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GP Week : Issue 4
THIS weekend’s Istanbul Rally fires off two major rally championships – the FIA’s European series and the renegade Intercontinental Rally Challenge. The two series coincide to the degree that four out of the ten events in each series are the same, a neat cost-saving opportunity. Both series have the same aim - to provide international motorsport at a level beneath world championship status, and without the expense of running World Rally Cars. While the Super 2000 teams still have a very small footprint in the world championship series, these cars dominate both the ERC and the IRC. Of the 55 entries received for the Istanbul Rally there are no fewer than seven Fiat Grande Punto S2000s and six Peugeot 207 S2000. Last year’s rally, strangely named the Fiat Rally, was Turkey’s top rally of the season, but this year the world championship returns to Turkey, so in less than three months the country will run two major events. ERC/IRC to kick off in Turkey ... and in other news n The Istanbul Rally was assigned as a qualifying round of the IRC only recently, after national unrest in Kenya caused the first round, the Safari Rally, to be dropped from the IRC. n Among the entries is Dani Sola, the inaugural FIA Junior World Rally Champion, who starts a programme with Fiat. The car will be run by the Italian team Procar. n Fiat’s Grande Punto Super 2000 cars now have suspension changes. All seven cars on the Istanbul Rally will be fitted with a newly homologated rear subframe, and the two official Abarth cars of Alen and Basso will be fitted with revised rear suspension arms as well. n Didier Auriol, pictured right, has been signed for a four rally programme of IRC events starting from the second round, Portugal. The 1994 World Rally Champion is now also to compete in Russia, Asturias and Sanremo. 13 WRC news >>