Honda returns to Dakar in 2013 : Team HRC

© Honda.

It was way back in 1989 the last year that a Honda's Factory Racing Team had participated in the Dakar rally, that too in the original route of Paris-Dakar. After 23 years of long absence in the world's toughest raid, the Japanese motorcycle giant is set to end the trend in next years 2013 Dakar rally by returning to competition at the hand of Team HRC.

The factory team will be piloted by Portuguese Helder Rodrigues, who finished third in the Dakar this year, accompanied by Brazilian Felipe Zanol, Britain's Sam Sunderland, and Argentine Javier Pizzolito, riding the prototype developed and produced at the Center for Research and Development of Motorcycles , Honda R & D. This prototype is based on the CRF450X, will also be developing a multi-piece kit for the CRF450X model and will be made available for a limited number of teams.

"The Dakar requires participants to travel several hundred kilometers every day for over two weeks. It requires a completely different type of vehicle used in other competitions such as motocross , trials and road tests. Honda has devoted an extraordinary effort to design and build a powerful machine and winning. Our goal is the championship from this very first year. " says Tetsuo Suzuki, Senior Managing Officer & Director, Chief Operating Officer, Motorcycle R & D Center, Honda R & D Co., Ltd.

We hope that other motocycle manufacturers too join the competition at the world's tough & best rally!

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Atko returns to WRC for Rally Finland!

Chris Atkinson, former Subaru WRT's driver & reigning APRC Champion driver from Australia is all set to return to WRC circuits again for Neste Oil Rally Finland.

Atkinson, 'Akto' as he lovingly referred by the motorsports fraternity is staging a comeback in Nasser's Qatar World Rally Team for the Finnish stages. This will be his third outing in a WRC event & WRC car since Subaru's exit in 2008. He had driven a Citroen C4 WRC in Rally Ireland & Monster WRT's Ford Fiesta WRC in Rally Mexico earlier this year.

Atko's brief stint at the wheel of Citroen C4 WRC at Rally Ireland, in which he finished overall 5th had made a very good impression with the Citroen Racing team. They were in good terms with the potential driver Atko since then, and they offered him a drive in the customer team colors. As Qatar WRT car was available since Nasser is competing in the Olympics, Citroen team offered to lease it out to Atko. He say's, "Competing in the best rally in the championship in the best World Rally Car is a superb opportunity and I can’t wait to test the car to share my feeling for it with the team and give them my initial feedback." He is also positive about a strong result on the 'f1 on gravel stages' rally. He will be co-driven by Belgian's Stephan Prevot.

We wish him the best of luck!
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FIA European Truck Racing Championship 2012, R5 - Donington

The fifth round of FIA European Truck Racing Championship concluded at Donington Park last weekend!

Below are the videos of the event.

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FIA confirms EBU as WRC official TV media

In a press release on 29th of June, FIA officially announced European Broadcasting Union to continue as the official filming and broadcasting for the rest of the season.

It also says that EBU will continue to film and produce the content in HD for the entire season via its subsidiary Eurovision Production Coordination, while the EBU will work on the distribution services across the globe to reach out to 120 countries.

So does this mean that the WRC really reaches out to the very nook-and-corners of global audience or does it just show the screen below!?

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Mughal Rally : One more soul from Motorsports lost!

Mughal Rally is one of the most toughest rally-raid event, that is held at the world's highest motorable roads. It has both the elements of the most Beauty and the Beast.

In this year's the 3rd of its annual series Rally-Raid event that concluded yesterday 01st July 2012, claimed a life of one competing driver Jatinder Shukla in a night section, and his co-driver Ashish Mahajan is in critical condition and shifted to the Hospital!

The deceased driver was no new to this terrain, as he had prior experience in such terrains while he competed in Raid-de-Himalaya in the previous years. The accident occured when he reportedly went off in an hairpin bend, many hundreds of feet down the cliff while coming downhill from Sinthan Pass in Ananthnag District, in the State of Jammu & Kashmir, India. This place is among the most hostile terrain found on earth, being at an approx.12,500 ft altitude [MSL], which always pushes the adventure minded people to their limits. Unfortunately it has claimed a few souls too! More reports of the entire event will be published soon.

May his Soul Rest in Peace!

Please care to leave a memmento here 
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Tragedy: Italian motorcycle rider Andrea Brunod killed in Baja Rally

Yet another tragic incident shook the world of motorsports, a few hours from now Italian motorcycle rider Andrea Brunod was killed on the spot when he lost control of his bike in SS4 in Baja Carpathia, Poland.

According to the local police, after arriving at the spot to assist the fallen rider and also by inspection they came to a conclusion that he lost control of his bike which eventually went off the road and hit a tree. The impact is considered very immense and the rider has succumbed to his fatal injuries on the spot. Doctors who rushed to the spot tried to resuscitate the injured Andrea, but had already passed away. 

He was aged 41. Rest in Peace Champ!

Please care to leave a flower here at memmento!
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Two Major crashes at X-Games leaves most drivers skeptical!

In the past two days & with two major crashes, of first the Toomas Heikkinen's Fiesta onto the landing ramp and yesterday Marcus Gronholm's crash into a concrete structure after landing the jump, has left many other drivers who are lined up for the competition thinking twice! They are doubtful on the safety part of the track, especially the Gap Jump.

Here is a clip of the Topi's Fiesta crashing onto the landing ramp. However Topi only suffered a fractured ankle in this crash, whereas the car took much of the beating.

In Gronholm's case the front suspension of the car broke after landing the 'great' jump and he went sliding and hit a concrete structure on the driver's side. The car spun & came to a sudden halt after the impact knocking the driver unconscious due to the impact. It was severe, no less than Topi's crash.

[For this moment only this video available from a fan who recorded off his tv.]

Marcus had to be pulled out cutting opening the top off. He was shifted onto a stretcher and moved to Hospital in an unconscious condition, later told by the Ford Racing team that he is awake and out of danger.

Wishing the duo a faster & full recovery!

Now coming to the construction of the Gap Jump ramp, the question is on the safety and design aspects of the structure. We all saw a impact padding that was present in the previous round 17, which was absent here. It would have minimised atleast Topi's impact for sure, if not for Gronholm's! Hope the ramp design engineers correct any error or take preventive measures further and not stick to the seats claiming it to be perfect and putting the blame onto the drivers and teams!

However the ERT were pretty quick in assisting the crashed cars & drivers.

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