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GP Week : Issue 2
13 CONTAINERS with rally equipment are currently on the high seas on their way from Mexico to Argentina, in a race to arrive in time for the next round of the world championship. There are 26 days between the end of Rally Mexico and the start of Rally Argentina, and it is a race which the teams will win - but only if there are no unexpected hitches. The surest route is via the Pacific Ocean. This involves land transport from Leon across Mexico to the Pacific coast, a freighter boat ride down to Chile, and a land convoy across Chile and over the Andes before finally arriving in Villa Carlos Paz in Argentina. Inside the containers will be the equipment, spare parts and recce vehicles, but the competition cars themselves will have already been flown to Europe and then back out to Argentina. “Time is very tight”, explained M-Sport’s coordinator John Millington, responsible for not only the safe passage of the BP Abu Dhabi team equipment, but also that for the Munchi’s and Stobart teams as well. “In order to be ready for the rally, all the containers must be on site in the service area at Villa Carlos Paz by Saturday 22nd March, which means docking in Chile around the 19th.” WRC news >> Go West, it's safer ... CONFIRMED at Wednesday’s pre- Rally Argentina press conference in Cordoba were detailed plans to cater for the organisers’ weather dilemma. Even two weeks before the event, there were no clear guidelines about the climatic conditions expected for the event. Statistically the conditions at this time of year could range from very hot, to very wet. Already notices have been issued banning spectators from a large area of the stage San Agustin - Villa General Belgrano (12 and 16) because this is a pine tree area with a very high fire risk. But in case of heavy rainfall, the route this year avoids stages in flood plain areas north of Villa Carlo Paz where flash floods can occur. Conditions in the service park on the shores of the Lago San Roque itself however have been improved.. The area where the World Championship teams are located is now completely covered by tarmac. The uncertainty of conditions also affects competitors. Some time ago, it was decided that teams should again run on Pirelli’s hard compound Scorpion control tyres, which Sebastien Loeb has already said “can be a problem” if the conditions turn out to be colder and softer than in Mexico. Preparing for Wet and Dry Bacco is Back! 20-year-old Italian driver Giorgio Bacco is to contest Rally Argentina as a late entry in the Production Car category, replacing Fabio Frisiero at the wheel of Subaru number 47. The FIA have allowed Frisiero to withdraw from this event for family reasons. This is part of the three car Motoring Club entry, in which the Dunlop sponsored Slovenian driver Andrez Jereb drives car 45 and the Finn Jari Ketomaa car 46, pictured below. Motoring Club chief Gabiele Favero confirmed that Bacco has driven as a non-championship driver for Motoring Club in Sardinia, Finland and the Wales Rally GB while still a teenager. While Jereb and Ketomaa will be in N12s, Bacco will continue to drive an N11 Subaru, having already entered the event as a non championship driver under number 69. Bacco comes to rallying after four years in Karting, then he contested the Fiat Panda Trophy in 2006. His first four-wheel-drive event was Sardinia in 2007.