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GP Week : Issue 148
CRAZY DAYS Martin Holmes looks back on one of the strangest WRC rallies for a long time, and a rare win by a privateer entry WRC Manager Michele Mouton told us (5 Minutes with ...) that we must have endurance rallies and extra-long stages because the sport needs more stories for the journalists to talk about. If I stay around the rally scene until I am a 100, I don’t expect to see an event produce so many stories as the 2012 Rally of Portugal. We didn’t need any extra long stages or more days of rallying for the unexpected to happen – the unexpected started right from the start! Every driver, every team had something they will long recall. Let’s start off with Mads Ostberg, who gained victory through the misdemeanours of the Citroen team. He was 24 years 172 days old on the final day of the event, the fourth-youngest driver to win a WRC event, behind 22 year-old Latvala and the 24 year-olds Henri Toivonen and Markku Alen. He was only the second Norwegian (after Petter Solberg) to win a WRC event, and the first non-registered driver to win a WRC since Harri Rovenpera in Sweden in 2001. And for all the debates about what counts as a ‘private’ driver, there is only the Canadian Walter Boyce in the 39 year history of the WRC who can also make an incontestable claim to a privateer win on a full championship rally like Ostberg. Rain? What rain? It never rains in Portugal this time of year .... 29 GPWEEK.com // RALLY >>> FEATURE