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GP Week : Issue 2
11 WRC news >> Tide is turning for Subaru THE FIA’s homologation of a spherical bearing in the front suspension of the 2008 version Impreza Group N car is being claimed by Subaru competition managers as the breakthrough necessary to make the car a consistent winner. With these parts fitted, 2008 version Imprezas finished first and second in Paraguay on the Cordillera Rally, opening round of the FIA’s Codasur zone championship, while Jari Ketomaa won the Group N category on the Tahko Spa national championship rally in Finland. Permission to use this equipment only arrived from the FIA at 1600 European time on the Friday, the day the events started. Not only does the bearing give better handling but it also reduces the stress on the power steering equipment, as the basic steering is more precise. The reason why the new Subaru of Longhi did not start in Ciocco, however, was related to difficulty in correctly mapping the engine for the control fuel supplied in Italy. The Qatar round of the FIA Middle East Championship, run at the same time as Monte Carlo, had already provided a victory for the new model Impreza, but the win by Paraguayan driver Diego Dominguez, who beat Argentine Christian Confetti’s similar car and an old model Subaru of Peruvian Nicolas Fuchs was emphatic. Subaru’s Group N season started badly when Olivier Burri was slowed by engine problems at Monte Carlo: the best new Subaru was only sixth in Group N in Sweden and there were difficulties on national events in Russia and Argentina. Diego Dominguez winning Cordillera Rally in Paraguay, first round of 2008 Codasur series. GORDON Noble, veteran Northern Ireland co-driver, is taking over from Tom Walsh as Clerk of the Course of the Course of Rally Ireland, when it returns to the world championship calendar in the last weekend of January 2009. Noble has been active in international rallying for 15 years, having co-driven for Trevor Cathers, the late Mark Fisher, Kris Meeke and the 2004 FIA World Production Car Rally Champion Niall McShea. Rally Ireland’s office has explained that Walsh had the chance to work with the organisation in 2007 on account of a six-month sabbatical from his employment, to which he now returns. Gordon worked as Assistant Clerk of the Course in 2007, alongside Fred Gallagher as Deputy Clerk of the Course. Former Formula 1 team principal Eddie Jordan continues as Rally Ireland Chairman. Noble Man Cols badly hurt in rally test BELGIAN champion Larry Cols was seriously injured last Monday (March 10) in a high speed testing accident at Rodt, near St Vith, in the VW Polo S2000 in which he had been engaged to contest this year’s national series. 24-year-old Rene Georges team engineer Hans Goudezeune was with him at the time and died when the car impacted an isolated tree on the co-driver’s side. Cols lost consciousness in the accident and is currently in intensive care with multiple injuries, in an induced coma. They were testing the car before the opening round of the Belgian series, the East Belgian Rally, this weekend. 32-year-old Cols has been active in international rallying for twelve years, was fourth in the FIA’s inaugural S1600 championship in 2001 and over the years won Boucles de Spa, Ypres and Condroz rallies in Belgium. Cols’ father competed under the pseudonym ‘Didi’ and was a champion in the seventies at the wheel of Fiat 124 and 131 Abarth cars.