Rally Estonia : The WINNERS!!

Rally Estonia concludes in style!

Ford WRC team's driver Norwegian Mads Ostberg wins the rally ahead of Citroen WRT Junior team's, the Belgian Thierry Neuville takes the second spot trailing with a difference of 23+seconds to the rally leader.  Georg Gross in another Ford Fiesta WRC takes the final podium spot, however Ford Fiesta WRC's customer Martin Prokop finishes in 4th place.

In Historic class, the result was obviously the top driver of Ford WRC team's Jari-Matti Latvala who is thrilled with his win and is even more excited for his homeland's WRC round Neste Oil Rally Finland.

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Andreas Mikkelsen wins Sibiu Rally Romania [IRC Series]

Skoda Motorsports S2000 attack's ace driver Norwegian A.Mikkelsen and compatriot navigator Ola Floene wins the eight round of the IRC series of 2012 in style.

The duo started with a miniscule 3.8 seconds in the first stage of the rally and finishes the rally with a huge 5 minutes+ ahead of the seconding Patrik Flodin who was struck by a puncture on SS2 and went down to 45th overall only to regain the second at the end with 5minutes+ behind the leader. Frenchman Francois Delecour is in the third, who suffered damper failures and still managed to make it to the podium with around 11minutes+ to the leader.

More reports updated here!
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Rally Estonia 2012 : Historic Cars

In an interesting rally around Estonian countryside were some historic rally cars competiting and giving the fans hard time to digest the extra-ordinary style in which they are driven and have to be driven.

This part of the rally [historic cars] also had its own stories to tell.. It too had drama unfolding as the end-of-day rally leader, being none other than Ford WRC much celebrated driver, Finnish Jari-Matti Latvala. He is the overnight leader and the leg 2 is scheduled to start in a very few hours!

Day 1 [Latvala] : Here is the story line of the opening day of the rally in his own words.

Shakedown run on Rally Estonia

A lovely day for a drive in the country in your old banger :-)

The gearbox needs to come out :-(

Jari-Matti returns with a box of spare parts loaned by the good men of Galway

A quick conference with the team about what to do....
...and the box gets repaired.

Actually a new clutch actuator fork has been fitted.

This historic stuff is clearly more "hands-on" than we're used to :-)

Mmm, service park historic style!!

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Sibiu Rally Romania 2012 : IRC Series

The IRC series Sibiu Rally Romania 2012 is on the run, and has completed SS 01 & SS 02. SS03 is under progress & A.Mikkelsen has a comfortable lead of over a minute, and his clean run strategy is proving very promising.

Overall, it was a dry, sunny, dusty and hot day for the rally, as expected it to be! Special stage 01 was done with not much drama, other than the slippery loose surface conditions. On SS 02, however there were too many punctures reported by the competition, and it was when they were not expecting it!

More covered here!
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Nissan DeltaWing Racing Car @ Le Mans 2012

In this year's LeMans 24hr Race, we had an wonderful opportunity to see what the innovation at the automotive industry is at the extremity for the racing world. LeMans by itself is a character of its own kind, a bench mark of automotive competition, it provides a real time test bench to the competitors to test their machines against one another.

It was no less for Nissan who were way too ahead amongst others in their futuristic looking DeltaWing Racing Car, which purely and surely looks like it has emerged out of a Concept!

Deltawing was no eyesore to watch this beauty of a machine racing on the track in competition @ LeMans! The Race results too was pretty interesting at the end. However the Hybrid Electrics from Audi surely sweeped the podium, Nissan did gave its competition of what can be expected in the future of racing, especially Formula 1 series, where the manufacturers are against the newly to-be formed 1.6T engine implications in the existing 2.4NA, V8 engines.

DeltaWing concept is a design by Ben Bowlby, combined with Highcroft Racing who combined with financial backing by Chip Ganassi, of Chip Ganassi Racing. Their idea was to create a racing car with half the weight, half the engine size, half the fuel consumption, and half the tire wear with respect to any series LeMans Racing car! It is therefore this car was not put into any Class as it was very different to others.

The name itself is self-explanatory of the looks of the car, a Delta Wing shaped body, which is capable of doing speeds at straights as well through the corners with minimal drag. The front and rear wings are also absent as the much needed downforce is achieved in the underbody design. Only a prominent fin is visible at center of the rear end of car. LeMans is based on twin cockpit design, so a pseudo cockpit is featured too! Overall it was an extraordinary effort put by the american team to compete in the world's high level racing and making it in a 'all new conceptual design car'. Qudos to them!

Here is a video of the launch of the car in mid March this year, months before its debut in LeMans this year. Take a look!

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Fiat's new 500 car : Fiat 500X

For Europeans, It's not a big secret anymore that Fiat is preparing another version of the famous 500, but for the rest of the world markets, it is!  Yes, it is goint to be a relatively small SUV and something about that already told in March.

This wannabe cross-over model as we see in the above picture has a very peculiar design, which is very pretty and attractive. It is going to be a significantly larger car length is estimated at around 4.2 meters compared to the 500XL, a small MUV made available in Europe. It is certainly going to be a great car from the Fiat stable, and we can only wish that it will be made available across the globe, and not specific to European markets.

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A video Tribute to Bohouse Ceplechy!

It was at the Rally Bohemia the 35year old met his end in a horrifying crash on SS3. Bohouse Ceplechy was co-driving / navigating for Martin Semerad [22], who miraculously survived with only a fracture to the collar bone & was air-lifted to the hospital. Ceplechy's injury in the crash was so grievous that he succumbed his last on the spot, despite the effort by the medical rescue who arrived shortly after the incident.

It is understood that Martin lost control of the Mitsubishi Evo [ in which they were competiting ] at a very high speed and ended head-on to the tree [pictured]. The impact was so hard that the car was hardly recognizable.

Motorsports is always dangerous, and such incidents are just a blow on the sporting community & will be ever mourned upon loss of any life, whether on circuits or the stages.

May his soul rest in peace!

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VW Motorsports : Polo R WRC tests on Tarmac [Germany]

More tests were conducted by VW Motorsports at the famous Baumholder roads that are lined up with heinkelsteins that are embedded deep into the earth to stop war tanks from going off road at Germany.

The car VW Polo R WRC looks impressively fast & powerful. It will certainly be a feast to watch them competiting in the coming season 2013.

Until then enjoy these videos!

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FIA's IRC Series, Round 8 - Sibiu Rally [Romania]

Romanian rally started on the IRC listings at the begining of the millenium in 2001. Since then it is one of the most celebrated motorsport event in the country. It kicks off from the cultural city of Transylvania, which has a unique architectural building lining up the city.

On the left is the picture from an earlier event from 2005. Although there are some tarmac sections, the rally is mainly on gravel stretches and it does snow during winter, but rather dusty during summer.

It will again be a close battle on the top order to excel and come out with winning colors, but the local competition cannot be ruled out despite that they might not be able to use those points (if they win) to win the championship. It is also the the 5th round of the national championship series, so the entry is a strong 60+ (including the 0' cars), making the event a longer to run.

On the top order entry list are A.Mikkelsen (Nor), S.Wiegand (Deu), M.Arzeno (Fra), P.Flodin (Swe), F.Delecour (Fra), however G.Basso is not competing in this round of IRC.

Since this is just after a week after the previous gravel round, most of the drivers will be accustomed to the event's conditions and will be fun with watch.

Here is a picture during Mikkelsen's testing for the rally. Just look around at the location... breathtaking to just pass through those roads, and rallying over there will be just dream-come-true many, including me :)

Here is the link for more event specific updates!
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APRC : Malaysia Rally : Wrap Up!

So it turned out the a dramatic weekend at Rally Malaysia, on the top of the podium Alister McRae, Cusco team in second and Team MRF's Chris Aktinson on the third.

More details will be posted here soon!
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