Volkswagen Will Finalise 2017 World Rally Car Design

Volkswagen will be finalising the specification of new 2017 Polo R by the end of this month. With the new regulations coming into effect from 2017 season, German car maker has just concluded its latest round of tests with the new car. Technical director Francois-Xavier Demaison said, the 2017 car is in final development phase.


Demaison said,"Everything has to be with the FIA for homologation for November 1. After that, we cannot change anything - the only thing that will change is if the FIA is not happy with something. The final validation process is the end of this month, the specification will be frozen at the start of September then we start building nine chassis - three for Monte, three for Sweden and three spares - at the start of December."

At present Volkswagen is testing chassis 35 and 36, while the 37th Polo R WRC which is yet to be build, will be Sebastien Ogier's car for next seasons opening rally, that is Rally Monte-Carlo. The teams preparations for the 2017 season has been affected by testing regulations, which only allows 42 days of testing, because the car is an evolution of current WRC model and not a completely new machine.

Demaison further said,"This is the reason why we are doing all of this year's pre-event tests with the 2017 car. For sure, this penalises us this year - we saw that a little bit in Poland. All the time, the drivers are coming to me and saying I want to test the 2016 car, but I say to them: 'No, I am a bastard and you know it!'. I have to tell them this otherwise it will be so much more difficult for us next year. It's more important for us to focus on 2017. This year there aren't so many runners and at the moment what we have is just about enough, but next year it's going to be more [competitive] and we have to be ready."

For more news on happenings in the world of rally, subscribe to us on bottom of the page. Until then, Happy Rallying!
Read more ...

Tyres Would Be An Issue For 2017 World Rally Cars

With the new WRC regulation for 2017, the cars are expected to produce more power and in turn there will significance increase in speeds. But the tyres could hold back the cars from reaching its potential speeds. There have been already concerns about increase in speed, but now tyre manufactures for WRC, that is Michelin and DMACK are forced to redesign the tyres for new 2017 cars.


DMACK managing director Dick Cormack said, the increase in power means there will be much higher tyre wear. And if they make changes to tyre to lasts long, it will reduce grip level and limit speeds. Cormack said, "Michelin and us are aware there will be a significant increase in the level of wear, particularly on gravel. That means a compound and possibly even a pattern change to deal with that. If we increase the tread width, that will give the tyre more life, but at the same time you really need to reduce the gap between the tread blocks and inevitably that's going to reduce the grip."

Dick Cormack fears that it will make it even tougher for championship leader who will open the road. He further said, "On a clean line the drivers will still get compound grip, but for the driver first on the road, it looks like there could be even less grip next year." The new rule about limiting a driver to use only one set of tyres for each day of WRC round has also been discussed, but Cormack was not happy about that. He said, "There's a difference between the endurance side of this sport and world championship rallying. The WRC is about going as fast as you can on every stage and running one set per day would really compromise that. These cars cost £450,000 each and the topic of conversations is about saving £250 on a tyre - it doesn't seem to make sense."

So there are few issues to be met with before 2017 cars hit the roads, will these be sorted out? Lets wait and watch. For more news on happenings in the world of rally, subscribe to us on bottom of the page. Until then, Happy Rallying!
Read more ...

Ralfs Sirmacis Wins Rally Estonia After Alexey Lukyanuk Faltered

Ralf Sirmacis has won auto24 Rally Estonia, sixth round of FIA European Rally Championship. He also becomes the first two time rally winner of 2016 season. Alexey Lukyanuk had a healthy lead till the penultimate stage, but he crashed out after a nasty landing from a jump.


Rally kicked off with the short city stage Tartu city. Right from the beginning Lukyanuk was in control of the rally. On the first leg he won handful of stages and was leading by 20.1 seconds. Sirmacis too kept up the pace in his Skoda R5 machine and was always close behind the Russian. Kajetan Kajetanowicz was in third a long way back 1 min 29.9 seconds behind the leader.

In the second leg Lukyanuk was in a mood to win. He won all three stages in the morning loop and extended his lead 27.9 seconds. He kept up his pace in the afternoon loop as well. But in the penultimate stage he took a jump slightly wrong and landed heavily, which broke his steering and then ended up hitting a tree. This handed over the lead to Sirmacis who was the only driver matching the pace of Russian. Later Sirmacis finished with a flourish by winning last two stages and won the rally by a big margin of 1 min 34.5 seconds. Kajetanowicz finished second in his Fiesta R5. Estonian Rainer Aus finished in an impressive third in his ERC2 spec Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, second time in a row in two years. Another Estonian Raul Jeets finished fourth driving a Fabia R5. Jarosław Kołtun was in fifth in his Fiesta R5 ahead of his fellow Polish driver Łukasz Habaj. 

Rainer Aus took ERC2 victory as he finished third in overall standings. Estonian driver Miko-Ove Niinemäe won the ERC juniour in his home rally. Driving a Peugeot 208 VTi R2 he won by39.8 seconds. He also finished in seventh in overall standings. Takamoto Katsuta and Hiroki Arai, ERC debutants from Tommi Makinen Racing, crashed and could'nt finish the rally. 

                                    Overall Classification
Pos.No.
Driver / Co-driver
Vehicle
Pos.SS time
Penalty
Total timeDiff.Leader
Diff.Prev.
13
LVA

1
Sirmacis Ralfs / Kulšs Māris 
Škoda Fabia R5 
RC2
1
01:44:16.201:44:16.200:00:00.0
00:00:00.0
21
POL

2
Kajetanowicz K. / Baran Jarosław 
Ford Fiesta R5 
RC2
2
01:45:40.7
00:00:20.0
01:46:00.700:01:44.5
00:01:44.5
315
EST

3
Aus Rainer / Koskinen Simo 
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX 
RC2
3
01:48:01.001:48:01.000:03:44.8
00:02:00.3
46
EST

4
Jeets Raul / Toom Andrus 
Škoda Fabia R5 
RC2
4
01:48:19.601:48:19.600:04:03.4
00:00:18.6
55
POL

5
Kołtun J. / Pleskot I. 
Ford Fiesta R5 
RC2
5
01:49:18.501:49:18.500:05:02.3
00:00:58.9
611
POL

6
Habaj Łukasz / Woś Piotr 
Ford Fiesta R5 
RC2
6
01:52:23.801:52:23.800:08:07.6
00:03:05.3
728
EST

7
Niinemäe M. / Valter Martin 
Peugeot 208 R2 
RC4
1
01:54:52.201:54:52.200:10:36.0
00:02:28.4
834
RUS

8
Mikhailov A. / Kokins Normunds 
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X 
RC2
7
01:55:06.5
00:00:10.0
01:55:16.500:11:00.3
00:00:24.3
923
DEU

9
Griebel Marijan / Winklhofer P. 
Opel Adam R2 
RC4
2
01:55:32.001:55:32.000:11:15.8
00:00:15.5
1021
GBR

10
Ingram Chris / Edmondson E. 
Opel Adam R2 
RC4
3
01:55:36.701:55:36.700:11:20.5
00:00:04.7

For more news on happenings in the world of rally, subscribe to us on bottom of the page. Until then, Happy Rallying!
Read more ...

Dani Sordo To Miss Rally Finland Due To Injury

Dani Sordo will miss Rally Finland due to an injury caused during pre-event testing. Hyundai has confirmed that Kevin Abbring will be the replacement for the Spaniard for the Jyväskylä based event. Hyundai team principal Michel Nandan confirmed that the decision has been taken in order to allow Dani Sordo to recover fully for Rally Germany. Which is Sordo's strong rally and also his only WRC rally victory.


Hyundai team boss Michel Nandan said, "Dani is recovering well from his injury and is making good progress. However, it is important that he recovers fully so we have made the mutual decision for him to miss Rally Finland. This will allow him to be at his best for Rallye Deutschland in mid-August. Kevin will take over the #20 car for this event and will join our rescheduled pre-event test next week alongside Thierry [Neuville] and Hayden [Paddon]."

Sordo crashed during the pre event testing for Rally Finland. Suspension arm of i20 broke after a high speed landing in Finland last week. Sordo and his co driver Marc Marti were hospitalised and were released the next day. Marc Marti did not suffer any injuries, where as Sordo fractured his vertebrae. Nandan said that the failed parts have been investigated and had been worked on. Nandan added, "The specific parts are under investigation and we have already taken steps to ensure there will be no repeat of the issue."

This is the second time Kevin Abbring has replaced Sordo. It will be also competetive debut for Abbring in the new generation i20 WRC. So far he was using the old car for his WRC outings.

For more news on happenings in the world of rally, subscribe to us on bottom of the page. Until then, Happy Rallying!


Read more ...

All-time Top 5 +NEWS