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GP Week : Issue 42
SPECIAL StAGES n Entries for the Sata Rallye Acores, fourth round of the IRC, have been announced. In addition to regular entries from Portuguese championship competitors, there are entries from the regular Skoda, Abarth, Team Belux and UK Peugeot teams. 12 of the 49 entries are Super 2000 cars. n The organisers of the Japanese round of the IRC have announced that the event planned for October will not now take place. They had been hoping to integrate the IRC round with the Hokkaido APRC Rally in mid- July but sources state that is not likely to be acceptable to the IRC promoters. n After missing the opening round, reigning British Rally Champion Guy Wilks returned to the series full of hope in a Proton Satria Neo Super 2000 last weekend. He led the rally from the start until just over half distance, then mysteriously the car caught fire on a stage and was destroyed. It was a devastating end to a convincing charge, and an incident which caused considerable disruption to the remainder of the event. When the event finally restarted Mark Higgins held a 10-second lead over Keith Cronin, with only two stages to run. The Irish Mitsubishi driver Cronin seized his chance on the final stage, just as he had done at the Bulldog Rally, and snatched victory. 16 Rally GB under thre THE Welsh Assembly Government has withdrawn its sponsorship from Britain’s round of the World Rally Championship, due to be held October 22-25, with immediate effect. The decision was apparently made with no prior warning to the organisers, International Motor Sports Limited. IMS has issued statements saying that this is in breach of an existing contract for the period up to, and including, the 2011 Rally. "MSA has no alternative now but to commence proceedings for breach of contract against the Welsh Assembly Government,” the statement read. “We are shocked and disappointed. The event has met, and in many cases exceeded, the key performance indicators laid down by the WAG.” Apart from their official statements, no other reaction has been made available from the IMS. In their initial statement, the IMS stated that the running of this year’s Wales Rally GB was “under threat”. It is, however, assumed that there are sufficient funds for IMS to run the rally without the WAG’s support, but whether, where or when this would happen is not known. The British event is scheduled to be the final round of the World Rally Championship, and one of only four events to take place in the second half of the year. WAG is believed to have placed the funds ear-marked for Rally GB towards the Ryder Cup Gold golf tournament due to be held in October 2010 at Newport, Gwent.