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GP Week : Issue 146
WRC >>> news Freelance Ostberg for Portugal Fourth-placed championship driver Mads Ostberg is to contest the Vodafone Rally of Portugal for his Adapta team, but this time Adapta will not qualify for points in the world championship Makes’ series. He will drive as a private entry. He had done the same in Sweden, before championship status was granted in time for Mexico where his team scored points. Adapta team boss Morten Ostberg stated the decision was made to help financial issues, as it created more flexibility in arranging to enter other events beyond the seven compulsory events to qualify in the series. The FIA is to announce on 27 March which events each team has nominated for points-scoring purposes, the date when entries close for Rally Argentina. Morten squashed rumours that indecision regarding their entry at Portugal had anything to do with his son’s death-defying unofficial long jump attempt at the ski resort of Trysil. Mads drove the team’s old test Fiesta WRC to a jump of 50 metres on snow (above) at a promotion arranged by DC shoes. On the first anniversary of the appearance of the Mini John Cooper Works car in competition, Dani Sordo will debut Prodrive’s new “01B” version Mini WRC car at Rally of Portugal, featuring a wide range of newly homologated parts. Mini project manager Dave Wilcock says the most important change will be the revised under-bonnet air flow package and an electrically driven engine water pump, the combination of which increases the power output across the range by three percent. A considerable number of other changes have now been accepted by the FIA including a lightweight lithium-ion battery, new engine and chassis looms, improved control commands for the crew, revised dampers aimed at better grip in low-grip conditions and a much lighter rear wing. The plan is that these parts will become available for all Mini JCW customers when production permits, but for the Rally of Portugal the only change for official WRC team driver Armindo Araujo and for Prodrive’s number two driver Patrik Sandell will be the revised dampers. Latest FIA rules do not require an official WRC manufacturer team to run the latest specification cars, which offers Prodrive the opportunity for Sordo to act as an on-event development driver. While the official team of Araujo and Nobre are planning to contest the full championship, Prodrive themselves are planning only to send one car to Argentina, for the celebrated Chilean motorsport Eliseo Salazar. Plans beyond that are still being made. UPDATED MINI FOR SORDO 16 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: