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GP Week : Issue 33
>>WRCnews Third Win for Nasser NASSER Al Attiyah, devastatingly unsuccessful in this year’s World Rally Championship Production Car series, is pulling away in the Middle East series after his third regional victory of the season. He inherited the lead of the Jordan Rally on the second day after a remarkable run by Lebanon driver Roger Feghali, well respected as an asphalt driver but with little previous experience driving on gravel. However, when handsomely leading, Feghali’s Mitsubishi stopped on stage 11 with fuel pump failure and retired. Al Attiyah now holds a 13 points lead with just two events to run. Second place overall on the rally, and also in the FIA’s MERC tables, is one of the three Under-27 drivers eligible for the Pirelli Star Driver award, Nick Georgiou. Georgiou and Thomas are now alone in being eligible to win the MERC Star Driver prize at the end of the year. International Rallying Returns to Scotland A newly-formed and as yet unnamed event is to bring international championship rallying back to Scotland next year. Invited to be the final round of the 2009 IRC (Intercontinental Rally Challenge) series, few details of the event have been announced beyond the decision to run gravel surfaced special stages in Stirling, Perth and Kinross in central Scotland. Currently the only major rally hosted in Scotland is the Jim Clark Memorial Rally, a 18 qualifying round of the British rally series run on asphalt stages. It is believed that the new event will replace the Rally of China in the IRC, an event which on account of logistic costs has generally been boycotted by regular IRC competitors, for whom there are no compulsory entry rules in championship regulations. The full calendar for IRC qualifying events in 2009 is expected to be announced after the Rallye du Valais (Oct 24-25). Ultimatum from Citroen GILLES Michel, Executive Vice President of Automobiles Citroen, has re-iterated his ultimatum in relation to the future of the WRC participation of his company. Speaking in l’Equipe, the French sporting daily newspaper, he declared: “I say again, we will not make any decisions without assurances on three essential matters – an increased size of competition involving more manufacturers, a much bigger media coverage than at present, and a sporting agenda that corresponds with the interests of manufacturers.” Citroen therefore joins Ford in pressuring the FIA into speeding up the work of the promised global promoter for the championship …