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GP Week : Issue 69
This was the sixth and final event for the first class of Pirelli Star Drivers, in a season where Jarkko Nikara outclassed everyone for his potential as a flat out rally driver. Martin Semerad was the youngest of the group and has surely progressed the most. New Zealander Mark Tapper continued his legendary spectacular career, South African Jon Williams consistently developed as he learned a lot about European-style rallying, while the only disappointing driver was the Cypriot Nic Thomas, who was plagued with many problems. The decision that the PSD should be run in Evo X cars, which was still in its development phase, led to many unexpected problems, and provided the sort of unexpected opportunities for drivers to face personal character-building situations! Pirelli Star Drivers ARMINDO Araujo was confirmed as PCWRC champion when Nasser Al Attiyah's made an unsuccessful Appeal against losing points at the Acropolis Rally, so whatever result Nasser gained in Britain would have no effect on the title. Both drivers, however, still contested the event, Araujo (who had already started his mandatory six events) used the opportunity to help his Ralliart Italy team develop their troublesome Lancer Evo X. He went well whenever engine trouble allowed and made his way to the finish ahead of all the orthodox Group N cars while Nasser slid off the road and missed several stages before finally retiring on the final day. The sensation of the event was Eyvind Brynildsen (pictured left) at the wheel of a Skoda Fabia S2000, a car the former Mitsubishi driver had only been using for a few weeks. Brynildsen led PCWRC right from the star, though Pirelli Star Driver Jarkko Nikara, who was not registered for the PCWRC, led the Group N category for the first two stages. Apart from an early challenge from Al Attiyah, Martin Prokop in an orthodox Group N car, was second in PCWRC, in his Lancer Evo IX, while Toshi Arai settled in to third. An impressive fourth was the Pirelli Star Driver Martin Semerad. Bernardo Sousa struggled with his Fiat which had many problems. Both the Swedish Patriks had problems -- Flodin lost a wheel on Stage 3 and was unable to drive to the midday service, but nonetheless was able to get back into championship points. Sandell had no sooner passed Prokop into second PCWRC position than he suffered power steering trouble and the car slid off the road. After the Finish, Brynildsen and his Skoda were excluded so Prokop gained his second PCWRC category win of the season. C: Prokop wins after post-race exclusion WRC GB >> Eyvind Brynildsen was the sensation of the event but was excluded after the finish 47