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GP Week : Issue 168
RALLY >>> NEWS VW'S WRC CHANGES SHAPE With only two months to go before homologation papers have to be lodged with the FIA, ready for approval in time for Monte Carlo Rally next year, Volkswagen’s Polo R WRC prototype has undergone significant bodywork changes. The car used in recent aerodynamic testing in Finland had a redesign of the front bumper and reshaping of the wheel extension pieces, front and rear, and was covered with a camouflage design to conceal other changes. The team has confirmed that the new pieces have been developed as a result of wind tunnel tests, but the team’s lead driver Sebastien Ogier said the car is still not in its final specification. Spectators at the tests noted that the car was tested with two different designs of WRC rear wing and also a small Super 2000-shape wing as well. The team has also confirmed that hopes the FIA would allow the team to run the prototype world rally car in public at remaining rounds of the 2012 world championship have been abandoned. World championship regulations preclude such testing. Image: Ridder San Martino di Castrozza scandal Italian sporting authorities have overturned the results of the recent Rally San Martino di Castrozza, round 6 of Italy’s premier CIR series and final round of the prestigious privateer’s series. Sabotage in the form of nails placed on the road on the final stage in front of the rally leader Umberto Scandola caused two punctures on his Skoda and lost him victory of the event. The federation subsequently ordered the final stage to be cancelled so that Scandola was awarded the victory. Comment from the Peugeot Italia team running the deposed winner Paolo Andreucci was that this decision, however understandable, causes a dangerous precedent in the sport. Behind the race for the CIR itself remained the challenge for the national privateer’s title, and another scandal. The wiring to the ECU on the car of challenger Matteo Gamba was found to have been cut while the car was in parc ferme. This caused him to retire, elevating the United Business team driver Alessandro Perico into the title in the category. The circumstances so incensed the United Business team that Perico contacted the federation renouncing his right to the title and requesting this should be awarded to Gamba and his co-driver. Co-driver Denis Giraudet anticipates one more medical operation on his injured back before the recovery process can be completed. “I expect to be fit to return to the sport in time for Monte Carlo next year. Surgeons hope to complete a programe in which three vertebrae will be joined together and they say my back should then be stronger than ever!” The final scheduled operation is to take place in two weeks. Giraudet experienced a sharp pain after a heavy landing at the infamous Urria jump on the first day of Rally Finland: “Stupidly I refused to give in, and the injury was aggravated when we rolled on the next stage. We then struggled on to the end of the rally.” As they continued on after their problems in Finland, Giraudet joked with journalists that his driver Evgeniy Novikov was the fastest ambulance driver on the world. Denis is one of many rally competitors to suffer back injuries in recent months, and pays tribute to the courage of the Finnish driver Toni Gardemeister who is recovering from an even more serious back injury sustained on a cross- country event in Russia. Spectators at the tests noted that the car was tested with two different designs of WRC rear wing and also a small Super 2000-shape wing as well. The team has also confirmed that hopes the FIA would allow the team to run the prototype world rally car in public at remaining rounds of the 2012 world championship have been abandoned. World championship regulations preclude such testing. Giraudet back for Monaco 18 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: