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GP Week : Issue 60
SPECIAL StAGES n Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X cars took the top five places in the Vuelta de la Manzana Argentina championship rally, quite the best result so far in the two year long saga of the Group N model. Evo IX cars took the next four places. The chance for Evo Xs to score the top six results were dashed when Federico Villagra’s rally was halted by damage to the car after an impact with horses on a stage. n Petter Solberg drove a Citroen C4 WRC at a test close to Chateau Lastour in south west France last week and went home impressed, determined to make appropriate decisions for the last two rounds of the World Rally Championship. He said that the C4 felt well balanced, a "throughly modern rally car" and by comparison the Xsara WRC felt "old". Decisions must be made before entries for Catalunya Rally close on Tuesday 25 August. n Alejandro Galanti scored a rare international rally victory in a Toyota when his Corolla Super 2000 won the Codasur championship Trans Itapua Rally. n Chris West has beaten fellow Mitsubishi driver Andrew Hawkeswood on the Possum Bourne Memorial Rally in New Zealand. Johnny Gemmell beat Toyota Auris teammate Mark Cronje on the Osram Rally in South Africa. n Next week the FIA hosts an invitation meeting to discuss engine policies for the future – like World Engines, 1.6 turbos etc. The following day, there is a manufacturers' meeting to discuss the implications regarding rallying. Meanwhile there are rumours that the FIA’s fax vote concerning Bulgaria’s inclusion in the 2010 World Championship calendar led to a 50/50 split vote, and so the WRCC cannot make a recommendation. The final decision will thus wait till the October WMSC meeting, which means more delay, which means it gets harder and harder to say no to Bulgaria … 1 AFTER a long battle of rule interpretation, the FIA is to homologate the Toyota Auris Super 2000 car just in time for Repco Rally Australia, two years after the model was first used in Australia and South Africa in national level competition. Two of the cars have been entered for Rally Australia, to be driven by Neal Bates and Stewart Reid. The difficulties arose because FIA rules say that only one Super 2000 design based on the same basic model can be internationally approved. In the case of the Auris, the designs of competition versions rallied in South Africa and Australia are slightly different and the FIA sought ways to enable both designs to be acceptable. The June World Motor Sport Council meeting gave approval for cars produced in different locations to be jointly considered for homologation reasons. The final solution was that the South African car will be given ISC clarifies manufacturer statement NEIL Duncanson, chief executive of ISC, the FIA World Rally Championship’s Global Promoter has spoken further about his company’s objectives, following alarm in the rally industry at recently reported comments credited to him. Reports on websites had suggested Duncanson wanted a limited manufacturer presence at World Championship level, quoted as saying "I don’t want more than four (competing manufacturers) because any more Auris is Go! international approval, the Australia car given permission only to compete in Asia Pacific regions. Toyota South Africa’s Senior Motor Sport Manager William Haddad said "in reality it has all been a technicality, the difference between the Super 2000 cars was always slight and some recent changes in design to the rear suspensions have made these even fewer". Neal Bates, who has been responsible for developing these cars in Australia, said "I just won’t believe it’s finally happening until we start Rally Oz! The uncertainty has been a nightmare for us". It remains to be seen what will be the official name of this car, whether it is to be internationally know as Auris or Corolla! The original model Corolla Super 2000 only appeared once on a World Championship event, the 2006 Wales Rally GB, in the hands of Alister McRae. than that and they can’t win". Duncanson explains: "We want a bigger and better World Rally Championship, but we certainly want all the participating teams to have a chance of winning rallies. “Currently many more than four manufacturers are active on World Championship rallies. In Finland there were 11 competing marques, which was fantastic. Many manufacturers support the WRC, for example because they are active in the Production Car or the Junior championships, and they are an essential ingredient in the WRC". The FIA has historically made provision for newcomers to the WRC to enter the series in gradual stages, to gain experience for the future when they hoped to tackle the series fully. Ten years ago there were seven participating companies entered in the manufacturers championship – all seven of them scored podium results and five of them won rallies.