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GP Week : Issue 16
n More work for retired former double world rally champion Marcus Gronholm! He is to give exclusive one-to-one tuition to the winner of the 2008 Fiesta Sporting International Trophy. The previous two winners of the series have been Alessandro Bettega and Barry Clark, both of whom have entered world championship rallies in an Escort WRC as a prize. n In our memories of the late Ove Andersson last week, it was stated his Safari Rally win in 1975 was the first world rally win for Toyota. It was the first win for Peugeot. Apologies. n Citroen C4 World Rally Car drivers Urmo Aava and Conrad Rautenbach are both to compete in the South Estonia Rally (18-19 July) as a test for the forthcoming Neste Oil Rally Finland, on the other side of the Baltic Sea. n The FIA’s European championship organisers have finally released details of how their Pirelli Star Driver selection process will operate. One under 27 year old candidate will be nominated by each of the 18 national federations which run either a World or European championship rally in Europe. A ‘shoot out’ will then select the two drivers to be supported in 2009. n Safari time is here again! Postponed because of local unrest earlier in the year, the 2008 KCB Safari Rally will run this weekend as an FIA African Championship event, though its status as a qualifying round of the IRC has this year been dropped. Highlight of the weekend will be the appearance of former Safari Rally winner Ian Duncan in the Classic car section at the wheel of a 1965 Ford Mustang. SPECIAL StAGES AUSTRALIAN Neal Bates has won the two-day Coates Queensland Rally based at Nambour, Queensland, after his Toyota Corolla S2000 teammate Simon Evans (below) crashed on the first day when leading. The event was run in forests to the north of Brisbane where main rivals were Evans’ brother Eli and former world championship driver Michael Guest, both in Subarus. Bates, 43, (right) who first won a national championship rally on this event in 1992, was fastest on Day 1 but eased his pace on Day 2, confirming his overall victory but allowing the other Evans to get the prize for the day. Noticeable at the event was the lack of news concerning the venue for the world championship Rally Australia, due to run in 2009, and originally expected to be based in Queensland. No information has been released, creating speculation the event will now be run in neighbouring New South Wales. SEPTEMBER will see rallies dedicated to the memory of Britain’s two world rally champions. On 13-14 September, the Richard Burns Memorial Rally will be heldas a single-venue charity event at the Royal Air Force base at Marham, Norfolk. This will be eight years after Richard, who died 25 November, 2005, visited the base and was given a memorable flight in a Tornado GR4. Two weeks later (27 September) the Colin McRae Forest Stages Rally, already an established event in the Scottish rally calendar, will be held. The family of Colin, who died 15 September 2007, have specially asked for the event which they sponsored to carry on. This will be based at Perth, and use famous rally forests in that area. The promoters of the McRae Stages event have invited many of Colin’s contemporary champions to attend the event as part of their tribute. Britain’s World Champions Remembered Veteran Bates Wins Again Flying higher than a WRC car – the late Richard Burns experienced Tornado power in 2001. 16