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GP Week : Issue 22
>>WRCnews Ford exhausts a problem FORD went to Jyvaskyla with new exhaust pipes on the Focus RS World Rally Cars run by the BP Ford Abu Dhabi, Stobart VK and Munchi’s teams. In the last three years, since the current model Focus appeared, there have been two problems when the exhaust is damaged – firstly that the pipe gets crimped so the passage of exhaust gasses is constricted and, secondly, as soon as the exhaust touches the bodywork there is a serious danger of fire, particularly to the panels at the rear of the car. The end pipe of the exhaust has therefore been reshaped. The catalytic converter is still located at the rear end of the pipe and, in the stages, creates a red glow for all to see. Exhaust temperatures, when the gasses leave the engine, are about 1100, dropping to around 900 at the exit from the turbocharger, and down to 600-700 degrees at the end of the exhaust pipe – quite a sting in the tail, and small wonder at the way the rear bodywork sometimes wilts under the strain... Vouilloz in front when it counted FRENCH Peugeot driver Nicolas Vouilloz led the IRC Madeira Rally at the start and the finish, outpacing Italian Fiat driver Giandomenico Basso (before the latter made a tyre choice error) and Portuguese Peugeot driver Bruno Magalhaes, who punctured. The win by the Kronos team driver means that Peugeot cars have been unbeaten in the IRC series for the last 12 months. There was an uncharacteristically poor performance by Luca Rossetti, who was badly hampered by brake troubles. Basso drove hard to recover from lost time, winning six of the eight stages on the final day and snatched second place on the final stage. Fiat had a pre-rally shock when Anton Alen withdrew from the event through illness and was replaced by Umberto Scandola, and later fellow Fiat driver Renato Travaglia was struck down by illness as well. Vouilloz’ win puts him six points ahead of Rossetti in the IRC series. The event also counted for the FIA’s European series in which Rossetti still holds the lead, ahead of Polish driver Michael Solowow and Volkan Isik from Turkey. 17 LEFT: Luca Rossetti’s brake troubles hampered his performance. ABOVE: Giandomenico Basso lost time due to a tyre choice error. BELLOW: Nicolas Vouilloz finished the rally with a win.