FMSCI - INRC 2012 - Season, Concludes with the Coffee Day Rally of Chikmagalur!

In what it was looking like a troubled season from the start with late announcements with all the drama over the title sponsors, the Indian National Rally Championship has been all, but just two rallies. Rally of Coorg [initially it was Rally of Mysore, before the venue shifted] was cancelled due to heavy rains, hence rendering the stages undrive-able. 

So the season was jut cut short to just 3 rallies, and the last one was scheduled just before Christmas. Since, last week unconfirmed news [like rumors] was creeping on the FB Rally community & finally it was official that it too was off. So that means, the championship is bound with just two rounds & it is creating more confusions, whether the championship will be nullified [as per the books, which says minimum of 3 rallies], or otherwise.

This season also saw a lots of changes to the Classes of the cars which were to be run & the big off was perhaps the knocking off the uber-costly Group N+'s. Which was like kind of good for the competitors & teams, but not so with the fans & alike. But, there was still hope with the new IRC [Indian Rally Championship], which is open to even foreign nationals to be able to battle with the N4 & R4 spec cars. This could have become a star-show stealer if only there was much bigger competition, but nevertheless it had an entry by an Indian team, Team Kajah Motorsports, who did a brilliant job in getting a Subaru Impreza STi in the newly created championship series. The only thing missing, was the competition, which we hope to see more in the upcoming season.

K1000 Rally of Bangalore, The first round of the season 2012.
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Volkswagen Motorsport - Polo R WRC | World Premiere - WRC, 2013

World Premiere of Volkswagen Motorsport, Polo R WRC, World Rally Car for the upcoming WRC season 2013 happened at Casino Square, Monte Carlo. It all started with the launch of the street version of the Polo R WRC, at 16.30 local time. VW Polo R WRC, World Rally Car will be unveiled in about 3 hours from then.

The limited edition of the road going Polo R WRC edition was unveiled, which has an engine that can churn more than 200 horsepower & its not a joke.

The event is on & can be viewed online here.
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Citroen reveals its new Team Livery, for WRC - 2013 | Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team

Citroen Racing / WRT is now officially Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team, with the arrival of the new major title partner which was announced by the team few days after the last rally in Spain this season. The new livery was unveiled at Abu Dhabi, Monte-Carlo Beach today.

Present at the event, Citroen Racing Team Principal, Yves Matton, We are very proud to have forged a relationship with a partner that is as prestigious and dynamic as Abu Dhabi. Like our long-time partner Total, Abu Dhabi will be visible across all our 2013 programmes: on the works teams competing in the WRC and the MERC (Middle East Rally Championship), but also in the Citroën Racing Trophy held in the main countries in Europe. Together, we are also committed to establishing a rally driver development programme with Abu Dhabi Racing.”

Eight time & five time consecutive World Rally Champions Constructors title winning team, has a 3 car line up for the 2013 season, with the no.2 car fielding their new leading driver/codriver pair, Mikko Hirvonen / Jarmo Lehtinen, "Now that I have my first season with Citroën under my belt, I feel ready for this new challenge,” asserted the Finn. “I have been World Championship runner-up four times, so the next logical step is to aim for first place!"

However it reserves the no.1 car for the 9-time World Champion driver Sebastien Loeb, who will be competing in selected rallies to get points to the works team. “We’ll start the season in Monte-Carlo and we’ll also be competing in Sweden, because it’s a rally that I would love to win in normal racing conditions. And I couldn‘t begin to think about missing the Rallye de France,” confirms Seb.

Spaniard, Daniel Sordo will be driving the third car & be nominated for points winning position, wherever Loeb/Elena pair are not taking part. “I’m incredibly pleased to be back with the team. The first test sessions went very well and I’m ready to help Citroën win more titles. My personal goal will be to win my first rally in the WRC,” says the Spaniard.

There will also be a 4th car in the field, where behind the wheel will be the team’s newcomer, Khalid Al-Qassimi who will start his season in Sweden in a racing programme featuring eight WRC rallies. The United Arab Emirates driver will also be looking to win the Middle East Rally Championship (MERC) again. He will be driving a Citroën DS3 RRC sporting Abu Dhabi Citroën World Rally Team decals: “Joining such a successful team and competing on two fronts will undoubtedly help me to keep improving. After winning the title for the first time in 2004, winning the MERC again will be my main goal.”

The Middle East Rally Championship will also provide two young drivers with the chance to acquire valuable experience in a Citroën DS3 R3. The crews will be selected for this programme following a qualifying event in Citroën DS3 Racing cars held on December 7-9 at the Yas Marina circuit. “The varied and difficult nature of the MERC will ensure it emphasizes the qualities of the DS3 R3,” commented Marek Nawarecki, Customer Racing Manager at Citroën Racing. “The drivers will be selected using the same methodology that we apply in our European promotional formulas, and they will enjoy the same backing and support, geared toward helping them to improve in our programme.”

Hope this new alliance brings a good charm and support to the team and the sport as a whole.
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Mr.Hollywood Retires from WRC.. [for now, though!]

Petter Solberg has made a decision & announced today that he is ending his 14 year career at the top level of Rallying, WRC, and is all set to try at a something little different for 2013. The Norwegian had entered the sport in late 90's and was best known for his flambouyant driving style. He has one of the biggest fanbase in this sport & cannot be ruled out as a major crowd drawing force, and he had pretty good in the sport, while serving 4 different teams. He managed 13 rally wins, 15 second places and 24 3rd's, with 456 stage wins and a total of 852 points. It was the WRC Season 2003, that hetook the World Rally Driver Championship crown, though he never had such success later on.

Much elated Petter didn't forget the WRC community to thank, “I am so grateful and happy for what I have experienced during my 15 years in the WRC. For now it’s really quite sad, you know, I would have loved to have driven for a few more years, but I do realise there will not be a WRC program for me next year. I have said I am willing to drive for free, but at this point, I will not pay to drive. This is not to say that you will never again see me in a WRC car, but for now, I think it’s best. I know I am good enough to fight in the top for many years still, but I fully understand the difficult financial situation for the 2013 season for M-Sport, so I wish the team all the best in the future.”

“The sport has given me so much, but I want to give a special thank you to all of my fans that have supported me through thick and thin, and given me such a great feeling about what I do, and for being a large reason of why I do it. I do hope you all understand, and I hope you’ll continue to follow me on to my next venture. I promise to bring you something worthy of this. My team and I are hard at work as you read this, and we can’t wait to let you know what are plans are.” 

We wish him the best of luck in his new venture & hope he will return when the sun will return to shine at the fullest!!

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