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GP Week : Issue 59
SPECIAL StAGES n In Argentina, the.Vuelta de la Manzana (‘Round the Apple Tree’) Rally which is arguably the oldest rally format event was being run Sunday and today (Monday). As GPWEEK went live,, Mitsubishis were holding the top five places, headed by that of Nicolas Madero in front of Federico Villagra. n Former Suzuki WRC team driver Per-Gunnar (PG) Andersson has won the Snapphane Rally at Hassleholm, third out of five rounds in the national Swedish championship, his second successive win in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo. n The FIA’s World Rally Championship Commission says that no news about their recommendation as to the future of Rally Bulgaria as a qualifying round of the 2010 World Rally Championship is expected for another week. n Rally Jordan officials plan to integrate their WRC event in 2010 with their MERC regional rally. This double-event concept was trialed in Japan 2004 with the Japanese world championship event being twinned with the APRC regional rally. The experiment however led to a host of unexpected and catastrophic organisational problems and was not repeated. n The Richard Burns Memorial Rally has been won by Ray Brammer in an ex-Tommi Makinen and Petter Solberg Subaru Impreza World Rally Car. Next weekend the Possum Bourne Memorial Rally will be held, in New Zealand. n Welsh driver Stuart Jones won the Reykjavik Rally in Iceland at the weekend at the wheel of a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X. 1 Three way multi-formula World Championship? THE FIA’s indecision about the future World Rally Championship formula, to take effect at the start of the 2011 season, continues. After periods of despair at the FIA over the manufacturers’ varying preferences for the new World Rally Championship formula, there is an increasing possibility that the 2011 World Championship for manufacturers will no longer cater for only one formula of car. Currently manufacturers can only compete for the championship if they run a World Rally Car, and only their latest version of these cars. On the cards at this time is the possibility that manufacturers could challenge for the championship with newgeneration World Rally Cars (based on Super 2000 cars but now with 1600cc turbocharged engines and certain other bolton facilities), existing 2-litre normally-aspirated Super 2000 cars and also Group N cars. This raises the spectre of the need for performance-balancing regulations at a level never attempted before. Controversial performance equivalence rules were introduced in the late ‘90s to help two-wheel-drive cars become competitive with fourwheel-drive cars. Arrangements were also made for World Rally Cars to compete against specially adapted Group A cars, and later to cater for normallyaspirated but lighter Super 2000 cars running within the international class N4, which caters for turbocharged orthodox Group N cars and have been the subject of constant readjustments. While contesting the championship with cars of different designs is a possible solution, the thought of a threeway balancing act promises one further nightmare. Rally management legend FORMER BMC and Rootes team director Marcus Chambers has died at the age of 98. His work involved both racing and rallying in the days when manufacturers entered top-line events aiming as much for prestigious class victories, in which both his teams excelled, as for overall victories. Indeed he managed overall victories for BMC when they won the 1960 Liege-Rome-Liege with Pat Moss and the 1961 Coupe des Alpes with Don Morley, both in Austin Healey 3000s. Marcus’ most prominent successes for Rootes were on the 1965 Tulip Rally with Rosemary Smith and ‘Tiny’ Lewis finishing first and second in Hillman Rallye Imps, and the ground breaking 1968 LondonSydney Marathon which Andrew Cowan won in a Hillman Hunter. His biggest nightmare was when the 1965 Coupe des Alpes winning Sunbeam Tiger of Peter Harper was subsequently excluded for a homologation misunderstanding. Marcus’ competition career started before the war as a driver with HRG and its racing team, competing at Le Mans in 1938. After the War he managed the HRG motor racing team before moving on to join BMC as Competitions Manager at Abingdon, in time to build up a new ‘works’ team in 1955. He developed this operation into a formidable organisation in which he modernised the way that a rally team was supported on the events themselves. He left BMC in 1961 when Stuart Turner succeeded him, and became Service Manager at one of Ian Appleyard’s BMC dealerships in Bradford, Yorkshire, where a young salesman by the name of Tony Fall, a famous future rally team manager, was working as a salesman ... He became Competitions Manager of Rootes, staying in that position until early 1969, remaining elsewhere in the company after their competition activities came to a halt and eventually retired from motorsport in 1975 after which he followed an interest in historic racing and rallying.