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GP Week : Issue 173
RALLY >>> NEWS at BRIEFLY » Ten days before it was due to be held, and just before the world championship Rally Italia Sardegna was run, the organisers of the Italian championship Costa Smeralda Rally, the previous weekend, postponed the event. Costa Smeralda was due to be the final round of the CIR, Italy’s premier rally championship. The championship had already been won by Paolo Andreucci and the main remaining outstanding title was for manufacturers, between the strong favourites Peugeot and Skoda. Officially the rally was postponed for organisational problems, due to the difficulty of arranging the necessary safety facilities, already used the week before on the world championship Rally Italia Sardegna. It seems the event will now be held in mid-November. » John ‘Penti’ Powell from Trinidad and Tobago has been registered by M-Sport as the official teammate for Ott Tanak on the Rally Catalunya Costa Daurada, the final round of the 2012 WRC series. This will be Powell’s first world championship rally. Powell’s recent successes in the West Indies include outright victory in the Rally Trinidad in 2010 and 2012, and in Rally Jamaica in 2011, always with Subaru Impreza World Rally Cars. This year Powell has been contesting the FIA Nacam regional championship in which he is lying third, the best non-Mexican driver. » Important recommendations are expected this week regarding the 2013 calendar for the new Eurosport Events promoted European Rally Championship. » Finnish rally champion Esapekka Lappi gained valuable asphalt rally experience in Spain when he finished second best S2000 car on the Rallye Sierra Morena, based at Cordoba, in the Fabia S2000 rallied earlier this season by Hayden Paddon on SWRC events. » Champion Demoted! 2012 WRC Academy champion elect Fiesta R2 driver Elfyn Evans has been entered in this weekend’s Rallye du Condroz-Huy in Belgium in a Fiesta R1. Proton driver Alister McRae has won the APRC China Rally for the third year running, and for the second successive year on this event has beaten Chris Atkinson, who clinched the APRC regional title at the final round. The rally was led through Day 1 by Atkinson’s MRF Skoda teammate Gaurav Gill, but on the first stage of Day 2 Gill’s engine failed, the third spectacular Skoda Fabia S2000 engine failure in recent weeks caused by a broken connecting rod. This crisis follows another series of Skoda engine problems caused earlier this year by faulty valve springs. McRae’s Satria Neo S2000 team-mate Juha Salo finished third overall, after recovering from a driveshaft failure on Stage 2. Yuya Sumiyama finished fourth in his Subaru Impreza R4, winning him the FIA Asia Cup, after rolling his car and suffering rear suspension damage. Karamjit Singh, the Malaysian driver who in 2002 was the inaugural FIA Production Car world champion, won the 2012 APRC two-wheel drive cup in a two-wheel-drive version Proton Satria Neo. The rally was based at Longyou and run in very hot conditions, up to 36 degrees on Day 1, or gravel and concrete based roads. China hat-trick for McRae Weather halts Valais A sudden change in weather from autumn sunshine to snow, rain and fog caused the final stage of the Rallye du Valais, the final round of the FIA’s regional European Rally Championship to be cancelled and another to be stopped. After the Belgian driver Pieter Tsjoen lost time when he rolled his Citroen DS3 RRC while leading the event, the event was dominated by local Swiss Peugeot drivers. Tsjoen recovered from 88th position to fourth at the finish, on the debut of Citroen’s new version World Rally Car. No fewer than five different drivers held the lead during the event. Evgeniy Novikov is to drive his Ford Fiesta WRC on DMack tyres on Rally Catalunya, the final round of the 2012 World Rally Championship, and his car will be fully branded accordingly. This is the reason that he is not being entered on this occasion by the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team, which is contracted to using Michelins, even though DMack tyres are officially approved by the FIA for WRC use. M-Sport have nominated the guest West Indian driver John ‘Penti’ Powell to drive car number six instead, which will be the ex-Block and ex-Habig car. DMack tyres will also be used in Spain on the Fiesta WRC of Martin Prokop, who will drive the well travelled Fiesta last used by Al Suwaidi in Germany in RRC guise, now converted back to WRC specification. Prokop’s own car meanwhile has been returned to M-Sport for detailed investigation into the frustrating misfiring and power loss problems which have plagued the Czech driver on the French and Italian rallies. Tyre change for Novikov 16 GPWEEK.com // 16 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: