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GP Week : Issue 5
LUCA Rossetti's Peugeot headed the eight Super 2000 cars which finished at the top of the weekend’s Istanbul Rally, the opening round of both the European Championship and the IRC, leaving the Group N cars far behind. Rossetti's Peugeot Italia team car finished 23.9 seconds in front of the Peugeot Kronos car of Nicolas Vouilloz, with whom he had a tight battle in the early stages before the French driver was delayed by a puncture. This was only the fifth event rally on gravel in Rossetti's career, and was his third win on the three IRC events he has entered so far! Fiat's number one driver Anton Alen lost time on Day 1 with brake and engine troubles but pulled up on the final stage to pip team-mate Renato Travaglia into third place, when the Italian slid off the road and also punctured. Punctures played a major part on the event. Vouilloz's team-mate Freddy Loix lost four minutes for this reason on stage 3 and Brice Tirabassi retired when he suffered two on the same stage. Top Turkish driver Volkan Isik also lost time in this manner, while Spanish driver Dani Sola's private Fiat Abarth finished the first leg in second place but punctured on Day 2, falling back to finished sixth just behind Czech driver Jan Kopecky. This was the first event in a Peugeot for Kopecky, Skoda's resident test driver on their own Super 2000 project. Behind the Super 2000 cars, two wheel drive Fiat Punto S1600 cars finished ninth and tenth, while the top Group N car was the Subaru Impreza N14 car of Bulgarian Krum Donchev, driving for the new Bulgarian Prista Oil Rally Team. Round two of the European series is the rally version of the historic Mille Miglia in two weeks, run on asphalt stages. The second IRC event is the gravel stage Rally of Portugal in five weeks' time. Punctures for All in Turkey! WRC news >> 14