FIA - APRC | Season 2012 - Final Showdown | China Rally

After day 1 dominance, Team MRF driver Gaurav Gill exited on the first stage of day 2 due to terminal engine failure, which was also his third series DNF this season in the all-new Skoda Fabia S2000 rally car. His team-mate and championship leading driver Chris Atkinson, did finish the rally in the second position and winning the championship in style in his Team MRF Tyres's Skoda Fabia S2000, along with the Team Title for MRF & Manufacturer's Title for Skoda.

Team Proton Motorsports drivers, Alister McRae won the event after Gill's exit & Juha Salo also finished on the third place bagging considerable points for the Manufacturer & for themselves, but was not enough to snatch the Driver's & Manufacturer title. New Zealander, Brian Green was the only driver who finished the season with no DNF's. Karamjit Singh in his Proton R3 won the 2WD championship for the second season in a row, also Akira Mamba & Kennoth Koh finished 2nd & 3rd to take home the 1-2-3 finish for the Proton R3 championship. Also it was celebration for the All-Indian team driver Sanjay Takle with his co-driver Musa Sherif to take home the A6 class win in their Proton Satria.

Below are the couple of action clips of the event.

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China Rally | APRC - Round 6 | Update

Pre-event Interviews & Preview of the China Rally, the last leg of the championship. On the first day, the SSS, Gaurav Gill tops.

1. Gill 1:39.7
2. Sumiyama 1:41.5
3. Atkinson 1.41.9
4. Salo 1:42.2
5. McRae 1:43.5

The event is the longest running rally racing in the country & is continuously held since 1997. Initial two events was contending event for the WRC and on 1999 the rally was on the WRC calendar. Later on since 2000, it is seen in the APRC calendar, with an off after 'Force majeure because of government' in 2003.
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Volkswagen Unveils TAIGUN | A Concept Crossover

Volkswagen, the world's largest 'Das Auto' maker unveils a compact cross over called Taigun at São Paulo International Motor Show in Brazil yesterday. Taigun, the name itself sounds strange and more Korean/Japanese/Indonesian at the first, and also the name is shared with a famous Japanese restaurant in Colorado. But that doesn't mean the name is lifted from there or otherwise, but definitely not sounding German!

Nomenclature apart, the new cross-over is powered by a tiny 1.0 liter 3 pot, but it is a direct injection and turbo-charged petrol engine which churns out 108 PS of power with 175 NM of torque with the tach needle is just at 1500. It is not just the power that is awesomely done, but this little monster also has an average over 20 KM / Liter of gasoline. This is possible with the very light overall weight of the vehicle of just 985 KGs.  The dimensions are 3.859 Meters long, 1.728 Meters wide and 1.570 Meters tall, and a wheelbase of 2,470 Meters. Its four door is meant for seating 4 people, with a lid at the rear for some luggage [which VW claims is actually bigger than in Golf]. It is claimed of a top speed of 186 KMPH, and 0-100 at 9.2 Seconds.

The tiny beast is a little smaller than the Golf, but looks really huge with the designing. VW plans to put this onto production only if it appeals to the buying lot, after the Motor Show. Hope it does sails ahead, as the spec is a definitely good for practical usage, with both performance & economy packed in the small family wagon and also sets its uniquely carved foot onto Indian soil too.

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FIA - APRC | China Rally - 2012 | Round 6

The final round of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship is just around the weekend, on treacherous & rough stages in China. Team MRF & Proton Motorsports will be at their full attack to make most of the left out of this tiny, yet the only championship for the AP region.

China Rally has been featured from the past two seasons & continues to enjoy its stay in the championship. Team MRF's & Indian driver Gaurav Gill had an off in the 2010's event and had to retire, eventually losing the championship to his team mate, Katsu Taguchi.

More updates to follow soon, until then enjoy this little clip from the yester year's actions.

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Mikko Wins - Rally d'Italia Sardegna | FIA WRC - 2012

After 4 gruelling days of the Italian test of 12th round in this season of WRC, Mikko takes his first win in the penultimate round of the championship, young Russian, Evgeny Novikov takes his best ever finish with a second on the podium & finally the younger Estonian, Ott tanak makes it to the podium finish in nearly after an year behind the WRC car, Ford Fiesta.

All the offroaders [retirements] happened on the second day of the event with Loeb starting the series.

A small clip of rally winner Mikko's drive..

Russian's revenge, Evgeny's ride..

Finally, our sweet Estonian pacing drive..

The top 3 from day 3 did finish with their positions after a careful drive in the last two stages, but the last stage, being the Power Stage was won by Ford's Petter Solberg & Latvala, and final point was snatched by the Qatar WRT's driver Thierry Neuville.
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WRC - 2012 | Rally d'Italia Sardegna - Day 2


Loeb, Latvala & Petter is out! In the very second day of the 4 day of Rally Sardenia, Top players, except our Mr.Consistent [Mikko] retained the top position with a very comfortable over a minute lead from the new chasers Novikov & Tanak in 2nd & 3rd overall. Seb.Ogier wins a stage too [SS5] :)


Loeb exited after an off in the opening stage[SS3] of the day, Latvala in the SS4 & Petter in SS7.

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Loeb Leads | Rally Italia - Day 1| WRC - 2012

Despite Latvala's blistering pace early today at the qualifier, Loeb manages to snatch the lead. In the opening stage, the Ford's were a bit slower to the Citroen's. The next stage was a bit better for Petter as he managed a promising pace and climbed to overall 3rd, while Mr.Consistent, Mikko is in 2nd, just 1.1s adrift the rally leader. Thierry Neuville makes up to 4th overall and Mads Ostberg drops to 5th.

It will be interesting to follow tomorrow's action. Until then, watch this beautiful video from Day 1 - opening 2 stages...

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Rally Italia Sardegna - 2012 | FIA WRC - Round 12

The penultimate round of the WRC season 2012 takes the start late noon tomorrow at the Terranova stage, which is 28.14kms and will be repeated after regrouping. The 12th round of the championship, just after the driver's & constructor's title had been crowned a couple of weekend back in France is being kick started. This year's rally is co-sponsored by VW, who are providing their vehicles as official cars for the event.

The rally hosts in a superbly scenic location of the Island of Sardegna, Italy. It has most all the features of most of the gravel rally hosts in WRC, sharp climbing/descending, twisty roads, water splashes, flat-out sections and most importantly that iconic jump called the "Mickey's jump" at the special stage Monte Lerno, which is opening and closing stage for day 2.

The rally spans to 4 days of action packed series with a total of 16 special stages totaling to 306.04kms, the last being the Power Stage which is 8.24kms. The surface is mostly sandy, which can become rutted in a few sections after each pass making it even more exciting to watch the drivers fighting for the line and trying to carry the speed in and out of the corners. There will be atleast 12 WRC cars fighting for the win, with other 31 cars competiting in the PWRC, SWRC & other categories.

Last year, Latvala had one high speed crash, which left his car limping to finish the very first stage of the rally to make it to the finish. But had to retire due to bad damage to the suspension, and he super-rallied next day onwards. Loeb had taken the win here, Mikko taking the second and the then privateer Petter Solberg had made it to the final podium place for third. Honestly, Petter with his PSWRT was in better form than he is doing right now, only wished if he had cracked the code to follow similar lines this season too.

Here is a video from the last year's action.

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FIA WRC | Season 2013 | Back to Square One!

Season 2013 looks duller, as the news spread the paddocks of the WRC teams, with the announcement of both the two major manufacturer's exit from the contest from season 2013, the situation seems to be where it had all started.

So this officially leaves just two manufacturer's to fight for the title, also with Citroen's entry only after thoughtful and co-sponsored from Abu Dhabi, they too confirmed. And with Loeb's exit, the driver's title winner looks almost certain! Despite this tough times, the two manufacturers' constructors', Prodrive & M-Sport have shown keen interest to keep their business going for & with the privateer teams, despite the lack of major contribution from the manufacturers. However BMW have shown committment for the development of engine going, which will in-turn benefit Prodrive & the customer teams till the homologation ends in 2018. M-Sport has pledged to continue participating as a independent outfit, with support to its customers in this league & others.

I was quite sure about the Mini's exit! Ever since the opening round of this season in Monte, things were pretty suspicious, starting with the driver's line up itself. But after they ousted even Daniel Sordo for few rounds and handing over the keys to the lesser mortals, actually hinted what was about to come. However, in the case of Ford, atleast they could have hold onto the coming season, as Loeb had decided to take a break. But they didn't! Why? Did they see the competition revving at the VW stable with the other Seb? Hmm, could be! Also they had lost their Mr.Consistent driver to the rival after last season, and the existing two turning not very successful. It looks like a wise decision made to safeguard the draining funds without expected results, especially in the current global financial conditions.

For sure, the economic conditions in Europe is yet to recover from the turmoil after the crunch, which is self explanatory of the decision by these two biggies. Hyundai's effort & committment in 2014 season, (& onwards?) looks okayish, but again then its still going to be a trio fight (again if Citroen stays)... I know thinking too much into future will makes it dull & scary, so lets leave it to the time to tell the tale!! Hope things get better!
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Felix Baumgartner's Supersonic Free Fall Skydiving | Red Bull

Here is to the man who did it, a never tried before and the new two world records for the highest helium balloon flight and the highest freefall sky diving in the history of mankind. With the help of Red Bull, ofcourse. Amazing!!

After flying to an altitude of 39,045 meters (128,100 feet) in a helium-filled balloon, Felix Baumgartner completed a record breaking jump for the ages from the edge of space, exactly 65 years after Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier flying in an experimental rocket-powered airplane. Felix reached a maximum of speed of 1,342.8 km/h (833mph) through the near vacuum of the stratosphere before being slowed by the atmosphere later during his 4:20 minute long freefall. The 43-year-old Austrian skydiving expert also broke two other world records (highest freefall, highest manned balloon flight), leaving the one for the longest freefall to project mentor Col. Joe Kittinger.

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14th Raid de Himalaya - 2012 | Concludes with a high note..

14th edition of Raid de Himalaya concluded and again dominated by Suresh Rana, who bagged 8th consecutive title to his kitty bag with 15m36s from the nearest second. He had started with his long term serving Maruti Suzuki Gypsy since the first time until last year. However this time Maruti Suzuki entered officially as a team and took this undefeated champion, gave him a factory backed, much better machine, Grand Vitara. The result was obvious, as nobody probably has cracked the code of how to win the mighty Himalayas as this guy can.

Second place was taken by Amanpreet Ahluwalia from Delhi, 3rd place taken by Indian Army Team Lt.Col.Shakti Bajaj.

In the X-TREME [Motorcycles and Quads], CS Santosh in his Honda CRF won the event to the second placed, Austrian, Helmut Frauwallner The 3rd place was taken by Quad driver Raj Singh Rathore in his factory backed Polaris ATV.


The TSD Adventure was won by K Prasad in the factory Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara, second place was taken by Satish Gopalkrishnan and third place by Jagmeet Gil.


The ADVENTURE [Cars – Class I] was won by Mahesh Kumar, in 2nd Siddhartha Singh finished ahead of, 3rd placed Chetan Joshi.

A wonderful video of one of leg is here below for you to enjoy.

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The Race | 2012 IRC | Rallye Sanremo

The penultimate Italian round of the 2012 IRC season's Rallye Sanremo finished with the much obvious results at G.Basso on the top of the podium, with J.Kopecky taking second and another Italian A.Perico finishing on the 3rd place.

Perhaps if J.Hanninen had survived through the first day, then the fight would have been even more intense, but it was this way.

Top results are below.
Pos.No.
Driver / Co-driver
Vehicle
Pos.SS time
Penalty
Total timeDiff.Leader
Diff.Prev.
12
ITA

1
Basso G. / Dotta Mitia 
Ford Fiesta S2000 
2
1
02:19:03.602:19:03.600:00:00.0
00:00:00.0
25
CZE

2
Kopecký Jan / Dresler Pavel 
Škoda Fabia S2000 
2
2
02:19:39.302:19:39.300:00:35.7
00:00:35.7
39
ITA

3
Perico A. / Carrara F. 
Peugeot 207 S2000 
2
3
02:21:17.302:21:17.300:02:13.7
00:01:38.0
48
ITA

4
Albertini S. / Scattolin S. 
Peugeot 207 S2000 
2
4
02:22:11.902:22:11.900:03:08.3
00:00:54.6
53
ITA

5
Andreucci Paolo / Andreussi Anna 
Peugeot 207 S2000 
2
5
02:22:49.1
00:00:10.0
02:22:59.100:03:55.5
00:00:47.2
Results courtesy irc-results.com

The Day 2 TV broadcast of the event is below with more additional videos.

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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.
Pos.No.
Driver / Co-driver
Vehicle
Pos.SS time
Penalty
Total timeDiff.Leader
Diff.Prev.
12
ITA

1
Basso G. / Dotta Mitia 
Ford Fiesta S2000 
2
1
01:38:50.201:38:50.200:00:00.0
00:00:00.0
25
CZE

2
Kopecký Jan / Dresler Pavel 
Škoda Fabia S2000 
2
2
01:39:42.801:39:42.800:00:52.6
00:00:52.6
39
ITA

3
Perico A. / Carrara F. 
Peugeot 207 S2000 
2
3
01:40:19.101:40:19.100:01:28.9
00:00:36.3
48
ITA

4
Albertini S. / Scattolin S. 
Peugeot 207 S2000 
2
4
01:40:45.701:40:45.700:01:55.5
00:00:26.6
53
ITA

6
Andreucci Paolo / Andreussi Anna 
Peugeot 207 S2000 
2
5
01:41:29.9
00:00:10.0
01:41:39.900:02:49.7
00:00:54.2
Results courtesy irc-results.com


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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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