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GP Week : Issue 135
Bogie takes British crown; final round cancelled RALLY news >> After returning from his victory in Rally Australia, Mikko Hirvonen was on hand to assist MotoGP star Marco Simoncelli to test his Swedish Rally winning Fiesta WRC on the M-Sport test track at Carlisle Airport. Encouraged by their mutual sponsor Castrol, the Honda rider found out first hand the art of rally driving, impressing Hirvonen who said: “Given that this was his first ride in he car, he set some impressive times.” Later Simoncelli rode with Hirvonen on a nearby forest track – as a passenger. Simoncelli competed as a driver in last year’s invitation Monza Rally, finishing the highest placed of the Moto GP riders who took part. Simoncelli gets dirty 24 year-old Mitsubishi Evo IX driver David Bogie has taken advantage of the late cancellation of the final BRC round to claim the British championship title on the one-day forestry Rally Yorkshire. He cruised to third place while Elfyn Evans won the event and finished second in the series, while the two-wheel drive ‘Formula 2’ series was won by Martin McCormack in a Citroen DS3 R3T. Scotsman Bogie, from Dumfries, began rallying at the age of 17 and in his early career was personally encouraged by the late Colin McRae, even rallying McRae’s own Vauxhall Nova. He progressed through the Mitsubishi UK Evolution challenge, contesting the British championship in 2009 in an unreliable Evo X. For 2010 he reverted to an old Evo IX and was competitive straightaway in the 2011 season. Despite a family business background and an active rallying father, Bogie has found it hard to fund his activities. He is reported to have told colleagues that he has had to raise funds privately as a second-hand dairy cattle trader, feeling frustrated that success in rallying is as much about money as talent. This was the last time in the forseeable future that four-wheel drive cars will be eligible for the BRC as a two wheel drive formula takes over in 2012. 1 E Evans/Edwards Subaru Impreza 1h15m56.8s 2 Greer/Roberts Skoda Fabia S2000 1h16m25.1s 3 Bogie/Rae Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 1h17m52.3s The decision that the proposed final round of the series had been cancelled came a day before scrutineering in Yorkshire. The final round was due to be the Isle of Man Rally, with whom the British championship promoters had been in consultation trying to find an agreeable date for the event in future. This year the event should have been held 27-29 October, sponsored by Manx Telecom, but already the Island authorities requested a return to a traditional late summer date, which the series promoters did not find convenient. THE proposed thirteen round 2012 WRC calendar was confirmed by last Friday’s World Motor Sport Council held in Singapore. It is similar to the 2011 calendar except for Monte Carlo instead of Jordan, New Zealand instead of Australia, with Spain rather than Britain as the final round. Calendars for the support championships show Monte Carlo, New Zealand and Spain running rounds for both series. Also confirmed is the plan for the pre- event Shakedown to be the qualifying period for only P1 and P2 drivers, on gravel rallies. In this new system, drivers will only be allowed two runs through the stage (instead of the current minimum of four runs) before making a single qualifying run, the order of running being defined by current championship positions. As a result of their times, drivers will be able to choose their starting position for Leg 1 of the rally. P1 and P2 status will now be limited only to drivers of World Rally Cars and these cars will always star t at the head of the field. The reverse order running system is to be re -introduced into WRC rallying and will apply on subsequent days of the rally. An announcement about the official WRC tyre suppliers for 2012 is due to be made next week, when details about the proposed R4T budget-level four-wheel drive formula are also due to be decided. Shakedown qualifying, 2012 calendar confirmed 21