Finns all the way! Jari-Matti Latvala secures Toyota WRC for 2017

Toyota Yaris WRC with huge tail wing & other aero-kit!

In the wake of the seat crisis for the champion drivers, ex-VW'ians - after their official exit, the entire driver line-up were left out to hunt for a drive next season. Sebastien Ogier was half successful to try out the next-gen WRC cars, and the remaining half reluctant. In the heat-up, the next two & quite important drivers were nowhere heard in the main-stream media.

Jari-Matti, Miikka Antilla & TGR staff, during testing.
Jari-Matti Latvala & Andreas Mikkelsen were already contenders to secure a seat in the 4-time WRC champion driver Tommi Makinen managed Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC Team. 

But the latest talk mentions, that Volkswagen refugee driver Latvala has a drive booked at Toyota's new World Rally Championship team in 2017. Although he is reportedly agreed team's terms, there are a lot going-on on the negotiations table and he says,

"I cannot confirm that I have signed, and have been negotiating a lot with Tommi with my manager Timo Jouhki, but I cannot tell you I have signed."

Jari-Matti's almost secured deal with Toyota makes matters unpleasant for his ex-VW team-mate Andreas, who was also favoured to land up a seat Finnish-Japanese WRC team. Today, Latvala also completed the first tests with a newly upgraded aero for the Yaris WRC.

Almost fully developed VW Polo WRC 2017 spec
Also there is a strong speculation that a private funding from the Middle East and Qatari, Nasser Al-attiyah's name along with Redbull is heard to be the saviour of the project by raising sufficient funds in-time to save the Volkswagen's Polo R WRC 2017 programme. This could also provide a private seat for either Sebastien Ogier or Mikkelsen, or both!

Until the real news pops up, guesses and rumours are ruling the social media hubs!
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Job Opening - WRC Race Engineer Citroën Racing

Dirt storming Citroen C3 WRC 2017 world rally car, during testing.

An excellent opportunity for motorsport engineers, to be part of the Citroen Racing's World Rally Championship programme for 2017 season! English & French speaking abilities is a must for this profile with sound knowledge of the sport with chassis preparation specialisation and upkeeping one Citroen C3 WRC car for the forthcoming season. This comes from the Citroen's motorsport chief Yves Matton himself, and if this doesn't excites you, then probably you are totally sane!

Interested candidates apply at their linkedin post here. Have a look of the Job description below, apply if you possess the skills needed and if interested. Good luck, and see you with the French team! 

Citroen Racing, WRC service support team during the first test of C3 WRC.

Job description

Role purpose :
- It is a full time job, based in Versailles at Citroën Racing workshop.
- The person filling this role will be part of the chassis department.
- He will be a race engineer in charge of one car of the team for the year in the WRC championship.

The main responsibilities :
- Ensure optimum car performance during the rally, using experience and technical know-how.
- Ensure race car assembly according to specifications.
- Support the final build-up of the car and decide on its setup.
- Collaborate with the other engineers and pilots of the team and participates in the specification and set up.
- Coordinate and advise the car engineering and mechanics group.
- Actively cooperate with respective departments helping the development of the car.
- Participate to the various technical meetings, and monitor the resolution of problems during tests and races.
- Can take over responsibility for some test sessions, and ensure its presence on some others.

Skills and qualifications required:
- A degree in Mechanical or Automotive Engineering or equivalent.
- 5 years’ experience as a race engineer
- Excellent up-to-date technical knowledge especially regarding rally cars as well as relevant experience in a track environment.
- Excellent problem-solving skills.
- The ability to analyze and interpret data.
- The ability to prioritize and plan effectively .
- The ability to work under pressure and to deliver high quality to tight deadlines.
- The ability to lead a team.
- knowledge of Magneti Marelli software Wintax.
- knowledge of developer tools (VBA, Matlab, etc ...).
- Fluent English and French language skills.
- Willingness to travel and show a flexible approach to working hours.
- Good communication and team-working skills.
- Solid project management capabilities
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Team India emerges as Champions by winning in their category at RFC 2016 Grand Final in Malaysia

Enthusiastic Gurmeet & Kirpal after the win

Force Gurkha RFC India 2016
champions Gurmeet Virdi and Kirpal Singh Tung beat seasoned international off-roaders to grab the top spot in their category in the world-renowned off-road motorsport competition

Tiranga at Malaysia RFC finale
New Delhi, December 6, 2016: Force Gurkha RFC India 2016 Champions Gurmeet Virdi and Kirpal Singh Tung have put India firmly on the global off-roading map and ensured that their names will find a prominent mention in offroading history. The duo has not only become the first Indian team ever to successfully complete the Grand Final of the Rainforest Challenge (RFC) Global Series, but has also emerged on top in their category at the RFC 2016 Grand Final in Malaysia. Team India scored a total 1,361 points out of 2,400 after the completion of the 20th edition of what is considered to be one of the top 10 toughest motor races in the world. This ensured them the top spot in their category.

Gurmeet Virdi and Kirpal Singh Tung participated in Force Gurkha RFC India 2016 that was held in Goa in July and emerged as the winners of the competition. This win earned them an automatic entry in the RFC 2016 Grand Final, which is the culmination of the Global RFC Series having 25 editions worldwide. While this was Gurmeet’s second foray in RFC Global Final, it was Kirpal’s first ever international off-road competition experience. Gurmeet was the co-driver of Team India in RFC 2014 Grand Final, which was the first time an Indian team had participated in this coveted off-road motorsport competition.

During vehicle preparation back in garage
Unable to contain his excitement on this win, Gurmeet said, “Kirpal and I had decided before coming to Malaysia that we had to concentrate on preserving our vehicle and staying in the competition till the end. Though we definitely dreamt of winning, our focus throughout the week was on avoiding penalties and vehicle breakdown. Now that the final results have been announced, I am finding it hard to believe that our dream has come true. The feeling is yet to sink in!

Gurmeet and Kirpal, though being new to the international off-roading scenario, gave a neck-to-neck competition to seasoned off-roaders despite the fact that they were driving a hired competition vehicle, which they had not even seen till a couple of days prior to the commencement of the competition. 

Luis J.A. Wee, Gurmeet & Kirpal receiving their trophies!
As per Mr. Ashish Gupta, Founder & Director, Cougar Motorsport Pvt. Ltd., the company which organizes RFC India, “I would like to congratulate Gurmeet and Kirpal on their superb performance in the RFC 2016 Grand Final. We brought RFC to India three years ago with the intent of promoting the latent off-road talent in various parts of the country and help promising Indian offroaders gain recognition not only in our country but also internationally. Having an Indian team on the podium in Malaysia this year is like a mission well accomplished.
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Clean sweep Victory for Gaurav Gill, APRC Coffee Day India Rally, Chikmagalur

Gaurav Gill cornering through the tight twisty gravel roads of coffee estates of Chikmagalur, India

Mike Young negotiating a turn in his Subaru R4
Gaurav Gill wins Coffee Day India Rally, the sixth and final event of APRC at coffee estates of Chikmagalur. Starting first on the road and winning all the stages of the Sunday. By this victory on home soil of the 2016 APRC season, Gaurav also has the honours of a clean sweep victory in all the six events of the championship. He and his team Skoda MRF Racing also won the APRC Driver, Co-Driver & Team Championship titles in the penultimate APRC round at Malaysian Rally.

Yuya Sumiyama in Subaru STi R4
Yesterday, Gill's team-mate Germany's tarmac ace Fabian Kreim retired early in SS3 after his Skoda Fabia R5's rear suspension broke in a minor accident and in the process blocking the road for the entire APRC cars who started behind him. No one were injured and the remaining cars had to turn back to the next stage start and the damaged Fabia was cleared from the stage in no-time.

Sanjay Takale in Subaru R4
Gaurav carried on with his stage after stage wins, and ended up in a commanding lead of over 7 minutes to his nearest chaser, New Zealand's Mike Young in a Cusco prepared Subaru R4. Sanjay Takale was the another Indian to complete on the podium, after Fabian early and later retirements of Yuya Sumiyama's Subaru STi R4 who had brake issues in the second run of the Chandrapura special stage (SS6), finally went off the road in a corner due to near failure of wheel stopping device.

The charging Fabian Kreim.
Gill sideways through the gates!
In the final day today, with four stages remaining Fabian Kriem stole the victory of the opening two tests, while Gill took the day's third test to his crown.

Gaurav Gill took the rally victory with a commanding gap of 11m22s over second placed Micheal Young.
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