next two years.

Hyundai i20 WRC at Paris Motorshow
Hyundai i20 WRC 2017 car during a test
Neuville was in negotiations with Citroen & Toyota for a seat in the seasons to come, however he concluded with Hyundai for the next two years. "I'm delighted to extend my contract with Hyundai Motorsport for two more years," said Neuville.

"Although, I had alternative options available, it seemed the most logical decision to keep up the great momentum we have within this team.

The 2017 season will be a new era for the WRC with the revised regulations.

Thierry Neuville, speaking to the media.
We have shared very special moments together since the team's debut in WRC. Our first win together in Germany [in 2014] was one of my career highlights.

With a new car next year, and even more ambitious targets, I am excited by what this next chapter will bring.", says the young Belgian.

With this latest announcements made, M-Sport and Toyota are the other two teams left to make their announcements for their drivers line-up.
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Kris Meeke, Craig Breen & Stephane Lefebvre for Citroen WRT 2017

Craig Breen, Kris Meeke & Stephane Lefebvre, the three chosen by Citroen Racing for driving Citroen C3 WRC in 2017

Citroen C3 WRC
Citroen Racing, formerly Citroen World Rally Team, announced their driver line up for the newly developed Citroen C3 WRC for the upcoming season.

Craig Breen & Yves Matton
Irishman Craig Breen with co-driver Scott Martin & Frenchmen Stephane Lefebvre and his co-driver Gabin Moreau will be joining the Citroen squad with their already confirmed no.1 driver Kris Meeke and his co-driver Paul Nagle.

Stephane Lefebvre, with his team-mate
Citroen Racing Director, Yves Matton confirmed the news short while ago in social media portals. He said, "We believe in the potential of Craig_Breen & Stephane Lefebvre. They have natural talent, motivation and work ethic to win rallies."

Thierry Neuville
With this announcement, it is still unclear where Thierry Neuville will land in a WRC seat for the upcoming exciting season of more powerful and agile cars. His past performance, ever since his association with Hyundai World Rally Team has raised doubts about his future. However, his lately wins in the current season team, could be justified to retain his seat with Hyundai, or if M-Sport or Toyota is willing to come up with some good proposition for the Belgian national.

Citroen C3 WRC Concept
Volkswagen are in mood to change their drivers, unless the drivers themselves choose to. Hyundai, M-Sport & Toyota Gazoo Racing are yet to confirm their driver-lineup and is expected soon in the coming few days, or maybe even a few hours from now.

For that all we can do is wait for their official announcements, and also keep an ear out for the possible news-leak which could get loose in advance!
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