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GP Week : Issue 175
RALLY >>> NEWS The day after an emotional farewell celebration in Cyprus for Ola Floene at the end of seven years working with Andreas Mikkelsen, 43 year-old Floene was summoned to go immediately to Spain as Mikkelsen’s new co-driver, 31 year-old Mikko Markkula, had fallen too ill to compete on that event. “I really wasn’t expecting to come to Spain,” Floene said, “I am really not psychologically ready for this event.” It has been expected that Mikko will guide Andreas through the next phrase of his career, which they hope will be long and successful. The Finn has great international experience, having most recently co-driven for Juho Hanninen in the works Skoda Motorsport team, winning the IRC title in 2010, the FIA Super 2000 World Rally Championship in 2011 and this year’s FIA European Rally Championship. “I've had some great years with Ola,’ Said Mikkelson. “and I am incredibly grateful for the time we had together. No one can take away from us everything we have experienced and everything we have achieved. Ola has indicated that he envisages co-driving for a few more years. I want to think long term, over the next 10 years and beyond, so I need to build a relationship with a new co-driver that can be with me for many years to come.” “Of course it's sad,” said Ola, “but all good things have to come to an end. We've had a lot of fun over these years and I am proud to have been allowed to participate in shaping Andreas as a rally driver. “I remember the first time I read pacenotes for Andreas. He was 16 years old and I wondered what on earth I had gotten myself into! He showed a lot of potential then and we have worked hard together to achieve great success, most notably with Skoda UK Motorsport in the IRC. It’s a new chapter for both of us, and I’m looking for ward to using my experience to help another driver by securing a competitive ride for 2013.” Floene gets a late call-back Both female drivers entered in the Production Car world championship failed to start the final round, the Catalunya Rally. In the case of Ramona Karlsson, the Stewards accepted the explanation that the insurance claim relating to the destruction of her rally car by fire in New Zealand was still unsettled. In the case of Louise Cook, documentation relating to her problem with her collarbone which was aggravated during Rally Italia, was accepted by the Stewards, both examples of force majeure. In neither case were the drivers excluded from the championship, which in the case of Cook meant that she is statistically unbeaten in the FIA’s Production Car Cup for Drivers of two-wheel drive cars. She was the only contestant in this series. The FIA reser ved the right to suspend this cup if fewer than five competitors entered, but this right was never exercised and happily the FIA has confirmed that Louise is the rightful recipient of the Cup, finishing eighth overall in the series. The FIA has entered into exclusive negotiations with Sistemas Integrales de Telecomunicación to provide the timing and safety-tracking services for the FIA World Rally Championship from 2013. The Spanish sports technology group would also be responsible for delivering this all-important data to the Championship Promoter, the content being an integral part of its vision to develop and enhance the television and digital product. Spanish company gets WRC timing and tracking gig Missing women of Barcelona 13 GPWEEK.com // 13 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: