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GP Week : Issue 3
14 ADVERTISE in GPWEEK For more details CLICK HERE to access a HuGE global audience n Italy’s round of the world championship again takes place in Sardinia, based at Olbia (16-18 May) and this year there will be a short televised final stage run close to the finish at Porto Cervo. It has also been decided that this event will host a round of the national gravel championship. Germany’s round of the world series is another ever which will run a televised stage as the final section. n Global Group Irish Tarmac championship leader Mark Higgins failed to finish the poorly-supported Circuit of Ireland International Rally when the transmission failed on the first day when he was leading. Eamonn Boland’s Subaru finally won by 49s from Gareth MacHale’s Focus. n Guy Wilks is to drive a JAS team Honda Type R class R3 car on two rounds of the Australian Rally Championship, Canberra and then Melbourne. This is parallel to Wilks’ programme of British championship events with Mitsubishi. His main opposition in Australia will come from Toyota S2000 cars. Twelve years ago, fellow British driver Alister McRae drove a Honda on the world championship Telstra Rally Australia. n Two MG ZR Super 2000 cars are to compete in the 2008 Tesco 99 Octane British Rally Championship. The MSD team, who prepare the official cars, will run Stuart Jones, while Bill Gwynne Motorsport are to run the second car for Mark Higgins. The opening round is the Pirelli International Rally on April 19. SPECIAL StAGES AFTER a gap of 33 years, Tatoi is back again on the Acropolis Rally agenda. Tatoi is a military establishment north of Athens, where races for rally cars competing on the Acropolis Rally used to be held on the adjacent airfield. The last time the rally went to Tatoi was in 1975, when Walter Rohrl and Opel both respectively won their first world championship rallies. This year the venue will house the headquarters of the event as well as a purpose- made 4km Superspecial. The move from the Equestrian centre at Markopoulo across to Tatoi represents the fourth different headquarters venue for the event in as many years. The physical location of Tatoi makes for a more compact route for the rally, which now has a special historical context. The official route of the rally on the Friday and Sunday passes the road over the Dhekelia mountain, which in 1977 was used as a special pre-event classification stage before it was tarmaced. It was on this road that Ari Vatanen had a famous accident which led to debates for 20 years as to whether the famous Finn had ‘started’ the rally or not – and therefore whether he had started 100 world championship events in his career. The move has also prompted the search for another orthodox special stage location close to Athens. Stages 4 and 7 will be held on the Friday on the small Pikilo mountain to the west of the city, where a rocky 21km course is being prepared. Retreat to Tatoi RICARDO Trivino’s efforts to become the first Mexican driver to score world championship points came to grief a fortnight after his ‘home’ event when he was excluded for an offence concerning wearing driver’s gloves. He would have finished the event in eighth place, the scorer of one point, but he failed to lodge an appeal against exclusion at the correct time and lost his rights to challenge the decision. On his previous attempt at his home rally, in 2006, he finished tenth before being excluded for fitting an incorrect bumper before final scrutineering. His latest exclusion elevated Sebastien Ogier into eighth place overall, meaning that the French driver became the first Junior world championship driver to score points in the overall FIA drivers’ series. One man's meat is ... Trivino gets excluded from Mexican results, meaning Seb Mk11 is the first junior to score WRC points