FIA - APRC | 2012 - Round 5 | Rally Hokkaido

APRC, 2012 season, Rally Hokkaido which concluded last month. Here is an exclusive video telecasted by Motors TV.

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FIA - IRC, 54° Rallye Sanremo - 2012 | Day 1, with mid-Day 2 updates

Since the opening stage, the Italian, Giandomenico Basso has maintained the overall top position till the end of Day 1 in his Ford Fiesta S2000. Celebrated and most watched pilot from Finland, Juho Hanninen however was not so lucky with the earlier stage times, and at SS4 he had a terrible off which happened him to land his car on to a roof top of a small building lying low and close to the stage/road. As he had expressed that the Italians in their homeland rally will be hard to compete, proved mostly right. His team-mate, Czech, Jan Kopecky was fortunate enough to complete the day 1 without much drama & sits in overall 2nd. Another Italian, Alessandro Perico in his Peugeot 207 S2000 car has taken the 3rd place after SS4.

The second day has begun early today, which has a total of three stages run twice, totaling to 118.92 kms. Giandomenico Basso is the leader of the rally since the opening stage, an Italian and knows the stages surely.

Results after SS7.
Driver / Co-driver
Pos.SS time
Total timeDiff.Leader

Basso G. / Dotta Mitia 
Ford Fiesta S2000 

Kopecký Jan / Dresler Pavel 
Škoda Fabia S2000 

Perico A. / Carrara F. 
Peugeot 207 S2000 

Albertini S. / Scattolin S. 
Peugeot 207 S2000 

Andreucci Paolo / Andreussi Anna 
Peugeot 207 S2000 
Results courtesy

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Rally Sanremo | IRC - 2012 | Shakedown

So 'Skoda Motorsport' did show up this time.on the 12 round of IRC series, Rally Sanremo. With their two top drivers Juho Hanninen & Jan Kopecky piloting them, against the local Italian teams. It was a fantastic feeling to watch the competition building the way it should be, after all that is what makes any series interesting and exciting.

Below are the videos from the shakedown and from Skoda Motorsport team driver's short interview before the unfolding of the event. It is also nice to see the new 208 R2 competing at Sanremo, can't wait for the S2000 series car.

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In an interesting development for the next season's WRC driver/crew line-up, Kris Meeke was found testing Citroen DS3 WRC recently. With the Loeb's full-time exit for the coming season, it becomes very obvious for us to start guessing, hence probably also creating waves in the still waters of the top level rally sport.

It is probably nice too, else the sport was becoming a little boring with only one person keep on winning and nothing new was happening. Maybe he too was feeling it, and might have decided to take a break or a different flavour of this sports has to offer. Whatever it is, the news is that there are a lot of young, energetic & capable boys who can make the difference & bring in the good old charm of fighting spirit to the stages. Now with the 2013 season's promoters too been set by the FIA rallycom team, the funding issue has definitely vanished. Atleast that is what we hope and wish for!

Below is the video of this young Brit has to show off and learn for himself of this new car. Hope it helps him perform better if not less. Dani Sordo too had tested & driven the other two makes in the WRC rallies previous this year, but that looks like it affected his pace in his Mini Countryman in later rallies.

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Raid de Himalaya - 2012 | Midway from finish..

The battle for survival on the toughest rally-raid event of 14th Raid de Himalaya is getting tougher by every hour on the stages. Title contenders are fighting with all their vigour, yet keeping their machines in one piece to finish each leg at this battle against attrition.

Yet, this event does takes its share of retirements year after year, without a miss. There are many factors that lead to this rate of attrition, like human/machine fatigue as the event goes higher and higher, leads to thinning of air. The temperature drops drastically with the altitude, and is always welcomed with snow/ice on the Khardung La.

The roads are covered with black-ice at dark/shady road patches & even at some sunny parts. The gravel is nothing short of the word 'brutal', and better not talk about the landslides & cliff-drop lined roads the rally passes. In short, it is not an event for the faint-hearted!!

On second day, Amittrajit Ghosh [Sunny] dropped out, due to mechanical failure, drive shafts to be precise. He was 5th overall, and with reach with the leader Harpreet Sing Bawa, with just 3mins adrift. For regular rally, it may sound big, but for rally-raid it is pretty minute and is achievable. At the end of day 3, Rana had snatched the lead with over 2mins to his closest rival Mishra, while Ahluwalia & Bawa slipped to 3rd and 4th. Indian Army entry Pande is at 5th overall, and the lone factory XUV is at 16th with Lohit Urs behind the wheel. Tata's too had its only Xenon at 23rd position with Mughal Raja at the wheel.

In the two/quad wheeled, the
experienced and twice winner in class, Chethan Ganapathy too retired by day 2. Finishing last on day 1, was quite dramatic for this veteran rider. The rally leader on two wheels and title defender, Austria's Helmut Frauwallner had his share of bitter experience on day 2, [despite his lead on day 1] after a bad fall & loosing his position to Indian MX rider champ, C.S.Santhosh. Although Santhosh too had his share of a bad fall, but he was quite quick in recovering from it. Maybe, his younger body was an advantage to the 50+year old Helmut. All these tossing & falling, happened over the infamous black-ice. The is still big/short at 5mins from Helmut for Santhosh.

Here are the interim-results of the first 3 days. Day 1Day 2, Day 3.

Special thanks to Manan & Ranvir for sharing their photos/video.
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A Review | 38th K1000 Rally | FMSCI INRC - 2012

Driver & co-driver, Lohitt Urs, Sujith Kumar won the 38th K1000 Rally with a comfortable margin of nearly 36s to the closest & second placed duo, [driver] Amittrajit Ghosh & [co-driver] Ashwin Naik. Karna Kadur with his co-driver Somonitha Ghosh were nearly a minute behind the rally leader & finished third overall.

In the 1600cc category of the Indian National Rally Championship, Aditya S and co-driver Kariyappa KB managed to brush aside the challenge from other known names clocking 1: 32: 47.1 to lead the class. They were placed 8th overall. Siddharth Ragnekar and Nitin Jacob (1: 32:39.6) were following them in second place with Prakyat H Shirole and SM Bharath in third and overall 10th. They clocked 1: 34: 58.8.

Vikram Rao Aroor/ Anoop Kumar DS pair became the first casuality followed by Sriharsha/Udaykumar, Sirish Chandran/ Nikhil Pai, Chetan Shivaram/ Rupesh Kholay and four other cars. INRC 2000N class saw 13 cars while 1600cc had 14 and Junior INRC has 12 to make it 41 on the start list. In all, 16 cars failed to finish the day.

Young talented teenager Dean Mascarenhas along with navigator Shruptha Padiwal of Mangalore beat more experienced drivers to take a comfortable lead of over 2 minutes and are assured of their second K-1000 win. Placed second in the Esteem Junior INRC category are Karan AM (co-driver Shanmuga SM) and behind them Vineet Tom Vincent and Sob George are in third.

IRC: Zuhin A / Musa Sherif 1 (1hr, 24mins, 34.6secs).

INRC (2000cc): Lohitt Urs / Sujith Kumar 1 (01:22:45.4); Amittrajit Ghosh / Ashwin Naik 2 (01:23:16.6); Karna Kadur / Somonita Ghosh 3 (01:23:49.2).

INRC (1600cc): Aditya S / Kariappa KB 1 (01:32:47.1); Siddharth Ranganeskar / Nitin Jacob 2 (01:32:59.6); Prakhyat H Shirole / SM Bharath 3 (01:34:58.8).

Junior INRC: Dean Mascarenhas / Shruptha Padiwal 1 (01:27:10.1); Karan AM / Shanmuga SM 2 (01:30:04.0); Vineet Tom Vincent / Sob George 3 (01:34:42.0).

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IRC - 2012 | Rallye SanRemo | Italy

In the next couple of days, the twelfth round of the IRC season 2012 flags will be flagged off from Coldirodi town in Italy. In this rally too, the championship toppers are missing their entry and almost all of the competition is from the home country, with just a couple of entries from Swiss, each in S2000 & 2WD. Just a couple of S2000 Peugeot 207's are in the top level competition and the rest in the 2WD. All in all about 35 cars in the entry list. 

The roads are mostly like in other European region, but more tricky, narrow and with blind corners. They tend to climb & descend more rapidly than other places, and surface could also turn inconsistent in grip levels due to a lot of corner cutting.

The event is spread across two days, ie., on Friday, Day 1, there are 4 stages to tackle where the first stage, first car starts at around 2.30pm & hence finishes the event in night, which also makes it interesting. The second day, six more stages starts from early morning and quickly ends at late noon.

More details can be found in the official site here.
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It is raining Loeb again!! | WRC | Rallye de France


Loeb took the win since this morning, with a comfortable time & was in no hurry to make any mistakes [yet still had a small one]. His win was almost predictable since the end of Day 2 & he proved that he is the fastest, yet super consistent driver in WRC rallies.

The brave Latvala who put up a strong fight couldn't match the pace of the rally leader since Day 2 & was trailing him by 30s or more. In the final day, when Loeb had an off & also when he was just keeping the cool to put the car across the finish line, Latvala made up nearly 15s, but was not quite enough. Mikko settled to his consistency drive & secured the final podium. Thierry Neuville was the star of the rally & made excellent pace in the final day & also secured the bonus 2 points from the power stage, Ott Tanak takes the maximum 3, and Mads Ostberg the remaining 1 point.

With the official announcement of Loeb/Elena pair's going off the mainstream competition, we really think that it would have been nice if they had decided to stick around for one more year & taken their 10th title in style. Since the decision is made & even if they manage to win half the total number of rallies they would enter, it will be proven what they really have it in them to be the champion. With Ogier driving the VW Polo R WRC for the coming season, the excitement & action will be as high as now, but that will be possible if he manages Loeb's consistency, but he has got terrific pace 'for sure'! It also opens the opportunity to the younger brats, like Latvala, Neuville, Tanak, who want to make their mark in this superb sport, the next-gen rally heroes to be watched out for!

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WRC - 2012 | Loeb unbeatable - Latvala | France, Day 3

Day 3 was perhaps the most action packed rally day for French round of WRC, as there were multiple accidents/off and also involving injuries. Nasser-Al-Attiyah had the bitter one where his car veered off the road onto unsuspecting spectators thereby two of the fans sustaining major injuries but fortunately nothing fatal. Petter's exit was rather spectacular, but personally feel it was not wise, also definitely feel the spectators were nothing short of luck as this accident was really a chain reaction of incidents. If only he had slowed down, not only that he would have been still been in the competition, but also more appreciated rather than what he actually did. Myself a big fan of Petter and always cheered for him, but strictly not this time.., but would definitely called it fortunate nothing big happened.

But it was this man, as usual, the unstoppable & is in his traditional ~30s lead as always from his closest rival, Sebastien Loeb. Loeb however had an off on today's [Day 4] opening stage where he  lost nearly 15s due to it, and as usual, no damages to car. Thierry Neuville comes out fastest in this SS17 and moves up to 5th overall passing Sordo by just 0.6s adrift.

If Loeb, [I think he will] wins this rally he will secure the 9th title. I too feel he stays for complete 2013 and takes on the real heat of the competition with Ogier on Polo, his main challenger & if he wins, then WRC will definitely become the must watch by the mainstream in the international motorsport community.

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Day 2 : Highlights

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