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GP Week : Issue 155
ATKO WINS A-PAC 2013 WRC Calendar to be delayed FIA World Rally Championship President Jarmo Mahonen and WRC Manager Michele Mouton announced in Loutraki that details of the 2013 FIA World Rally calendar will only be released in stages. Members of the World Rally Championship Commission will be asked at the end of May to vote on an intended list of countries to run qualifying events and also on the total number of events to be included in the series, 12 or 13. There is space in this list for a maximum of one new event in the series with a maximum of four long-haul events. On 15 June this list is to be approved by the WMSC and then announced. This list will not include dates and the identities of certain existing events will be named as provisional fixtures, whose status will only be confirmed after results of candidate rallies to be run in South Africa in August and Brazil in October have been considered by the FIA. Full lists including approved dates may therefore not be issued until the end of October. Arrangements have been made with the FIA that a South African candidate rally shall be run on 17/18 August to be based at Durban, with a route expected to be similar to the candidate rally run in 2006. The identity of the promoter of the South African event is rumoured to be Kagiso Media. This company is described on their website as “a black-owned and managed investment holding company with interests in substantial media assets through its subsidiaries, joint ventures and associates, positioned in growth markets.” Even if the candidate event this year is hailed a success, it is not known if officials in South Africa will be ready to run a full WRC event in 2013, or would prefer to wait until 2014. SECOND ERECHIM VICTORY FOR SABA Former WRC driver Chris Atkinson has cruised to his first major victory on home soil by winning the FIA's Asia-Pacific Rally Championship Rally of Queensland in his Skoda Fabia S2000. He doubled his two-minute lead after Day 1 to finish nearly four minutes in front of Alister McRae's Proton on the Sunshine Coast. McRae had been troubled with engine misfiring, but stayed ahead of New Zealand veteran Brian Green who took third place in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and McRae's teammate Per-Gunnar Andersson who had been delayed earlier in the event. Atkinson's victory makes the 32 year-old uncatchable for the second year running in the FIA's Pacific Rally Cup. Paraguayan driver Gustavo Saba has won Brazil's round of the FIA Codasur Championship for the second time, at the wheel of a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X R4, heading a most eclectic selection of cars. In the following places were Sebastian Abramian's Maxi Rally VW Gol Trend, the regional Toyota S2000 of Alejandro Galanti, the N4 Mitsubishi of the best Brazilian Ulysses Bertholdo and the international S2000 Fiesta of Zaldivar. The popular and very compact two-day event used 77% of the total route as special stages, held in farmland south of the city of Erechim. This event was the debut for the locally prepared 330bhp Peugeot 207XRC cars, two of which were entered. Neither qualified as a finisher but the car of Mauricio Das Neves finished 11th on the Day 2 stages. These cars are fitted with V6 engines, five-speed transmissions and four-wheel-drive. 13 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: WRC >>> NEWS