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GP Week : Issue 62
THE 2010 Rally of New Zealand is to return to a base in the country's largest city, Auckland, in compliance with the World Championship promoters' declared preference for contact with large centres of population. The event was last run from Auckland in 2005, since when it has been based at the much smaller town of Hamilton, which is more convenient for access to suitable special stages. The return to Auckland means that stages both north as well as south of Auckland will be used, but at the inevitable cost of longer road sections. Auckland set to host Rally NZ A recent meeting to discuss the future of the 'Motorsport' engine regulations has confirmed that manufacturers wish to proceed with a 1.6 litre turbocharged engine as the preferred basis for rallying. The established position is that the FIA's World Motor Sport Council has ruled that the new World Rally Car rules (effective 2011) will be based on Super 2000 designs, but things are changing fast. As from January 2010 Super 2000 cars will be allowed to be wider, and from January 2011 new Super 2000 cars will only be homologated if they are fitted with 1.6 turbocharged engines. The World Championship rules say that as from the start of 2011, World Rally Championship cars shall come from Class N4. As things stand, manufacturers can run cars in one of three different formats: current Super 2000 (2-litre normally aspirated) form, 2011 Super 2000 rules (1.6 litre turbocharged), or orthodox turbocharged Group N cars. No decisions have been taken about permitted degrees of modification allowed for 1.6 litre turbocharged cars and to what extent more performance equivalence rules are to be introduced. On that hangs the preference of what sort of car manufacturers will wish to use, though the second option seems to be easiest to handle. Both Citroen and Ford had confirmed that their initial Super 2000 projects would, however, use two-litre atmospheric engines. Discussed at the meeting were possible ways in which each manufacturer can choose its preferred 'World Engine', and whether an alternative proposal that the concept of three cylinder 1.5 litre super- aspirated engines had merit. The meeting concluded that such an engine, which is intended to be easily converted into a four cylinder 2-litre unit, had inherent design difficulties which prevented desirable power outputs from being achieved. The FIA authorities are still no closer to defining their preferences for engine specifications for when the new World Rally Car formula comes into operation in 2011, even though the World Council defined in June that it should be for 1.6 Turbo engines. The options are for engines to be production car based, or specially designed engines which come within the FIA's new Global Engine concept. Towards The End of Engine Confusion 21 year-old Australian rally driver Molly Taylor clinched the British Ladies Rally Champion title at the Ulster Rally, the penultimate round of the BRC series. After winning the Australian 1600cc rally title in 2007 and 2008, Molly has been entering British events, driving a Suzuki Swift Cup car. She comes from a rally family with 'form. Her father Mark runs a rally school in New South Wales while her mother Coral is a multi- times (including current) Australian champion co- driver alongside Neal Bates in the official Toyota team. Aussie Molly is British Champ WRC news >> 16