by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 11
GPWEEK OPINION >> WE looked at the results of the Vodafone Rally of Portugal after the first proper stage of the rally, and the significance was far more dramatic than even the live television images had conveyed. The top 10 cars on the rally were all Super 2000s. Guest driver Juho Hanninen was the top orthodox Group N driver, his Evo IX in eleventh place... Aigner was 12th, Sousa was 14th, Araujo had retired with engine failure and Andreucci withdrew before the start. The one major difference about the IRC is the Super 2000 presence, even if it is limited to just Peugeot and Fiat, so the cars and their sounds were different. And a lot of other things were very different to the service parks in the WRC. We badly miss the Italian connection in the WRC. Here in Portugal, Italian magic was everywhere. The Peugeot 207 S2000 of the formula pace-setter Luca Rossetti, took the start of the rally proudly displaying a French plate on the front and an Italian one on the rear! The Ralliart Italia team brought not one, nor two cars for Portuguese driver Armindo Araujo but three. Two of them proudly displayed number 14, the third was a mock-up of the Evo X which he hopes to use at the end of the year. He retired after completing just one stage. And what about Abarth and the little pre-rally problem of Giandomenico Basso? Basso crashed on his test on Monday afternoon after a tyre deflated on a fast stretch of road. Monday evening saw the old spare car loaded on a trailer, together with sufficient spares to do a rebuild, and two drivers set off from Turin at 2200. Driving non-stop they arrived in Faro at the other end of Europe at 0300 Wednesday morning. The car was prepared ready for the rally, like nothing amiss had happened, and appeared at Shakedown on Thursday morning. “It was all a little bit like things used to be,” joked Abarth team manager Nic Gullino. Can’t wait for the Italians to be back in the world championship again … Was this the day that Group N died? impression of the sport they will want in order to ensure their continued participation? The question is whether or not the weekend will be remembered for the racing, or for the conduct of the President of the sport’s governing body. One hopes it is for the racing. After all, it’s why we’re all there in the first place. Perhaps it is only in a place like Monaco that the glory of the event itself could outshine the spotlight which will be placed on the FIA President and the calls for him to explain himself in front of the world’s F1 media. Perhaps he won’t need to. Perhaps he’ll simply pass under the radar. But with MI5 the latest body to become embroiled in the scandal, one wonders what revelations will come out next… That’s the thing about Monaco. You just don’t know where you’ll end up. It can all be a bit surreal. MArtin HolMes rallies editor o p in io n 21