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GP Week : Issue 44
SPECIAL StAGES n Stories emanating from France indicate that Citroen is engaged in preparing the DS3 not the C3 model as a Super 2000 car basis for their C4 replacement World Rally Car. The DS3 is to be a development of the C3, due to be launched on the market shortly. n Former Peugeot team driver Daniel Carlsson is planning a comeback at the wheel of a Focus WRC on the South Swedish Rally (May 16), his home country’s most important rally of the year. Former Suzuki WRC driver PG Andersson has entered this event in an old Lancer Evo VII. n Raimund Baumshlager has won the Bosch Super Plus Rally, qualifying round of the Austrian championship, in a Skoda Fabia S2000. His nearest challenger Andrea Waldherr (VW Polo S2000) retired with electronic troubles in the final stages. n Johnny Gemmell (Toyota Auris S2000) has beaten Hergen Fekken (VW Polo S2000) by four seconds on the Sasol Rally in South Africa. n Paul Howarth, former Rally Operations Director of Prodrive, is stepping back in time. He will direct plans for the Francis Tuthill historic Porsche preparation company in their four-car entry on the East African Safari Rally to be held in late November. Despite many attempts, no Porsche has ever won this iconic African event, in recent or earlier times. n Subaru driver Tim McNulty won the Rally of the Lakes in South Ireland, his first victory in three years. Leader Gareth MacHale (Ford) went off the road, another Subaru driver Eamonn Boland punctured and was second. Finnish driver Juha Salo is also due to drive an Evo X. 16 Fame – at last! MORE than 40 years after gaining his first of his major successes in rallies around the world, Hannu Mikkola is being honoured by the Neste Oil Rally Finland organisers as ‘the Flying Finn of 2009’! NORF is the new name of the Rally of 1000 Lakes, an event Hannu won seven times. Now 67 years old, Hannu was World Champion in 1983, won 18 World rallies (though never on asphalt) and countless major events before the start of the championship in 1973. His last major rally entry was 16 years ago. Tragedy strikes 42 year-old Ugandan driver Riyaz Kurji has died from injuries sustained when his Subaru crashed at high speed into an anthill, and then a tree, when he was leading the Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally. The two-day rally was halted and Kurji was posthumously named the winner of the FIA African championship event. Codriver Sayed Kadri was unhurt and raised the alarm. Kurji had won this event in 2005 and 2006 and was running first car on the road this time. In private life he was an international businessman, head of the Alpha Group of companies; in rallying he ran under a Kenyan licence. For rally fans, the accident carried especially unpleasant significance, happening on the same day (May 2) that Attilio Bettega and then Henri Toivonen and Sergio Cresta all died in Corsica during the eighties.