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GP Week : Issue 23
SPECIAL StAGES n Deja vue. Kenny Lynch has won the Turkington Lurgan Park Rally for the fifth successive time and for the second year, beating Mark Higgins. This year Lynch was driving a Subaru and Higgins was making a rare appearance in a Mitsubishi Lancer Rally Car. n Same cars or different ones? The two official Impreza WRC 2008 cars to run in Germany are the same as those driven by Petter Solberg and Chris Atkinson in Finland. The two official BP Abu Dhabi cars for Mikko Hirvonen and Jari- Matti Latvala will be new. The Fords will appear with a styling change around the front grille area to create a resemblance with the new Ford Focus RS road cars n The weekend after Germany sees the Barum Rally in Czech Republic, counting for both the FIA’s European championship and the IRC. A world record 22 Super 2000 cars (mostly Peugeot, several Fiats and a solitary VW) are on the entry list, and Czech rally observers say this is the most powerful rally entry in their country. n Toyota South Africa is launching its second Super 2000 model this weekend. This will be the Auris, to be driven by Mark Cronje at the Osram Rally at Barkly East, the sixth round of the country’s national series. Toyota South Africa was the first manufacturer in the world to build cars to this rally formula, when they introduced the Corolla based ‘Run-X’model. Control tyre still to be weather dependent WEATHER is likely to play a vital part in this weekend’s ADAC Rally Deutschland, despite this being the first running in the typically inclement climate since the introduction of the Pirelli control tyre. While the selection will be as simple as simple as hard compound for dry and soft compound for the rain, paddock experts are predicting even that one choice to be a tough one to make. “This year tyre choices are not so difficult in some ways as they have been,” said Phil Short from the BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team. “There are only two choices available – there is no long list of available tyre compound specifications and the cutting of tyre treads is not allowed. “Basically the hard compound tyres are for the dry, the soft for the wet, but choosing which to fit is not straightforward like it is on the Grand Prix tracks. It is not a question of looking around you and checking where the clouds are and whether it will start raining at the track in the next few minutes. For us, it is a matter of knowing what will happen on the stages far away from the service area. “It may be dry there for the moment but the weather forecast says it will change. We need to know when it will change, or it may be wet at the moment and we need to know how quickly it might dry.” “Winds, temperature and whether the stages are open to the elements or protected by trees are all relevant. We are trying to predict what will happen 100km away in up to three hours time.” Kiwi gets championship gig STEWART Taylor, a 33 year old New Zealander, has got his wish at last! Passed over by Chris West and Hayden Paddon in his quest to be considered by the organisers of Repco Rally Zealand as a PCWRC Guest driver, he has negotiated with the entrants of the registered Jordanian driver Amjad Farrah to take over his entry – and will have the chance to score world championship points! 16 Entered by Orion World Rally Team, he will carry Farrah’s competition number 38. Taylor is not new to the rally. Last year he leased a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX to Alister McRae, who led Group N until just before the end, when he punctured. Hawke’s Bay-based Taylor’s company Tomoana Warehousing, sponsors the Hawke’s Bay round of the national NZ championship.