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GP Week : Issue 40
>>WRCPORTUGAL They Still Love Jari-Matti ... While all around him are complaining in exasperation, criticising his spate of incidents, two people in the rally world still have faith in Jari-Matti Latvala – the rally bosses of Ford and Citroen... Malcolm Wilson: These accidents of Jari-Matti always seem to happen very early on in a rally, which puts a lot more pressure on his team-mate Mikko Hirvonen. There is nothing like two team- mates fighting each other to get the best for a team. We are losing out in every sense. We have worked hard on him since Cyprus. We have seen things he is happy with, but there is another similarity every time. – all his accidents seem to have the same pattern. They always come after a fast section. This crash was just the same. We have got to find a solution to that. But there is no way we are losing confidence in him. He will be in a BP Ford Abu Dhabi car in Argentina along with Mikko. We are not losing faith. We're 100 Technical changes galore Spring is in the air. For the first time in 2009 engineers have produced some important novelties in the WRC. Ford homologated two special features, a lightweight flywheel and an electric water pump. M-Sport Technical Director Christian Loriaux said the flywheel system was marginally lighter in weight which helped improve general weight distribution in the car rather than create a specific performance enhancement. The water pump, he said, created a more precise engine management control, which is not possible when the speed of operation of the water pump is controlled by the speed of the engine. For its part, Citroen introduced more changes on its C4 WRC, notably a redesigned flywheel in which the starter ring is mounted on the outside of the flywheel, a redesigned rear suspension system with new mounting turrets, and a new gearbox casing. Prodrive arrived with freshly designed Ohlins shock absorbers on the development Subaru Impreza which Marcus Gronholm was driving. Meanwhile back at the FIA, Renault homologated a raft of improvements on their Clio R3, particularly in the engine, while Peugeot homologated the first car complying with the new R3T category. percent committed to getting behind him to get him through this difficult time. Olivier Quesnel: Jari-Matti is a very fast driver. He is clever and I do not know why these things keep happening so often. I would actually like to see him driving a Citroen and see how he gets on there! Maybe he is Ari Vatanen the second – and he became a champion. I am quite sure he will end up a really good driver. So, why not, one day Jari-Matti in a Citroen? Spectator Hi-tech Advances The organisers of Vodafone Rally of Portugal followed the example of Rally Deutschland by issuing DVDs of the route to competitors in advance, and went one step further. They put moving images of what the spectators would see at the various spectator locations online, to give spectators the chance to decide in advance which places they would like to watch the event from. 45