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GP Week : Issue 38
SPECIAL StAGES n Athens won’t be the start for the Acropolis Rally this year. Instead, the event will start close to the rally base at Loutraki, at the old bridge over the Corinth canal. Also, there will be no superspecial stage during this years event. In its place the final stage of the rally, run close to Aghii Theodori, will be televised live. n Petter Solberg’s third place in Cyprus came despite a fever. His co-driver Phil Mills said “I knew something was wrong when he turned the heater up full blast, but I hardly like to complain in the circumstances!” n 51 entries were received for Rally Argentina by March 19, the official closing date. n The legendary Fabrizia Pons, easily the most successful lady co-driver in World Championship history, in making a comeback. She will co-drive for Turkish girl Burcu Cetinkaya in the Rally Adriatico, second round of the Italian championship, in a Fiat Abarth Grande Punto S2000. n Citroen Junior World Championship team driver Evgeniy Novikov plans to enter various national asphalt events in the Czech Republic – in a locally prepared Group N Mitsubishi. He is doing so in a hope to gain more tarmac experience. 18 FIA bans turbos THE FIA has ruled that turbocharged World Rally Cars will no longer be eligible to score World Championship points in the Manufacturers’ Championship after the end of the 2010 season. During 2010, teams entering current specification Super 2000 cars can score manufacturers’points, alongside teams with World Rally Cars under current rules. “The plan is that existing turbocharged World Rally Cars cannot be used at all on World Championship rallies after the end of 2010,”President of the World Rally Championship Commission Morrie Chandler explained. “So drivers cannot score drivers’championship points using these cars, either.” From the start of 2011, teams must run normally aspirated Super 2000 cars with modifications to the bodywork, which allow aerodynamic changes. The FIA’s World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) has declared that turbocharged World Rally Cars will again be allowed from the start of 2013, with “cost-effective” 1600cc engines, details of which are subject to review at this time. Turbocharged cars have been gaining World Championship points in rallying since the Swedish Rally in 1979, which was won by Stig Blomqvist in a Saab. Regarding the future calendar of the World Rally Championship, the 12-round 2010 calendar as published by the FIA on December 7 2007 still holds good except for the FIA’s recommendations that the events planned for Indonesia and Russia that year should be deferred. Chandler added, “The WMSC is waiting for advice from the ISC about what changes should be made to the 2010 calendar, whether to keep the series at 12 events a year and also on wider issues such as preference to have a winter-based championship, considering the complications a changeover would entail.” Turbo Facts: n Stig Blomqvist’s Saab 99 Turbo won the 1979 Swedish Rally, the first win for a turbo car. n The last World Rally to be won by a non-turbo car was the 1996 Tour de Corse, when Phillipe Bugalski won a two-litre restricted event in a Renault Maxi Megane. Walter Rohrl was the last driver win to win the title without a turbo in 1982 aboard an Opel Ascona. n In 1990, a Nissan Skyline competed at the Tour de Corse with two turbos, the only car ever to do so in WRC history. S2000 Facts: n At the start of 2008, the minimum weight of S2000 cars was lifted 50kg to keep them equal to Group N. n The highest an S2000 car has ever finished on a World Rally is ninth – Patrick Sandell in Cyprus. n The first S2000 car to compete was a Toyota Corolla in South Africa.with two turbos, the only car ever to do so in WRC history. n An S2000 car must have a minimum body length of 3.9m, be powered by a two-litre non- turbo engine, and have no exotic materials in the build. n Eight manufacturers already run S2000 cars – Fiat, MG, Opel Peugeot, Proton, Skoda, Toyota and Volkswagon. Seb’s Ni