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GP Week : Issue 65
THE Irish have a momentum behind them in rallying -- on the very same day that Keith Cronin from the far south west of the island won the British Rally Championship, Kris Meeke from the far north won the IRC. It is hard to put a finger on the reason, but Meeke's success has come as no surprise to Glenn Patterson, one of Kris' original co-drivers. He masterminded Kris' passage through two years of Junior World Championship rallying and could read the signs: "A lot of people have never really understood just how committed Kris has been to his rallying. The effort he takes in preparing for every forthcoming event is phenomenal. He would be staying up late watching every DVD he could find, to discover anything he could about the place and the event. And he is 100 percent committed to physical preparation as well." The person who did a lot to set Kris on the right road behind the scenes was the late Colin McRae. Glenn remembers how well they worked together: "Kris would never be in the place he is now but for the help that Colin gave him earlier. It was not just material help, it was his advice about every aspect of the life of rally driving. They trained together up to the point they understood each other completely." That relationship was not open- ended. All good things come to an end and Kris was on his own. And it wasn't easy. Opportunities did not come in abundance, but every time he had the chance he shone in what he did, . The biggest step forward was when Kris had the chance to drive the Peugeot UK team's Super 2000 in the IRC, a dream MARTIN HOLMES Rallies Editor opinion Will he, or won't he? We're all holding our breath to see. The person in question is of course Casey Stoner. The question itself has two parts. The first is whether he will be back at all.If the answer is yes, the second part comes directly. Will he be able to recapture his old devastating form? I shrink away from predictions on either of them. Casey has always been an extraordinary, er, case; but his progress this year has made him a candidate to join racing's Eccentric Hall of Fame. This is a fairly large academy that includes former champions Freddie Spencer and Manuel Poggiali. Spencer set a precedent for the coming week's anxious wait for the 'plane to arrive from the Antipodes. It was in 1986, at Monza, for the second round. The defending champion had pulled out of the previous race in Spain with ill-explained wrist problems. Two weeks later nobody knew if he was coming to Italy or not. His bike was ready and waiting. I recall his crew chief and tech guru Erv Kanemoto's crestfallen look when he returned to the paddock from the airport empty-handed. Ducati's last official pronouncement was to reiterate confidence that Stoner The Meeke shall Romancing the MICHAEL SCOTT MotoGP Editor opinion Letters email us at email@example.com Unhappy customer Singapore: great (visually) look, but a rubbish track (for racing purposes), and a (yawn) race decided by stupid penalties; drive-through for going over a white line, Rosberg screwed; Vettel accidental speed in pit-lane, drive-through; Webber pushed back for an outside pass just like unpenalised Raikkonen did at Spa. What rubbish. I'm close to 'getting over' F1. Roger Scott Albuquerque, NM, USA Appealing to all ages and nationalities ... Team: Just want to say what a great mag. I have been a motor racing nut since the mid 50's--Iwas10atthetime--whentherewasthe GP racing happening at Ohakea Airforce Base with so many great international drivers. Then later on, the Saloon Car plus Open 4-wheel-drive cars (that takes me back) racing at Pukekohe, Levin, Wigram. I remember an event at Teretonga down at Invercargill when Jim Clark drove Jimmy Boyd's Lycoming Special (it had an aeroplane engine) for a trial and what Jim said -- it was the rst racing car he had ever driven where you could wheelspin in top gear! The only little problem I have with the mag is printing out some of the pages, especially when a photo/words go across two pages. Makes it a bit di cult to read size-wise. But with that brilliant picture of Jim Clark in the Cosworth I was able to get enough via landscape! F1, Renault, Singapore all go at the moment isn't it. Peter March firstname.lastname@example.org Collateral damage Just curious to know how Flav's ban will a ect Mark Webber or is he no longer managed by him? Enjoy the read, keep up the good work. Warren Furze email@example.com ED: Yes, Mark and the three other F1 drivers managed by Briatore will, as things stand, have to relinquish their management deals with him -- or lose their Superlicences. There is talk of a Briatore appeal which, frankly, we hope he goes through with -- after all, here are four drivers being penalised for something they simply weren't involved in ... while the conspirator Piquet walks away o cially unpenalised (though we doubt he'll ever drive in serious motorsport again other than buy-drives). 20