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GP Week : Issue 177a
RALLY >>> NEWS OPEL BACK IN RALLYING Opel have officially announced a return to rallying, starting in 2013 with production of a one-make front-drive 1.6 litre normally-aspirated version of the Adam city car, to be used in the Adam Opel Rally Cup as part of the ADAC Rally Masters series. In 2014 it is proposed that the Adam will then be homologated at the FIA in R2, while for 2015 and 2016 it is intended to expand the project with competition versions of the next Corsa model under R3 and R5 rules. Opel has been most active in rallying over the years by encouraging national importers’ activities in national and international events. There have been spasmodic activities with a centralised team at the top level of the sport, notably in the early ‘80s when they produced the 'homologation special' Ascona 400 model, which sensationally won on its second appearance in the WRC in 1980. With this type, Walter Rohrl, who won the European rally title in 1974 and then scored his first WRC win with an earlier version Ascona in 1975, won the FIA World Drivers’ title in 1982. Josef Haider won the Drivers-only New Zealand world championship rally in a Kadett GSi in 1988. GM Europe went on to win the inaugural FIA “Formula 2" cup in 1993 through the efforts of Opel Team Belgium. More recent private Opel development projects have included the Corsa Super 1600 at the end of 2001 and then the Corsa Super 2000 in 2009. No plans to run a full factory team have been announced. SORDO TESTS CITROEN DS3 WRC 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. » Rally drivers were put to shame on the single-venue Monza Rally when MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi (Fiesta WRC) and endurance racer Ronaldo Capello (Citroen DS3 WRC) pulled well ahead beating 46 year old veteran rallyman Piero Longhi who pipped racing driver Marco Bonanomi (both old C4 WRC) into third place by 0.4 seconds. MotoGP riders Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo each in Citroen DS3 WRCs finished fifth and tenth. The all-asphalt event has attracted a remarkable entry of 26 World Rally Cars of either the new or old generation formula, and no fewer than 31 Super 2000 cars. » Heavy odds are being placed on the chances of M-Sport forming a new Ford Fiesta WRC team for 2013, with 25 year old Mads Ostberg as the lead driver. » Ulster driver Martin McCormack snatched the lead on the penultimate stage of the “Roger Albert Clark”, Britain’s biggest historic car event, from long time leader Steve Bannister. Ford Escorts took the top 14 places. Dani Sordo has started his new career at Citroen, testing the DS3 WRC at the company’s test facility near Paris. He stated on Facebook and Twitter: “Today was a special day (Tuesday 20) for me; after two years I have driven the Citroen DS3 WRC on the test track of Citroen Racing. Incredible sensations ... the car is very very good, and we have adapted to it within one km. “The team is full of great people as always. I feel fortunate to have been able to test in the same year the Mini, Ford and Citroen (all three examples of the homologated 1.6 turbo world rally cars)! I want to thank Prodrive for giving me permission to drive the Citroen ASAP.” Sordo’s previous rally experience with Citroen was at the wheel of C2 cars and then the old Xsara and C4 World Rally Cars. Interestingly it is the second time this year that his old employers, Prodrive, have given consent for him to drive for a rival manufacturer. Earlier in 2012 they allowed him to drive for the Ford team in Argentina when Jari-Matti Latvala was suffering from a collarbone injury. New FIA Rally Cup proposed The FIA are planning to introduce a new single secondary level international Rally Cup in time for the 2013 rally season. This is aimed at replacing the existing European regional zone championships and also provide a home for former ERC and IRC events displaced by the recent effective merger of these two series. The introduction of the new series is expected to be confirmed by the World Motor Sport Council later this year. he qualifying events will be issued individual coefficient ratings for points scoring purposes, in the manner that was used in the old style FIA European championship series. Meanwhile hopes that the six official FIA regional series (ERC, ARC, APRC, MERC, Codasur and Nacam) will be governed in future by a unified set of rules have been abandoned on grounds of the widely different characteristics of the individual series. A very complicated formula of calculating points based on concentrating on the top coefficient events and awarding points from only a limited number of lower coefficient events, is planned. 17 GPWEEK.com // 17 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: