Rally RACC, Spain - 2012 | Day 2 - Update

Loeb took over the top of the mantle after the expected battle over the sealed surface stages that followed from the opening of Day 2. Ostberg who was the leader at the start of the day, went down to 5 position after too many issues with his car and hence losing time in the process. He was complaining of wrong tyre choice & a bad damper setup at the first half of the day, where he had an off on the second stage, the biggest loosing nearly 40s and also a small impact to the armco followed that lost almost the confidence that he had started the day.

Behind the leader, the Ford Ace, Latvala too encashed the opportunity wisely without much drama, and also posted an opening stage win of the day, and making good process later through. Mikko too kept his rhythm to the best and took the third overall after SS12. Ott Tanak had a brilliant drive, and he too bypassed Mads and took to the 4th overall at the final stage, after winning it at the end of the day. If this was the news about the well known regular boys, the newcomers Hans Weijs put up an applaudable in this first outing in a WRC car. He is sitting in overall 6th, though the gap is too big & also it was eventually given to him by the retiree's,.. well thats rally, when he held on the well-known's were falling off!!

The leaderboard after the end of Day 2 was as below,

1.1S. LOEBM3:16:
2.3J. LATVALAM3:16:41.1+27.0+27.0
3.2M. HIRVONENM3:17:28.2+47.1+1:14.1
4.5O. TÄNAKM3:17:42.9+14.7+1:28.8
5.10M. ØSTBERGM3:17:45.5+2.6+1:31.4
6.7H. WEIJSM3:25:17.0+7:31.5+9:02.9
7.22E. NOVIKOV3:29:39.2+4:22.2+13:25.1
8.23J. NIKARA3:29:53.2+14.0+13:39.1
9.12C. ATKINSON3:32:55.5+3:02.3+16:41.4
10.21M. PROKOP3:40:51.8+7:56.3+24:37.7

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Rally RACC, Spain - 2012 | Day 1 - Update

After the opening day of the final round of the WRC season, Mads Ostberg leads the rally by a mere margin of 27.2s to Loeb, who is in the second and Jari-Matti Latvala in third with 47s down the leader. It was an exciting rally for the finishers and dreadful for the retiree's as they had to deal with the gremlins of the dual surface rally, topped up with rain, mud & muck apart from the horrifiying rocks unevenly lining the side of the stages. In the second stage itself there were 3 retirements, with Thierry Neuville, Petter Solberg, & Andreas Mikkelsen perfectly clipping the same rock to knock out the wheels off their respective cars. The retirement drama continued till SS5, while SS6 being just 2kms long within the city did give the safe half of the WRC drivers to a safely finishing the day & bringing their cars to the service park in good shape.

Day 2 & 3 is altogether an asphalt rally & needs a complete changeover from the Day 1's gravel spec to asphalt spec, which is also regulated & has to be done in just 75minutes. So it will be a sleepless night for the service crew as they not only have to change the specs of the running cars, but also they have to fix the damages of the retired cars which will be running in Rally2 format coming morning.

As far as the rally is shaping up, Mads Ostberg will have to put up a masterpiece of driving to keep his position, as the all-asphalt attack will be on charge behind him the next stage onwards. It will be an advantage to be first on the road on the tarmac stages as it will have cleaner surface without any mud/gravel drawn by the rally cars & hope the young Norwegian gets the necessary luck & rhythm to do it right. "I'm very happy with how today has gone. Maybe it will be difficult to keep Sebastien Loeb behind me but tomorrow is a new day so we will see," says Ostberg at the end of the stage. 

Day 1 leaderboard after SS6 is as below.
1.10M. ØSTBERGM1:41:
2.1S. LOEBM1:41:59.6+27.2+27.2
3.3J. LATVALAM1:42:19.4+19.8+47.0
4.2M. HIRVONENM1:42:35.0+15.6+1:02.6
5.5O. TÄNAKM1:42:43.2+8.2+1:10.8

Day 1 - Action

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RACCRally Spain - 2012 | WRC - Round 13 | Qualifying

Thursday was the last qualification day of the season finishing event of 2012 as well as for Official Ford World Rally Team. Sebastien Loeb emerged quickest & surprisingly it was the young Russian, Evgeny Novikov who came second fastest with just 1/10th of a second the leader, the 9-times World Rally Champion driver.

  1. Loeb (DS3 WRC) 2’06’1
  2. Novikov (Fiesta WRC) 2’06’2
  3. Hirvonen (DS3 WRC) 2’06’4
  4. Latvala (Fiesta WRC) 2’06’6
  5. Solberg (Fiesta WRC) 2’06’9
  6. Neuville (DS3 WRC) 2’07’4
  7. Sordo (Mini WRC) 2’07’5
  8. Tänak (Fiesta WRC) 2’07’6
  9. Ostberg (Fiesta WRC) 2’07’7
  10. Prokop (Fiesta WRC) 2’09’5
  11. Weijs (DS3 WRC) 2’09’6
  12. Nikara (Mini WRC) 2’10’3
  13. Atkinson (Mini WRC) 2’10’6
  14. Oliveira (Fiesta WRC) 2’11’2
  15. Al-Kuwari (Mini WRC) 2’15’6
  16. Powell (Fiesta WRC) 2’18’4
  17. Nobre (Mini WRC) 2’21’1

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FIA WRC - Season 2013 | S1T is 'OUT' of & SiT is 'IN'

FIA has announced a new timing partner for the coming season from the earlier long time partner to the Spanish, Sistemas Integrales de Telecomunicación. Simon de Banke was the owner of the 'de Banke' group of companies of which Stage1Tech was one of it.

In their press release, FIA has only mentioned the merits of the new provider and has not given any reason for the exiting of the proven and consistent existing provider, S1T. Hope the move is for good and nothing has cooked bad, 'behind the scenes'. When 'Stage1Tech' released the video of their involvement in the sports had hinted about the long happening in the inside, but was not conclusive enough. Hope! Hope is all that we can do, as the new company not only boasts of having a larger head-count, but also its own fleet of aircrafts to do the job. And its pretty obvious all of these definitely does not come for free!

Stage 1 was there and had given us what we would have wanted, those live feeds, updates from ground zero and has definitely done it without any drama. Even as recently when the promoters were falling out, it was this team who held on without a single spell or murmur. Atleast FIA should have had given them the credit of what they had managed so far, and not just tell us wonders of what the new team / company is capable of.

The media release from FIA goes as below,
"The FIA has entered into exclusive negotiations with Sistemas Integrales de Telecomunicación to provide the timing and safety tracking services for the FIA World Rally Championship from 2013. The Spanish sports technology group would also be responsible for delivering this all-important data to the Championship Promoter, the content being an integral part of its vision to develop and enhance the television and digital product.

Based in Madrid, Sistemas Integrales de Telecomunicación has 78 employees dedicated to providing high-level technology across a broad range of sports. With its own fleet of seven airplanes and eight helicopters, the company’s experience in delivering rally-related expertise dates back to 1985. Its various telecommunications technology, timing, tracking, results, broadcast transmission and real-time internet services have since been used on the Spanish Rally Championship, Rally Cataluña, Rally de Portugal, Baja España, the Race of Champions and La Vuelta a España, a multi-stage cycling event which is part of the UCI World Tour. The company is also the exclusive Tag Heuer Timing representative for Spain since 1992.

Sistemas Integrales de Telecomunicación will use proven UHF radio wave technology, familiar within the World Rally Championship and frequently used for television broadcast purposes."

So the question is whether the decision is of the new promoter Red Bull to have it changed or of the fed? Again! Hoping it is for the well-being and functioning of the sport & nothing else..

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Global RallyCross | SEMA - Las Vegas | Season 2012 Finale

SEMA Las Vegas round of the Global RallyCross concluded last weekend. Here are the below complete action videos from the event.

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WRC - 2012 | Season Concluding | RACC Rally Catalunya, Spain

In the last round of the season 2012 coming to an end, the excitement doesn't seem to end with nearly 17 WRC cars and the rest of the folks fielding in other categories. Dani Sordo's entry seems to be there, but let it be there and not just on the list/paper. Mini WRC officially is also signing off the mainstream rallying and it is the last drive for the Spaniard, though in a privateer team of Prodrive. The coming season will see a huge shuffle in the driver/codriver's lineup with new VW WRC team entering and Mini WRC exiting from the arena.

Spain's Catalonian round is a special one with the season closing it is even more special. The stages were done in both asphalt and gravel for different days of the event and is the highlight of the event and a challenge to the teams & the drivers together. The drivers have to quickly adapt for the changing road surface, and the technicians teams in preparing the cars from altogether a different specs in a relatively short span of time.
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FIA - IRC | Season - 2012 | Final Round - Cyprus Rally

The final round of the IRC season 2012 is all but 2 stages left to claim the podium spots. Nasser Al-Attiyah, the Qatari driver is leading the rally with a comfortable margin over 2 mins after Andreas suffered a puncture on SS10 and also looks slower in SS11. The Qatar driver has an advantage over the normally aspirated S2000 cars with an RRC, which is almost an WRC spec car, with minute changes in comparison to the older S2000 spec cars which will be taken off from the next season onwards.

Well the season 2013 itself is going to be with ERC and hence this is officially the last season of this wonderful series. Andreas Mikkelsen also makes a little history with winning the series twice consecutively since 2011. With all the drama and competition Mikkelsen still manages to hold on to the second with a comfortable margin of nearly 7mins above the third placed Toshi Arai in his R4 spec Subaru.

The top 3 final results of the rally was the same for the last couple of stages. Mikkelsen's car on the last stage was driven by co-driver Ola Floene, a remembering gift for the concluding & merging IRC series into the ERC.

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

Al-Attiyah N. / Bernacchini G. 
Ford Fiesta S2000 

Mikkelsen A. / Floene Ola 
Škoda Fabia S2000 

Arai Toshihiro / Moscatt Dale 
Subaru Impreza R4 

Nikara Jarkko / Kalliolepo J. 
Subaru Impreza R4 

Wiegand Sepp / Gottschalk Timo 
Škoda Fabia S2000 
Results Courtesy irc-results.com.
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All-time Top 5 +NEWS