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GP Week : Issue 12
n Irish driver Shaun Gallagher mentioned it was hard to understand Scottish co-driver Claire Mole during the Sardinia Rally. Now Scots driver Barry Clark is to be partnered in Turkey by Irish co-driver Paul Nagle. And don’t forget Barry Clark is driving for the Argentine Munchi’s team. Will the Tower of Babel win again? n Five years after the tragic accident which took the lives of Subaru crew Mark Lovell and Roger Freeman at the Oregon Trails Rally in the USA, Subaru drivers Travis Pastrana and Derek Ringer have won the event this year. The next event for Travis and Derek is this week’s Acropolis Rally. n 32 year-old Italian driver Corrado Fontana has scored his first major success by driving his Fiat to victory in the Croatia Rally, round three of the FIA European championship. Fontana had a rally-long battle with Michael Solowow, the Polish gentleman Peugeot driver, and both beat the Fiat of Volkan Isik from Turkey. Super 2000 cars took the top three places. Luca Rossetti, winner of the two previous rounds, still leads the series despite missing this event in order to compete on the Italian championship Targa Florio Rally, in Sicily, which he won.... n Italian company Magneti Marelli has been named ‘Official Automotive Telemetry Sponsor’ of the FIA World Rally Championship. Its previous involvement in the sport has been linked to supply to various competing teams, including Ford and Lancia. Champion Sebastien Loeb who drove a course opening zero-car. SPECIAL StAGES SUBARU’S Impreza S14 World Rally Car is to make its first public appearance when the team starts this weekend’s Acropolis Rally on 30 May. The car will be presented to the press on Wednesday evening. The World Rally Car is based on the new production Impreza model hatchback car, similar in appearance to the new Impreza N14 seen in privateer hands on world, regional and national championship rallying since Monte Carlo in January. The Group N version car has already seen success in regional events in the Middle East and South America.. Under FIA rules, as soon as a manufacturer team starts to run a new model, it cannot revert to a previous version. THE heat of the Greek plains provides the character of the stages for this weekend’s Acropolis Rally, traditionally one of the hottest events of the season. It is the second event of the trilogy of early northern hemisphere summer gravel rallies in the Mediterranean region and the seventh event out of 15 in this year’s world series. Much of the route is similar to 2007 but the headquarters has moved across to the Tatoi military air force base north of Athens, where a superspecial stage will be held on Friday and Sunday. Tatoi provides a logistically convenient venue, close to the main through roads which are used as transit sections between stages, and has historical connections with the event. In the ‘70s it was the location of a special stage that took the form of a circuit race – the last time there was a circuit race with a mass start on a world rally. Also for the first time since 2003, there will be a ceremonial start in Athens itself, on the service road at the foot of the famous Parthenon monument building. The major interest surrounds the debut of the new Subaru Impreza S14 cars, expected to be the final debut appearance of a World Rally Car built under the current regulations, before the new rules come fully into Hot Greek week... 16