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GP Week : Issue 66
n Starting this Friday evening in San Marino is the amazing Rally Legends event. 150 classic cars are to take part. Interesting names on the entry list include former World Rally Champions Miki Biasion (Lancia 037), Juha Kankkunen (Toyota Celica ST185) and Marcus Gronholm (Peugeot 206WRC). n Latest WRC ideas being considered for 2010 by the FIA are: Manufacturer (M2) Teams will be allowed to run cars in any class or group which are eligible to compete on world championship rallies in 2010, not just World Rally Cars. Also, the new World Cup may be only for teams, not individual drivers, who drive Super 2000 cars. Teams will be one-car only, like on the JWRC and PCWRC. This proposal is for two reason:, to make it easier for a team to accept the commitments for all the necessary events involved, and to avoid the difficulty of having two drivers- championships on world championship events when they could be running the same cars on the same events. n Belgian driver Patrick Snijers won every stage on the Haspengouw Rally in his Subaru Impreza World Rally Car and won the event by more than two minutes. Daniel O'Brien led the US Rally Championship Prescott Rally from start to finish in his Subaru Impreza. 21 year-old WRC privateer Mads Ostberg has now won his native Norwegian rally championship for the third time at the wheel of Subaru Impreza World Rally Cars. n The world championship Rally of Turkey next year is to be based near Istanbul and use many of the stages used on the recent IRC and ERC championship events. n Spanish former world champion co- driver Luis Moya confirmed he has been asked to form a new rally team for the Spanish Nupel company, combining Porsche rallying in the Spanish championship and an undefined Super 2000 car for seven world championship rallies in 2010. n This weekend sees Cyprus'Troodos Rally, penultimate round of the FIA's Middle East series. Series leader is Peugeot 207 S2000 driver Yazeed al Rahji from Saudi Arabia. The identity of the MERC Pirelli Star Driver winner will not be known until the final round in December. Last year's unlucky candidate Nick Georgiou from Lebanon is favourite but strong contenders are Meshari Al Thafiri from Kuwait and Ahmad Al Mandoori from Abu Dhabi. SPECIAL StAGES PEC StAG S EC AG E A tA A PE t P S S St SP SP S S S PRESS conferences were given by both FIA Presidential candidates, each former professional rally competitors, during the Catalunya Rally weekend. Jean Todt confirmed his opinion that rally sport must continue to accept the limitation created by the changing world, in which the number of cars on the roads in the next 10 years is likely to double: "We are not to return to the rallying world of 10-15 years ago, however good this was. We are lucky there is still a world championship when there is a world economic crisis. We need more manufacturers in the championship, but that is only possible if there is stability in the rules. "A complete inventory of all the forms of rally sport is necessary, to see if there are in fact too many forms of rally type events." Vatanen spoke at length about his vision of the future and about his personal passions, emphasizing how that the FIA should follow the United Nations in selecting leaders who come from smaller countries: "I have no road map for rallying, but rallying is not blossoming at this time. Costs need to be reduced and value increased. There is a need for a long-term vision and stability. Rallying is like a big cake, which offers opportunities to many people, but the cake is frozen at the moment." Vatanen then spoke about ways he believes the FIA fails in its work at this time: "The World Council is a rubber stamp, making decisions without discussion or debate, and individual commissions are useless. The FIA needs more democracy, more transparency and a better voting system. In the past three months I have been finding out a lot of things about the way the FIA works and I have discovered things I would rather not have known." Todt and Vatanen seek Rally support ENTRIES for the 2009 Rally GB (formerly Wales Rally GB) closed this week at a record low of 64, the smallest field for this event since the start of the FIA's World Rally Championship (in 1973). The quality however is there, with entries for no fewer than seven Citroens C4. This event counts for the Production Car World Championship, the favourite Armindo Araujo competes on the event but will not be allowed to score more points, as he has already contested the regulatory six rallies already this season. There are no Guest entries registered in the lists of PCWRC drivers at the moment. Hermann Gassner Junior takes over the Sidvin team's entry; Ralliart New Zealand's usual driver Eyvind Brynildsen drives this time in the Errani Team; and Giorgio Bacco drives the Ralliart New Zealand entry instead. Matthew Wilson is the top seeded British driver but professional drivers like Kris Meeke, Guy Wilks, Mark and David Higgins are all missing, as is the new British champion Keith Cronin. QUALITY NOT QUANTITY FOR RALLY GB to access a HUGE global audience ADVERTISE in GPWEEK 16