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GP Week : Issue 176
RALLY >>> NEWS Putting on a brave face after the news broke that Dani Sordo had left their team to go back to Citroen, Prodrive rally director Richard Taylor stated that there was an ongoing plan to field a two-car team already at the 2013 WRC opening round, Monte Carlo. “We have some interesting possibilities we are investigating and we have a package ready to go, including an important engine upgrade which we want to launch in the new year” , he said. The Prodrive team had a topsy-turvy season, starting with a second place at Monte Carlo and ending with the fastest car at the final round, Catalunya Rally, but their star driver has left the team and they still have no conformation that new homologation for WRC cars will be granted. Development of RRC versions of the Mini is not affected by WRC registration regulations. The FIA deadline for registering a manufacturer team for the championship is 14 December. Brave faces at Prodrive at BRIEFLY » Former F1 driver Robert Kubica won the Como Rally in northern Italy, final round of the Italian national asphalt rally series, in a Citroen C4 WRC, after leading start to finish. It was his third rally victory since his return to active motorsport competition. At the same time, the CIR national championship final round was run at the delayed Costa Smeralda Rally in Sardinia, in which the already proclaimed champion Paolo Andreucci won overall and clinched the makes championship for Peugeot. This weekend Robert goes to France to compete on the Rallye du Var (final round of the French asphalt championship which last year was won by Jari-Matti Latvala) again in the C4 WRC. He has been seeded number one. » Ukraine driver Yuri Protasov has won the inaugural six-round Rally Class series, ahead of Mexican driver Ricardo Trivino and Indonesian driver Rifat Sungkar. This is run on events in the world championship and uses identically prepared Subaru Impreza Group N cars with control DMack tyres. Protasov wins drives in five entries in a fully supported programme at the wheel of R4 car on events in the 2013 WRC; Trivino wins two in a Group N car. The series promoted by Symtech Racing in Belgium continues in 2013, on the same fixed-cost turn-key leasing system as 2012. » Already crowned 2012 FIA Codasur champion, Paraguayan Gustavo Saba rounded off his successful South American season with outright victory also in the Rally del Atlantico, final round of theFIA’s regional championshi, run this year out of Minas rather than Punta del Este. At the wheel of his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo R4, he finished more than two minutes ahead of Argentine Sebastian Abramian’s VW Gol Trend Maxi Rally. » New Zealand’s seven-day Silver Fern Historic Rally was won by Deane Buist. Ford Escort RS1800 cars took the top nine places. He finished nearly a quarter hour ahead of second driver Neil Allport. Deutschland dates despair A crisis in Germany surrounds the date of Rallye Deutschland scheduled to be round nine in the 2013 world championship. The FIA baulked at the originally proposed late-August date because it clashed with the date for the neighbouring Belgian Grand Prix but nearby alternative dates clash with other major motorsport activities or traditional mid-August holidays. The organisers meanwhile are proceeding with a major change of format. The start is planned to be outside the spectacular Cathedral in Cologne, about 200km north of the rally base at Trier, then the route will include a group of stages new to the event before the event reaches Trier. Madeira upset The organisers of the Madeira Rally, a long time qualifying round of the FIA European rally championship, have called on the FIA to explain why they have been dropped from the 2013 series, notwithstanding earlier assurances that the 2013 championship would be run “in the normal manner”. They had also been a round of the IRC series in recent year, but failed to come to terms with the promoters of the IRC, Eurosport Events who are now the promoters of the ERC, for inclusion in the 2012 series. They stated they were not given the chance to agree financial terms for running an event in 2013, and complain that inclusion in the 2013 ERC calendar is apparently based on financial issues, unconnected with sporting standards, organisational quality or traditional relevance. Elfyn Evans clinched the WRC Academy series on the penultimate round of the series but before the final round in Spain, all the eight competing teams were given training by Ford’s 2012 team drivers Jari-Matti Latvala and Petter Solberg. Latvala, ending his tenth season in the WRC, spoke afterwards of the evident enthusiasm of the Academy crews. “It is great to tell stories when people are listening!”, he is quoted as saying. Winning Academy co-driver in 2012 was Candido Carrera, the regular co-driver for Jose Suarez . Latvala, Solberg, show the Academy the way 16 GPWEEK.com // 16 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: