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GP Week : Issue 51
SPECIAL StAGES n The successful Peugeot 207 S2000s at Ypres were the current specification cars. The up-rated engines and transmissions will not be introduced until after homologation which is expected to be issued by the FIA on July 1. n Two welcome French faces were watching at Ypres – firstly Jean-Luc Therier, the Citroen driver whose rally driving career was cruelly cut short on the 1985 Paris Dakar. Therier won five World Championship rallies, mostly at the wheel of a works Renault Alpine. Also present, giving support in Belgium to his friend Denis Giraudet, was the former Stobart team codriver Patrick Pivato who was seriously injured during the 2008 Rally Japan. n 44 year-old Paolo Andreucci’s Racing Lions team Peugeot 207 S2000 won the Italian championship San Marino Rally, beating the Fiats of Luca Rossetti and Emanuele Dati. Andreucci won every special stage. Former SEAT works driver Toni Gardemeister was delayed by a puncture and only finished ninth, third best orthodox Group N car. Rossetti was the 2008 FIA European and national Italian champion in the Racing Lions’ Peugeot. n Mitsubishi Evo X cars finished one- two in the gravel Tokyo Rally, part of the All-Japan national series, with Fumio Nutahara the winner. n Gareth MacHale led the Topaz Donegal International Rally from start to finish in his Focus WRC. He was heading Eamonn Boland until his Subaru Impreza WRC had engine failure, elevating Eugene Donnelly to second in his Fabia WRC. n Georg Gross won the Viru Rally in Estonia in a ex-works Focus WRC03. Spain’s fifth asphalt rally of the season, Ourense, was won by Sergio Vallejo’s Porsche 911 GT3, followed by four Evo Xs, the highest placed being that of former Subaru WRC driver Xevi Pons. n The winner of the two-day Rally de San Luis (Argentina championship) was Munchi’s WRC driver Federico Villagra (Mitsubishi Evo X), who beat Claudio Menzi’s Subaru Impreza N14 by just 1.1 seconds. At the end of the first day Villagra headed Menzi by just 0.1 second! 18 Major decisions pending? A collection of major decisions are expected concerning rallying if Wednesday’s FIA World Motor Sport Council has time to spare after considering the issues in Formula 1! The top hot topics awaiting answers are: (a) the 2010 World Championship Calendar. Nothing can be settled until the report on the suitability of Rally Bulgaria is received, but the underlying effect of the decision is whether the FIA will accept the proposals of ISC, the championship promoter, and thereby relinquish their traditional power of selecting championship fixtures; (b) Whether the introduction of a 1600cc Turbo formula, scheduled for 2013, is to be brought forward to 2011, thus overruling the decisions made by the WMSC last March; (c) The precise details of the transition from the current WRC rules to the new ones, which includes: (d) Whether there will be a Cup for new- generation World Rally Cars already running in 2010; (e) Whether the 33mm turbo restrictor proposal for Group N will come into effect - and if so, when: (f ) Whether the Super 2000 rules will be changed to allow bodywork to be increased in width to 1820mm (wider than current World Rally Cars) with correspondingly widened track and whether the plans to allow increased engine valve sizes will go ahead, and: (g) Whether the current seeding rules will be replaced by rally driver seeding ranking, and if so, when. On the other hand, maybe Formula 1 will take up all the available time … Greenerways produces optimistic result PIRELLI and British forestry officials are studying the lessons from the invitation Greenerways Rally (run June 14) in their efforts to reduce the ecological and economic cost of gravel roads rallying. By using less aggressive tyres than provided for present day rallying, the aim was to reduce the damage to the surfaces of the stages, reduce the displacement of gravel and therefore the need to acquire replacement gravel from faraway quarries. There were many other knock-on effects. Firstly, spectators said the reduction of lateral traction meant that cars were more spectacular and speeds were reduced, though not by the amount imagined. A British championship official said that the speed of the cars on the rally (Group N cars) was reduced only by 1 second per mile (0.6sec / km) though on actual events this might be as much as 2 seconds per mile. Many different parties, such as safety experts, are interested to evaluate where this leads, considering the obligation to use control tyres on World Championship rallies, while organisers and competitors are hoping this endeavour will lead to reduced charges for using roads. to access a huge global audience ADVeRTISe in gPWeeK