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GP Week : Issue 57
>>WRCnews 2Ford’s Super s000 ‘‘on chedule’’ FORD has confirmed that development work on the 2011 new-generation Super 2000-based car is continuing on schedule, with the first prototype car about to run for the first time, in September, with the aim for homologation at the FIA in January 2011. Team Director Malcolm Wilson said: “We are encouraged by the idea of the proposed FIA’s World Cup project for newgeneration World Rally Cars which will be allowed to run on World Championship rallies in 2010. We are waiting for details of how the World Cup will work but we plan to run cars ourselves.” Work is progressing at MSport on the assumption that n as well the new-generation World Rally Cars will use normallyaspirated 2-litre engines. Wilson: “There are many discussions at this time, but we cannot see how a 1.6-litre turbo engine formula could begin until the originallydefined 2013 schedule, and of course by then maybe the World Engine concept will have progressed instead.” Wilson confirmed that basic Super 2000 development work is progressing in parallel to future World Rally Car work, for normal customer Group N work: “We are hoping we have the chance to produce around 50 of these cars.” More than 70 Peugeot 207 Super 2000 cars have already been produced. Eliminations begin! FIVE young Pirelli Star Driver candidates earned their place in the grand European Shoot-out, due to take place in Austria in September, after elimination tests held in Jyvaskyla before the start of Neste Oil Rally Finland. It was a great success for Baltic countries! The five candidates concerned were Maris Nieksans from Latvia, Vytautas Svedas from Lithuania, Anders Kjaer from Norway, Victor Hendriksson from Sweden and Ott Tanak from Estonia. Both the candidates from the British Isles (Keith Cronin from Ireland and Kris Hall from England), together with Joonas Lindroos from Finland, had their hopes dashed, Cronin for the second year running. Fiat wins Madeira GIANDOMENICO Basso has won the Madeira Rally in his Fiat Grande Punto for the third time in four years, by a remarkable small margin of 3.5 seconds. Apart from the initial Superspecial staged on the seafront of Funchal, Basso led from start to finish on the two-day all-asphalt event. Towards the end he had pulled out a lead of a quarter minute or so on of Portuguese Peugeot driver Bruno Magalhaes, but four stages from the end he spun and his lead fell to 8.9 seconds. He had already survived a gearbox problem at mid-distance. Magalhaes made best time on the remaining three stages but just failed to win. Peugeot cars took second through to ninth places overall. Basso’s win was a major encouragement for the beleaguered Fiat team, with Basso now pulling ahead in the FIA’s European Championship, although fifth placed Peugeot driver Kris Meeke still leads the IRC series. 17 Super 2000 cars were among the 69 starters on this mid-Atlantic event, which was held for the 50th occasion in very hot conditions. IRC series leader Kris Meeke found the mountainous terrain an unknown quantity,but maintained his speed, with his Kronos teammates Nicolas Vouilloz (last year’s winner) who finished fourth, and Freddy Loix who came sixth. Magalhaes and Madeiran driver Alexandre Caacho finished ahead. The Kronos team is hoping for technical improvements to its cars before the next IRC rally, the Barum Rally in the Czech Republic. The Proton team finished in a disappointing 11th place with the Satria Neo driven by Guy Wilks, on an event in which there were very few retirements amongst the leading drivers. 17