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GP Week : Issue 24
SPECIAL StAGES n 133 applications have been received from rally drivers for consideration to drive the BF Goodrich Kronos Peugeot 207 S2000 on the forthcoming Sanremo Rally. n The driver to take over the place of suspended Hungarian Gabor Maier in the PCWRC entry in New Zealand has been announced. Liu Caodong from China has the job. n The FIA has confirmed the homologation of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X and the Proton Satria Neo Super 2000 car for worldwide use, and the Ford Fiesta S2000 for use in the Asia-Pacific regions. n Three cars finished within one second of each other on the Osram Rally, national championship event in the mountains in South Africa. The winner was Hergen Fekken in a VW, second was Johnny Gemmel with a Toyota who tied in time with Enzo Kuun (VW Mark Cronje was leading in the new Toyota Auris S2000 but a pace note confusion caused a crash on the penultimate stage. n Stop press news from the Czech Republic: – Brice Tirabassi has announced his withdrawal from the IRC series and will not start the Barum Rally this weekend. n Munchi’s world championship team driver Federico Villagra took advantage of missing Rallye Deutschland by winning the General Roca Rally, the event popularly known as the Vuelta de la Manzana, based at Rio Negro. 16 Halkidikis rally cancelled THE organisers of the Halkidikis Rally, due to be held 26-28 September as a qualifying round of the FIA’s European Championship and a candidate event for the IRC series, have announced its cancellation for financial reasons. “There has been a chain reaction of circumstances which have forced this to happen,”a spokesman explained. No decision has yet been taken how the FIA will negotiate with competitors who had planned for the Halkidikis Rally to be one of the six events they tackled in the series or whether the organisers have abandoned their hopes for being placed on a future IRC calendar. Decision Deadline Passing FORD’S self-declared decision deadline of mid- August is here, and still there is no news about the future of Ford’s world rally championship plans. Team Principal Mark Deans said before Rallye Deutschland: “We are passionate about competing in the world championship but only in a championship that delivers value for money.” “The FIA’s June World Motor Sport Council meeting (which confirmed the concept of creating a global promoter) is a step in the right direction, but nothing has been set in stone. No timings for specific decisions and no definite roles of responsibility of a global promoter have been issued, and we do not know if the FIA is sympathetic to our wish for regular classic events and a change to a winter timetable. The next WMSC meeting is in the first week of November and that will be critical for knowing the identity of the global promoter and understanding if they agree with our criteria. We are not expecting anything other than what you would expect a global promoter to do.” Meetings between the FIA and interested parties are scheduled between now and then, and this will help teams track what is happening. “Rallye Deutschland is gold standard about how rallying can look after its customers. Ford’s responsibilities are to their customers. Time is critically short. The current contract with M-Sport expires at the end of 2008 and we want it to continue. If we are not involved in the world championship it will be a very different situation. “I have little doubt that M- Sport would want to continue working with the customer cars that they have been working on till now, but as to long term involvement it is very questionable whether Ford would go further than provide the necessary support for people to operate the cars they already have. The reality of being forced to stop rallying is driving us forward in looking for solutions, because the present situation is not acceptable for Ford.” Ford’s Team Principal Mark Deans Four