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GP Week : Issue 43
SPECIAL StAGES n Former Ford and Citroen works driver Francois Duval is back and winning! He won the Belgian Championship Wallonie Criterium Rally at the weekend at the wheel of a Toyota Corolla WRC, ahead of the Ford Focus WRC of Pieter Tsjoen. n Hermann Gassner Junior (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo) has won his second German championship Rally of the season (ADAC Hessen Rally Vogelsberg) in front of Sandro Wallenwein (Subaru Impreza N14) n Provisional but disputed winner of the Criterium Jurassien is Florian Gonon in a Subaru Impreza N14. The dispute relates to catalytic converter damage. n Johnny Gemmell (Toyota Auris S2000) has beaten Hergen Fekken (VW Polo S2000) by four seconds on the Sasol Rally in South Africa. n Rumours in Russian motorsport that Uspensky's motor businesses are in trouble have been fuelled by speculation that secret orders have been given to suspend their competition activities. These include the Group N programme for Swedish driver Patrik Flodin in the Production Car World Rally Championship. Flodin confirmed that he knew the company’s workforce had been reduced but had heard nothing about how this would affect the rally programme. No official statement has been issued. n Guy Wilks is to drive on the BTA Rally Talsi in Latvia on 16 May, the first appearance of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X prepared by the British based MML company. Finnish driver Juha Salo is also due to drive an Evo X. 18 Latvala: brain overload t WHY did Jari-Matti have his mother-of-all-crashes in Portugal? The two intervening weeks before he came to Argentina offered a chance for self-analysis... "I think the reason for the accident was that I had too much information in my pace notes. My brain was in overload with details. “When I knew I could not take all the information in my head, I started to check what was happening with my eyes. My co- driver Miikka had done everything he could when he sensed I was having trouble. He repeated the warnings about the corner where we crashed, but by then it was all too late and I had no chance to avoid the accident any more. “I went in to the last left bend too fast and the car jumped over the barrier and dropped down the hillside". It was one of three dangerous places on that stage. "We had safely passed the first two, this was the third. It was the last difficult corner of the stage. Normally you get to spot when you are coming up to difficult places, but I did not remember places on that road so well. It was a road that was new to me this year. Not trusting your notes and looking to check things with your eyes is not the way to do things at all... " Proton Carries On MELLORS Motorsport chief Chris Mellors says that the Pirelli Rally fire which destroyed Guy Wilks' Proton Satria Neo Super 2000, when leading, will not halt his company's challenge this year. "So far three cars have been built, and our plans are going ahead. We know the fire started at the exhaust. “We very much intend to do the IRC championship Ypres Rally in Belgium and thereby start our IRC challenge, as well as continuing Guy's British championship programme, because these events provide a good opportunity to check out developments of the car.”