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GP Week : Issue 170
RALLY >>> NEWS QUO VADIS JARI-MATTI? Ford's superstar undecided on 2013 Jari-Matti Latvala has dropped a WRC bombshell by admitting he is no certainty to stay with Ford next year. Latvala (left) defined his options for the 2013 season at the pre-Rallye de France press conference: “It is no secret I have two options, Ford and VW. The decision is clear cut. Ford’s prospects are short term, M-Sport has no contracts with Ford to continue beyond the end of 2013, but they have a proven car. “VW has a longer term outlook but have a new team and a new car. The choice for me is between short term or long term. Personally I have always wanted to see Ford winnig the world championship again, and they have not done that while I have been in the team. “At this moment of time there is no deadline; both teams are still flexible about when the decision has to be made. I do not think the decision will be made just yet (before Sardinia) but as soon as one team issues a deadline, then we will have to decide.” This weekend’s IRC Rally Sanremo heads off a remarkable month of top-level rallying in Italy, in which over a period of three successive weekends there are no fewer than four major rallies. These are Sanremo itself, followed one week later by the WRC Rally Italia Sardegna in Sardinia and then the Costa Smeralda, also in Sardinia. And, to confuse the fans, a fourth event, the Rally Legends for historic cars takes place on the same weekend as Sanremo, – but happily Sanremo finishes on the Saturday evening so Sunday will be free for spectating on the other side of the country! After a programme of on-event trial runs as zero cars, Peugeot finally make their competition debut on Sanremo with the recently homologated 208 R2 car, one example being driven by Bryan Bouffier. Sanremo is the shortest, but also the most intense of the IRC events with more than half the total route being used as special stages. There is one stretch of stage not used for a long time, the stretch of the old main road from Imperia to Pieve di Teco but other wise familiar roads in the hinterland behind the Liguria coast. Stars from several generations of rally sport are due to appear at Rally Legends, a rare opportunity for original classic rally cars to be use in active competition as opposed to display. Famous names include Markku Alen, Per Eklund, Jacky Ickx, Juha Kankkunen, Markko Martin, Sandro Munari, Gustavo Trelles and Bjorn Waldegard. Citroen's RRC is go! After two years of strenuous denials of an intent to homologate a Super 2000 version of their World Rally Car, Citroen have finally applied to the FIA for and been given the confirmation that they can homologate a 1.6 litre turbo ‘RRC’ S2000 version. Homologation inspection is due for 15 October. It is intended that the car will make its debut at the end of October at Rallye du Valais in Switzerland in the hands of Belgian driver Pieter Tsjoen. This will come as good news for Citroen’s new WRC driver Khalid Al Qassimi who plans to use this car for rallies in the MERC regional championship in 2013 as part of Abu Dhabi’s new contract with Citroen. News is also arriving that Renault are planning to develop an R5 car based on the new model Clio with 1.6 litre turbo engine fitted with sequential gearbox and paddle shift while Citroen are scheduled to announce their R5 car three months after the Peugeot R5 car is available. Action-time in Italy 17 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: