Rally Croatia - Official Press Release | ERC - 2013

Immagine in linea 1JAN KOPECKY AND PAVEL DRESLER (SKODA FABIA) WIN CROATIA RALLY

The final podium is completed by Andreas Aigner (Subaru, new leader of the Production Cup) and Hermann Gassner jr. (Mitsubishi) who finished in this order after a great battle – Molly Taylor (Citroen) seals the Ladies' Trophy – Zoltan Bessenyey (Honda) only a step away from the 2WD Cup title – Daniel Saskin first of the local drivers – The FIA President Jean Todt attends the event – The Colin McRae Flat Out Trophy awarded to Andreas Aigner for this event.

https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/u/0/?ui=2&ik=3dbc4541cb&view=att&th=1416633df467e7e9&attid=0.1&disp=inline&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P92g_rCNyT9qwLjpku9g2C0&sadet=1380470256260&sads=EFQNldl4hHFKV95cYCWxd2AGdrk
Jan Kopecky and Pavel Dresler, the new 2013 European Rally Champions with their Skoda Fabia S2000, have won the 40th  Croatia Rally after taking the lead in the final stages of the first leg. They were followed home respectively by Andreas Aigner-Barbara Watzl (Subaru Impreza R4) and Hermann Gassner jr-Ursula Mayrhofer (Mitsubishi Lancer R4) who in the second leg staged a close fight for the runner-up spot and the victory in the Production car class.

The Austrian Subaru driver, who had jumped in the lead under Friday's rain after passing local driver Juraj Sebalj (winner of Thursday night's superspecial stage and forced to retire today when he was fifth overall and first of the locals), first resisted the assault of the German who had closed within less than a second, then conquered a small but decisive advantage. Fourth place for the Belgian crew of Peter Tsjoen-Bernd Casier (Skoda Fabia S2000), who took turns in driving. Tsjoen also set the fastest time in the closing stage. The stage wins score is of 8 for Kopecky, 2 each for Tsjoen and Aigner, 1 for Sebalj and one notional time awarded to 4 drivers (Kopecky, Tsjoen, Aigner and Gassner). Fifth place for the South African crew of Henk Lategan-Barry White (Skoda Fabia S2000).

Molly Taylor, together with Sebastian Marshall on the Citroen DS3 R3T in the United Business livery, secured an advanced win in the ERC Ladies' Trophy with her second place in class after having risked retirement twice: first when she passed out at a stage end due to fuel vapours in the cockpit and then for a small crash. Victory in the 2WD for this rally went to slowenian Aleks Humar-Florjan Rus (Renault Clio R3), seventh overall, who led Hungary's Zoltan Bessenyey-Yulianna Nyirfas (Honda Civic R3) who thanks to this result get closer to success in the European 2WD Cup where they have a comfortable lead.

https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/u/0/?ui=2&ik=3dbc4541cb&view=att&th=1416633df467e7e9&attid=0.2&disp=inline&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P92g_rCNyT9qwLjpku9g2C0&sadet=1380470258427&sads=66267CER4gFtEPi_llEjfwQcEMwDaniel Saskin-Damir Brunen (Ford Fiesta Rrc) in eighth place are the best local crew in a rally which boasts the season record of foreign drivers (from 3 continents). Today the Rally welcomed a special guest, FIA President Jean Todt, who accompanied by Zrinko Gregurek, general secretary of the CCKF and member of the FIA World Motorsport Council, congratulated himself with the event organisation staff and its promoter Pierfelice Liberali. Jean Pierre Nicholas presented Andreas Aigner with the Colin McRae Flat Out Trophy for this event.

FINAL STANDINGS:
  1. Kopecky-Dressler (Skoda Fabia S2000) in 2h23'11“0;2
  2. Aigner-Watzl (Subaru Impreza R4) a 1'55“6
  3. Gassner jr-Mayrhofer (Mitsubishi Lancer R4) a 2'09“8
  4. Tsjoen-Casier (Skoda Fabia S2000) a 2'54“3
  5. Lategan-White (Skoda Fabia S2000) a 4'04“6
  6. Hadik-Kertesz (Subaru Impreza R4) a 6'49“0
  7. Humar-Rus (Renault Clio R3) a 6'59“5
  8. Saskin-Bruner (Ford Fiesta Rrc) a 7'58“8
  9. Trcek-Oslaj (Mitsubishi Lancer N4) a 9'52“3
10. Bessenyey-Nyirfas (Honda Civic R3) a 10'06“5

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP UNOFFICIAL STANDINGS (after round 10 of 12)
OVERALL: 1. Kopecky 287 points (2013 European Champion); 2. Bouffier 129; 3. Breen 121; 4. Delecour 75; 5. Aigner 56; 6. Kajetanowicz 50; 7. Pech 49; 8. Ketomaa 39; 9. Loix 37.

PRODUCTION CUP: 1. Aigner 138 points; 2. Orsak 117; 3. Bonnefis 95.

2WD CUP: 1. Bessenyey 147 points; 2. Lukacs 75; 3. Chentre 67.

LADIES' TROPHY: Taylor 14 points (12 valid, winner of the 2013 ERC Ladies' Trophy) ; 2. Stratieva 12 (9 valid); 3. Zupanc e Debackere 3.


Immagine in linea 2
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Gaurav Gill WINS Rally Hokkaido, Round - 5 | APRC - 2013

Team MRF, Indian driver Gaurav Gill wins Rally Hokkaido, Japan - with a 5m53.3s lead. Japanese driver Yuya Sumiyama finished second, while his fellow countryman Hideo Ishizaki took the final podium spot.

Without his team-mate, Finn Esapekka Lappi on the final day, Skoda Fabia S2000 driver Gill was on his own to retain his strong position till the finish. And as expected, he did and without much slip of time from overnight gap, Gill brought the necessary win to his Team Skoda MRF.

Winning only one stage, SS14, the second run of the Otofuke Reverse and the conservatory drive is all that Sanjay Takale finished the rally in 12th place overall, yet moved high to the second place in the championship. Mike Young takes the third spot for the title race, with a strong 13th place finish in the 2WD class even against a couple of Evo's.
took to finish the rally and bagging the vital championship points to a strong 117.5 points. Both Sanjay & Mike also take their respective class championship title, Production & 2WD of APRC season 2013.



Overall Top 5 Results after SS18.

  Pos      No  Driver
Vehicle
Time Diff Prev  Diff Ldr
11G.GILL
SKODA
2:10:49.90.00.0
24Y.SUMIYAMA  
SUBARU
2:16:27.3+5:37.4+5:37.4
311H.ISHIZAKI
SUBARU
2:18:44.5+2:17.2+7:54.6
415S.TAGUCHI
MITSUBISHI
2:18:58.3+13.8+8:08.4
55S.MUTA
SUBARU
2:20:34.1+1:35.8+9:44.2

The last round of APRC, Rally China will finally decide who will take the championship title.
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Jan Kopecký Wins Croatia Rally + Seals ERC Driver's Title | ERC - 2013

Jan Kopecký won the Croatia Rally, and along with it, the season's ERC driver's title, and the co-driver's title to his navi Pavel Dresler. With just another two rounds to conclude the championship this year, with more than 100 points to Bryan Bouffier - the title is secured to the Czech.

Also a great news to Production class driver Andreas Aigner, with a strong second overall finish by taking maximum in his class, and securing the season's Production Cup Driver's title. Also he won the Colin McRae Flatout Trophy for the rally.

Aleks Humar won the 2WD win, while Zoltán Bessenyey takes a good score in second place finish and to a 73 point lead to nearest Kornél Lukács in the championship points. Szabolcs VARKONYI finished in third place.

Pic courtesy tweet@The_Rally_Guru
Asja Zupanc with a overall 11th place finish took the ladies class victory, while Molly Taylor settled for second place after finishing in 23rd overall, and Ekaterina Stratieva came close in third in a 27th overall finish.

The second place finish was sufficient for Molly Taylor & her co-driver gentleman Sebastien Marshall to secure the Ladies Trophy in the championship, who celebrated with a splash into the pool.


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Gaurav Gill Leads, Lappi Retires - Rally Hokkaido, Day 2 | APRC - 2013

Rally Hokkaido, the 5th round of Asia Pacific Rally Championship [APRC] opened up yesterday with the shakedown, official flagoff and a SSS in the evening.

Today morning, Esapekka Lappi who started with a small overnight lead, went on to lead the rally until SS9, when Lappi's suspension failed and had to retire.

And with a day full of drama over the Obhiro’s fast and technical gravel roads - Gill, in his Team MRF Skoda Fabia S2000, took over the lead [with Lappi's retirement] from Japanese & Subaru driver Yuya Sumiyama. Although another Japanese & Subaru driver Toshi Arai who started well in his WRX retired in SS3 with a gearbox failure, only to hand over the lead to Team MRF drivers. While Lappi retires, Gill gets in a strong position with nearly 6 minute lead to win the rally, if he keeps his position intact.

Overall Top 5 Results after SS10.

  Pos      No  Driver
Vehicle
Time Diff Prev  Diff Ldr
11G.GILL
SKODA
1:48:43.60.00.0
24Y.SUMIYAMA  
SUBARU
1:54:41.6+5:58.0+5:58.0
311H.ISHIZAKI
SUBARU
1:56:32.9+1:51.3+7:49.3
415S.TAGUCHI
MITSUBISHI
1:56:56.9+24.0+8:13.3
55S.MUTA
SUBARU
1:58:29.2+1:32.3+9:45.6

Eight more stages for tomorrow, starting early at 6am.
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Kopecky Leads after Day 1 - Rally Croatia | ERC - 2013

Jan Kopecky leads Rally Croatia by the end of SS7. The Czech managed to squeeze out a 52.9s gap in the second half of the re-run of the morning stages, from a 10.5s deficit.

Andreas Aigner who had built up the lead by end of loop-1 of today's stages in his Subaru Impreza R4, succumbed to the pressure of Skoda Fabia S2000 driver in afternoon stages.

Overnight leader Juraj Sebalj had a terrible start of the day by slipping down to 16th overall after the opening stage, SS2. However, the local star recovered steadily to 5th overall by the day's end. The young German & Production Cup aspirant Hermann Gassner jr did a good job to hold on to the third overall spot till the last stage of the day and second in Production class.

Andras Hadik is in 3rd spot, while Andreas Aigner leads the Production class.


In the 2WD Aleks Humar leads the pack, while Prodan and Bessenyey trail him down in 2nd and 3rd.

Ladies Trophy, Molly Taylor crashes in SS6 and loses more than 2 min: before SS7 she is only 2 sec clear of her rival Stratieva albeit with damaged car.

Another set of three stages for tomorrow, which will be run twice in the noon-loop, and a final SSS will decide who will take the shiny trophies home. Jan Kopecky will also take the ERC title if he finishes the rally in his current form.

Overall Top 5 results are as below for now!

Pos         No          Driver
Time             Diff
Prev
     Diff
     1st
1.1J. KOPECKY
1:11:32.5 0.0  0.0
2.4A. AIGNER
1:12:25.4+52.9+52.9
3.9H. GASSNER JR
1:12:30.6+5.2    +58.1
4.2P. TSJOEN
1:13:48.6+1:18.0+2:16.1
5.5J. SEBALJ
1:14:00.5+11.9+2:28.0
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FIA Announces 2014 Calendar - WRC & others

A few minutes ago, FIA formally announced the calendar for the upcoming 2014 season. Check the excerpts of it below, as applicable for WRC series.

FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP AND RALLYING
The 2014 FIA World Rally Championship calendar is confirmed as follows:

19 January - Rallye Monte Carlo
09 February - Rally Sweden
09 March - Rally Mexico
06 April - Rally de Portugal
11 May - Rally Argentina
01 June - Rally d'Italia
29 June - Rally Poland (multi-country event)
03 August - Rally Finland
24 August - Rallye Deutschland
14 September - Rally Australia
05 October - Rallye de France
26 October - Rally de España
16 November - Rally of Great Britain

Note: The finish date given is the Sunday of the rally weekend. Itineraries are however subject to final confirmation by event organisers.

It is clarified that the hand-cutting of tyres is forbidden in the events of the FIA European Rally Cup, as well as the FIA European Rally Championship.

The 2014 FIA European Rally Championship calendar will be proposed to the WMSC at a later date.

Note that Acropolis Rally of Greece has been replaced with Rally Poland. FIA news release link.
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'Molly Talyor' determined to fight to claim her first 'ERC Ladies Title'

MOLLY TAYLOR IN CROATIA RALLY TO  STRENGTHEN THE FIRST PLACE IN THE 2013 EUROPEAN RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP LADIES' TROPHY

Molly Taylor prepares to tackle, at the wheel of the Citroen DS3 R3 with the United Business livery, the tenth round of the European Championship, the difficult but fascinating and prestigious 40th Croatia Rally to be held in Porec from Thursday, September 26th to Saturday 28th , and will include 14 special stages for 239.12 timed km and a total length of 653.93 km.

This will be an important and decisive event for the strong Australian lady driver, codriven by Seb Marshall, who once again faces a rally completely new to her; as well as targeting the best position in the standings, she aims to strengthen the first position in the 2013 European Rally Championship Ladies' Trophy .

In this race the crew of United Business has a good chance of obtaining a positive result also thanks to the excellent and judicious performance at Rally Poland, an event held in difficult conditions.

“Molly is having a great season this year , and has tackled all the races with great determination and professionalism - said Pier Liberali, United Business Team Principal  - she is fast in every situation and thanks to intelligent race management she is competitive and concrete in all the rallies. She accepts the challenge and loves to compete in rallyes completely new to her enhanced by the fight against other international drivers. The goal of United Business in Croatia is to increase the lead in the Ladies' Trophy , even though we know it will be a difficult race. We are logically confident that Molly can win the European Rally Championship Ladies' Trophy, this is our goal, to reach it would certainly be rewarding for the team, the crew and for our company which has accompanied Molly's career in these two years”.

This year the 40th Croatia Rally will see the participation of 98 cars with crews from 19 countries and will benefit from a great television coverage through Eurosport.

“Despite having never competed in Croatia Rally I feel it a little like  my home event, because United Business is the promoter of this rally - said Molly Taylor - clearly I want to do well because my manager Pier Liberali has always told me enthusiastically about this rally, I can't wait to be there, we will not leave anything to chance and on this occasion too we have  planned a pre-event test session. Poland was a tough race, and despite having obtained a positive result I could not push as hard as I wanted, getting to the finish of the rally was the main goal , especially in light of the difficult weather conditions which made the special stages very tricky, in Croatia I hope to race with more freedom of action and to be able to push on the throttle as I wish”.

The rally will begin on Thursday, September 26th with the opening ceremony in Porec, followed by the first special stage in the city centre. Friday, September 27th will comprise six stages and the rally will end on Saturday October 28th in Porec at 17.30 after the last seven stages. After the finish there will be the Winner Party, the big celebration at the end of the rally.
 

Racing Press


United Rally Management s.r.l.  V.le delle Terme, 97  27052 Salice Terme/Godiasco (PV) ITALY  Tel.0383/944916 Fax 0383/934583
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Rally Croatia 2013, Entry List Announced !

98 CREWS,3 CONTINENTS, 69 FOREIGN, 29 CROATIAN.

A TOTAL OF  2013 CROATIA RALLY ENTRY LIST

A total of 98 crews are on the entry list for the forthcoming Croatia Rally, round 10 of the 2013 FIA European Rally Championship, which gets underway on Thursday 26 September, in Poreč.

Drivers and co-drivers representing 19 different nationalities from 3 continents are registered, with 69 entries from outside the host country and 29 from Croatia.

Cars from 18 manufacturers will take part in the top line Croatia rally competition, with championship leader Jan Kopecky of the Skoda Motorsport Team topping the drivers' list, followed by Belgian Pieter Tsjoen. It is worth mentioning the presence of South African Henk Lategan with a SKODA Fabia S2000 and two Australian crews, Adrian Coppin and Molly Taylor, both with Citroen DS3 R3 and also the most famous Croatian drivers, Juraj Šebalj with a Skoda Fabia S2000, Daniel Saskin with the new Ford Fiesta R5 and Niko Pulic.

The 2013 Croatia Rally (September 26/28) is organised by the Croatian Car & Karting Federation and promoted by the Italian Company United Business, will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Croatia Rally.

Follow this link to see the full entry list.
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Mikko's Tragedy, Sebastien's Parody | Ogier Wins Rally Australia, WRC - 2013

Sebastien Ogier wins Rally Australia, but looses the crown due to Mikko's misfortune! The Citroen driver started off the day with the opening stage victory, and the rest was claimed by the Frenchman

Top three places were at the safe-keeping with Ogier, Mikko and Thierry Neuville, respectively - until a puncture to Mikko's rear left costed him his second place to the Fiesta RS driver and slipped to third place on the podium.

So, in the final showdown of Rally Australia, the Frenchman was in the verge of claiming his maiden crown for driver's championship and looses due to a single point - all because, Mikko Hirvonen lost his second place in the final stage [Power Stage]. Wondering how? Read on!

Coming down to the points mathematics, all it counts on who makes the most points at the end of the season. And any possibility of the nearest competitors to challenge it, with any feasible permutation and combination  that is achievable, will leave the title-race open. And that is what exactly happened here!
  1. Ogier has so far accumulated a total of 212 points so-far in the championship, including Rally Australia's victory.
  2. Neuville has 129 points after finishing second here at Rally Australia, after gaining an additional two points [i,e., 20 for second place, instead of 18 from third] in finishing second overall due to Mikko's slip.
  3. And in an any weird possiblity that Ogier doesn't score any points in the rest of the three rounds and Neuville manages to bag the maximum points from all the three rallies, i,e., 3 x (25+3) = 84 points, then he will total to a maximum of 213 points. Voila!! there it is, the Belgian is the champion!!
  4. And, if Ogier manages just 2 points in any of the upcoming rallies, he will be the undisputed champion regardless of who scores what!
I know, I know... that above third point was not too realistic to even imagine to Ogier not finishing any points hereafter this season whatsoever! But this is world of rallying, and with none with the power to predict the future - we never know!!

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Bryan Bouffier builds a healthy lead - Day 1 | ERC, Rally Poland - 2013

Bryan Bouffier keeps a tab on the rest of the field, while the homeland star Robert Kubica struggled. With a brilliant start, right from SS1 Talty 1 (6.15 kms), till the end of SS7 helped Bouffier in securing the top position.

Since morning, the conditions were not ideal enough to push, but still all the competitors braved to put a good show. Incredibly slushy and wet conditions prevailed at almost of the entire stages for the day. 

Although the former F1 star Kubica was quickest through the first pass of SS Mragowo 1 (25.16 kms), nature caught out the pole. Explains, "A big stone in the cut, in a 5th gear corner..." Front right wheel is knocked off the car and he thought it was just a flat tyre. When he was asked  "Superally tomorrow?","I don't know...", he said.

Sunday's action is over three [better?!] stages, that are run twice in a loop and will stick to the original itinerary - unlike today's shortened after intervention by the organisers, yielding to the nature's fury.


Top 5 scoreboard by the end of SS7, Day 1
Pos         No          Driver
Time             Diff
Prev
     Diff
     1st
1.6B. BOUFFIER
55:12.7 0.0  0.0
2.7K. KAJETANOWICZ
55:29.5+16.8+16.8
3.4M. SOLOWOW
56:18.6+49.1    +1:05.9
4.1J. KOPECKY
56:23.7+5.1+1:11.0
5.10K. HOLOWCZYC
56:59.6+35.9+1:46.9

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Seb.Ogier's Day Out - Day 3, Rally Australia | WRC - 2013

The penultimate day of Coates Hire Rally Australia was taken over by Sebastien Ogier! The Frenchman went on to claim all the 6 stage wins to extend off with a clear 45.9s to his nearest rival, the Citroen's Mikko Hirvonen. M-Sport's Thierry Neuville finished the day with third overall, with over a minute of gap to the rally leader. If all goes will the French VW Polo R driver, Ogier will be crowned the championship of the season, along with his co-driver Julien Ingrassia.

Day 3, consisted of just two stages run twice, apart from the day's ending, twice run SSS. SS11 - Nambucca I, was the first to run with a mighty 49.9 km distance separating the start and stop timers. Ogier started the day road to victory winning the stage and the next SS12 - Valla I was the next at hand with a distance of 14.84 km, and bagged it too.


After a 30 minute service, the rally returned back to re-run the morning loop, and the Frenchman out lead the rest of the field to secure a healthy gap, stage after stage.

It was a disappointing for the Britain's Kris Meeke when he crashed out on the second pass of the mighty SS13 - Nambucca II, when he went a little faster into a right hander corner and rolled down the hilly slope to retire for the day.

"It's quite simple. I made a mistake by braking a little bit too late," the Brit explains, "the car turned into the corner, but we ran wide and slipped off the road and down a steep bank into a field. We rolled several times, very slowly."


With Meeke's car in hand, the Citroen service staff had a tough job in their hands once the the FIA technical staff gave a green signal, after verifying the safety parameters to let him rejoin tomorrow in Rally 2 format. And they did it well indeed.

It was the VW Motorsport team who were very happy at the end of the day, with their prospects. However it certainly left Citroen's boss unhappy with the situation in hand, with Meeke's unwanted retirement and hence the chance of making it to the top of the Manufacturer's title race - a tough one.

Top 10 scoreboard by the end of SS16, Day 2
Pos         No          Driver
Time             Diff
    Prev    
    Diff
   1st
1.8S. OGIER           
2:14:53.9 0.0  0.0
2.2M. HIRVONEN
2:15:39.8+45.9+45.9
3.11T. NEUVILLE
2:16:05.3+25.5+1:11.4
4.7J. LATVALA
2:16:41.5+36.2+1:47.6
5.9A. MIKKELSEN
2:17:04.7+23.2+2:10.8
6.4M. OSTBERG
2:17:07.3+2.5+2:13.3
7.5E. NOVIKOV
2:21:30.5+4:23.2+6:36.6
8.22N. QUINN
2:24:04.7+2:34.2+9:10.8
9.10K. AL QASSIMI
2:25:16.9+1:12.2+10:23.0
10.48A. AL-KUWARI
2:26:54.0+1:37.1+12:00.1


So do you think, Ogier will take his throne tomorrow? Lets see!
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70° Rally Poland - A Preview | ERC - 2013

The 70th Rally Poland is one of the rally that was eagerly looked upon, being the former F1 star Robert Kubica's homeland and also because of his outing in the event with the Citroen DS3 RRC rally car.

But in the pre-event testing, Kubica crashed heavily and left the car looking beyond repair. But the Polish was determined and with a huge task in hand, the race engineers fixed the devastated DS3 back into a shiny piece of a rally car. Job well done!


And it seemed that it wasn't enough to plague the event, then a heavy downpour on Wednesday night and Thursday morning, left many sections of stages with slushy stages, and beyond immediate repair. Soon the organisers of LOTOS 70 Rally Poland to made a few modifications to the event itinerary.

On Saturday 14 September, special stage one and four, Tałty, is cut from 14.54 kilometres to 6.15 kilometres. Baranowo, which forms stages two and five of the gravel rally, is trimmed from 17.51 kilometres to 12.11 kilometres. However, the length of Mrągowo, which counts as stage three and seven and will be shown live on Eurosport, is unchanged.

The stages scheduled for Sunday 15 September are also unchanged, including the Mateuszek run, which will also be televised live on Eurosport.

The changes made to Saturday’s itinerary means that the total competitive distance of LOTOS 70 Rally Poland falls from 230.40 kilometres to 202.82 kilometres. The revised itinerary can be found in Bulletins and Notices in the Calendar section of www.fiaerc.com. 


With the above announcement, it was rest assured that the event was still achievable. Even though the recce was a disaster, the shakedown looked much better. Hope the conditions will be better for tomorrow's full fledged action.

In the shake down held today, Kubica was the fastest through and another fellow countryman and Fiesta R5 driver Michał Kosciuszko came second quick. Triple Polish champion Bryan Bouffier was third quickest in a Peugeot 207 S2000 and ERC championship leader Jan Kopecky fourth fastest driving a Skoda Fabia S2000 for Skoda Motorsport. “It was nice to see so many people in the stage,” said Kopecky. “But it was quite rough in some places and my car was quite low so it was touching.

Craig Breen was not really happy with his eighth position with his Peugeot 207 S2000 driving for Peugeot Rally Academy. “I wasn’t happy with my driving in there – I couldn’t find a good rhythm, but the real rally begins tomorrow.
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Sebastien Ogier gains speed - Day 2, WRC Rally Australia - 2013

Sebastien Ogier takes the lead early on day 2 after the opening stage, and also winning straight 7 of the 8 stages of the day. Fellow VW Polo R driver Jari-Matti Latvala regains his rhythm by taking the final stage victory. Baseline, it was an all Volkswagen day.

First pass through the three main stages, were reported very slippery with too much loose ground. This didn't stop the Frenchman to regain an early lead and start building up the gap with the other drivers. Mikko Hirvonen was looking in good form and started tailing Ogier, although it was not enough to slow him down.



Latvala suffered with lack of confidence since morning stages, although started to regain his for by the rest half of the day. M-Sport Ford Fiesta RS driver Thierry Neuville too suffered in the opening stages, still his time was not so bad and finished third overall by the day's finish.

Citroen's latest driver Kris Meeke was quick enough to settle through the dusty stages, with the running order of last of the WRC cars seemed to be of some help.


Top 10 scoreboard by the end of SS10, Day 2
Pos         No          Driver
Time             Diff
    Prev    
    Diff
   1st
1.8S. OGIER           
58:46.6 0.0  0.0
2.2M. HIRVONEN
59:06.6+20.0+20.0
3.11T. NEUVILLE
59:24.7+18.1+38.1
4.3K. MEEKE
59:25.2+0.5+38.6
5.7J. LATVALA
59:44.8+19.6+58.2
6.4M. OSTBERG
59:48.3+3.5+1:01.7
7.9A. MIKKELSEN
59:50.4+2.1+1:03.8
8.5E. NOVIKOV
59:55.8+5.4+1:09.2
9.22N. QUINN
1:02:49.2+2:53.4+4:02.6
10.10K. AL QASSIMI
1:03:28.0+38.8+4:41.4

Here is an exclusive ride with Ogier's onboard camera in SS5.



Tomorrow features a marathon stage, Nambucca [49.9 km] and Valla [14.84 km], that are run twice after a 30min mid-day service.

A couple of final SSS at Coffs Harbour will mark the end of the day for Saturday's leg. See you tomorrow.
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Andreas Mikkelsen Leads after SS2, WRC Rally Australia - 2013

Andreas Mikkelsen leads the Rally Australia after a couple of successive spectator special stages, at Coffs Harbour.

Although it is too early to rejoice, the Norwegian has managed to lead in a WRC rally for the first time ever. Kris Meeke is behind him, in less than a second and Latvala is third overall. Thierry Neuville & Sebastien Ogier are 4th and 5th respectively.

Citroen WRT's new recruit Kris Meeke went fastest through the with the shakedown stage, which was very much dry and dusty. It had not rained in the past 3 three weeks in the region and the rally is expected to trouble the drivers with the dust, if it doesn't rain during this weekend.

Thierry Neuville was 3rd quickest in Qualifying, and started 8th on the road, said; “Of course the second fastest time in Qualifying would have been better than third, but Kris [Meeke] was on a really big push and I am happy with my position. It was not a perfect run, and we could have gone faster in places, but eighth on the road is not a bad place to be.

Now, we just need to get a good rhythm from the start and take each stage as it comes. My main aim this weekend is to keep hold of my second place in the championship so we will be keeping a close eye on Jari-Matti [Latvala].”


Top ten results at the end of Day 1, SS2.
Pos         No          Driver
Time             Diff
    Prev    
    Diff
   1st
1.9A. MIKKELSEN           
2:45.3 0.0  0.0
2.3K. MEEKE
2:46.2+0.9+0.9
3.7J. LATVALA
2:46.2+0.5+1.4
4.8S. OGIER
1:23.5+0.1+1.5
5.2M. HIRVONEN
1:23.7+0.4+1.9
6.11T. NEUVILLE
1:23.8+0.8+2.7
7.4M. OSTBERG
1:24.5+1.9+4.6
8.5E. NOVIKOV
1:25.9+1.9+6.5
9.10K. AL QASSIMI
1:26.6+1.6+8.1
10.22N. QUINN
1:28.9+2.2+10.3

The frenchman Ogier could win the driver's championship, provided he makes more than 9 points off Thierry Neuville. Listen to him in this brief video below.


Local driver, Nathan Quinn will open the day tomorrow, while Meeke will be the last of the WRC cars to take start tomorrow morning.
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WRC moves to the land of Kangaroos - Rally Australia, 2013

It is time for round 10 of 13, and WRC moves to the land of the kangaroos. Starting from Thursday 12th September through the weekend to the final on Sunday 15th September, the action shifts to the eastern coastal land, around Coffs Harbour. Situated north of the capital of the Australian continent, about 400+kms off Sydney, the rally moves through wide roads on plains, and also in the forest roads of tight twisty lined with strong tall trees that can trap out even the best of the competition, if care is not exercised. 

Most of the surface in the competitive stage sections can be quite slippery, though not similar to those yester-years' 'ball-bearing' surface at location Perth, WA. Even though those loose tiny round stones almost missing in these roads, it is famous to be quite deadly when it rains. So bottom-line, it is going to be one heck of a rally awaiting to happen.

2011 witnessed these roads that showed its brutality by victimizing both the Sebs back in their Citroen DS3 WRC, while consistently driving Mikko Hirvonen claiming his victory, back then. Although now Ogier behind the wheel of VW Polo R and though Loeb missing all from the action, doesn't mean the rally be termed anywhere near to 'sober'! Ogier is almost in reach of taking his first WRC driver's title if he can claim top points, thereby ruling out any competition in the field to pressurize him during the rest of the remaining three other rallies.

However, all things is not easy for Ogier as Citroen who are back in the constructor's title race, when the VW's succumbed to the pressure in their homeland at ADAC Rally and hence leaving the title race open for the French auto maker to compete. And in an attempt to help with their campaign, Kris Meeke replaces Dani Sordo, who was seen struggling for pace in the past few gravel events.

A new in 2013 is at the rally base located in the centre of Coffs Harbour, incorporating the service park and the super special stage which runs on mixed surface during Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. It also features of two cars taking the start simultaneously on opposite sides of a former velodrome oval, and moving out onto surrounding streets and finishing back in the oval.

Organisers also decided to re-align and add new competitive sections while also retaining the most popular stages from 2011. This event is also one of the WRC’s most compact events ever, with two of the three legs being not more than 35km from Coffs Harbour, that also helps in running the event with a cost effective budget plan.



Itinerary!

Rally officially kicks off on Thursday 12th September with a short qualifying stage, followed by a rally show Coffs, the super special, run twice.
and then a ceremonial start and ends with a couple of competitive stage

Friday the rally moves near the town of Bellingen located south of the rally base, with three brand new stages; Tuckers Nob, Belligen and Newry. These tests are run consecutively and after the noon's 30-minute service halt the same are repeated. Another couple of trials at the super special marks the end of the day's action.

On Saturday the actions shifts even down south with a couple tests that are run twice, first one 'Valla' being same as in 2011, and another new 49.9km marathon stage called Nambucca, which is a fusion of two tests that ran in 2011. These two stages are run once in the morning and repeats post to mid-day service. Again, the day concludes with the final visit to the Coffs super special, run twice.

Final day, Sunday makes with another triple stages located north of Rally base, with a couple of new stages - Bucca and Wedding Bells - and the Shipmans same as used in 2011. Post to noon service break, the stages are repeated, and Shipmans being the Power Stage, bonus points are at the disposal for the fastest three crews. Finally, the podium at Coffs, after a quick 10m service back at the rally base.

And finally, coming down to a obvious question.. On who is your bet on?!

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Heart vs. Brain' Decision for Molly Taylor - Rally Poland, ERC - 2013

Heart will always stay put in homeland, nevertheless whether you are discharging your duties at any part of the planet. The same is the situation for Molly Taylor, who will be driving in the ERC championship for 'Ladies title' this season, hence missing her home event of the WRC which incidentally happen on same dates on opposite sides of the planet.

An official statement released explains the same below, read-on.

PROGRAMME CHANGE FOR MOLLY TAYLOR , SHE WILL CONTEST RALLY POLAND INSTEAD OF RALLY AUSTRALIA

Change of programme for Molly Taylor, who earlier in the season had planned to contest in Rally Australia, and who will instead take part in Rally Poland, ninth round of the European Rally Championship.

This choice was made within United Business both to defend the first position reached in the  European Ladies' Trophy and to increase the wealth of experience of the strong Australian lady driver.

Molly Taylor e Seb Marshall in Barum Rally Zlin were safely in front of the other female crews, a result they reached at the end of a smooth performance with an eye on the championship standings. For the United Business crew the next step will be the challenging 70° Rally Poland, a gravel event held in Mikolajki from 13th to 15th of September and which Molly Taylor will tackle with the DS3 R3, a car with which she has already contested 5 rounds of the 2013 European Championship. This year's Rally Poland is expected like never before by fans and this is due to the fact that Robert Kubica will enter and the expectations of Polish fans are huge. “I am happy to be able to race in Poland because first of all it is an opportunity to increase my experience and because the race, I am told, is really fascinating; besides the challenging opponents, the fans make every moment of the rally very special - said Molly Taylor - on the other hand I am so sorry not to be in Rally Australia, it is my home event, my heart feeling was to be there but, after a careful analysis with my manager Pier Liberali and my co-driver Seb Marshall , we decided to give up Australia and to be in Poland. The logical goals of the European Championship ranking prevailed on the sentimental side, I will  once again face a completely new rally, I am not afraid, Seb and I will try to give it our best as always”.

Pier Liberali patron of United Business said ”I have been thinking about this programme change for a while, and when I explained the reasons both Molly Seb with great professionalism understood and shared them; I had no doubts, they are proving two great professionals. Having done less rallies than her opponents and also because of two unlucky events, until now I had to ask Molly to limit by much her desire to go flat out, looking to the Trophy at this stage it was essential to be at the finish of the races, she did it three times and has always beaten her rivals with relative ease, now that the leadership in the Female Trophy has been reached I think it is fair that in Rally Poland our crew has the go-ahead to fulfill their desire to attack. Both in Sibiu and in Zlin I saw in the eyes of Molly and Seb some frustration, it is never nice to ask a driver to go slowly and finish the race, but I had to do so and with great professionalism they listened to my recommendations . In Poland they will run as they deem it best and I am hopeful that this year's races have taught them to manage a rally at the best. I always say that to win trophies and championships you have to get to the end of each rally”.

The Rally of Poland in 2013 will offer live television show, thanks to the agreement between the promoter of the European Championship, Eurosport, and the LOTOS oil group sponsor of the event, as well as of Robert Kubica's programme comprising ERC and WRC and which means that four of the special stages will be broadcast "live": the two runs through the 19.14 km Mragowo stage and the two on the 23.77 km Mateuszek stage, which will also be the closing stage of the event.
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EVO MAGAZINE COMES TO INDIA

The world’s leading automotive enthusiast magazine to hit Indian newsstands in the last week of September

Evo, the world’s leading automotive enthusiast magazine is all set to make a splash in India. Launched in the UK in 1998, Evo currently publishes 16 editions worldwide.

To be christened ‘Evo India’, the prime endeavour of the magazine will be to bring to its readers the thrill of driving – and riding as well. From affordable hatchbacks to 300kmph supercars, and from single-cylinder sports bikes to screaming superbikes, Evo India will aim to put the reader firmly behind the wheel and in the saddle, to celebrate the motoring experience.

An unwavering focus on driving/riding reviews and adventure, up-to-date news, opinion, technology, guides and group tests are what have elevated Evo to its status as the world’s leading enthusiast motoring brand. And Evo India will continue to emulate those high editorial standards.

The Indian edition of Evo will stand out from other automotive magazines, by being more lavish in its photography, design and content with some of the best writers in the world – and India! – penning evoca- tive driving and riding adventures. The experienced editorial team will add in-depth and analytical reports; incisive and perceptive interviews with auto designers and engineers; and deliver technology, industry, market and motorsport insights.

Given its focus, Evo readership has more of a penchant for the finer things in life, marked by quality, preci- sion and state-of-the-art engineering, in keeping with a luxury lifestyle. Pioneering, premium, snazzy and savvy, Evo India aims to set the pace in this country as well.

“We will endeavour to give the Indian automotive enthusiast a one-of-a-kind thrilling automotive experi- ence that keeps him - and her! - coming back for more,” says Rohan Pawar, Publisher of evo India.

Unveiled at an exclusive event was the collector’s edition cover of the launch issue with India’s first 300kmph test. For the cover story Evo India assembled six of the most desirable and exotic supercars available in India at the Buddh International Circuit for a one-of-a-kind test of machines capable of 300kmph – a story no automotive enthusiast can afford to miss.

“To live up to Evo’s ‘The Thrill of Driving’ credo will be as much as a challenge as it promises to be an adventure,” says Evo India Editor Sirish Chandran, who has over 13 years of experience editing India’s premier auto magazine and presenting an acclaimed auto show on a leading television channel. He adds: “Evo India will be a magazine for automotive enthusiasts by automotive enthusiasts and we will drive harder, faster and more sideways to plant the widest smile on our reader’s faces. We’ve already smashed the hallowed 300kmph mark with our launch issue – and that is only the start!”

To bring its readers ‘The Thrill of Driving’ Evo India has announced a special subscription offer wherein ten seats on the Mercedes-Benz AMG Driving Academy at the Buddh International Circuit are up for grabs. Evo subscribers will enjoy a full-day high-performance driver training course behind the wheel of cars like the SLS AMG supercar, E63 AMG and C63 AMG and instructed by AMG-certified trainers. Additionally 30 seats on the Star Off-Road Experience are on offer where Evo subscribers will be able to pilot the new ML-Class and GL-Class SUVs on an off–road track at the Mercedes-Benz India plant in Pune along with a VIP tour of the manufacturing facility.

“Butts on seats! We want our readers to experience ‘The Thrill of Driving’ and what better way to do it than driving an SLS AMG flat-out at the home of the Indian Grand Prix or maneuvering a GL-Class on a hard- core off-road course?”, adds Chandran.

Evo India will be launched by Pune-based Golden Sparrow Media Works Private Limited. The inaugural issue is slated to hit Indian newsstands by the last week of September and will be priced at Rs100.

The print edition will be bolstered by a strong web presence on www.evo.in and social media activation. The Facebook page EvoIndiaMag is already live and so is the twitter handle EvoIndiaMag. Subscription hotlines are open and readers can SMS EVO to 56070 or log on to www.evo.in.

For more information:
Golden Sparrow Media Works Pranali Godble pranali@evo.in +91-9764004273
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Roman Kresta drives his final Rally @ Barum Rally, Zlin | ERC - 2013

As Roman Kresta had announced at the beginning of the rally, about his retirement from driving which came after claiming four stage wins and a fifth place at the last day on Barum Czech Rally Zlín, last weekend.

The three-time winner of the FIA European Rally Championship, Kresta had achieved considerable success in the motorsport career spanning two decades. He pulled the plug-off the driving career, to better manage his rally team and car preparation business, Kresta Racing.


"The plan before the season started was to stop after Barum,"said the 37-year-old. "I do it a long time as a rally driver and now there is so much effort needed. At the moment I am not really a rally driver, I am a manager around everything with my team. It’s life, I’ve had a good career, driving for Ford in the WRC, winning this rally three times, things like that. There is a lot of emotion and I might come back one day for some rallies in the future but now is the right time to stop."

Roman Kresta, who enjoyed a season as a factory Ford driver in the world championship in 2005, and had finished 8th on the championship with a best finishes at 5th twice. Here in Barum Rally, he was on course for third place in Zlín if not for a puncture on Sunday’s second stage to drop him to fifth overall. However, it wasn’t all doom and gloom for the Czech when his driver Jaromír Tarabus took the final spot on the podium in a similar ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000. He was definitely not happy after loosing his podium spot, when he slipped to fifth but was aware what rallying is all about!

At RalliHeart, wishing Roman Kresta a bright and successful future!
[source: fiaerc.com]
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Jan Kopecky WINS Barum Rally | CROATIA RALLY - 2013 | ENTRIES ARE STILL OPEN

Jan Kopecky winning his home event, 5th time and with a hat-trick in this season has put him high up in the championship with a wider gap of 109 points. Jaroslav Orsák took the production class win, while Molly Taylor finished atop in Ladies class.

Rally Poland is the next in the series, next weekend to round it up to 9th event in ERC.

Last weekend also showcased one of the most anticipated European RallyCross event on the shared dates. Petter Solberg was joined along with the Legendary Frenchman Sebastien Loeb & it turned out to the Norwegian had better results and finished second on the podium at the end.

In the news is the 10th round of this season, which is opening up its full frills and promising to be a grandeur event. Do check out their official web-site at www.rallycroatia.com/. Also the entries are still open till 6th of September. Any late takers? Check their official release below.

CROATIA RALLY 2013: ENTRIES STILL OPEN
The countdown is already started less than two months before the Croatia Rally 2013, tenth round of the European Rally Championship, scheduled in Poreč for 26th to 28th of September.

Rally organized by CCKF (Croatian Car & Karting Federation ) will comprise
fourteen special stages split in two legs for a total of 239,12 kilometres.

After the publication of the Supplementary Regulations, subscriptions have already been opened and there are two entry deadlines:
For those who want to take advantage of the reduced rate the deadline is set on 26th of August 2013, those who want to enroll after this date will have to pay different entry fee and the deadline is set on the 6th September 2013.

Entry requests must be made using the specific form and sent to the Rally's Secretariat together with the entry fee payment receipt by e-mail to entry@rallycroatia2013.com and by insured mail or courier, by Friday of 6th September 2013 h 24.00.  The original entry form and entry fee payment receipt must be received by the Organizers within seven days (i.e. by Friday 13th September 2013).


Entry requests will not be accepted without payment receipt. The entry requests without payment receipt will be considered invalid and the Organizer will not notify the Entrant. 
All competitors who pay the accommodation for themselves and their team in Zelena Laguna in Poreč through the agency SPEKTAR PUTOVANJA d.o.o. in Zagreb (alma@spektar-holidays.hr ; tel: 00385 98 9829-922) are entitled to 20% discount when paying entry fee.
In order for discount to be realized it is necessary to attach the copy of payment for accommodation booking when paying entry fee.

The Special attraction of this rally, an extra-ordinary Super Special Stage has been planned - Poreč SSS will be held in the center of Poreč, 50 meters far from Service Park and 200 meters far from the podium and will be an extremely exciting and spectacular duel for which the organisers expect to attract thousands of fans.
Surely, it is going to be one rally that has been anticipated from quite some time! All the best United Business, good going!!
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