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GP Week : Issue 62
n British driver David Higgins gained another rally win in the Chinese Championship. The Fogang Rally took place in the Guangdong region and was marked by excessive high temperatures. Second was his brother Mark and third was Finnish driver Jussi Valimaki. 2004 FIA World Production Car champion Niall McShea also competed but was forced to retire due to problems with the heat. He had been lying second overall. n The Appeal by Nasser Al Attiyah's team against exclusion from their second PCWRC placing in the Acropolis, which has a material bearing the FIA Production Car championship, is to be held on 6th October, in Paris, before the final round in the series. Holiday time at FIA headquarters is said to have delayed the hearing before the start of Repco Rally Australia, the penultimate round in the series. n Next round in both the IRC and the FIA's European series comes this weekend, the Rally Principe de Asturias based at Oviedo in Spain. Jan Kopecky is entered in an Skoda, Toni Gardemeister has been invited as a guest driver in the Opel Corsa S2000 previously rallied by Andreas Mikkelsen while Miguel Fuster drives the number two official Fiat entry. JWRC driver Aaron Burkart entered as practice for Catalunya in his Suzuki Swift S1600. Most regular Spanish championship competitors have cars which are not eligible for this event and will not be taking part. n The 61st Rallye Mont Blanc-Morzine was won by Patrick Henry in a Peugeot 206 World Rally Car. Kris Meeke used this event as a pre-Asturias test in his Peugeot 207 S2000 and withdrew. n Max Christensen won the Danish championship round in a Group N Subaru. n The all tarmac Jumakogen Rally in Japan was won by Norihiko Katsuta in a Subaru ahead of his main rival Fumio Nutahara who finished second in a Mitsubishi. These two rivals are all square with three wins a piece from the six events held so far, Katsuta winning all the asphalt events, Nutahara all the gravel ones. SPECIAL StAGES PEC StAG S EC AG E A tA A PE t P S S St SP SP S S S IT has been a Big News Week for Citroen (see right). Despite extensive publicity that Petter Solberg had been testing a Ford Focus World Rally Car, news came through that the Norwegian rally star will go the Citroen route instead. The news came through in Australia, just two days after Olivier Quesnel, Citroen Racing director, had announced the end of the proposed Citroen Super 2000 project. He spoke to MARTIN HOLMES What is the current agreement between Citroen Racing and Petter Solberg regarding the offer for him to drive a C4 WRC in Spain and Britain? "So far as I am concerned, there is no agreement at the moment! We made him a proposal, and he said it was interesting for him, but I haven't heard from him at this time. "All I know it that someone from our team came up to me and said that they had seen Petter's Facebook or something in which he said that he will run with a C4 WRC in these events. Then I had an SMS message in which Petter simply said "Thanks Olivier", and from that I take it that he will be driving not only these two last WRC events with us this year but next year as well. "As to what it exactly means, heandIhavegottohavea discussion together when I get back to France. It seems this is what is going to happen". Two days earlier you announced that the Citroen Super 2000 project, on which your future World Rally Car will be based, was to stop. Do you mean postponed until the FIA make further decisions about engines, or cancelled altogether? "No, the project has stopped. As soon as we heard that for 2011 these cars must be fitted with 1.6 litre turbocharged engines, it was apparent that the work we were doing on the 2-litre normally aspirated Super 2000 was going to be only for selling cars to customers. "I do not think it would be easy to sell (an economic number of ) these cars in the remaining 12 months. There are already a lot of Peugeots, Skodas and Fiats being used in rallies, and we know that Ford is coming as well. "For me selling cars at this level to customers is not the way of the Citroen Racing company. I do not think that Super 2000 is the best solution for young private drivers, it is too expensive for them. Any work we have already arrived out on the engines will be useful experience for Peugeot. "Our work will help them upgrade the Peugeot 207 Super 2000. The engine which we would have used in the 2-litre normally aspirated Super 2000 cars is exactly the same engine as is being used in the Peugeots. All the work we carried out for the Citroen will be useful for Peugeot". The FIA should soon announce whether the 1.6 litre engine to be used in the new generation World Rally Car is to be production car based or a specially designed Global competition engine. Which do you personally prefer? "I think either solution would work. "I think for marketing reasons Fords would prefer the 1.6 litre turbo to be based on a mass production engine, but Citroen does not think the same way. I think for some other manufacturers it would in fact be easier to make their own specialist competition engines. "I think a company like Subaru for example could make their own engine and come back into world championship sport. Maybe that would be the easier course for Citroen as well". Citroen in the news 14