Whats' up for Rally Weekend, at Barum Czech Rally Zlín | ERC - 2013

The Land of the Skoda's! Wonderful countrside, winding narrow asphalt roads, welcomes the wider gap from the last event at Romanian, Sibiu Rally.

Highlights of the rally are that , there will be three ŠKODA teams compete for victory in home rally in the Czech Republic. It is all going to be three way fight between, the Finn - Esapekka Lappi, Sepp Wiegand who has an advantage of good-competitive-form from the ADAC WRC round last week., the local and leading driver of the current ERC season, Jan Kopecky.

Tomas Kostka to perform with a brand new Ford Fiesta R5, Pavel Valousek too has a Fiesta R5 drive in this weekend. Antonín Tlusťák, with the local knowledge could be at an advantage, in his Skoda Fabia S2000! Frenchman Bryan Bouffier will be driving a Peugeot 207 S2000 and many more too watch out. Apart from the 103 competitor, there is a host of historic & other support drives too, check this entry-list for complete details of the competition.

Raffael Sulzinger is making a comeback to FIA European Rally Championship at Czech Republic this week in a Ralex Sport Renault Clio R3 rally car, with support from one of the rally sport’s legendary - Walter Röhrl, European champion in 1974 and world champion in 1980 and 1982.

For spectators, check the itinerary here. Official Rally website. More to come, stay in touch... Rally Radio

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Dani Sordo WINS - ADAC Rally Deutschland | WRC - 2013

A thrilling finale at ADAC Rally Deutschland's victory battle with the last two stages, the twice run special stage, Dhrontal and the Citroen DS3 driver, Dani Sordo scores atop to claim his first ever WRC victory! Being in a WRC car for the past few years, the Spaniard had a few slippages from claiming a proper rally victory, but that was just until today!

Fiesta RS driver, the Belgian Thierry Neuville was right on Dani's tail, since the over night leadership commanded a mere 0.8 seconds. In the first run of SS Dhronthal, Sordo literally flew through to take the stage win and also increased his chances by another 2.2s, with a 3s separating the Fiesta RS driver. Ogier surprised everyone by dropping nearly 12s to the rally leader, although he was expected to go all out for the bonus points in the re-run being the 'Power Stage.' Latvala completed the stage, and Mikko settled with being 5th quickest, to hold his 3rd position intact.
In WRC-2, Kubica was almost 10s quicker to Evans and Paddon was comfortably in 3rd overall. 

Power Stage was the ultimate showdown to the rally, along with some extra championship points at disposal. Ogier was expected to be the claimant and he did whisk away those top 3 points with the stage win, although it was Dani Sordo who was second quickest who with additional 2 points took the Rally victory. After Loeb's retirement, Citroen team seemed to have caught in a landslide without any good results, but now they had the moment to finally jump off their seats & rejoice with two cars finishing at the podium, with Mikko taking the final podium step.

Latvala completed third quickest through the stage to claim the final bonus point, and Thierry Neuville the weekend's brave young driver seems to have encountered some issue to not be competitive and slips off the top 5 in the stage results, with 32s down to Ogier, however he retains his second podium spot. Job well done! Robert Kubica wins the WRC-2 class, Elfyn Evans & Hayden Paddon complete the top three, respectively.

For the next round, WRC travels across the Indian ocean to Rally Australia in second week of September.
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Spaniard Leads at the end of [Tragic] Day 3 - ADAC Rally Germany | WRC - 2013

Saturday's stages were expected to be more brutal for the top contenders, and it certainly was to most of the top players. With Sebastien Ogier's early exit from the possibilities to the top step, literally the rally has turned to be a game of 'musical chair'! Although not in the pursuit of a podium chances, Seb surely looking to collected any points that could be at disposal and was definitely 'right foot heavy'.

SS9 Stein & Wein 1 [26.54km] - went straight into the bag of Ogier. He finished 3.5s quicker than the Citroen tarmac specialist Dani Sordo. The other Polo R driver JM Latvala & Fiesta RS driver Thiery Neuville too quickly passed through just 4s down the stage winner. Mikko Hirvonen too displayed a better driving pace [as compared to last year], although 9.4s down, still not that bad.

In WRC-2, Robert Kubica was doing his best to hold his lead, with a very close gap with Elfyn Evans, who passed to top with 2.5s overall at the end of the stage. New Zealander Hayden Paddon too took a step over and finished third overall, with Sepp Wiegand dropping to 4th overall by 3.5s.

SS10 Peterberg 1 [9.23km] - Dani Sordo, yes, the Spaniard who went fastest through the stage! Latvala & Ogier were closely down, surprising stage win indeed! Neuville & Evgeny Novikov were the next in top 5. However in WRC-2, Kubica regains his lost position, 3.6s up against Evans, and Paddon in battle with Wiegand for comfy third.

SS11 Arena Panzerplatte 1 [41.08km] - The most awaited, dreadful and longest of the rally was the next in the passing & it happened with much big drama. Of course, Ogier won the stage, as Sordo, Latvala were quickly behind in top 3 and Neuville & Mikko finished in top 5. The battle in the WRC-2 was on as in the earlier stages, between Evans & Kubica and the latter kept his top position, although the Welsh was quickest through.

A quick mid-day service separated the repetition of the morning stages in the noon, and filled the stages with real drama with the top lot of the WRC players. It had started raining in many parts of the stages and made the narrow sealed surface a lot greasy.

SS12Mads Ostberg was first to take a walk along the German countryside after an off, but before him it was perhaps Latvala fell for the spell, went wide in a corner, sideways, on to a pile of timber and damaged his right rear wheel. He ran after the hit, but the wheel steered him off the road a little further, never to recover back to the road.

Neuville too did the same as the Finn, but was lucky enough to pick apiece of the timber itself all-through the stage. In the process he damaged his exhaust, lost considerable power till the stage end. Although he stopped at the transport section to pull it out and free his car of carrying the additional misery, but the retirement of Latvala put him on the top of the list, even though Sordo was faster than him. Ogier claimed the stage win, when the rest of the field were struggling. In WRC-2, the musical chair was on between Kubica and Evans, and the latter moved a step higher at the end of the stage. Paddon was third, but Wiegand very closely behind.

SS13 - with Neuville's battered Fiesta RS vs' the perfectly in shape DS3, the Spaniard flew through to win another stage, although Ogier had a perfectly functioning Polo R finished second. This also relinquished the top step to Sordo who took the rally leadership.

SS14 - But something really terrible happened before in the support category of historic class of cars, when a pair Dutch competitors crashed their historic rally car at SS Arena Panzerplatte 2. As they jumped off the Gina crest, and crashed out of the road. Despite, frantic efforts by the Medical team, it proved fatal for the duo. With this terrible tragedy in hand, the organisers cancelled the stage and so the day ended. For quite sometime, there was news/rumours flying around about organisers calling the rally to an end, however, later it was made official the rally will continue as per the next day's itinerary.

As the excitement was building up, an unfortunate incident flooded all the cheering with this really tragic news. At Ralli Heart, we extend our deepest condolences to the departed souls and their near & dear ones.

Special stage Dhrontal, opens up the final day's action, while its repetition being the 'Power Stage' will mark and decides the victory. So who will win, the Spaniard or the Belgian?

Overall top5 at the end of day 3.
Pos     No         Driver                       Time            Diff / Prev     Diff / 1st
1.3D. SORDO2:43:
2.11T. NEUVILLE2:43:49.3+0.8+0.8
3.2M. HIRVONEN 2:45:16.1+1:26.8+1:27.6
4.21M. PROKOP2:49:54.8+4:38.7+6:06.3
5.74R. KUBICA2:51:21.6+1:26.8+7:33.1

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All-time Top 5 +NEWS