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GP Week : Issue 49
SPECIAL StAGES n A full entry of 150 crews and reserves has been accepted for the Topaz Donegal Rally, Ireland’s popular midsummer asphalt rally (20-21 June). Around 50 of these entries are classic rear- drive Ford Escorts. There is also an official Historic car section a well. Many route changes are planned for this year’s event. n Swedish PCWRC challenger Patrik Sandell and co-driver Emil Axelsson had a short visit to the Susquehannock Trails Rally in Pennsylvania, fifth round in the Rally America series. Their Subaru Impreza retired on the first stage with engine problems. The Subarus of Ken Block and Travis Pastrana finished first and second. n It all worked well! Mads Ostberg and new codriver Jonas Andersson won the Aurskog Holand Rally in Norway, with Adapta teammate Anders Grondahl and Maria Andersson second, both in old model Subaru World Rally Cars. Eyvind Brynildsen withdrew after a puncture, Andreas Mikkelsen was third in a Subaru Cup car. n Peugeot 207 cars have finished 1-2 on the FC Porto Rally, fourth round of the Portuguese national championship, an event which used the Fafe stages in the north of the country popularised by the WRC event in earlier years. Bruno Magalhaes beat Vitor Pascoal. This was Peugeot Portugal team’s 50th rally victory. n Leszek Kuzaj emerged from retirement and survived engine problems to win the national championship Lotos Baltic Cup Rally, the last major rally in Poland before the country’s World Championship event, at the wheel of a Subaru Impreza N14. Michal Solowow, who currently leads the FIA European championship, only finished fifth. n Belgian Dominique Bruyneel has won the French gravel championship Rallye Terre du Diois in his Subaru Impreza World Rally Car. Championship leader Jari Ketomaa (Subaru Impreza N14, below) won this season’s first summer time rally in Finland, the Waltikka Rally, ahead of Juha Salo’s Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X. Greener rallyin A mAjor rallying experiment takes place this weekend (june 14) in Kielder Forest on the English/Scottish borders. The Greenerways Rally is essentially an invitation event in which a selected number of crews will contest a single venue forest event, in which the same stage will be run five or six times. With the support of Pirelli, every crew will be supplied with identical tyres of the size which fits Class N4 cars. These tyres are based on the traditional SG35 tread pattern but with modifications that close up the tread pattern and round off the shoulders. The aim is to work with the British forestry authorities to find ways in which the damage created by rallying on the forest gravel roads can be reduced. Some 18 months ago, Kris Meeke carried out back-to-back tests with regular forest tyres and special eco-tyres, and there were some remarkable findings. Mark Taylor, the British championship coordinator, explained: “The difference, based on the displacements of gravel caused by Aussies face floo EXACTLY 100 days to the start of repco rally Australia, that country’s first east coast World Championship rally, came pictures of the planned downtown Superspecial stage outside the event’s headquarters office, at murwillumbah – deep in water! Rally officials were commenting on the consequences of northern NSW and south Queensland’s recently catastrophic rainfalls, stating that it is too early to know to what extent the rains had damaged the forest stages. Already the national n One more success for German driver Hermann Gassner Junior. He has won the Austrian Castrol Rally in his Evo IX. Manfred Stohl’s Mitsubishi was top CNG-fuelled car, while Michal Kogler’s new VW Scirocco finished second in the diesel category. Favourite Raimund Baumschlager, at the wheel of the Skoda Fabia S2000 normally rallied by Patrik Sandell, withdrew after taking the wrong route on a stage. n Persistent rain did no favours for the Chatsworth Rally Show. Britain won the Nation's Cup beating Ireland and Germany. Ireland's star driver Kris Meeke had clutch failure on his 207 Super 2000. 20 championship Coffs Harbour Rally, due to be run some 250km south of Rally Australia territory on the final weekend in June, has been postponed until the end of the year. Meanwhile, the New South Wales Minister for State Development has announced “appropriate special legislation” to “ensure the event can happen in September”.