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GP Week : Issue 25
SPECIAL StAGES n Sadly we hear reports that the Italian Ben Bartoletti has died. Benigno was a major motorsport personality in the 1970s and 1980s as medical officer for Lancia. This gave him the chance to develop ground-breaking concepts for enhancing personal performances through attention to medical and physical systems. n No peace for to be retired. Marcus Gronholm has been persuaded to offer one-to-one tuition to candidates on the British federation Elite driver scheme. n Three times previous winner Roman Kresta was devastated when he crashed on the Barum Rally, his home event. But then three stages later his national rival Vaclav Pech had gearbox trouble, and suddenly Kresta found he had won the national championship again! n Confusion imminent. The decision by organisers of the forthcoming Repco Rally New Zealand to split a stage (to be tackled twice) into two parts has led to trouble. The organisers cannot change the paperwork, and the results people cannot change their number systems. So almost every stage will have two alternative official numbers ... n The ground breaking APRC Pirelli Star Driver shoot out in Malaysia has attracted 10 entries from under-27 year old drivers. n Production Car championship contender Nasser Al Attiyah has become the 2008 FIA Baja cross country champion, after winning the Hungarian Baja at the wheel of a BMW X3 CC. 16 Fanarini poised to be champ ALL the 25-year-old Italian Citroen C2 R2 rally driver Francesco Fanari has to do to be crowned the FIA Junior World Rally Championship rookie champion is to cross the start line at the Catalunya Rally in October. He also has the chance to become a most unique champion in motorsport; the 2008 junior series consists of seven events, of which contenders must start in a nominated six rounds. Fanari has done five events so far and qualified as a finisher every time. But only by reason of the SupeRally rules, which allow drivers to miss out stages on the first two of the three days, so long as they complete the route on Day 3. On none of these five events has Fanari completed the full route. When he competes in Catalunya, should Francesco try to achieve a lifelong ambition and drive all the stages? Or settle for the consolation of becoming the first motorsport world titleholder who never finished an event? Tirabassi for Spain and Corsica FRENCH driver Brice Tirabassi is to drive a third official Subaru Impreza WRC2008 car on the two remaining asphalt rallies in the World Championship season. This will be his first event in a World Rally Car on a World Championship event, though he drove a Subaru Impreza WRC on French gravel championship rallies in 2004, and won the PCWRC category in Cyprus in 2005 in a Group N Subaru. This year, Tirabassi has been contesting the IRC series in a Peugeot 207 S2000 without success, and recently announced he was withdrawing from the series for the rest of the season.