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GP Week : Issue 157
MITSUBISHIS DOMINATE 60TH SAFARI WRC >>> NEWS Carl Tundo won his third Safari Rally in four years when he beat fellow Mitsubishi driver Ian Duncan by 15 seconds at the end of the 60th event in the series, which began in 1953 as a rally to celebrate the Coronation of the British Queen Elizabeth. After an afternoon’s downtown superspecial, this year’s event was essentially a two-day rally held on the plains due south of Kenya’s capital Nairobi. The final section on the first day had to be interrupted when flash floods made the route impassable but the section was run on Day 2. Alastair Cavenagh led for the first two stages before damaging the radiator. Baldev Chager (third after the first full day) retired after hitting a concrete culvert, Raaji Bharji retired with broken wheel studs. The event, which counted for the WRC from 1973 through to 2002, qualified for the FIA’s African championship, in which fourth place Mohammed Essa from Zambia pulled further ahead after his two main rivals Giancarlo Davite (Rwanda) and Jas Mangat (Uganda) both retired. All the 39 starters drove either Mitsubishis Lancer Evos or Subaru Imprezas, but 38 other competitors contested the Supplementary event in a wide variety of vehicles, won by Simon Sharpe in a Toyota Platz rally raid car. at BRIEFLY » Latest expectation for the public debut of the Lotus Exige S Class R-GT car is for it to appear in the hands of Bernando Sousa as a zero-car at the Geko-Ypres Rally. » The World Motor Sport Council on 15 June is loading up a heavy rallying agenda. Apart from fundamental decisions awaited the 2013 WRC Calendar and a promised statement on the identity of a Promoter for the series, decisions are awaited on the intended merger of the IRC and the ERC, and to explain the delay in the impending homologation of the Lotus sports car. » Stories in the French AutoHebdo magazine further fuelled rumours which began at the Acropolis that Sebastien Loeb’s rally retirement would come earlier than expected – like at the end of this season? Sebastien reported to have said that while his motivation for competition remains, he tires of other rally related activities, that he wants to go out at the top of his career, and that he is busy planning his later career activities. He felt he had nothing more to prove in rallying, his mind was not yet settled, and he wasn’t angry being constantly asked about his future, saying that he himelf has begun the rumours! » Jari-Matti Latvala has claimed a series of official FIA world speed records for 1-litre cars in a production Ford Focus Eco Boost saloon car, four of them individually and another six records jointly with other drivers. The records covered both standard start and flying start runs, and Latvala’s highest measured speed record was 176.168kph. The records were set at the Mortefontaine test track not far from the Charles de Gaulle airport in France. 15 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: