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GP Week : Issue 32
SPECIAL StAGES n For the fifth year in succession the World Championship Acropolis Rally has a new base! In 2009 it is to be run out of the seaside spa resort town of Loutraki, near Corinth. Recent host locations have been Tatoi, Marcopoulo, the Olympic stadium in Athens and Lamia. n Miguel Fuster and Dani Sola, top Fiat drivers in Spain, frustrated by mechanical troubles, have moved to Ferrari 360s for the remaining Spanish championship events this year. n Greece comes to the party as well. The Greek federation has made a late entry into the European Pirelli Star Driver Shoot Out. This will be Lefteris Sotirhos, who will drive a Mitsubishi. n Final round of the Italian championship was run at Como and won by veteran driver Renato Travaglia in a works Abarth Grande Punto. Team-mate Andrea Navarra withdrew after a heavy crash in Shakedown,. n Simone Campedelli, Italy’s nomination for the Under 27 Pirelli Star Driver European Shoot-Out, beat 49 year-old, four-times world champion Juha Kankkunen in the Rally Legends event in Italy, by 1.7 seconds. Both were driving Lancia Delta HF cars. n Red Bull has re- confirmed support for the Citroen World Championship Team through 2009. n Rival Alejandro Cancio has narrowed fellow Mitsubishi driver Federico Villagra’s Argentina championship lead, with two events to go. Winner of the Rallye de Salta was Claudio Menzi in a Subaru Impreza N14. 16 ‘Star Driver’ bans four drivers FOUR nationally selected drivers listed among the 19 competitors for the forthcoming European Pirelli Shoot Out competition in Austria (24-25 Oct) have been told not to attend. Their federations have instead been asked to nominate drivers deemed more suitable to the train-a- young-driver objectives of the contest. The four drivers concerned are Martin Prokop (Czech), four- time winner in a subsidiary category of the 2008 World Championship, Patrik Sandell (Sweden), who was World Junior Rally Champion in 2006, Andreas Aigner (Austria), who currently leads the 2008 PCWRC with two rounds to go and Michal Kosciuszko (Poland) who drives an official Suzuki Swift S1600 on the JWRC. The Czech authorities have already nominated 18 year- old Mitsubishi driver Martin Semerad instead. No WRC Promoter for two more years DESPITE the urgent pleas from teams engaged in the FIA World Rally Championship, it will be another two years before the position of Rally Promoter will be effective. The FIA has defined that the tender for the new position of Promoter for the WRC is to open on October 16 and close on November 15, with the identity of the organisation entrusted with the work to be announced at the start of Rally Ireland, the first round of the 2009 World Championship. The contract will, however, be effective from January 2011. Until the tender is issued, nobody knows to what extent the position of Promoter is to be simply an extension of the current work of the ISC, or whether it is something far wider in scope. The problem is that the terms of reference of the ISC, originally brokered with the FIA by Bernie Ecclestone, have never been publicly defined. Malcolm Wilson, M-Sport director said: “I think there has been some confusion with the fact that the TV rights will be renegotiated for 2011. Clearly the TV rights and the responsibilities of the Promoter are linked together. Hopefully ISC will act as promoter between now and 2011. We will find out exactly what will be the work of the Promoter on the 16th.” Morrie Chandler, President of the FIA’s World Rally Championship Commission explained: “The work of the Promoter will be bigger than that of the Rights Holder. The Rights Holder has the right to promote the championship – the Promoter will have the obligation to do it.”