WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2012
Carlo *, **
|| » Läs
|29 mar 1 apr
|25- 27 maj
|| » Läs
= Rallyt pågår
* = GrN-VM
** = SWRC
|31 maj-2 juni
|25-27 okt t
12-12-19 Ramona släpper playsida
I dag släpper Sveriges snaabbaste kvinnliga rallyförare Ramona Karlsson
Playsidan VM-resan där vi får hänga med bakom kulisserna
från den unika VM-satsningen i rally från 2012.
På VM-resan får vi följa med Ramona Karlsson och Miriam Walfridsson
på deras allra första VM-äventyr som pågått under
2012. En resa som innehöll alltifrån hysteriska fans i Mexico till
en olycklig bilbrand i Nya Zeeland som satte stopp för deras andraplats i
- Det har verkligen varit en jättehäftig och spännande säsong,
men nu lägger vi VM-äventyret bakom oss för den här gången,
säger Ramona, och fortsätter. Att samla allt videoinnehåll på
en playsida känns som ett bra avslut när jag ser fram emot nya utmaningar
och förhoppningsvis kan presentera ett nytt spännande projekt inom kort.
- Att en rallystjärna som Ramona Karlsson väljer Solidtango som sin
leverantör för livesändningar, video och nu även Playsida,
är vi mycket stolta över och sporrar oss i utvecklingen av Solidtango.
Precis som för Ramona är det plattan i botten som gäller för
hela teamet bakom plattformen, avslutar Johan Lundqvist grundare av Solidtango.
Ta del av hängivnaa fans i Mexico: http://vmresan.solidtango.com/video/mexico-den-langa-versionen-309
eller bilbranden på Nya Zeeland:
http://vmresan.solidtango.com/video/nya-zeeland-272 och alla andra videos:
12-12-18 Rätt hjälmbärare
ska hjälpa Volkswagen till WRC-titeln
Känner du till Franc Rimière? Ska man tro motorsportlegendaren Jacky
Ickx så var denne man absolut ovärderlig för Ickx framgångar
i motorsportvärlden på 1960- och 1970-talet. Ingen annan kunde sköta
om hans hjälm så bra som Franc. Det är möjligt att någon
ställer sig skeptisk till Jacky Ickx utsaga men faktum är att
Volkswagen nu söker en ny framgångsrik hjälmbärare till sitt
Lovorden vet inga gränser när Jacky Ickx väljer att hylla fransmannen
Franc Rimière för hans sätt att sköta om den forne racingstjärnans
hjälm. Ickx, som bland annat vunnit Le Mans sex gånger och dessutom
slutat tvåa i Formel 1, arbetar idag som motorsportambassadör för
I en film avslöjar han nu hemligheten bakom sina framgångar. Och det
står helt klart att Franc Rimière har en viktig del i dessa. Franc
kom till exempel på genidraget att ändra höjden på hjälmöverlämnandet
till 112 centimeter. Det gav den ideala vinkel på 15 grader vid överlämnandet
till föraren. Han kom dessutom på ett helt eget steg för att på
bästa sätt gå fram till föraren och lämna hjälmen.
De detaljerna har spelat en nyckelroll i framgången, fastslår
Jacky Ickx i filmen.
Volkswagen, som går in i WRC med helt nyutvecklade Polo R WRC, 2013 har
nu insett vikten av att ha rätt hjälmbärare till sitt rallyteam.
Därför söker man nu en ny medarbetare av Franc Rimières
kaliber man vill helt enkelt ha ingen mindre än världens bästa
hjälmbärare. Redan till Monte Carlo-rallyt som går i januari hoppas
man ha lyckats med sitt uppdrag. Den som utses får vara VIP-gäst och
en del i Volkswagens rallyteam under rallyt. Tävlingen pågår
till 4 januari.
Den som känner sig manad kan söka tjänsten på sajten www.rallytheworld.com
Där laddar man upp en representativ bild av sig själv, för att
visa att man faktiskt är världens bästa hjälmbärare.
Filmen om Jacky Ickx och Franc Rimière finns att beskåda här:
12-12-04 Ford wishes Solberg well
as Norwegian bows out of WRC
Ford has paid tribute to Norways Petter Solberg after he announced today
(Tuesday) that he will not compete in the FIA World Rally Championship in 2013.
Solberg and co-driver Chris Patterson drove for Ford World Rally Team in the WRC
in 2012, achieving four podium finishes and 44 stage wins in their Fiesta RS World
Rally Car on their way to fifth in the championship.
Solberg first drove for Ford at the beginning of his WRC career in 1999 and 2000,
before returning to the team in 2012.
Ford Racing senior manager Gerard Quinn said the sport would be poorer for the
2003 world champions departure: Petter has been a charismatic and
popular member of the service park for over a decade, and we are sure that motorsport
has not seen the last of him. All of us at Ford wish him every future success,
It will be strange to begin a WRC season with no Petter Solberg in the service
park, and I will miss him on a personal as well as a professional level,
added M-Sport managing director Malcolm Wilson. When we first signed him
back in 1999, he was a fresh-faced youngster with a lot of potential and equally
a lot to learn, and when he returned to Ford more than a decade later as a world
champion, it was like he had come home.
It was a pleasure to have Petter in the team this year and we are delighted
to have shared in some of his many successes in rallying. We wish him well for
the future, he concluded.
12-11-05 Ingen start i Spanien
men Ramona ser framåt
Till helgen avgörs den sista tävlingen i Rally-VM, Rally RACC i Spanien.
Ramona och Miriam måste tyvärr avstå tävlingen på
grund av en ej ännu avslutad försäkringsprocess.
I VM i Nya Zeeland låg Ramona och Miriam på en 2:a plats, men under
andra tävlingsdagens sista sträcka tog rallybilen plötsligt eld
och brann upp. Sedan dess har det varit en lång och utdragen process med
försäkringsbolaget, som ännu inte är avslutad. Detta innebär
att Ramona ännu inte fått ersättning för den förlorade
bilen, och har därmed inte budget till att komma till start.
- Det känns självklart jättetråkigt. Jag förberedde
mig för worst case scenario genom att teckna en brandförsäkring,
men uppenbarligen så blir detta en betydligt längre process än
vad jag räknat med, säger Ramona besviket. Nu blir det fortsatt
fullt fokus på att lösa detta så snart som möjligt, samtidigt
som jag jobbar med tillförsikt inför 2013 års säsong då
vi har spännande planer. Exakt vilka planer vill inte Ramona avslöja
ännu. Det är lite för tidigt ännu, eftersom ingenting
är klart. En dag i taget, och i första hand måste vi lösa
sviterna efter branden. Det enda jag kan lova är att jag kommer att jobba
stenhårt och målmedvetet för att sitta i en rallybil snart igen,
12-11-03 Viva La Vida (and Rally
Bruno at WRC Team MINI Portugal here! Were all set to tackle Rally
de España, the final round of this years World Rally Championship.
It might be the last event on this year's calendar, but as always we're approaching
it head on with maximum focus!
Ive competed in Spain as a Team Manager four times and Ive got
some good memories. One of the best is from 2009 when we were running the Pirelli
Star Driver Programme and Jarkko Nikara (who was weened on the Finnish gravel)
got his first ever Group N podium on Tarmac with us. It was a big satisfaction
for everyone to see a young driver start to realise his potential with our team.
Rally de España is unique in the WRC calendar, because it's the only
event which runs on mixed surfaces. That means high pressure when we do the set-up
switch Friday night! There will be a lot to change after the Day One gravel ready
for the Day Two Tarmac. We have a one hour fifteen minute service and everyone
needs to be 100% committed and concentrated. What needs to be changed? The most
obvious things are tyres and rims, but also the gearbox, differential, dampers,
springs, anti-roll bars, brakes and under body protection like the sump guard.
The surface change change also means the drivers have to adapt their driving style
Chris has an idea of the rallys Tarmac stages from previous outings,
but his last time competing in Spain was in 2008, so hes never tackled the
mixed surface version of the event. Hes ready for pretty much anything though
after he and Stéphane were crowned FIA Asia Pacific Rally Champions last
week at Rally China. Were very proud of him its a great result
While Chris was hightailing it around the world to scoop his first ever
international title, we were in the workshop making some changes to his MINI.
Just between us, we have a small problem in the team. None of us are ever satisfied!
;-) Within about a minute of getting MINIs best result on gravel this year
at Rally Italia Sardegna, our minds had turned to Rally de España. Now,
weve used Chris (very precise) post-event feedback to evolve some
non-homologated parts for Spain and are waiting to see how they go on the test!
Meanwhile Paulo and Edu contested Rally de España last year and theyre
really looking forward to getting back in Porquinho Verde. Paulos made great
progress on Tarmac during the reason and little-by-little hes becoming more
comfortable on it. Who knows, we might even see him fulfil his dream and claim
that elusive Top 10 hes been after all season. Heres hoping!
Were testing on Monday so Chris and Paulo can both find the best set-up
for their MINIs for the rally. Then it's all systems go to get ready for the Qualifying
Stage and our first ever Ceremonial Start in Barcelona. One of the best things
about Rally de España is the huge numbers of spectators on the stages and
I imagine Barcelona will be packed out too! As well as the MINIs, well be
there cheering the start of the last PWRC round for our sister team Ralliart Italia.
We really hope that one of our boys, Benny or Michal, will claim the world title
next weekend, but I dont want to speak too soon!
In keeping with Rally de Españas mixed surfaces weve
decided to do mixed voices updates so youll hear from other
team members during the week. Never fear though, Ill be back on Sunday for
the final wrap-up. ?
For now thats all from me, but stay tuned - theres a lot more
12-11-02 Ford aims high with Fiesta
at world championship finale in Spain
Ford aims to end its official participation in the FIA World Rally Championship
on a high note next week when the 2012 season comes to a close in Spain. After
the decision to stop its factory team at the end of the year, Jari-Matti Latvala
and Miikka Anttila and team-mates Petter Solberg and Chris Patterson have targeted
a successful finale at Rally de España (8 - 11 November).
Ford has already secured second in the manufacturers championship with the
Fiesta RS World Rally Car. The destination of the title and the runner-up placings
in the drivers series have already been decided, but both Ford pairings
are involved in a three-way battle for third. Thirteen points cover the trio,
with a maximum 28 available from Spain.
Rally de España is based in the Costa Daurada holiday resort of Salou,
south-west of Barcelona, and is one of the most varied rounds of the season. Traditionally
a pure asphalt fixture over smooth and flowing roads in the Tarragona region,
it has evolved into a mixed surface event in recent years with the introduction
of gravel speed tests.
Fridays opening leg is 90 per cent gravel, with several short asphalt sections
included. The most demanding challenge will be the 44.02km Terra Alta special
stage which includes three surface changes. Latvala and Solbergs Fiesta
RS WRCs will be prepared to full gravel specification for the day, after which
the team will convert them to asphalt trim for the final two legs.
The sealed surface roads are fast and can be compared to a race circuit in their
characteristics. They are smooth, often abrasive and can become slippery as drivers
cut corners to save vital tenths of a second, dragging stones and dirt onto the
Latvala is nine points ahead of Solberg in the points standings and the 27-year-old
Finn is confident after what he described as his best asphalt performance en route
to second in France last month. He finished third in Spain last year, his best
result there from eight starts.
Its a dream of mine to win an asphalt rally and Ive always thought
that Spain could give me the best opportunity, he said. But to be
able to challenge I must be in a good position after the opening day on gravel.
A strong first leg will give me a platform from which I can go out and do my best
over the last two days on asphalt.
The roads are smoother and wider than elsewhere in the series. Theyre
well used by the public so theyre maintained to a high level. A lot of repair
work has been done to ensure there are far fewer places where we can cut corners,
there are only a couple of stages where this is possible now. Cutting drags a
lot of dirt onto the roads and so this means conditions are more even for all
Latvala completed more than 200km of testing on Wednesday in mixed conditions.
It was damp and cool in the morning and full dry later in the day. It was
good experience because the rally is later in the calendar than normal and those
are the type of conditions that we will likely encounter, he added.
Solberg has plenty of Spanish experience, the 37-year-old Norwegian preparing
for his 11th start. His best result was in 2010 when he finished second. He is
buoyed by a 250km asphalt test on Tuesday, which he described as the best
test session of the year.
I really enjoyed the work we did and its given me extra confidence
for the rally, he enthused. My target is clear to go there
and try to win. Thats more important to me than chasing a medal for finishing
third in the championship. If I take third in the points, then thats a bonus,
but a gold medal for winning the rally would mean more than a bronze in the championship.
Its the final round and both titles are decided, so there will be
a lot of people with nothing to lose who will be pushing hard. Its a great
rally and the asphalt is fast and smooth. Its the closest the WRC comes
to competing on a race circuit. Mixed surfaces bring something different to the
series, but Im not keen on gravel and asphalt in the same stage. It should
be one or the other, said Solberg.
* As both loose surface and asphalt stages are used, Michelin will have Latitude
Cross gravel tyres and Pilot Sport asphalt rubber available. Latitude Cross tyres
will be used for Thursdays qualifying and Fridays opening leg. Drivers
have 14 hard compound and eight soft compound covers available, and can use a
maximum of 15. For the final two all-asphalt legs, 20 Pilot Sport tyres can be
used from a selection of 18 hard and 16 soft compound covers. Teams are not allowed
to hand-carve additional cuts into the tyres and each car can carry two spare
* Six private crews will drive Fiesta RS WRCs. M-Sport Ford World Rally Team has
entered two cars for Ott Tänak / Kuldar Sikk and WRC debutants John Powell
/ Michael Fenell. Mads Østberg / Jonas Andersson will compete for Adapta
World Rally Team and Daniel Oliveira / Carlos Magalhaes will represent Brazil
World Rally Team. Martin Prokop / Zdenek Hruza will crew the Czech Ford National
Team car and the Fiesta RS WRC entries are completed by Evgeny Novikov / Ilka
Minor. Both Prokop and Novikov will be run by Autotek Motorsport and will use
* Eight crews are entered for the final round of the Ford Racing-backed FIA WRC
Academy. The title was won at the previous round in France by Elfyn Evans / Phil
Pugh but four crews will battle it out in Fiesta R2 cars for the runner-up spot
- Brendan Reeves / Rhianon Smyth, José Suárez / Cándido Carrera,
Pontus Tidemand / Stig Skjaemoen and John MacCrone / Stuart Loudon.
Most of the route is familiar from the past two years, but innovations for 2012
include a Barcelona city centre start ceremony on Thursday evening and a special
stage on Salou seafront on Friday. Salous PortAventura theme park hosts
the single service park and the action spans the Tarragona region. After Thursday
mornings qualifying, drivers journey into Barcelona for the start in the
Plaza de la Catedral. Fridays opening leg west of Salou is 90 per cent gravel
and includes a new test early in the morning and a short mixed surface evening
stage along the towns seafront. The second asphalt leg heads north-west
and contains two passes over the 45.97km El Priorat test, one of the longest of
the season. The final day is closer to Salou and includes the Power Stage, with
bonus points on offer to the fastest three drivers. Competitors tackle 18 stages
covering 405.46km in a route of 1391.73km.
RALLY DE ESPANA
ROUND 13 FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
8 - 11 November 2012
Thursday 8 November: Qualifying
QS Emprius de Salou 2.94km 10.00
Start Plaza de la Catedral, Barcelona 19.30
Friday 9 November: Day 1: Salou - Salou
Start PortAventura 06.15
SS1 Gandesa 7.00km 07.45
SS2 Pesells 1 26.59km 08.10
SS3 Terra Alta 1 44.02km 09.19
Serv A PortAventura (30 mins) 11.32
SS4 Pesells 2 26.59km 13.35
SS5 Terra Alta 2 44.02km 14.44
SS6 Salou 2.00km 17.00
Serv B PortAventura (flexi 1hr 15 min) 17.15
Finish PortAventura 18.30
Saturday 10 November: Day 2: Salou - Salou
Serv C PortAventura (15 mins) 07.00
SS7 La Mussara 1 20.48km 08.00
SS8 El Priorat 1 45.97km 09.15
SS9 Riba-roja dEbre 2 14.20km 10.26
Serv D PortAventura (30 mins) 12.36
SS10 La Mussara 2 20.48km 13.51
SS11 El Priorat 2 45.97km 15.06
SS12 Riba-roja dEbre 2 14.20km 16.17
Serv E PortAventura (flexi 45 mins) 18.12
Finish PortAventura 18.57
Sunday 11 November: Day 3: Salou - Salou
Serv F PortAventura (15 mins) 07.00
SS13 Riudecanyes 1 16.35km 07.50
SS14 Santa Marina 1 26.51km 08.51
SS15 La Serra dAlmos 1 4.11km 09.47
Serv G PortAventura (30 mins) 10.47
SS16 Riudecanyes 2 16.35km 11.52
SS17 Santa Marina 2 26.51km 12.53
SS18 La Serra dAlmos 2 4.11km 13.49
Serv G PortAventura (10 mins) 14.42
Finish Salou 15.02
Rally total 405.46km
12-10-21 The Italian Job
'Yep, it's Katie at WRC Team MINI Portugal.
'And this is it - my final press release on the final day of Rally d'Italia.
'We might have only run two stages totally 16.48km today, but we've managed to
pack in plenty of excitement!
'First off, we changed Atko's set-up last night. As I mentioned earlier in the
week, between Rally GB and Rally d'Italia Motorsport Italia evolved certain non-homologated
parts on the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman WRC. Chris had a good feeling about
these evolutions after the test, but hadn't had the chance to test them in conditions
representative of a rough second pass. With that in mind we went for a 'safety'
set-up yesterday afternoon. This perhaps wasn't the best choice and last night
we found ourselves 3.9 seconds behind Ogier, needing to pull a rabbit out of the
hat to reclaim fifth position. So back on with the new parts!
'Fast-forward to this morning and Chris was fifth fastest through SS15, the opening
stage of the day. Back in the mix! Unfortunately, his pesky French rival drove
his socks off and slipped through fourth quickest, one second faster than Atko.
Atko's new 5.3 second deficit was going to be difficult to make up on an 8.24km
stage, but he headed into the last stage determined to give it his best.
'Unfortunately, a great first split was followed by a puncture 3km into the stage.
He didn't stop to change the tyre, but suffered a time loss of nearly one minute!
Fortunately, Atko's lead over Mikkelsen was enough to hold sixth and earn him
eight more WRC points. This also marks MINI's highest gravel finish of the season.
Hooray for Atko!
'Paulo finished 19th overall and was delighted to have completed every stage of
the rally (road section problems Friday night aside!) No big dramas for Paulo
today, but a big smile when he made it back to service. Meanwhile, Atkos
successful pass through Rally dItalia maintains his perfect record of stages
started-completed in a MINI.
'So, what happens now? Well we scatter to the four winds for a couple of weeks.
Chris and Stéphane are heading straight to China for the final round of
the FIA Asia-Pacific Championship good luck boys, we know you can win the
title! Paulo and Edu return to Brazil and the rest of us immediately set to preparing
before that we have the Ceremonial Finish and our debrief. I mention
the debrief, because its an essential part of the rally weekend. The engineers
get as much feedback from the drivers as possible, but its also key for
'As quite a close team, everyone tries to understand every part of the operation.
As a comms person, its important to have a technical understanding of whats
happening at any moment. That doesnt mean I can read data logs or advise
on technical strategy, but its my job to communicate technical feedback
to everyone outside the team and make it as easy to understand as possible. Hence
the role of the debrief!
'Lucky for me our Team Manager Bruno (who often doubles as Chief Technician during
service!) also takes the time to explain whats happening in real time as
the mechanics make it happen. Of course the boys need to be careful. If they give
me too much information, I might start offering my technical advice, which could
be a disaster!
'On that note, Ill leave you. Have a safe journey home. I hope you enjoyed
the rally and to see everyone supporting Atko out in China. See you in Spain.'
12-10-21 Solberg heads Ford 1-2
in Power Stage finale at Rally Italia
Ford World Rally Team finished first and second in the final Power Stage speed
test at Rally Italia Sardegna today to claim maximum bonus points. Petter Solberg
and Chris Patterson edged out Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila by just 0.2sec
in a Fiesta RS World Rally Car battle for top spot, which saw the Ford duo almost
five seconds quicker than their closest rivals.
The Power Stage results brought some happiness for the official Ford squad after
a disappointing weekend. Solberg finished ninth and Latvala 12th after both incurred
heavy time penalties when they retired from the second leg of this 12th and penultimate
round of the FIA World Rally Championship.
After three days of tough competition over narrow and rocky tracks in the hills
around the north of the Mediterranean island, todays final leg was a short
and sharp affair. It was focused around two passes over the 8.24km Gallura speed
test, north-west of the rally base in Olbia, before competitors journeyed to Porto
Cervo for the finish ceremony.
Solberg, who fell from second after crashing into a rock on Friday, and Latvala,
who dropped down the order after hitting a gatepost the same day, concentrated
their attentions on the Power Stage. Bonus points were on offer for the fastest
three drivers, but it quickly became an all-Ford duel.
Latvala was fastest over the first two sectors of the stage to head Solberg by
0.2sec, but the 37-year-old Norwegian overturned the deficit in the final sector
to win the test.
After retiring on Friday, there was only one thing on my mind and that was
winning the Power Stage, said Solberg. Yesterday I drove carefully
because I had nothing to gain, but today I was determined to take maximum points
in the Power Stage. I knew it would be tight between myself and Jari-Matti because
he also wanted to win, and Im happy to take something away from this weekend.
It was possible to win this rally but I made a mistake on Friday and that
was disappointing for me and the team. Its time to forget this rally and
think about the final round in Spain, he added.
Latvala is focused on ending his career at Ford on a high in Spain. Im
pleased Ive had the opportunity to regain my confidence over the last two
days after my accident. That was important, because I want to be ready for Spain.
Sardinia is one of my favourite rallies and I had every chance to fight for an
overall win but it went wrong. I will put this to the back of my mind, said
the 27-year-old Finnish driver.
Ford World Rally Team director Malcolm Wilson said the Power Stage result would
prove a confidence boost for both drivers. To finish first and second means
both gained something from the weekend, and that will help their preparations
for Spain. Neither enjoyed a good rally, but our young private drivers took advantage
and they really stepped up to the mark here, he said.
Ford Racing senior manager Gerard Quinn said: At the end of a week in which
Ford announced its exit from the WRC, it was extremely disappointing to see the
early exit of Jari-Matti and Petter from the rally. Conditions proved tricky,
as the many top drivers that hit trouble can testify. Its positive to see
the Fiesta RS WRC finish in podium positions in the hands of privateer drivers
Evgeny Novikov and Ott Tänak. Im confident this is a glimpse of the
future stars of WRC.
News from other Ford teams
M-Sport Ford World Rally Team duo Evgeny Novikov / Ilka Minor and Ott Tänak
/ Kuldar Sikk claimed a superb second and third in Fiesta RS World Rally Cars.
Second equalled Novikovs best result, while third marked a first WRC podium
for Tänak. Adapta World Rally Teams Mads Østberg / Jonas Andersson
finished fourth, despite a puncture in the final test. Martin Prokop / Zdenek
Hruza overcame a host of problems to take eighth in the Czech Ford National Team
The final round of the championship takes drivers to Rally de España, a
mixed gravel and asphalt event which is based in Salou on 8 - 11 November.
1. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen FIN Citroen DS3 3hr 23min 54.9sec
2. E Novikov/I Minor RUS Ford Fiesta RS 3hr 25min 15.5sec
3. O Tänak/K Sikk EST Ford Fiesta RS 3hr 26min 16.0sec
4. M Østberg/J Andersson NOR Ford Fiesta RS 3hr 27min 37.8sec
5. S Ogier/J Ingrassia FRA Skoda Fabia S2000 3hr 28min 22.4sec
6. C Atkinson/S Prévot AUS Mini John Cooper 3hr 29min 17.1sec
7. A Mikkelsen/O Floene NOR Skoda Fabia S2000 3hr 30min 07.4sec
8. M Prokop/Z Hruza CZE Ford Fiesta RS 3hr 33min 24.2sec
9. P Solberg/C Patterson NOR Ford Fiesta RS 3hr 33min 47.2sec
10 L Pedersoli/M Romano ITA Citroen DS3 3hr 44min 30.5sec
1. S Loeb 244pts
2. M Hirvonen 198pts
3. M Østberg 137pts
4. J-M Latvala 133pts
5. P Solberg 124pts
6. E Novikov 87pts
1. Citroen Total WRT 413pts
2. Ford WRT 281pts
3. M-Sport Ford WRT 170pts
4. Citroen Junior WRT 72pts
5. Adapta WRT 71pts
6. Qatar WRT 71pts
Stage 15: 1. Østberg 6min 25.0sec; 2. Solberg + 2.1; 3. Latvala + 4.5;
4. Ogier + 4.9; 5. Atkinson + 6.3; 6. Novikov + 10.1.
Overall: 1. Hirvonen 3hr 17min 29.8sec; 2. Novikov + 1:25.2; 3. Tänak + 2:18.7;
4. Østberg + 3:35.2; 5. Ogier + 4:22.3; 6. Atkinson + 4:27.6; 9. Solberg
+ 10:04.0; 13. Latvala + 24:28.2.
Stage 16: 1. Solberg 6min 13.4sec; 2. Latvala + 0.2; 3. Neuville + 4.7; 4. Novikov
+ 7.1; 5. Hirvonen + 11.7; 6. Tänak + 14.1.
Overall: 1. Hirvonen 3hr 23min 54.9sec; 2. Novikov + 1:20.6; 3. Tänak + 2:21.1;
4. Østberg + 3:42.9; 5. Ogier + 4:27.5; 6. Atkinson + 5:22.2; 9. Solberg
+ 9:52.3; 12. Latvala + 24:16.7.
12-10-20 Veni, Vidi [and we hope
to have] Vici [by tomorrow]
OK release No. 4 and Im still Katie, still with WRC Team MINI Portugal
and still reporting on Rally dItalia.
I have a new idea for todays release. I believe we should all work
to our strengths. Its my job to take on board what everyone in the team
has to say and communicate it. So, after Ive given a brief overview of the
day, Im going to share some words from Stéphane Prévot and
Paulo Nobre on the highs and lows of their days.
Chris set out in fifth, determined to hold onto his Top 5 spot. His MINI
John Cooper Works Countryman WRC was on much better form and he had more confidence
to push. The set-up still needed a few tweaks before he could go all out, but
his times were strong and consistent.
He was successfully tracking down then fourth-placed Ogier throughout the
morning. Unfortunately, the hunter became the hunted as Ostberg in sixth started
the day on fire, clocking stage win on stage win and with them eating into Chris
advantage. This pattern continued until on SS12 just as Chris got passed Séb,
Mads passed Chris. So it was all change to end up in the same position!
Frustratingly, on the third corner of SS14, Chris then hit a bank
with the rear of his MINI, which cost him vital time and let Ogier sneak back
ahead of him by 3.9 seconds. One things for sure tomorrow will be
a battle for fifth. With the S2000 being suited to the first downhill part of
tomorrows Gallura stage as well as the quick twists and direction changes
that follow, Chris needs to find something special to reclaim the advantage!
Meantime, Paulos misfortune on both the Qualifying Stage and last
nights road section home shouldnt taint the fact that hes successfully
completed every stage so far of a tough rally. Its a challenge for any driver
to master the Sardinian gravel, but lets not forget its also Paulos
So all is well in camp Motorsport Italia at tea-time, sorry, final service,
and I think its high time you heard from someone else! ?
Its been a frustrating day. Something doesnt feel right in the
car, but we cant work out exactly what. Then finally we clipped a bank on
the third corner of SS14 and it cost us around 15 seconds which we really
needed to stay ahead of Ogier! The main problem seems to be that on rougher stages
like SS14, we loose some chassis control and without too many kilometres under
our belt, we sometimes end up testing the car on the stages! Anyway, were
happy to be in sixth and hope to make it home safely again tomorrow.
After SS10, we stopped as always on the road section to have a drink, take
our helmets off and breathe. We saw some guys on motorbikes approach us. One of
them came in our direction. I was ready as always to talk and take photos
like I am with all fans! The guy gave me a thumbs up sign, so I moved towards
him and as I got closer I thought, Wait I know you from somewhere!
He lifted his visor and I immediately saw it was Sébastien Loeb!! We chatted
for two or three minutes and then I headed off the stage and he zoomed off on
his motorbike. It was incredible - I really didnt expect that the best driver
ever would come to me and just ask about my day and how my rally was going, but
I can tell you, it made my day!
Thats all for now from another sunny day Rally dItalia.
12-10-20 Ford duo leave dramas
behind during clean run in Sardinia
Ford World Rally Team avoided the dramas that afflicted the squad yesterday to
enjoy a clean run through todays third leg of Rally Italia Sardegna. With
hopes of a top result ended after Petter Solberg and Chris Patterson and team-mates
Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila both crashed, they avoided trouble in the
penultimate leg to hold ninth and 15th respectively.
Both restarted their Ford Fiesta RS World Rally Cars with time penalties after
retiring from this 12th and penultimate round of the FIA World Rally Championship
yesterday. With little to chase in terms of overall results, caution was the name
of the game. However, Latvala still displayed sufficient pace to win the penultimate
speed test and claim four second fastest times.
Todays action covered traditional Rally Italia Sardegna territory in the
scenic forests south-west of the event base in Olbia. Competitors tackled two
identical loops of three narrow gravel special stages covering 115.92km. Sunshine
ensured dry conditions, but loose gravel made driving slippery for the early starters,
before rocks thrown up during the first pass made the tracks rough this afternoon.
Solberg restarted in 10th after retiring from second, and admitted that he struggled
for motivation. His primary aim was to entertain the fans and the large crowds
gathered in the hills enjoyed the 37-year-old Norwegians displays. He warmed
to his task this afternoon with a second and two third fastest times, climbing
to ninth overall in the penultimate test.
Yesterday was such a big disappointment for me and the whole Ford team,
and that carried over into today, said Solberg. It was a hard day
because I had nothing to gain and I felt low. But I wanted to drive for the fans,
who have always been so supportive here. I was very careful and didnt push
at all. My pace was faster this afternoon, but its tough to drive after
losing a podium like that.
Latvalas main focus was to rebuild his confidence after a tough two days.
He was under no pressure and the 27-year-old Finn enjoyed driving on one of his
favourite rallies. After restarting in 25th, he climbed to 18th during the first
loop of stages and moved up a further three positions this afternoon.
My motivation today was to try to regain the good feeling I had during qualifying
on Thursday, but which I lost during the first two legs, said Latvala. I
didnt enjoy either leg so today I tried to relax and have fun driving a
great car over some great roads. The final round in Spain contains gravel roads
during the first day so it was important to get my confidence back on the surface.
I was careful when it was rocky and tried to push a little harder when it
was smoother. I experimented with the tyres and damper settings and after the
troubles of the first two legs, I enjoyed a good day, he added.
Ford World Rally Team director Malcolm Wilson reflected on an improved day for
the squad. It was good to see that Jari-Matti regained his pace and confidence,
which was important before Spain, and while Petter struggled this morning, he
raised his speed this afternoon. Fords private drivers enjoyed another fantastic
day, with Mads Østberg climbing back to fourth and Evgeny Novikov and Ott
Tänak doing exactly what I asked of them, he said.
News from other Ford teams
M-Sport Ford World Rally Team duo Evgeny Novikov / Ilka Minor and Ott Tänak
/ Kuldar Sikk remained second and third in Fiesta RS World Rally Cars. Neither
had any problems, although Novikov lost a handful of seconds when he spun in stage
11. Adapta World Rally Teams Mads Østberg / Jonas Andersson were
the men on the move. They won four stages to climb from seventh to fourth. Martin
Prokop / Zdenek Hruza had another tough day in the Czech Ford National Team car.
They lost time this morning with a spin and a front right puncture, before going
off the road briefly this afternoon. They remain eighth.
The final leg is a short and simple affair. After leaving Olbia at 08.30, drivers
head north-west to twice tackle the 8.24km Gallura test, before the finish ceremony
in Porto Cervo at 12.45. The second pass comprises the Power Stage, with bonus
points on offer to the fastest three drivers.
Leaderboard after Day 3
1. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen FIN Citroen DS3 3hr 10min 51.7sec
2. E Novikov/I Minor RUS Ford Fiesta RS 3hr 12min 19.9sec
3. O Tänak/K Sikk EST Ford Fiesta RS 3hr 13min 12.3sec
4. M Østberg/J Andersson NOR Ford Fiesta RS 3hr 14min 40.0sec
5. S Ogier/J Ingrassia FRA Skoda Fabia S2000 3hr 15min 22.2sec
6. C Atkinson/S Prévot AUS Mini John Cooper 3hr 15min 26.1sec
7. A Mikkelsen/O Floene NOR Skoda Fabia S2000 3hr 16min 57.9sec
8. M Prokop/Z Hruza CZE Ford Fiesta RS 3hr 20min 10.6sec
9. P Solberg/C Patterson NOR Ford Fiesta RS 3hr 21min 06.7sec
10 K Kruuda/M Järveoja EST Ford Fiesta S2000 3hr 21min 48.3sec
Stage 9: 1. Østberg 17min 39.4sec; 2. Latvala + 2.3; 3. Tänak + 5.4;
4. Hirvonen + 14.1; 5. Atkinson + 18.3; 6. Novikov + 21.7; 8. Solberg + 28.1.
Overall: 1. Hirvonen 2hr 14min 19.0sec; 2. Novikov + 1:17.2; 3. Tänak + 2:09.6;
4. Ogier + 3:52.9; 5. Atkinson + 3:59.1; 6. Østberg + 4:31.9; 10. Solberg
+ 10:29.7; 23. Latvala + 25:14.9.
Stage 10: 1. Novikov 9min 12.9sec; 2. Østberg + 1.2; 3. Latvala + 4.0;
4. Tänak + 5.1; 5. Hirvonen + 6.6; 6. Mikkelsen + 9.9; 7. Solberg + 10.3.
Overall: 1. Hirvonen 2hr 23min 38.5sec; 2. Novikov + 1:10.6; 3. Tänak + 2:08.1;
4. Ogier + 3:59.1; 5. Atkinson + 4:03.5; 6. Østberg + 4:26.4; 10. Solberg
+ 10:33.4; 21. Latvala + 25:12.3.
Stage 11: 1. Østberg 10min 18.2sec; 2. Latvala + 3.7; 3. Hirvonen + 5.5;
4. Tänak + 6.0; 5. Mikkelsen + 8.1; 6. Atkinson + 11.8; 9. Solberg + 13.9.
Overall: 1. Hirvonen 2hr 34min 02.2sec; 2. Novikov + 1:18.7; 3. Tänak + 2:08.6;
4. Ogier + 4:06.5; 5. Atkinson + 4:09.8; 6. Østberg + 4:21.0; 10. Solberg
+ 10:41.8; 18. Latvala + 25:10.5.
Stage 12: 1. Østberg 17min 12.6sec; 2. Latvala + 1.9; 3. Solberg + 6.4;
4. Hirvonen + 16.6; 5. Neuville + 17.2; 6. Novikov + 17.6.
Overall: 1. Hirvonen 2hr 51min 31.4sec; 2. Novikov + 1:19.7; 3. Tänak + 2:12.6;
4. Østberg + 4:04.4; 5. Atkinson + 4:19.7; 6. Ogier + 4:22.0; 10. Solberg
+ 10:31.6; 18. Latvala + 24:55.8.
Stage 13: 1. Latvala 8min 57.4sec; 2. Solberg + 1.4; 3. Østberg + 4.2;
4. Neuville + 5.7; 5. Novikov + 8.0; 6. Hirvonen + 9.4.
Overall: 1. Hirvonen 3hr 00min 38.2sec; 2. Novikov + 1:18.3; 3. Tänak + 2:14.1;
4. Østberg + 3:59.2; 5. Atkinson + 4:22.6; 6. Ogier + 4:27.9; 9. Solberg
+ 10:23.6; 17. Latvala + 24:46.4.
Stage 14: 1. Østberg 10min 02.6sec; 2. Latvala + 1.3; 3. Solberg + 2.3;
4. Neuville + 6.9; 5. Hirvonen + 10.9; 6. Ogier + 13.5.
Overall: 1. Hirvonen 3hr 10min 51.7sec; 2. Novikov + 1:28.2; 3. Tänak + 2:20.6;
4. Østberg + 3:48.3; 5. Ogier + 4:30.5; 6. Atkinson + 4:34.4; 9. Solberg
+ 10:15.0; 15. Latvala + 24:36.8.
12-10-20 La Dolce Vita
'Hello again and if youre still reading at this point in the week, yes Im
back with more insights into life in WRC Team MINI Portugal at Rally dItalia.
'Todays been a mixed bag. Atko finished the day in fifth, which is undoubtedly
great. If he holds the position it would mark the highest gravel finish from a
MINI John Cooper Works Countryman WRC this season. Check him out!
'However, things still arent quite right with his MINI. A damaged antiroll
bar support spotted and changed at midday remote service in Sassari (more later)
was originally found guilty. However, it was proven innocent when Atkos
problems persisted this afternoon.
'Never to be defeated, everyone had their thinking caps firmly on as they awaited
the crews return from the afternoon loop. And I have confidence in the boys. If
theres a solution to be found, theyll find it. Watch out when they
do, because Atkos ready to tear up the gravel!
'Even with mechanical problems, Atkos done a great job so far this weekend.
His reduced car control led to one spin on SS8 where the rear of his MINI clipped
a hay bale and the car stalled before he retook to the stage. However, otherwise
hes driven pretty faultlessly. Thats something weve come to
expect from our Aussie friend! I think its fair to say hes hardly
put a foot wrong since he first hopped into a MINI.
'While many others fell by the wayside, Paulo successfully completed the days
stages and was edging ever closer to that elusive Top 10 finish hes been
seeking all season. Unfortunately it wasnt meant to be. Radiator damage
following a tough landing over a jump in the stage caused him to retire on the
road section home. Were now waiting for the car to return with the recovery
vehicle to find out if Paulo will be able to restart tomorrow under the Rally
'And thats it for now folks another day, another challenge and lets
hope tomorrows an even better one! The only thing Id like to mention
before I sign off is the fantastic experience we had at Remote Service today.
6am in the Olbia Service Park this morning and it was raining pitifully. Off the
boys went on their soft tyres and off we set to Sassari. Fast forward five hours
to 26 degrees blistering heat in Sassari, tyres worn down to be almost treadless
and hundreds of fans (mainly under 10 years old!) waiting to great the crews.
'After a long and tiring morning loop, this was perfect to raise morale and put
a smile on all the crews (and our) faces. So
a BIG thank you to everyone
who came and please do stop by and see us in the Service Park if you make it down
to Olbia over the weekend!
'Thats enough from me. Buon appetito, buona serata, buon lavoro and anything
else in between!
'Bye for now,
12-10-20 Double disappointment
as Solberg and Latvala crash out in Italy
Ford World Rally Team endured a double disappointment at Rally Italia Sardegna
as both cars crashed into retirement during todays second leg. Petter Solberg
and Chris Patterson retired from second in their Ford Fiesta RS World Rally Car
after hitting a rock, following the demise of Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila
who went out earlier when they struck a gatepost.
Both crews will restart this 12th and penultimate round of the FIA World Rally
Championship tomorrow. Solberg will incur a 10 minute penalty following his retirement,
while Latvala will carry a 25 minute penalty into the penultimate leg of this
After last nights quickfire opening leg, todays competition covered
six speed tests and 117.36km of competition. Drivers initially headed south of
the rally base in Olbia, before heading to the north coast for new tests near
Sassari. Three stages this morning were repeated this afternoon after which the
rally returned to Olbia after the longest leg of the event.
Conditions were slippery after overnight rain and all the top drivers opted for
Michelins soft compound tyres for the morning loop. The narrow gravel tracks
were extremely slippery and a string of front-runners were forced out, while those
that escaped dramas had to manage their tyres carefully as the rocky roads took
tyre wear to the limit.
Solberg began the day in third and was second on the opening two stages to climb
to second overall. The 37-year-old Norwegian settled for a cautious drive through
the mornings final test to reach the Sassari service zone 25.8sec behind
leader Mikko Hirvonen.
We expected tyre wear to be high because the roads were abrasive,
said Solberg. However, the wear in the second stage was greater than we
thought. I knew the final test would be difficult, so I was cautious over the
initial downhill section to preserve the rubber as much as possible. But the next
uphill section was very hard because I didnt have enough grip.
Hard compound rubber was the natural choice for the afternoon tests, and Solberg
closed on Hirvonen with another second fastest time. However, just 1.4km from
the end of the penultimate test he was sidelined after striking a rock, the impact
damaging his cars front left suspension and breaking the cross-member.
I was happy with second and Chris and I decided we wouldnt push, so
I changed my driving style accordingly, explained Solberg. In a slow
left corner the front wheel hit a rock on the inside. It was quite a shock because
the rock wasnt marked in my pace notes. The impact broke the cross-member
and there was nothing more I could do.
I was driving neatly so as not to take risks and to look after my tyres.
Ironically if I had been driving faster then the car would have been more sideways
going into the corner, and I probably wouldnt have hit the rock, added
Latvala restarted in sixth and the 27-year-old Finn climbed to fourth in the opening
stage. However, a bizarre incident early in the next test brought about his retirement.
It was a new stage and my plan was to take back time following my puncture
yesterday, he said. I came to a slippery downhill section on a hard
surface and braked late for a tightening left corner. The car went wide and over
a rock. When I came back onto the road I noticed steam from the radiator. I spoke
with Miikka and looked over to his side to see if there was a warning light on
When I looked back to the road I realised I couldnt stop in time for
the next right bend. I aimed the car straight ahead into a field but hit a gatepost,
and the front right of the car was too badly damaged to continue. It was my mistake.
I became distracted by the radiator issue and lost concentration. I should have
focused on the driving and left Miikka to check the dashboard.
Yesterday I made an error with my start position and broke a wheel after
hitting a rock, and then this happens today. This is one of my favourite rallies
and Im disappointed at the way I made the mistakes, admitted Latvala.
Ford World Rally Team director Malcolm Wilson described the day as a huge
disappointment. We paid the price for two errors. Both will restart
tomorrow and the aim will be for both drivers to bring their cars to the finish
on Sunday so that we can maintain our record-breaking run of manufacturers
points finishes, he said.
News from other Ford teams
It was a great day for M-Sport Ford World Rally Team, with Evgeny Novikov / Ilka
Minor winning two stages as they climbed from seventh to second in a Fiesta RS
World Rally Car. Team-mates Ott Tänak / Kuldar Sikk enjoyed a troublefree
day to move from ninth to third. Adapta World Rally Teams Mads Østberg
/ Jonas Andersson held third, but a broken driveshaft left their car in two-wheel
drive only this afternoon and the Norwegian driver slid to seventh. Martin Prokop
/ Zdenek Hruza overcame a tough day in their Czech Ford National Team car to hold
eighth. They lost time with a spin this morning and engine problems and a front
left puncture this afternoon.
The third leg journeys into traditional Rally Italia Sardegna territory in the
scenic forests south-west of Olbia. Competitors restart at 08.00 for two identical
loops of three stages covering 115.92km before returning for the final overnight
halt at 18.45.
Leaderboard after Day 2
1. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen FIN Citroen DS3 1hr 56min 25.5sec
2. E Novikov/I Minor RUS Ford Fiesta RS 1hr 57min 35.1sec
3. O Tänak/K Sikk EST Ford Fiesta RS 1hr 58min 43.8sec
4. S Ogier/J Ingrassia FRA Skoda Fabia S2000 2hr 00min 01.2sec
5. C Atkinson/S Prévot AUS Mini John Cooper 2hr 00min 20.4sec
6. A Mikkelsen/O Floene NOR Skoda Fabia S2000 2hr 01min 05.8sec
7. M Østberg/J Andersson NOR Ford Fiesta RS 2hr 01min 11.5sec
8. M Prokop/Z Hruza CZE Ford Fiesta RS 2hr 03min 38.5sec
9. K Kruuda/M Järveoja EST Ford Fiesta S2000 2hr 04min 51.7sec
10 P Solberg/C Patterson NOR Ford Fiesta RS 2hr 06min 41.2sec
Stage 3: 1. Hirvonen 18min 16.2sec; 2. P Solberg + 2.8; 3. Latvala + 3.6; 4. Østberg
+ 4.1; 5. Tänak + 24.8; 6. Novikov + 25.8.
Overall: 1. Hirvonen 56min 16.4sec; 2. P Solberg + 15.6; 3. Østberg + 36.5;
4. Latvala + 44.6; 5. Novikov + 1:15.9; 6. Tänak + 1:55.1.
Stage 4: 1. Hirvonen 10min 45.9sec; 2. P Solberg + 0.2; 3. Novikov + 2.5; 4. Østberg
+ 6.9; 5. Tänak + 7.1; 6. Ogier + 8.6.
Overall: 1. Hirvonen 1hr 07min 02.3sec; 2. P Solberg + 15.8; 3. Østberg
+ 43.4; 4. Novikov + 1:18.4; 5. Tänak + 2:02.2; 6. Atkinson + 2:51.1.
Stage 5: 1. Ogier 10min 16.1sec; 2. Novikov + 7.0; 3. Kruuda + 11.2; 4. Hirvonen
+ 12.5; 5. Atkinson + 15.5; 6. Prokop + 16.5; 8. P Solberg + 22.5.
Overall: 1. Hirvonen 1hr 17min 30.9sec; 2. P Solberg + 25.8; 3. Østberg
+ 1:05.6; 4. Novikov + 1:12.9; 5. Tänak + 2:07.9; 6. Atkinson + 2:54.1.
Stage 6: 1. Novikov 10min 27.6sec; 2. P Solberg + 2.3; 3. Østberg + 2.5;
4. Tänak + 4.3; 5. Hirvonen + 4.7; 6. Atkinson + 12.9.
Overall: 1. Hirvonen 1hr 28min 03.2sec; 2. P Solberg + 23.4; 3. Østberg
+ 1:03.4; 4. Novikov + 1:08.2; 5. Tänak + 2:07.5; 6. Atkinson + 3:02.3.
Stage 7: 1. Novikov 9min 41.8sec; 2. Tänak + 7.0; 3. Hirvonen + 7.7; 4. Ogier
+ 12.6; 5. Mikkelsen + 23.3; 6. Kruuda + 25.1.
Overall: 1. Hirvonen 1hr 37min 52.7sec; 2. Novikov + 1:00.5; 3. Tänak + 2:06.8;
4. Østberg + 2:24.1; 5. Ogier + 3:11.9; 6. Atkinson + 3:25.3.
Stage 8: 1. Hirvonen 18min 32.8sec; 2. Novikov + 9.1; 3. Tänak + 11.5; 4.
Ogier + 23.8; 5. Atkinson + 29.6; 6. Mikkelsen + 32.8.
Overall: 1. Hirvonen 1hr 56min 25.5sec; 2. Novikov + 1:09.6; 3. Tänak + 2:18.3;
4. Ogier + 3:35.7; 5. Atkinson + 3:54.9; 6. Mikkelsen + 4:40.3.
12-10-20 Rally dItalia: More
Than Just Pizza and Pasta
'Hello again ladies and gents, Katie here and ready to report back on what WRC
Team MINI Portugals been getting up to so far at Rally dItalia.
'Lesson 1: Finding something to say about what youve been doing thats
interesting enough for a press release is harder than it looks.
Ill give it a go. Sunday and Monday we went testing with Chris
and Paulo. Sunday - very successful. Chris found a good set-up and pace based
on some evolutions Motorsport Italia has made to non-homologated parts of the
MINI John Cooper Works Countryman WRC. It was warm and dry (which are fingers-crossed
the predicted conditions for the rally). The test location was picturesque,
absolutely spectacular (yes that is an irrelevant detail in terms of performance!)
Paulo was happy too and ready for Day Two.
'Monday - not so stellar. Torrential rain and continually changing conditions
meant set-up changes made based on one run werent necessarily relevant by
the time the crews tested them on the following run. Even worse for a communications
person terrible mobile phone signal! That was a shorter day. However, all
data is always useful to the engineers and the conditions Monday have given the
crews a feeling for how the Spanish gravel stages will be if the heavens open
over Salou. We just hope that our Monday test wont be representative of
Rally dItalias conditions!
'Zoom through Tuesday and Wednesday recce: check; car prep: check; scrutineering:
check; hundreds of other miscellaneous jobs: check. And onto the action.
'Thursday - this morning offered clear skies and dry conditions (big sigh of relief!)
and Atko hopped into his MINI and out onto the Qualifying Stage for Free Practice.
He finished eighth on the Qualifying Stage despite starting tenth on the gravel,
not bad, not bad. Unfortunately, Paulo had a run-in with a tree and was unable
to register a time. Next for Atko - quick round of media activities filming
with WRC TV, start order selection in the town hall, FIA Pre-event Press Conference,
quick movie for the Clark-Atko outrageous-dos collection (for more, see youtube.com/motorsportita
ALL SYSTEMS ARE GO.
'Things didn't go quite right for Chris when he took to this afternoon's stages.
There was a loss of grip and car control, which didn't give him the same confidence
he'd had this morning on the Qualifying Stage. Even so, he came home a strong
eighth and the boys are trying to source and fix the problem as I write. Let's
hope that tomorrow he can get a good rhythm. Fingers-crossed!
'Meanwhile, the mechanics did a super job fixing Porquinho Verde for SS1. Paulo
bounced back from his accident this morning ready to give today's two stages his
best shot. And that he did. He's never competed in Rally d'Italia before and found
the two stages this afternoon complex and challenging, especially SS2 as the dark
set in fast! But he made it safely through and back to service.
'And... breathe, that's all for now. :-)
12-10-20 Solberg settles into third
after solid start for Ford in Sardinia
Petter Solberg and Chris Patterson headed Ford World Rally Teams challenge
in Rally Italia Sardegna after tonights quickfire opening leg. They lie
third in a Ford Fiesta RS World Rally Car, while team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala
and Miikka Anttila hold sixth after hitting a rock and damaging a front wheel.
Solberg was 13.9sec from the lead as competitors returned to the rally base in
Olbia. Latvalas time loss left him 42.1sec from top spot, with three more
days of competition remaining in this 12th and penultimate round of the FIA World
Latvala and Solberg were first and second in qualifying this morning, earning
them the priority pick of start positions for tonights two gravel speed
tests covering 56.28km.
Latvala opted for first in the order, gambling that the disadvantage of running
first on slippery loose gravel would be outweighed by avoiding hanging dusk in
the still evening air and completing the second special stage before darkness
Solberg opted for third and the 37-year-old Norwegian had a troublefree run through
both tests. Im satisfied with tonight. There was a delay before the
start of the second stage and we didnt have time to fit the extra lights
to the car. It wasnt too bad, but it was quite dark in the forest sections
and it was tricky to pick the correct braking points, he said.
Latvala expected to lose time on the loose gravel during the first pass, and the
27-year-old Finn was fifth, 15.3sec from the lead. He was confident of regaining
time in the second pass but clipped a rock 10km after the start and drove the
remaining 18km with a broken wheel, losing almost 30sec.
It happened at a left corner, which had some bedrock on the inside,
he explained. I was faster into the bend than the first pass and I turned
in more. I knew there was a rock, but with the extra speed I couldnt avoid
it. The impact broke the wheel and the air came out of the tyre. But to drive
for so long like that and lose less than 30sec is amazing. It proves how strong
Michelins tyres are.
The gamble of running first on the road didnt pay off because the
conditions werent as we expected. Once the loose gravel had been swept away,
it was damp beneath, and that offered good grip to everyone, added Latvala.
News from other Ford teams
Adapta World Rally Teams Mads Østberg / Jonas Andersson were on course
for second fastest time in the opening stage until they hit a stone near the finish
and bent a steering arm on their Fiesta RS WRC. They made repairs after the test
and safely completed the second test to lie fifth. M-Sport Ford World Rally Teams
Evgeny Novikov / Ilka Minor are seventh, two places ahead of team-mates Ott Tänak
/ Kuldar Sikk, who regretted choosing hard compound tyres. Martin Prokop / Zdenek
Hruza completed the top 10 in their Czech Ford National Team car.
The second leg is the longest of the rally and covers new stages along the north
coast. After leaving Olbia at 07.00, drivers tackle the Monte Lerno test, famed
for its spectacular jump, before two new stages near Sassari. After a short service
in the town, they repeat the two tests before a second pass through Monte Lerno.
Drivers return to Olbia for an overnight halt after 117.36km of action.
Leaderboard after Day 1
1. S Loeb/D Elena FRA Citroen DS3 37min 59.1sec
2. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen FIN Citroen DS3 38min 00.2sec
3. P Solberg/C Patterson NOR Ford Fiesta RS 38min 13.0sec
4. T Neuville/N Gilsoul BEL Citroen DS3 38min 25.3sec
5. M Østberg/J Andersson NOR Ford Fiesta RS 38min 32.6sec
6. J-M Latvala/M Anttila FIN Ford Fiesta RS 38min 41.2sec
7. E Novikov/I Minor RUS Ford Fiesta RS 38min 50.3sec
8. C Atkinson/S Prévot AUS Mini John Cooper 39min 28.0sec
9. O Tänak/K Sikk EST Ford Fiesta RS 39min 30.5sec
10 M Prokop/Z Hruza CZE Ford Fiesta RS 39min 47.3sec
Stage 1: 1. Loeb 19min 09.4sec; 2. Hirvonen + 1.4; 3. P Solberg + 10.1; 4. Østberg
+ 11.3; 5. Latvala + 15.3; 6. Neuville + 17.0.
Stage 2: 1. Hirvonen 18min 49.7sec; 2. Loeb + 0.3; 3. P Solberg + 4.1; 4. Neuville
+ 9.5; 5. Novikov + 19.4; 6. Østberg + 22.5; 7. Latvala + 27.1.
Overall: 1. Loeb 13min 07.4sec; 2. P Solberg + 1.0; 3. Hirvonen + 1.7; 4. Latvala
+ 4.1; 5. Ogier + 11.9; 6. H Solberg + 16.0.
12-10-18 Toppförare till Volkswagen
inför World Rally Championship
Volkswagen har knutit ännu en toppförare till sig inför FIA World
Rally Championship nästa år. Jari-Matti Latvala; som tidigare varit
knuten till Fords fabriksteam; och hans kartläsare Miikka Anttila kommer
att köra en Volkswagen Polo R WRC i Rallye Monte Carlo i januari 2013.
Den 27-årige finländaren, som anses vara en av världens snabbaste
och mest erfarna rallyförare, har haft sju WRC-segrar och avslutade säsongen
2010 som tvåa i världsmästerskapen och bibehöll därmed
titeln som den yngste rallyvinnaren någonsin i WRC.
- Vi är mycket stolta över att ha värvat Jari-Matti Latvala, som
är en av de mest framstående WRC-förarna idag. Jag har känt
Jari-Matti sedan hans tidiga rally-år och jag har följt hans utveckling
noga. Han kommer att bli en bra tillgång i vårt team, säger Jost
Capito, som är chef för Volkswagen Motorsport. Det faktum att en toppförare
tror på vår verksamhet och bestämmer sig för att byta till
vårt team, är en motivationshöjare för alla i teamet. Sébastien
Ogier och Jari-Matti Latvala utgör en utmärkt förarduo för
vår Polo R WRC- debut i World Rally Championship 2013, avslutar Capito.
- Jag är väldigt glad att få köra Polo R WRC i World Rally
Championship. Volkswagen-teamets beslutsamhet i denna satsning övertygade
mig att acceptera utmaningen. Tiden hos Ford har varit väldigt värdefull
för mig och jag är tacksam för deras stöd under de senaste
åren. Jag ser samtidigt flytten till Volkswagen Motorsport som början
på något nytt och jag har tagit det här beslutet för att
komma ett steg närmare mitt mål att bli världsmästare
tillsammans med Volkswagen, säger Latvala.
Latvala har rally i blodet och har sedan tidig ålder haft stöttning
från sin far som kört rally i Finland under många år. Vid
åtta års ålder körde Jari-Matti bil för första
gången och en kort tid senare började han övningsköra på
en frusen sjö. När han var 17 år deltog han för första
gången i World Rally Championship i Engelska Rallyt.
Innan Jari-Matti anslöt sig till Fords fabriksteam 2008, hade han hunnit
med 52 WRC tävlingar i bilar av olika märken. Han firade sin första
WRC-seger i Svenska Rallyt 2008 och har sedan dess kammat hem ytterligare sex
segrar. Under 2011 vann han fler sträckor än någon annan förare
och slutade som fyra i världsmästerskapet.
Hittills har Latvala deltagit i 115 WRC-tävlingar, stått på prispallen
31 gånger och samlat ihop 612 WRC-poäng.
12-10-15 Ford to Withdraw as a
title sponsor from the FIA World Rally Championship after 2012 Season
Ford of Europe today announced that it will withdraw from the FIA World Rally
Championship as a title sponsor after the 2012 season.
The company said it made the decision as part of a review of its European business
in the current difficult economic environment.
Ford has a long and proud history in the WRC and this was not an easy decision,
said Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford of Europe.
At this time, however we determined that it was better for the company and
the Ford brand to reduce our commitment to the WRC and deploy our resources in
Fords long-term rallying partner, UK-based M-Sport, plans to continue competing
in WRC with the Fiesta. Ford is in discussions with M-Sport to provide continued
vehicle and engineering support, including for the recently announced Fiesta R5
for the new-for-2013 WRC-2 series, and the Fiesta R2 for grass-roots national
and regional driver programmes.
We have great respect for M-Sport and Malcolm Wilson, who have run the Ford
WRC team since 1997, and there is no organization with more expertise and commitment
to winning, de Waard said. Working together, we have reached a point
where the Ford Fiesta has become the car of choice in rallying, and we want to
see this continue in the future.
Ford also said it wished to thank its rallying fans, drivers, the FIA, and its
many WRC partners, including team main sponsors BP and Castrol, for their support
Said Malcolm Wilson, managing director of M-Sport: I would like to thank
Ford of Europe for their enthusiastic support and the faith shown in the team
over the past 16 seasons. We understand that tough decisions have had to be made
and look forward to continuing our strong technical partnership into the future.
12-10-15 Ramona och Miriam måste
avstå Rally Italien
Ramona och Miriam måste avstå det inplanerade VM-rallyt Rally dItalia
Sardegna som startar i helgen. Anledningen är den plötsliga och förödande
branden som hände i Rally Nya Zeeland, och en försäkringsutredning
som fortfarande pågår.
- Bilen är brandsförsäkrad, men på grund av den långa
frakttiden hem till Sverige och de brandinspektioner som rutinartat har gjorts
av försäkringsbolaget, så har det dragit ut långt på
tiden, säger Ramona som ännu inte har fått svar på
vad som orsakade branden.
- Givetvis är vi oerhört besvikna. Jag har jobbat varje dag och
in i det sista med stark förhoppning om att få ett avslut innan Italien,
men tyvärr har vi inte fått det. Eftersom vi ligger en bil back
i budgeten så har vi helt enkelt inte ekonomisk täckning för att
komma till start säger Ramona, som istället ser framåt.
- Vi jobbar vidare och hoppas situationen hinner lösas innan Rally
Spanien. Det är väldigt kort om tid dit, men vi hoppas verkligen kunna
komma till start i sista VM-deltävlingen innan vi avslutar 2012 års
säsong. Samtidigt så ser vi fram emot nästa säsong, och jobbar
målmedvetet och med tillförsikt inför 2013.
12-10-13 Mamma Mia, Here We Go
'So, hello! My name is Katie and I run Motorsport Italias communications.
Well, this is novel - being on the other side of the press release lens! After
exposing everyone else, its now my turn to try and bring Motorsport Italia
to life for you.
'The task is simple all I need to do is prove that our work is fascinating
(and motivating, yes motivating is a good word), the people are unfailingly charming
and we have an existence that dreams are made of. No problem, lets get started
'On event I work up to 20 hours a day, potentially in -30 degrees, torrential
rain or up to my knees (slight exaggeration there) in mud. We all bicker chronically
and constantly about the best plan of attack and we rarely manage to squeeze in
a holiday or even time off at the weekend! BUT (and thats a very big BUT
note the capitals), I love it. ?
'Its been an interesting period for the team between Rallye
de France and Rally dItalia. Firstly, we only had one week to prepare gravel
spec cars for Chris and Paulo. That s a challenge in itself; switching the
anti-roll bars, brake system, dampers, springs, upright pins, rims, air duct and
diff settings (yes, somebody with far more technical expertise than me did supply
that list! ;-))
'But as you probably know, weve also had some big news: MINI will cease
its works involvement in the WRC from 2013. Weve all enjoyed working with
MINI, so its a real shame, but I can confirm that we have three clear objectives
for the rest of 2012:
Fulfill our obligation to MINI. At the start of the season, we were charged with
the responsibility of homologating the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman WRC and
homologate it we will. This will give all our MINI family members the chance to
compete with the car on a customer rallying basis. Our integrity as a team is
important to us and we always see our promises through so
Atko! Get your MINI into gear and lets show everyone what you (and we) are
Support our sister team Ralliart Italia. We really hope to see Benny Guerra or
Michal Kosciuszko scoop the PWRC world title either here or in Spain. Theyre
currently first and second in the Championship standings, so
right behind you, boys!
Confirm a project for next season. Everyones seen the team grow throughout
this season and we believe we have a strong future in motorsport (and are utterly
addicted! ;-)), so
watch this space!
'That brings me to my latest challenge: Rally Italia Sardegna, Motorsport Italias
home event and my first time in Sardinia. Not knowing anything about the event
from past experience, youll be learning at the same time as me! Stéphanes
back on board the MINI next to Atko, our 01Bs on its gravel début,
Paulo and Edu are ready to raise the roof and adrenalin is pumping.
'One of the great things about our crews is that theyre totally integrated
in the team. Paulo can put a smile on anyones face even after the most grueling
of days and arrive and drive is Chris idea of a nightmare
hes on top of everything, giving detailed development feedback, getting
involved in technical discussions and masterfully tackling any PR activities thrown
at him (however crazy!)
'And thats what makes the team. Everyones pushed to the limit with
an unbelievable number of tasks to handle, but nobody wants to let the operation
down. A big advantage of having a tight team is that decisions are made quickly
and acted upon even quicker!
'Everyone knows that I could write (and talk) forever so Ill give you a
little respite now before we kick off on Thursday.
12-10-12 Ciao Means Goodbye But
'Ciao a tutti,
'A flash press release always means important news and I believe this is a verdict
you've all been waiting for.
'It has been a pleasure working with MINI and being their official representative
in the WRC this season. However, BMW / MINI will not be continuing in the World
Rally Championship as a factory after this 2012 season. This decision is disappointing,
but none of us should forget that MINI has achieved some great things since its
'Of course a highlight for us was Chris Atkinson finishing fifth in Germany on
his first ever WRC event with WRC Team MINI Portugal. One thing I can assure you
is that it would be a pleasure to work with Atko again on any motorsport project.
And let's not also forget the excitement of running Paulo and Porquinho Verde
- never a dull moment, that's for sure!
'Our partnership with MINI has been successful and enjoyable both working on the
WRC and events like MINI United and Red Bull X Fighters.
'Now we are focused on the future and looking ahead positively to our next challenge.
'As always, we'll keep you updated on what happens next!
12-10-12 Fords drivers bid
to blow doors off rivals on The Italian Job
Ford World Rally Team enters the final gravel round of the world championship
season in Italy next week eager to extend its strong run of form. One win and
two second places in the last three rallies with the Ford Fiesta RS World Rally
Car means the squad journeys to Rally Italia Sardegna (18 - 21 October) looking
for an explosive finale to its loose surface campaign.
The men in form are Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila, who won the previous
loose surface round in Wales last month to add to career-best performances on
asphalt in Germany and France. Strong pace from Petter Solberg and Chris Patterson
has only been rewarded with third in Wales, but both want to sign off their gravel
seasons in style on the Mediterranean holiday island of Sardinia.
And both have what it takes to win this 12th and penultimate round of the FIA
World Rally Championship. Latvala claimed his second world rally victory here
in 2009 while Solberg won the Italian fixture in 2004, his 10th success, when
Sardinia hosted the WRC for the first time.
This years rally has moved from an early summer date to autumn for the first
time since that inaugural 2004 event. However, while morning and evening temperatures
will be cooler, daytime mercury levels are still expected to climb above 20°C
and dust could hang in the late afternoon air.
The industrial town of Olbia is the rally base, nestled below the sparkling Costa
Smeralda (Emerald Coast) and Porto Cervo, host to the event finish and exclusive
holiday playground to the rich and famous. Most of the competition is held in
the hills and forests west and south of the town, where superb scenery provides
a captivating backdrop to the action in the speed tests.
The roads have a hard base covered by a sandy surface, which is usually swept
away during the first pass to leave ruts and rougher conditions when cars tackle
the stages for a second time. They are generally fast but also narrow, and bushes,
trees or rocks frequently mark the edge of the road rather than a verge or a ditch.
The exceptions are the new stages near Sassari in leg two, an area in which Latvala
tested last year. They are wider and smoother than the other stages. Their
character is more like the roads in Finland, without the big jumps, so theres
more room in which to position the car, explained the 27-year-old Finn.
The usual stages have a thin layer of fine gravel on the surface which makes
them slippery for the first pass. The team has always been strong in Sardinia
and after making a step forward in pace at the last gravel rally in Wales, Im
confident of another strong result, he added.
Latvala believes the pressure for points has been removed with both the drivers
and manufacturers titles decided on the previous round in France. That
changes the situation for the final two rallies. Chasing wins has been obviously
been a target throughout the season but points finishes no longer have any real
meaning, so victories are our only real goal now, he said.
Despite extending to a fourth day, the rally is one of the shortest WRC encounters
since the series began in 1973 with just over 306km of competition. As a true
sprint event, Solberg realises the value of ensuring he is in the right place
for the first leg.
The roads are very sandy in some places, said the 37-year-old Norwegian.
That means Thursdays qualifying is important because it will be essential
to have a good start position for the opening day. If its dry it will be
better to start further down the order and there just arent the kilometres
to make up time lost during the first leg because of a bad start position,
The team goes into this rally full of confidence on gravel after the win
in Wales. We improved the balance and suspension on the Fiesta before that event
and the changes improved performance. But the characteristics of the two rallies
are totally different, and the only comparison is that they are held on loose
surface roads. However, the roads in Sardinia are fantastic and I will push hard,
* Michelins Latitude Cross gravel tyres will be used by the Ford drivers,
and will be available primarily in hard compound. Drivers have 35 hard covers,
although 10 soft compound tyres will also be available in case of wet weather.
A total of 35 can be used during the event. Teams are not allowed to hand-carve
additional cuts into the tyres and each car can carry two spare wheels.
* Four privately-entered crews will also campaign Fiesta RS WRCs. Ott Tänak
/ Kuldar Sikk and Evgeny Novikov / Ilka Minor are nominated by M-Sport Ford World
Rally Team. Mads Østberg / Jonas Andersson represent Adapta World Rally
Team and Martin Prokop / Zdenek Hruza crew the Czech Ford National Team car.
Olbia remains the heart of the rally and the Isola Bianca cruiser terminal hosts
the main service park. However, much is new with a fourth day of competition,
new stages along the islands north coast, a remote service zone in Sassari
and the return of Porto Cervo to host the finish ceremony. Thursdays opening
day comprises two passes over a single stage south of Olbia. The second leg includes
two new tests near Sassari, which hosts remote service after the first of two
passes through the stages. The third day heads into more traditional territory
in the scenic forests south-west of Olbia, before a very short final leg comprising
just two runs over a single stage north-west of the town. The second pass forms
the Power Stage with bonus points for the fastest three drivers. Competitors journey
into the heart of the Costa Smeralda for the finish ceremony in Porto Cervo after
tackling 16 stages covering 306.04km in a route of 1241.45km.
RALLY ITALIA SARDEGNA
ROUND 12 FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 18 - 21 October 2012
Thursday 18 October: Qualifying and Day 1: Olbia - Olbia
QS Telti 3.75km 10.35
Start Olbia 15.00
SS1 Terranova 28.14km 16.13
SS2 Terranova 28.14km 18.16
Serv A Olbia (flexi 45 mins) 19.30
Finish Olbia 20.15
Friday 19 October: Day 2: Olbia - Olbia
Serv B Olbia (15 mins) 07.00
SS3 Monte Lerno 29.68km 08.43
SS4 Castelsardo 14.12km 11.34
SS5 Tergu - Osilo 14.88km 12.24
Serv C Sassari (15 mins) 13.28
SS6 Castelsardo 14.12km 14.46
SS7 Tergu - Osilo 14.88km 15.36
SS8 Monte Lerno 29.68km 17.50
Serv D Olbia (flexi 45 mins) 19.30
Finish Loutraki 20.15
Saturday 20 October: Day 3: Olbia - Olbia
Serv E Olbia (15 mins) 08.00
SS9 Coiluna - Loelle 29.35km 09.28
SS10 Monti Di Ala 14.49km 10.35
SS11 Monte Olia 14.12km 11.37
Serv F Olbia (30 mins) 13.05
SS12 Coiluna - Loelle 29.35km 14.48
SS13 Monti Di Ala 14.49km 15.55
SS14 Monte Olia 14.12km 16.57
Serv G Olbia (flexi 45 mins) 18.00
Finish Olbia 18.45
Saturday 21 October: Day 4: Olbia - Porto Cervo
Serv H Olbia (15 mins) 08.30
SS15 Gallura 8.24km 09.20
SS16 Gallura 8.24km 11.00
Serv I Olbia (10 mins) 11.58
Finish Porto Cervo 12.45
Rally total 306.04km
12-10-04 Shakedown Not Stirred
'Bonjour tout le monde,
'It's Céline here again and I'm going to tell you all about the first few
days here at Rallye de France with WRC Team MINI Portugal.
'Well, for me and Romain (our chef - pictured below) it was a pretty busy beginning
to the week as we had to set everything up to be prepared to begin our service
to the team Tuesday lunchtime.
'We left our base in Lyon on Sunday morning and after 450km on the road with our
truck, Romain and I finally got to Strasbourg and we immediately started working.
We set up the kitchen and the hospitality and since Monday we've been working
on preparing the first meals for the team.
'We've been working quite hard everyday to make sure we're ready to give the team
little moments of happiness during their busy rally days. For us each meal is
like a Special Stage and we run three stages per day (fortunately only one loop!)
At the moment we have been doing a good job and we've always nailed our Time Controls.
'Everyday we prepare a selection of cold starters and salads, one pasta dish (what
else for an Italian team!) with a different sauce and a hot main course with sides.
Also we do a couple of desserts and a selection of cheeses - actually we're particularly
proud of our cheese board and everybody in the team seems to appreciate it.
'Our job is pretty straight-forward until the proper beginning of the rally when
we have to start taking care of our beloved crews as they all have different tastes
and follow specific diets.
'I have to say Chris eats very healthy food and likes to stay light - especially
at lunch when after he has to get back in the car quickly. He is a fish-lover,
his favourite meal when he's on event is fish and veggies - which helps him get
the energy he needs to tackle the stages without being too filling.
'I still don't know what Glenn's tastes are but I'll be soon discovering that.
By the way if you want to know more about him, check out the Q&A he did before
the rally on Motorsport Italia's website.
'Paulo's diet isn't very complicated but - as I mentioned before - he has a one
particular culinary predilection which is nice, succulent, well cooked fillet
steak. He also enjoys an 'omelette à la française' the way Romain
cooks it with the eggs still a tiny bit raw. He's very specific on his favorite
drinks too - he drinks a lot of mixed fruit juices and his breakfast is always
a cold chocolate milk drink.
'Edu is quite easy-going, he eats pretty much anything - and I hate to say it,
but co-drivers are generally easier to please than drivers. ;-)
'We now know all the different tastes so it's quite easy to make the crews happy
and Romain is always prepared to anticipate the drivers and co-drivers needs.
'Romain is great to work with, he's been my colleague for a year now and despite
being very young he's a very talented chef. I trust him 100% and the team seems
really to appreciate his cooking which is very important!
'As far as Rallye de France is concerned I'm hearing that weather conditions are
crucial here - if they are bad like in 2010, the roads will be wet and dirty and
they will become like those on some of the gravel events the team does during
the season - which explains why the Finns came through so strong that year. The
weather forecast for this weekend says there's a chance of rain (and boy has today
proved that!) so I'm looking forward to seeing what happens on the stages. I'm
sure Chris and Paulo will have great rides and they'll make the team proud.
'The drivers went through Shakedown this morning to make the final touches to
their set-up for the event. After lunch they had a quite busy afternoon of official
PR activities. The competition itself also started this evening as the crews went
through the first Super Special Stage here at Rallye de France - a 3.63km test
in Strasbourg's city centre.
'We're now ready to serve dinner, tonight the chef's proposal is Aubergine lasagna,
gnocchi with blue cheese, 'diot' a special French sausage and chocolate and banana
cake for dessert. I really hope the team will enjoy it! :-)
'I'll be back tomorrow with more updates.
'Stay tuned and à demain!'
12-10-04 Pontus Tidemand redo för
start i Rally France
I helgen så körs Rally France som är den femte av sex deltävlingar
i 2012-års WRC Academy. Det är den andra tävlingen som avgörs
på asfalt i årets junior-vm mästerskap, där den första
var Rally Tyskland där Pontus fick utgå redan på första
sträckan med tekniska problem med bilen.
- Det var riktigt tråkigt att det tog slut så tidigt, men så
är sporten ibland. Men nu hoppas jag vi har gjort slut på all otur
för i år, berättar Pontus
Som förberedelse inför Rally France så körde Pontus tillsammans
med kartläsaren Stig-Rune Skjaermoen Rally Vosgien ingående i Franska
Mästerskapen, men ännu en gång så grinade oturen Pontus
i ansiktet och rallyt var redan över efter ett par kilometer på andra
sträckan efter ännu ett tekniskt problem.
Men tack vare god hjälp av talangutvecklingsbolaget EVEN rally som stöttar
Pontus i hans satsning mot toppen i rallyvärlden så gavs det en möjlighet
att köra Belgiska Mästerskapen förra helgen med en liknande bil
som i WRC Academy, en Ford Fiesta R2.
- Det var en riktig nyttig genomkörare, vi kom i mål och fick mycket
erfarenhet av asfaltsvägar. Resultatet blev en tredjeplats i klassen men
vi körde på ett däck som inte var ultimat för de förhållande
som var på detta rallyt, men eftersom det är det enda sorten vi får
bruka i VM så vi försökte göra allt så lika som det
som väntar oss denna helgen, förklarar Pontus
Redan under torsdagskvällen startar Rally France med en publiksträcka
i centrum av Strasbourg. Tävlingen fortsätter sedan med ytterligare
15 specialsträckor under fredagen och lördagen med en totallängd
på ca 35 mil SS innan första WRC Academy ekipage går i mål
vid nio-tiden på lördagskvällen.
- Jag känner mig bra förberedd och målet är såklart
att vara med i toppen, men det är stenhård konkurrens om pallplatserna
i WRC Academy i varje deltävling och flera av de andra förarna har kört
denna tävling förut så det kommer bli stenhårt, avslutar
12-09-29 Vive la France (et MINI)!
'My name is Céline Grasland the Hospitality Manager at WRC Team MINI Portugal,
and I'm proud to be your guide through the team's adventures at Rallye de France,
the upcoming round of the 2012 FIA World Rally Championship.
'Being French - I'm from Bretagne the north-western part of the country - Rallye
de France is quite special to me so I'm really happy to be updating you on our
progress during the event and seeing what we can achieve on French soil. I'm sure
Rallye de France will represent a completely new challenge for the team. It is
only the second full-Tarmac event of the season and the third event with Atko
but everyone seems positive and I'm confident we'll do a great job.
'For the catering staff, preparations for an event begin well in advance. We start
by working out the menus for the week as we need to provide something different
but equally tasty every single day! After that we place orders at our suppliers
- we generally bring everything from France because we're sure of the quality
of the products ;-). It's also way more practical than shopping on site, because
we can't always find everything we need in every country.
'The logistical part of the job takes more or less a week and as soon as we have
received the products we load our truck and off we go. We drive to all the European
events and I'm quite often the 'chauffeur' while the boys sleep. ;-) I even drove
all 1500km to Finland by myself - boy was that a journey to remember!
'We start to feed the team on Tuesday and we serve all meals until lunchtime Sunday,
totalling eleven meals. The team isn't huge, but even so we work with very large
quantities. To give you some idea, on a rally week we cut about 60 kilos of potatoes,
25 kilos of tomatoes and use 12 kilos of fillet steak - which everyone in team
enjoys very much, especially Paulo and our engineer Tomo! ;-)
'WRC Team MINI Portugal is a multi-cultural team so it's not always easy to meet
everybody's tastes, but with the majority of team members being Italian, pasta
and espresso are products we use a lot of. We cook about 30 kilos of pasta per
week and get through around 10 kilos of coffee - the boys (and girls!) love to
take a break with a nice coffee and (lots of) biscuits.
'Being a girl working a male-dominated environment isn't always easy, but I have
a very strong personality and - just occasionally - a bad temper as well so it's
not easy for men to work with me either. ;-) My job is very physical, the hours
are very long and I spend most of my day moving heavy stuff, standing up or cooking
so I really don't need the gym when I get back home - my job is the only sport
I need to do!
'It's for sure a hard job but it's my passion, I couldn't do anything else. The
good relationships I've created with the other team members make me forget how
tough the job is - after all we're a MINI Family. ;-)
'When I'm not on rallies my life is still pretty busy as I'm working on on other
projects with the company I work for . This summer we covered the Tour de France
where we followed the race and had to change cooking location every day. In winter
we do the Trophée Andros - the French ice racing championship - where this
season a certain Alain Prost won his third title! It's always nice to see French
drivers at the top of international motor sport - and there's quite a few at the
moment... :-) We also worked on the European rounds of the FIA World Touring Car
Championship and cater for television companies in the Ligue 1 - the first division
of the French football Championship.
'To be honest the rally world is my favourite, I've been working in the WRC for
three and a half years now and it has slowly became my passion. When you 'taste'
rallying is difficult not to fall in love with it! I started in this environment
by chance coming from something completely different. I studied hotel management
for six years and then I worked in casinos for a few years as a 'croupier' but
now that I've landed in the world of rallying I don't want to work on anything
'The team is heading to Rallye de France now for a two day test to prepare for
the event and for a big assault next weekend. I'll be back during the rally week
with more updates from the WRC Team MINI Portugal Service Area in Strasbourg.
'PS: Just to tie you over until the action starts next week, here's what I've
been glued to recently on You Tube - an awesome video of Colin Clark's ridealong
with Atko in GB. Enjoy.'
12-09-28 Ford keen to carry momentum
into Alsace asphalt adventure
The final all-asphalt round of the FIA World Rally Championship season in France
next week allows Ford World Rally Team the opportunity to further improve its
sealed-surface performance. Twelve months after the squad first showed the Fiesta
RS World Rally Cars pace on its least-favoured surface at Rallye de France,
the team returns eager to build on a series of podium results.
After leading Rallye Monte-Carlo in January before securing third with Petter
Solberg and Chris Patterson, Ford held a comfortable second and third during Rallye
Deutschland last month before Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila eventually
claimed a career-best second.
This years Rallye de France (4 - 7 October) provides a tougher challenge.
The Alsace-based event, round 11 of 13, contains almost 70km more action than
in 2011 and nearly half the competitive distance is new. Strasbourg, nestled on
the German border between the Vosges mountains to the west and the Black Forest
to the east, remains the rally hub for a third year.
The Vosges feature strongly in the route as the opening two legs take in speed
tests there. The roads vary hugely, blending narrow and bumpy sections through
forests with fast and wide parts where speeds top 200kph. In contrast, vineyard
tracks and three street venues in the regions towns and cities offer a totally
As always on asphalt, accurate tyre selection will play a huge part. A combination
of early autumn and the unpredictability of the weather in the mountains means
rain is a distinct possibility. Precise forecasting from Fords weather experts
and data on conditions from the teams route note crews, who drive the special
stages before the competitors, will be vital in picking the correct tyre compound.
Latvala prepared for the rally with a days single-seater race car training
from sports car and ex-Indy Car driver Didier André at the Le Mans Bugatti
circuit in France on Wednesday. André, who finished fourth in the 2010
Le Mans 24 Hours, worked with Latvala on braking and driving lines before the
Finn journeyed to Alsace for a two-day test in a Fiesta RS WRC, which ends tomorrow.
The weather was mixed which meant I had the advantage of driving on both
dry weather slick tyres and wet rubber, explained 27-year-old Latvala. I
was happy about that because I had to adapt my usual driving line in the rain
and thats something I can use in rallying. When you come across a black
top shiny surface in stages, you must take a different line to avoid it.
Latvala, who finished fourth in 2010 and 2011, starts the rally full of confidence
after victory in Britain earlier this month and second in Germany in the previous
round. Good results provide confidence and I had strong speed in France
last season. I would like to challenge for the top placing. Im a realist
and know how hard that will be on asphalt, but thats the target, he
The stages are a mix, quite similar in that respect to the rally in Germany,
but the characteristics dont change as much. There are long corners in the
mountains while the French vineyards are wider than those across the border and
follow more of a natural line. Theyre generally quite grippy and set-up
is always a compromise for the different types of road, added Latvala.
Solberg has a Rallye de France win to his name, having triumphed in 2003 when
the event was based on the Mediterranean island of Corsica. His best result in
Alsace is third in 2010.
The roads are quite fast and the surface is good, so tyre wear wont
really be a problem, said the 37-year-old Norwegian. The only issue
surrounding tyres is understanding the weather and ensuring we make the correct
compound choice. Its not easy, but if conditions are changeable the right
tyre options can make the difference between winning and losing here.
Our speed on the previous asphalt round in Germany was strong. I expected
the car to be fast, and it was. I hope we can maintain that progress and be faster
still in France to give the fans something to cheer. The crowds have been huge
since the rally moved to Strasbourg. Theres a great atmosphere surrounding
the event and thats something that I certainly feel, added Solberg.
* Michelins Pilot Sport asphalt tyres will be used by the Ford drivers and
will be available in hard compound for dry conditions and soft compound for wet
or cold weather. Each driver has an allocation of 24 hard and 20 soft tyres, and
can use a maximum of 25 during the rally. Teams are not allowed to hand-carve
additional cuts into the tyres and each car can carry two spare wheels.
* Six privately-entered crews have also entered Fiesta RS WRCs. Ott Tänak
/ Kuldar Sikk and Evgeny Novikov / Ilka Minor are nominated by M-Sport Ford World
Rally Team. Mads Østberg / Jonas Andersson represent Adapta World Rally
Team and Martin Prokop / Zdenek Hruza crew the Czech Ford National Team car. Daniel
Oliveira / Carlos Magalhaes have been entered by Brazil World Rally Team while
French duo Julien Maurin / Nicolas Klinger will drive in their home round.
* The rally also incorporates the fifth and penultimate round of the Ford Racing-supported
FIA WRC Academy. Eight young drivers will campaign identical Fiesta R2 cars over
the opening two legs of the main event. The series is led by Elfyn Evans / Phil
The rally is again based at Strasbourgs Zénith concert arena but
has undergone big changes. The action covers four days, the competitive distance
is almost 20 per cent longer and nearly 44 per cent of the stages are new, including
two previously-unused tests. A new street stage in Strasbourg, which finishes
outside the European Parliament, starts the action on Thursday afternoon. The
opening two legs have been switched from 2011, so the first full day heads deep
into the Vosges mountains for high altitude tests near Colmar, which hosts a short
service midway through. It ends with a street test in Mulhouse. The second leg
offers a massive 192.80km of competition through vineyards and mountains closer
to Strasbourg, including two passes of the daunting 43.45km Pays dOrmont.
The short final day journeys north and includes two runs through the streets of
Haguenau. Drivers tackle 22 tests covering 404.14km in a route of 1404.89km.
ROUND 11 FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
4 - 7 October 2012
Thursday 4 October: Day 1 Strasbourg - Strasbourg
Start Strasbourg City 16.25
SS1 Strasbourg 3.63km 16.30
Serv A Strasbourg Zénith (15 mins) 17.03
Finish Strasbourg Zénith 17.18
Friday 5 October: Day 1 (continued) Strasbourg - Strasbourg
Serv B Strasbourg Zénith (15 mins) 07.45
SS2 Hohlandsbourg - Firstplan 1 28.67km 09.23
SS3 Vallée de Munster 1 22.16km 10.06
SS4 Soultzeren - Pays Welche 1 19.93km 11.22
RSZ C Colmar (15 mins) 13.15
SS5 Hohlandsbourg - Firstplan 2 28.67km 13.56
SS6 Vallée de Munster 2 22.16km 14.39
SS7 Soultzeren - Pays Welche 2 19.93km 15.55
SS8 Mulhouse 4.65km 18.35
Serv D Strasbourg Zénith (45 mins) 20.18
Finish Strasbourg Zénith 21.03
Saturday 6 October: Day 2 Strasbourg - Strasbourg
Serv E Strasbourg Zénith (15 mins) 07.30
SS9 Massif des Grands Crus - Ungersberg 1 18.16km 08.38
SS10 Pays dOrmont 1 43.45km 09.36
SS11 Pays de la Haute Bruche 1 24.04km 10.47
SS12 Klevener 1 10.75km 11.45
Serv F Strasbourg Zénith (30 mins) 13.15
SS13 Massif des Grands Crus - Ungersberg 2 18.16km 14.38
SS14 Pays dOrmont 2 43.45km 15.36
SS15 Pays de la Haute Bruche 2 24.04km 16.47
SS16 Klevener 2 10.75km 17.45
Serv G Strasbourg Zénith (45 mins) 18.48
Finish Strasbourg Zénith 19.33
Sunday 7 October: Day 3 Strasbourg - Strasbourg
Serv H Strasbourg Zénith (15 mins) 07.50
SS17 Vignoble de Cleebourg 1 17.08km 09.23
SS18 Bischwiller - Gries 1 7.95km 10.46
SS19 Haguenau 1 5.74km 11.16
SS20 Vignoble de Cleebourg 2 17.08km 12.44
SS21 Bischwiller - Gries 2 7.95km 14.07
SS22 Haguenau 2 5.74km 14.37
Serv I Strasbourg Zénith (10 mins) 15.37
Finish Strasbourg Zénith 16.00
Rally total 404.14km
12-08-27 Tufft Rally Tyskland för
WRC Academy-svenskarna Tidemand och Åhlin
I helgen avgjordes det tyska VM-rallyt i trakterna kring den historiska staden
Trier. I JVM-klassen, WRC Academy, stod de svenska landslagsförarna Fredrik
Åhlin och Pontus Tidemand redo att ge sig ut på de krokiga och utmanande
asfaltsvägarna. För Pontus del dog dock hoppet om en bra placering redan
på den första sträckan då höger drivaxel gick av, och
Fredrik fick kasta in handuken på rallyts andradag då kroppen sa ifrån
och han fick tillbringa resten av dagen på sjukhuset i Trier.
Fredrik Åhlin och hans kartläsare Morten Abrahamsen har haft en tung
säsong fram till det tyska VM-rallyt. De kom dock ordentligt laddade till
Tyskland efter en seger på hemmaplan i Rally Killingen.
-Efter min vådliga vurpa i Finland så kändes segern i Killingen
som ett bevis på att vinnarkänslan var på väg tillbaka-
berättar Fredrik. -Vi åkte dock på några incidenter
under fredagens inledande sträckor. Motorhuven flög upp på rutan
två gånger och vid det andra tillfället så sprack framrutan,
och det här sinkade oss en del så klart, därför blev det
inga direkta topptider på rallyts första dag- fortsätter
Fredrik skadade sin högerarm i den spektakulära olyckan i det finska
VM-rallyt, och han har fortfarande smärtor i armen, vilket gjorde det svårt
för honom att använda handbromsen genom hårnålarna i Tyskland.
-Ja tyvärr så var väl det ytterligare en orsak till att
topptiderna uteblev- säger Fredrik.
På lördagen slog dock illamåendet och yrseln till och det resulterade
i att Fredrik var tvungen att bryta.
-Jag kände redan på morgonen att kroppen inte svarade fullt ut.
Jag mådde illa och kände mig matt. Redan efter förstasträckan
så spydde jag- berättar Fredrik vidare. -På den nionde
sträckan Panzerplatte Baumholder så bara svartnade det. Jag
tuppade av och spydde om vartannat, så Morten fick köra bilen tillbaka
till servicen och jag fick åka direkt till sjukhuset- berättar
-Jag vet inte vad det berodde på, det kan vara sviter av kraschen
i Finland, eller en vattenbakterie, eller något annat. Blodtrycket var ordentligt
lågt i alla fall och nu ska jag gå till botten med det här-
avslutar Fredrik som nu är på väg tillbaka till Sverige för
att göra en grundlig kontroll på sjukhuset i Karlstad.
Pontus Tidemand, som i Tyskland hade kartläsaren Emil Axelsson i högerstolen
såg fram emot att köra sitt allra första asfaltrally i WRC Academy.
-Det var väldigt lärorikt och intressant på rekognoseringen
att se hur krävande och svåra vägarna är. Det kommer nog
att bli tufft att vara med i topp i det här rallyt eftersom vi inte har kört
tävling eller test på detta underlag tidigare- spådde Pontus
innan start. -Men jag ska ändå göra allt jag kan för
att nå en bra placering- berättade Pontus.
Men redan på den första sträckan så försvann hoppet
om en framträdande placering för teamet. Fem kilometer från mål
gick höger drivaxel av och Pontus och Emil tvingades bryta för dagen.
-Jag tyckte det gick helt okej under första sträckan tills drivaxeln
gick av och enligt split-tiderna var vi med i toppen tidsmässigt. Jag bara
rullade in i mål de sista kilometerna innan vi parkerade och tävlingen
var förstörd- berättar en besviken Pontus.
Drivaxelbrottet innebar fem missade sträckor under fredagen och gav teamet
25 minuters tidsstraff.
-Vi låg ju hopplöst efter när vi startade om på lördagen-
berättar Pontus. -Jag körde mest för att lära mig vägarna
och se hur noterna fungerade, och det var nästan omöjligt att vara med
och kriga om topptider på sträckorna då de andra redan kört
in sig på underlaget och byggt tempo hela dagen innan- berättar
Pontus som slutade på en andraplats i Finland fick nu nöja sig med
en slutlig sjätteplats i Tyskland.
-Det är som det är, bara att ladda om till nästa deltävling
i Frankrike. Det positiva vi kan ta med oss härifrån är att vi
var bra med på split-tiderna innan vi bröt, och att vi ändå
fått lite erfarenhet av vägarna i Tyskland- avslutar Pontus.
-Ja det blev ingen direkt lyckad helg för grabbarna i Tyskland-
säger rallylandslagets förbundskapten Anders Dawidson. -Jag vet
hur mycket tid och kraft som de lägger in i sina rallysatsningar och det
är ju frustrerande att de inte får visa sin kapacitet fullt ut-
-För Fredriks del är det bara att hoppas att det inte är
något allvarligt. Han kan ju ha fått i sig något olämpligt
med maten i Tyskland, eller så kanske det är sviter efter hans krasch
i Finland? Hur som helst så ska han genomgå en ordentlig hälsokontroll
nu och efter det så får vi förhoppningsvis klara besked. Nu blev
det tyvärr ytterligare ett rally för Fredrik där han tvingades
bryta, och även om han blixtrar till under de återstående två
VM-rallyna så har han tyvärr små möjligheter att nå
en framstående slutplacering i mästerskapet- säger Anders.
-För Pontus del ser det lite ljusare ut. Med lite stolpe in i Frankrike
och Spanien så har han kanske möjlighet att klättra upp till en
slutlig pallplacering i alla fall- säger Anders.
I JVM-tabellen parkerar Pontus på en sammanlagd femteplats med sina 49 poäng,
och Fredrik befinner sig på en nionde plats med sina 11 poäng.
WRC Academy-klassen vanns av den brittiske föraren Elfyn Evans. Nästa
VM-rally avgörs i Frankrike den 4-7 oktober.
Poängställning WRC Academy 2012 Junior VM, efter fyra av sex VM-rallyn:
Pos. Driver / Points
1. Elfyn Evans 98
2. Brendan Reeves 63
3. Alastair Fisher 53
4. Jose Suarez 52
5. Pontus Tidemand 49
6. John MacCrone 42
7. Timo van der Marel 31
8. Christopher Duplessis 16
9. Fredrik Ahlin 11
10. Joao Silva 10
11. Ashley Haigh-Smith 4
FIA WRC Academy 2012
Vodafone Rally de Portugal: 29 Mar - 01 Apr 12
Acropolis Rally: 24 - 27 May 12
Neste Oil Rally Finland: 02 - 04 Aug 12
ADAC Rallye Deutschland: 24 - 26 Aug 12
Rallye de France - Alsace: 04 - 07 Oct 12
Rally RACC-Rally de Espana: 08 - 11 Nov 12
12-08-26 Latvala seals asphalt
best to claim second for Ford in Germany
Ford World Rally Team drivers Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila claimed a
career-best result on asphalt when they finished second in Rallye Deutschland
today. Driving a Ford Fiesta RS World Rally Car, the Finns overcame demanding
conditions in the Mosel wine region to secure their best finish in the FIA World
Rally Championship since victory in Sweden in February.
Team-mates Petter Solberg and Chris Patterson finished 11th in a similar Fiesta
RS WRC. They held second until retiring yesterday morning after hitting a rock
and damaging the cars suspension. They restarted today with time penalties
and earned a points-paying finish in the manufacturers series.
This ninth round, based in Trier in south-west Germany, marked the first pure
asphalt fixture of the season and the characteristics of the speed tests changed
constantly. Bumpy narrow vineyard tracks, which zig-zagged across the hillsides,
contrasted with concrete kerbstone-lined roads in the Baumholder military area,
which are more accustomed to hosting tank training exercises.
Drivers tackled 15 special stages covering 1113.59km during the three-day event
and the notoriously inclement weather also played its part. After high temperatures
during the opening leg, colder weather and rain brought an extra challenge as
drivers grappled not only with slippery roads, but also the dilemma of whether
to opt for Michelins hard or soft compound tyres in the changing conditions.
Latvala was frustrated after choosing soft settings on his Fiesta RS WRC during
Fridays opening morning but after switching to a harder set-up, the 27-year-old
Finn won two stages and ended the leg in third. Unexpected rain surprised all
the front-runners early in the second leg and Latvala dropped 30sec after locking
his brakes in the wet, overshooting a bend and becoming stuck in a field.
He dropped to fifth, but immediately recovered to second after a blistering performance
over the marathon Panzerplatte stage in Baumholder. With a large time gap to the
leader and a comfortable advantage over his pursuers, Latvala took no risks yesterday
afternoon and eased through todays final leg, comprising three stages and
65.89km, to secure second.
It feels great to finish on the podium on asphalt and Ill take great
confidence from my best result on this surface, he said. This rally
hasnt been kind to Ford over the years so its a boost for everyone
in the team. It was a hard event but we showed that the pace of myself and the
car on asphalt continues to improve.
The distance between ourselves and the winner was two minutes so we need
to remain realistic and understand that there is still work to do. But I feel
sure that we will be able to challenge for victory again on the remaining two
asphalt rounds, added Latvala.
On his first traditional asphalt event in a Fiesta RS WRC, 37-year-old Solberg
was immediately on the pace. He ended the opening leg in second, but the Norwegians
hopes of a strong result ended yesterday morning when he slid wide on a tightening
left bend and hit a rock. Although he tried to continue, the damage was too great
to complete the stage.
He restarted today under Rally 2 regulations and won the second stage, but his
disappointment could not be disguised. It would have been fantastic for
the team to have finished second and third, but the car snapped away and once
I hit the rock, it was all over. Until then my rally went extremely well. The
testing and hard work that we put in improved the car on this surface and I was
delighted with the pace, he said.
Ford World Rally Team director Malcolm Wilson said the result was a big
confidence boost. We were disappointed with our performance on the
last round in Finland, so to come to an asphalt rally, where weve traditionally
struggled, and be so competitive is pleasing. I was disappointed Petter went off
but encouraged by the pace of both drivers, and Im confident for the future
on asphalt, he said.
Ford Racing senior manager Gerard Quinn said: Our drivers acknowledge that
asphalt is their least favourite surface, so this weekend was always going to
be tough. From the outset a podium was our objective and we achieved that. Im
happy with the performance of both drivers, although obviously disappointed for
Petter. Considering we havent competed on asphalt since the opening round,
Im satisfied with a podium.
News from other Ford teams
Mads Østberg / Jonas Andersson brought Adapta World Rally Teams Fiesta
RS WRC into fourth. M-Sport Ford World Rally Teams Ott Tänak / Kuldar
Sikk completed the final stage in ninth but were withdrawn at the final service.
The car was damaged after crashing out yesterday and his retirement will allow
the team to fit replacement parts for the next asphalt rally in France in October.
Team-mates Evgeny Novikov / Nicolas Klinger retired after todays opening
stage with a broken rear differential. Daniel Oliveira / Carlos Magalhaes finished
24th in the Brazil World Rally Team car after losing time earlier in the event
when they went off the road and broke a driveshaft. Elfyn Evans / Phil Pugh claimed
their third consecutive victory in the Ford Racing-supported FIA WRC Academy to
open a 35-point lead in the series with two rounds remaining.
The championship returns to gravel next month when Wales Rally GB moves forward
from its traditional date as the final round. The event is based in Cardiff from
13 - 16 September.
1. S Loeb/D Elena FRA Citroen DS3 3hr 41min 52.4sec
2. J-M Latvala/M Anttila FIN Ford Fiesta RS 3hr 43min 52.5sec
3. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen FIN Citroen DS3 3hr 44min 23.8sec
4. M Østberg/J Andersson NOR Ford Fiesta RS 3hr 45min 16.8sec
5. C Atkinson/S Prévot AUS Mini John Cooper 3hr 51min 02.8sec
6. S Ogier/J Ingrassia FRA Skoda Fabia S2000 3hr 51min 43.2sec
7. A Mikkelsen/O Floene NOR Skoda Fabia S2000 3hr 54min 15.1sec
8. N Al Attiyah/G Bernacchini QAT Citroen DS3 3hr 54min 42.8sec
9. D Sordo/C Del Barrio ESP Mini John Cooper 3hr 56min 09.7sec
10 M Arzeno/R Jamoul FRA Peugeot 207 S2000 3hr 57min 12.1sec
1. S Loeb 199pts
2. M Hirvonen 145pts
3. P Solberg 104pts
4. M Østberg 102pts
5. J-M Latvala 87pts
6. E Novikov 55pts
1. Citroen Total WRT 320pts
2. Ford WRT 197pts
3. M-Sport Ford WRT 115pts
4. Qatar WRT 59pts
5. Citroen Junior WRT 54pts
6. Adapta WRT 49pts
Stage 13: 1. Loeb 19min 45.6sec; 2. Latvala + 9.7; 3. Hirvonen + 12.6; 4. Tänak
+ 13.7; 5. Østberg + 15.5; 6. Sordo + 15.8; 8. P Solberg + 26.6.
Overall: 1. Loeb 3hr 18min 37.4sec; 2. Latvala + 1:52.6; 3. Hirvonen + 2:25.3;
4. Østberg + 3:23.3; 5. Atkinson + 8:16.8; 6. Ogier + 9:08.7; 12. P Solberg
Stage 14: 1. P Solberg 19min 40.3sec; 2. Østberg + 1.2; 3. Sordo + 3.6;
4. Tänak + 5.5; 5. Latvala + 9.1; 6. Loeb + 9.9.
Overall: 1. Loeb 3hr 38min 27.6sec; 2. Latvala + 1:51.8; 3. Hirvonen + 2:29.2;
4. Østberg + 3:14.6; 5. Atkinson + 8:59.6; 6. Ogier + 9:42.8; 12. P Solberg
Stage 15: 1. Loeb 3min 24.8sec; 2. Hirvonen + 2.1; 3. Mikkelsen + 6.8; 4. Al Attiyah
+ 7.5; 5. Neuville + 7.8; 6. Ogier + 7.9. 7. Latvala + 8.2; 14. P Solberg + 13.6.
Overall: 1. Loeb 3hr 41min 52.4sec; 2. Latvala + 2:00.1; 3. Hirvonen + 2:31.4;
4. Østberg + 3:24.4; 5. Atkinson + 9:10.4; 6. Ogier + 9:50.8; 11. P Solberg
12-08-26 Maximum Achievement
'Maxi the MINI here for the last time! - I'm so excited because we just finished
fifth overall at ADAC Rallye Deutschland. It was three tough days of competition,
15 special stages a lot of hard work but also loads of fun with Chris, Stéphane
and the team. 368.63km of special stages later and we clocked the best result
achieved by WRC Team MINI Portugal so far and Chris' highest finish ever in Germany.
Not to mention that we clocked the fifth time overall in today's Power Stage.
'Not to brag (too much) but I was the top MINI finishing the rally this weekend.
I'll try not to mention it too often to the other MINIs in the workshop back in
Italy but I think I'll probably get away with mentioning it (and my Top 5 finish)
once or twice.
'I'm really proud that I was part of Chris and Stéphane's success this
weekend, they are a great pairing - well we're more like a trio, really - and
I felt a connection with them from our very first outing together.
'I think that they like me too, today I heard Chris saying that I was fantastic
this weekend. I think we make a perfect match and I already can't wait to compete
again. Although, I'll have to wait about a month as my next event will be Rallye
de France. I'm having a rest and keeping my Tarmac set-up whilst one of the boys
will head out to Wales Rally GB with Chris ready for the rougher gravel. I said
that they can copy my livery and put it on the GB car if they want.
'Today we cruised through the last three stages and made sure we didn't make any
mistakes and kept our position. Of course we could have been a bit faster, but
the conditions today were especially tricky due to the heavy rain so we decided
to take it easy!
'When Chris came to get me at Parc Fermé this morning he was quite chilled
and said to me: 'Come on Maxi, let's do it!' He always knows how to cheer me up
and boost my confidence.
'When we got to the finish of the last stage - Circus Maximus - Chris was all
smiles, it felt so good to see him happy. We scooped a very good result together
and I'm sure there's still a lot more excitement to come. He said to me: 'There
you go, Maxi! Fifth on your first rally and my best result ever here in Germany.
You did an amazing job all weekend - and in return, I made sure there wasn't a
scratch on you so you'll look pretty for your photos on the finish ramp!'
'Wow, going over the final ramp was really awesome and I could sense Chris was
very excited too.
'Tomorrow I go back to Italy together with my friend Porquinho Verde. I'm a bit
sad because I already miss Chris loads, because he's heading halfway round the
world to Australia, but I'll see him in about a month and I'm already counting
down the days.
'This weekend was really special and it was an honour to be your host - I hope
you enjoyed it as much as I did! Chris asked me to thank you all for the great
support he has been given and to say that he can't wait for Wales Rally GB.
'Bye for now!'
Final Overall Classification Rally Finland
1.S. Loeb (FRA)/ D. Elena (MCO) Citroen 3:41:52.4
2.J.M Latvala (FIN)/ M. Anttila (FIN) Ford +2:00.1
3.Hirvonen (FIN)/ J. Lehtinen (FIN) Citroen +2:31-4
4.M. Ostberg (NOR)/ J. Andersson (SWE) Ford +3:24.4
5. C.Atkinson (AUS)/ S. Prévot (BEL) MINI +9:10.4
6.S. Ogier (FRA)/ J. Ingrassia (FRA) Skoda +9:50.8
7.A. Mikkelsen (NOW)/ O. Floene (NOR) Skoda +12:22.7
8.N. Al-Attyiah (QAT) - G. Bernacchini (ITA) Citroen +12:50.4
9.O. Tanak (EST)/ K. Sikk (EST) Ford +13:01.3
10.D. Sordo (ESP)/ C. Del Barrio (ESP) MINI +14:17.3
12-08-26 Besviken Pontus sexa i
Redan på första sträckan av ADAC-Rally Deutschland så var
allt hopp på en bra placering för Pontus över. Fem kilometer från
mål gick höger drivaxel av och Pontus fick bryta den fjärde deltävlingen
av WRC Academy direkt första dagen.
- Jag tyckte det gick helt okej under första sträckan tills drivaxeln
gick av och enligt split-tiderna var vi vi med i toppen tidsmässigt. Jag
bara rullade in i mål sista kilometerna innan vi parkerade och tävlingen
var förstörd, berättar Pontus
Med fem missade sträckor under fredagen fick Pontus och kartläsaren
Emil Axelsson ett tidsstraff på 25 minuter inför andra dagen och låg
då hopplöst långt efter täten.
- Jag körde helt utan någon attack under lördagen, körde
mest för att lära mig vägarna och se hur mina noter fungerade.
Sen så är det nästan helt omöjligt att vara med och kriga
i toppen när de andra hade byggt tempo hela dagen innan, säger Pontus
När bilarna gick över mållinjen på lördag kväll
så slutade Pontus på en sjätte plats, vann gjorde Elfyn Ewans
före Jose Suarez.
- Det är bara att försöka ladda om inför nästa deltävling
i Frankrike. Enda positiva vi kan ta med oss från denna tävlingen är
att vi var bra med på split-tiderna innan vi bröt och att vi ändå
fått lite erfarenhet av vägarna här i Tyskland, avslutar den 21-åriga
Landslagsföraren Pontus Tidemand
12-08-25 A Maxi Adventure
'G'day everyone (my Australian is getting better and better day after day)
'Maxi here, once again live from ADAC Rallye Deutschland to tell you all about
the second day of the event and I am SO excited. We're in fifth overall!! It was
a tough day though - Chris and I have seen all the possible weather conditions
today. We had pouring rain, sun, wind, you name it we tested it. We didn't get
bored, that's for sure!
'We set off pretty early this morning from Parc Fermé and after going quickly
through the Service Park off we went to the stages. As soon as we got to the start
of SS7 it started pouring and as we're still trying to nail our rhythm, Chris
decided to take it easy and avoid risks. We got through SS8 with no troubles and
after that we headed to Remote Service.
'As at Remote the boys can only carry out limited checks, I knew that we had to
be cautious in the first two stages to make sure I got there in top form.
'Soon came the time to head off to the stage I was really looking forward to tackle
- the legendary 46km Panzerplatte. Gosh, it was amazing but at the same time really
demanding. You have to respect stages like that otherwise you'll be in big trouble.
I saw other cars parked up for a rest, but Chris didn't have that in mind! I enjoyed
it a lot and I Chris did too. He says that even if it's so long it goes in no
time at all as there's always something happening and it's loads of fun.
'After such a stage I pampered myself with a proper service - as I mentioned before
this is one of the moments of the day I enjoy the most. The mechanics taking care
of me are really good, they know me almost better than I know myself - it's incredible
what they can do in such a limited amount of time.
'You might have noticed that my friend Porquinho Verde came back to the Service
Park before everybody else. The thing is that Paulo had to fly back to Brazil
for personal reasons. Nothing to worry about though, you'll see them both very
soon at Wales Rally GB.
'I heard my Team Manager Bruno saying very nice things about me at the End of
Day Press Conference, I'm a shy MINI so when I'm paid compliments - even if you
can't see it because my livery is black - I blush, but I love it too! ? Chris
pays me a lot of compliments but I'm getting used to it and I have to say I can
only say great things right back at him!
'We've gone through the most difficult part of the rally in my opinion - of course
tomorrow we still have three stages and we have to stay focused but I'm very happy
with what we achieved so far. I'm so proud that we're lying in fifth at the end
of this big day and tomorrow I'll do everything I can to make sure we get to the
'Well, that's all for today, it was a long day and Chris, Stéphane and
I need to relax and rest so we're ready for tomorrow.
Maxi the MINI
12-08-25 Latvala marches into second
as going turns tough in Germany
Ford World Rally Team drivers Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila ended the
second leg of Rallye Deutschland in second after a day of drama and attrition.
Although the Finns encountered difficulties of their own in their Ford Fiesta
RS World Rally Car, they avoided the serious troubles that sidelined other front-runners
to end the penultimate days action almost 30sec ahead of their nearest rivals.
Team-mates Petter Solberg and Chris Patterson were one of five crews from the
top 10 leaderboard to fall foul of the demanding Baumholder military area, east
of the rally base of Trier. Second-placed Solberg hit a rock and the rear suspension
damage to his Fiesta RS WRC was too severe to carry on.
Todays leg of this ninth round of the FIA World Rally Championship was expected
to be the toughest of the three-day event and so it proved. Drivers tackled
two identical loops of three asphalt speed tests covering 164.90km over vineyard
tracks on the banks of the Mosel river, narrow lanes in the Saarland countryside
and daunting kerbstone-lined roads at the tank training area.
With dry weather forecast this morning, Latvala, Solberg and all their rivals
opted for Michelins hard compound tyres. However, rain unexpectedly fell
in the opening 26.54km test among the grapes. The hard rubber was unsuited to
the cold and wet asphalt and the Ford duo lost more than 20sec to leader Sébastien
Loeb, who started earlier and enjoyed drier conditions.
Both fitted their soft compound spare tyre to the right rear of their Fiesta RS
WRCs for the following special stage. With improved grip, Solberg retained second
but Latvala dropped 30sec after being caught out by the wet roads and slipped
to fifth overall.
My car was set-up for dry conditions, but it was too hard so we softened
the settings before the start, explained 27-year-old Latvala. However,
I hit some water running across the road before a bend and locked the brakes.
The car went straight on into a field and became stuck on the wet grass. I had
to manoeuvre backwards and forwards several times before I could continue.
Both Ford drivers then switched to soft compound tyres for the monster 46.54km
Arena Panzerplatte test in Baumholder. Latvala was second fastest to vault to
second. However, in doing so he displaced 37-year-old Solberg, who was sidelined
around 30km after the start.
It was my fault, admitted Solberg. In a long left corner, the
back of the car began to slip and I couldnt hold the slide. The rear right
hit a rock and although we tried to carry on, unfortunately the damage was serious
and when the wheel came off we had to stop.
Its disappointing because my speed was good and I was so careful all
weekend not to make any mistakes. Ill restart tomorrow and hopefully Ill
be in a position to challenge for bonus points on the final Power Stage,
With a large gap to the leader and a comfortable advantage over third-placed Mikko
Hirvonen, Latvala took the safe option of soft tyres for the first two repeated
stages this afternoon as rain again threatened. He consolidated second before
switching to hard rubber again for the second pass over the abrasive Panzerplatte
test, in which he missed fastest time by just 0.7sec.
I wanted to play safe and chose the soft tyres in case it rained again,
explained Latvala. It rained before the stage but the test itself was dry.
It cost me a few seconds but nothing like the time I would have lost on hard tyres
if it had rained.
I liked both Panzerplatte stages. I enjoyed the fight for fastest time but
Im disappointed not to have been quickest on at least one of them. I missed
out by 0.8sec in the first pass and 0.7sec in the second pass after more than
46km! Having dropped to fifth this morning, Im happy to be in second. The
car was fast enough to allow me to fight at the front, but I lacked consistency
at times, he added.
Ford World Rally Team director Malcolm Wilson was again encouraged by his teams
asphalt pace. Both drivers showed good speed and this is the most competitive
weve been in Germany. Its encouraging for the remaining asphalt rounds.
It was disappointing to lose Petter when in a strong position, but Im confident
Jari-Matti can secure his place tomorrow, he said.
News from other Ford teams
A clean run for Mads Østberg / Jonas Andersson enabled the Adapta World
Rally Team duo to climb from eighth to fourth in their Fiesta RS WRC. That position
was the property of M-Sport Ford World Rally Teams Ott Tänak / Kuldar
Sikk, who excelled to win two stages this afternoon before retiring in the final
test after losing a rear wheel when they hit a kerb. They will restart tomorrow
under Rally 2 regulations in ninth. Team-mates Evgeny Novikov / Nicolas Klinger
are 31st following yesterdays retirement, their only issues being two overshoots.
Daniel Oliveria / Carlos Magalhaes are two places further back in the Brazil World
Rally Team car after losing time this morning with a broken driveshaft.
The final leg is short and sharp. After an 08.00 restart, competitors tackle two
passes over the 30.76km Dhrontal test in the Mosel vineyards before the final
4.37km Power Stage around the streets of Trier. The finish ceremony takes place
at the citys historic Porta Nigra gate at 15.45.
Leaderboard after Day 2
1. S Loeb/D Elena FRA Citroen DS3 2hr 58min 51.8sec
2. J-M Latvala/M Anttila FIN Ford Fiesta RS 3hr 00min 34.7sec
3. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen FIN Citroen DS3 3hr 01min 04.5sec
4. M Østberg/J Andersson NOR Ford Fiesta RS 3hr 01min 59.6sec
5. C Atkinson/S Prévot AUS Mini John Cooper 3hr 05min 50.8sec
6. S Ogier/J Ingrassia FRA Skoda Fabia S2000 3hr 07min 02.4sec
7. A Mikkelsen/O Floene NOR Skoda Fabia S2000 3hr 09min 12.2sec
8. N Al Attiyah/G Bernacchini QAT Citroen DS3 3hr 09min 43.8sec
9. O Tänak/K Sikk EST Ford Fiesta RS 3hr 11min 34.9sec
10 M Arzeno/R Jamoul FRA Peugeot 207 S2000 3hr 11min 55.3sec
Stage 7: 1. Loeb 15min 25.2sec; 2. P Solberg + 21.4; 3. Latvala + 25.4; 4. Sordo
+ 41.4; 5. Neuville + 45.6; 6. Hirvonen + 1:07.4.
Overall: 1. Loeb 1hr 37min 43.2sec; 2. P Solberg + 41.8; 3. Latvala + 54.8; 4.
Neuville + 1:20.1; 5. Sordo + 1:28.1; 6. Hirvonen + 1:56.3.
Stage 8: 1. Sordo 5min 51.3sec; 2. P Solberg + 2.0; 3. Loeb + 2.2; 4. Tänak
+ 3.8; 5. Østberg + 4.6; 6. Hirvonen + 5.8; 30. Latvala + 36.3.
Overall: 1. Loeb 1hr 43min 36.7sec; 2. P Solberg + 41.6; 3. Sordo + 1:25.9; 4.
Neuville + 1:26.7; 5. Latvala + 1:28.9; 6. Hirvonen + 1:59.9.
Stage 9: 1. Loeb 27min 31.9sec; 2. Latvala + 0.8; 3. Hirvonen + 5.1; 4. Østberg
+ 8.6; 5. Tänak + 14.6; 6. Novikov + 25.4.
Overall: 1. Loeb 2hr 11min 08.6sec; 2. Latvala + 1:29.7; 3. Hirvonen + 2:05.0;
4. Østberg + 2:47.9; 5. Tänak + 2:48.7; 6. Sordo + 3:57.0.
Stage 10: 1. Tänak 15min 12.1sec; 2. Sordo + 2.1; 3. Loeb + 5.4; 4. Hirvonen
+ 5.9; 5. Østberg + 7.3; 6. Latvala + 14.2.
Overall: 1. Loeb 2hr 26min 26.1sec; 2. Latvala + 1:38.5; 3. Hirvonen + 2:05.5;
4. Tänak + 2:43.3; 5. Østberg + 2:49.8; 6. Sordo + 3:53.7.
Stage 11: 1. Tänak 5min 31.5sec; 2. Loeb + 0.2; 3. Østberg + 3.6;
4. Sordo + 3.8; 5. Latvala + 3.9; 6. Hirvonen + 4.4;
Overall: 1. Loeb 2hr 31min 57.8sec; 2. Latvala + 1:42.2; 3. Hirvonen + 2:09.7;
4. Tänak + 2:43.1; 5. Østberg + 2:53.2; 6. Sordo + 3:57.3.
Stage 12: 1. Loeb 26min 54.0sec; 2. Latvala + 0.7; 3. Hirvonen + 3.0; 4. Østberg
+ 14.6; 5. Novikov + 26.3; 6. Atkinson + 46.0;
Overall: 1. Loeb 2hr 58min 51.8sec; 2. Latvala + 1:42.9; 3. Hirvonen + 2:12.7;
4. Østberg + 3:07.8; 5. Atkinson + 6:59.0; 6. Ogier + 8:10.6.
12-08-24 Maximum pressure
'It's me Maxi - your favorite MINI - again!
'Wow, this was what I call a nice day out on the stages. Chris and I had a fantastic
day together - I really enjoyed every minute of it. To be fair I was a bit nervous
this morning when we set-off from the Service Park as I was going to compete against
the other cars for the first time, but I could feel Chris was chillaxed to the
max so I tried to go with the flow.
Anyway, we got to the start of SS1 and I was nervously awaiting our start time
but as soon as Chris and Stéphane put their helmets on, fastened their
seat belts and Stéphane started the count down for the kick off I could
feel the adrenaline start to rush and I couldn't wait to get going. Five, four,
three, two, one and off we went! Corner after corner the feeling with Chris got
better and better and even though he had to play football with a loose bottle
that was rolling under my pedals we finished the stage with a good time and I
heard him saying on the radio that he was very happy with how I did out there.
'With the baptism of fire over I was much more relaxed and I even started to enjoy
the view - the landscape here in Germany is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. There are so many vineyards
around here - I know Tomo is a proper wine connoisseur so I'm waiting for him
to take me out for some wine tasting later in the week. I reckon any time now
he'll build up the courage to ask.
'After three stages we headed back to Trier for Service - I love service! I like
the stages too but during service I'm the star and the boys pay me some much attention.
I've told you before I'm a liiiittle bit of a diva, but you know, this is my moment.
;-) Anyway, Chris and I did a good job on the first loop so there wasn't anything
broken and I only had to go through routine checks.
'Unfortunately my mate (yep, I'm picking up on the Australian) Porquinho Verde
wasn't as lucky - Paulo made a small mistake and PV hit a bank with the rear and
damaged the suspension. Nothing to worry about though, the boys already fixed
it and he's ready to go tomorrow for some more action!
'Chris hasn't competed in a Tarmac rally for three and a half years so he's biding
his time waiting to find his rhythm, but we did the best we could today and we're
improving together stage on stage. I'm really proud of him (and of myself too
to be completely honest!) I heard him saying that his aim for the weekend is being
between sixth and tenth position, we're in ninth at the moment so it's all good!
'I love Chris, he's a real professional and a fantastic person and he really knows
how to treat me (and if he isn't sure Stephane's always there to advise him!)
I feel like I've known them forever even if in reality we've only met last week.
'This afternoon we went for another run in the vineyards and our rhythm started
to get better, maybe tomorrow we'll push even harder. After all I'm a positive
car and I don't give up easily.
'The day is finished now. We got back to service again and my mechanics ran a
thorough check on me to make sure I'm on top form for tomorrow. Now I'm all nice
and shiny ready to rock tomorrow on another day of MINI adventures!
'That's all for today, I really need my beauty sleep over in parce ferme (I'm
kind of hoping I'll be parked near to either PV or that nice red MINI), but I'll
be back tomorrow with more stories from ADAC Rallye Deutschland!
'Bye now', Maxi
12-08-24 Ford finds good legs in
German vineyards to lie second and third
Ford World Rally Team made a strong start to Rallye Deutschland to hold second
and third after todays opening leg. In this first pure asphalt round of
the FIA World Rally Championship season, Petter Solberg and Chris Patterson lie
second in a Ford Fiesta RS World Rally Car, with Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka
Anttila third in a similar car.
Latvala won two of the afternoons three speed tests over tricky vineyard
tracks on the banks of the Mosel river, north-east of Trier. The Ford duo are
separated by just 9.0sec with two days of competition remaining in this ninth
round of the series.
Drivers tackled two identical loops of three special stages covering 137.84km.
Although the narrow tests were familiar from previous years, they were used in
the opposite direction, ensuring accurate pace notes were crucial. The bumpy but
fast tracks, linked by sharp hairpin bends, zig-zagged across the hillsides among
the grapes and overhanging vines made it hard for drivers to pick out corners.
Despite overnight rain, conditions were dry and Solberg opted for Michelins
hard compound Pilot Sport tyres all day. The 37-year-old Norwegian powered into
second in the opening test and completed the morning loop just 13.1sec from the
lead. A similarly strong pace this afternoon kept Solberg firmly in second and
he ended a troublefree day 20.4sec from top spot.
My experience of driving the Fiesta RS WRC on asphalt is relatively small,
so Im still getting used to the car on this surface, he said. Considering
that, Im very happy with my performance. I could have pushed harder, but
it was important to establish a good feeling and not take too many risks. You
have to be smart here.
I lost a few seconds but this morning but this afternoon was perfect and
the car was fantastic. Tomorrow is a long day with some difficult stages so it
will be important not to do anything crazy, added Solberg.
Latvala had a mixed morning, the 27-year-old Finn lying third but regretting a
soft set-up on his Fiesta RS WRC that did not provide the stability he wanted.
He opted for a diagonal mix of hard and soft compound tyres for the opening test,
which was slippery and muddy in the first third. However, in drier conditions
later in the stage, the soft rubber became too hot, allowing the car to move around.
He switched to hard tyres for the rest of the morning and despite his wish for
stiffer settings, he completed the loop only 5.7sec behind Solberg.
I knew the first 8km in the opening stage were slippery, said Latvala.
Although I lost some seconds towards the end, Im glad I tried the
hard-soft mix because it gave me confidence in the muddy section. The set-up was
too soft generally although I was able to make small changes during the loop which
improved the feeling.
With a harder set-up, Latvala showed the Fiesta RS WRCs asphalt speed this
afternoon. He won the first and last tests, but admitted they werent without
When I was fastest in stage four, I had two lucky escapes when I was off
the road and almost lost the car. Afterwards Miikka and I agreed it
was time to calm down otherwise we wouldnt finish the rally. I tried to
find a comfortable feeling, but eased off too much, braked too early and didnt
realise how much time I was losing. I found a good compromise on the last stage
and was fastest again.
Tomorrow is the key day of this event and Im looking forward to the
long stages at the Baumholder military land. I enjoy those roads, added
Ford World Rally Team director Malcolm Wilson was delighted with two stage victories.
Its hugely encouraging, he said. To be second and third,
and to be so close to a man who has dominated this rally eight times in the last
nine years, feels like leading. Both drivers are within striking distance, with
the most difficult stages in the rally still to come.
News from other Ford teams
M-Sport Ford World Rally Teams Ott Tänak / Kuldar Sikk lie seventh,
despite missing junctions twice this morning and once this afternoon. Just 10.8sec
behind in eighth are Mads Østberg / Jonas Andersson in Adapta World Rally
Teams Fiesta RS WRC, the Norwegian driver missing a junction in the opening
stage and suffering brake problems this morning. M-Sport Fords Evgeny Novikov
/ Nicolas Klinger retired in the opening stage after hitting a wall and damaging
the right rear of the car. They will restart under Rally 2 regulations tomorrow.
Martin Prokop / Zdenek Hruza retired in stage three when, after a puncture, their
Czech Ford National Team car caught fire later in the stage and burned out. Daniel
Oliveria / Carlos Magalhäes damaged the rear of their Fiesta RS WRC after
going off the road in the same test and they, too, retired.
The second leg is the longest and most difficult. It includes more vineyard tracks,
fast roads through the Saarland countryside and two passes over the daunting 46.54km
Arena Panzerplatte test at the Baumholder military area. After leaving Trier at
07.00, drivers face two identical loops of three stages covering 164.90km, before
returning for the overnight halt at 20.22. Competitors have two short remote service
zones in Birkenfeld before the Panzerplatte tests as well as a 30-minute service
in Trier which splits the two loops.
Leaderboard after Day 1
1. S Loeb/D Elena FRA Citroen DS3 1hr 22min 18.0sec
2. P Solberg/C Patterson NOR Ford Fiesta RS 1hr 22min 38.4sec
3. J-M Latvala/M Anttila FIN Ford Fiesta RS 1hr 22min 47.4sec
4. T Neuville/N Gilsoul BEL Citroen DS3 1hr 22min 52.5sec
5. D Sordo/C Del Barrio ESP Mini John Cooper 1hr 23min 04.7sec
6. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen FIN Citroen DS3 1hr 23min 06.9sec
7. O Tänak/K Sikk EST Ford Fiesta RS 1hr 23min 35.9sec
8. M Østberg/J Andersson NOR Ford Fiesta RS 1hr 23min 46.7sec
9. C Atkinson/S Prévot AUS Mini John Cooper 1hr 24min 52.8sec
10 S Ogier/J Ingrassia FRA Skoda Fabia S2000 1hr 25min 54.6sec
Stage 1: 1. Loeb 14min 42.9sec; 2. P Solberg + 5.2; 3. Hirvonen + 8.7; 4. Latvala
+ 9.1; 5. Neuville + 9.9; 6. Tänak + 15.8.
Stage 2: 1. Loeb 14min 19.7sec; 2. P Solberg + 4.4; 3. Latvala + 6.9; 4. Neuville
+ 7.9; 5. Tänak + 8.8; 6. Sordo + 9.6.
Overall: 1. Loeb 29min 02.6sec; 2. P Solberg + 9.6; 3. Latvala + 16.0; 4. Neuville
+ 17.8; 5. Hirvonen + 22.3; 6. Tänak + 24.6.
Stage 3: 1. Loeb 12min 19.5sec; 2. Latvala + 2.8; 3. P Solberg + 3.5; 4. Hirvonen
+ 5.7; 5. Sordo + 7.5; 6. Neuville + 7.7.
Overall: 1. Loeb 41min 22.1sec; 2. P Solberg + 13.1; 3. Latvala + 18.8; 4. Neuville
+ 25.5; 5. Hirvonen + 28.0; 6. Sordo + 34.9.
Stage 4: 1. Latvala 14min 31.7sec; 2. Loeb + 1.8; 3. Neuville + 2.4; 4. P Solberg
+ 2.5; 5. Sordo + 7.8; 6. Østberg + 11.6.
Overall: 1. Loeb 55min 55.6sec; 2. P Solberg + 13.8; 3. Latvala + 17.0; 4. Neuville
+ 26.1; 5. Hirvonen + 39.3; 6. Sordo + 40.9.
Stage 5: 1. Loeb 14min 09.9sec; 2. P Solberg + 5.1; 3= Sordo, Hirvonen + 5.3;
5. Neuville + 6.9; 6. Tänak + 9.7; 7. Latvala + 12.7.
Overall: 1. Loeb 1hr 10min 05.5sec; 2. P Solberg + 18.9; 3. Latvala + 29.7; 4.
Neuville + 33.0; 5. Hirvonen + 44.6; 6. Sordo + 46.2.
Stage 6: 1. Latvala 12min 12.2sec; 2. Loeb + 0.3; 3. Sordo + 0.8; 4= P Solberg,
Neuville + 1.8; 6. Hirvonen + 4.6.
Overall: 1. Loeb 1hr 22min 18.0sec; 2. P Solberg + 20.4; 3. Latvala + 29.4; 4.
Neuville + 34.5; 5. Sordo + 46.7; 6. Hirvonen + 48.9.
12-08-23 Pontus Tidemand asfaltsdebuterar
i Rally-VM i helgen
På fredag startar den fjärde deltävlingen i 2012-års WRC
Academy. De 12 stycken Junior-VM ekipagen skall köra två dagar av VM-deltävlingen
Rally Tyskland som körs i Moseldalen runt historiska staden Trier i södra
Tyskland. På plats finns 21-åriga landslagsföraren Pontus Tidemand
tillsammans med Emil Axelsson som kartläsare.
Totalt skall det köras 12 stycken specialsträckor på en totallängd
av 30 mil på svårbemästrade asfaltvägar med skiftade underlag,
det är till och med betong som underlag på en del av sträckorna
som körs runt militärområdet Panzerplatte.
- Det har varit väldigt intressant och lärorikt på rekognoseringen
att se hur krävande och svåra vägarna är. Detta liknar ingenting
som jag kör förut och det är ju faktiskt mitt första asfaltsrally
i VM, berättar Pontus.
Med en andra plats i senaste deltävlingen i Finland, en tredjeplats i premiären
i Portugal och en nolla i protokollet i Grekland då Pontus bröt med
ett mekaniskt fel när han låg på andra plats så ligger
Pontus på en fjärde plats i sammandraget i WRC Academy.
- Det kommer bli riktigt svårt att vara med i topp denna tävling, det
är flera av de andra förarna som är riktigt snabba på asfalt
och vi har inte kört någon tävling eller test innan på detta
underlag. Man måste vara realist och inse att jag är här för
att lära men självklart skall jag göra allt för att vara med
i toppen och kämpa, avslutar Pontus
12-08-23 Maxi-mum Scrutiny
'Hey everyone, it's Maxi the MINI here. Or, I should say, 'G'day, mate!'.
'I speak a fair few languages - after all I need to, MINIs need to be at home
all over the world and I've got the life of a globe trotter ahead of me! I can
tell you though - I need to brush up on my Australian. I wasn't totally sure why
Chris said the other day, 'We're going off like a frog in a sock, Maxi' (I didn't
even know frogs wore socks!) Anyway, he seemed happy when he said it so I didn't
want him to know I have no clue! I'll try to remember it and use it myself to
make him feel at home.
'Now let me tell you what I've been up to since I last wrote. Yesterday morning
was scrutineering - and you should have seen the way those scrutineers were looking
at me. They couldn't take their eyes off me! In fact, it's lucky Chris was out
on recce or he could have got quite jealous...
'Last night I got a slap-bang-whallop, shiny new livery (modelled below by...me!).
I know it might seem like I'm always paying myself compliments, but to be objective...
It's REALLY cool. I heard lots of people talking about it this morning. Although...our
bodywork and stickers guy, Wally, didn't seem so keen on being my friend after
he spent five hours applying it during the night. That's a real shame, because
I considered that quality time together! I guess it was just a one night thing
'Chris, Stéphane and I headed out on shakedown this morning. Boy oh boy
I can't wait for the rally. It felt like I was flying, but Chris says that when
we're using soft tyres not hard ones we'll go even faster. Porquinho Verde came
out on shakedown with us with Paulo and Edu. He looked like he was having a great
time! Although - and I'm not being fickle at all, because PV's my best friend
- I also spotted another MINI out there. A nice red one whose driver seems to
be friends with Chris - it's like a whole MINI family! :-) He was going pretty
fast too, so it'll be interesting to see how he does on the rally. I'll try to
pay attention to what he does - never hurts to compare notes. After all the better
we all run, the better for the competition!
'I really like my engineer Tomo and the mechanics. It's great they give me whatever
I need! Literally anything I want. I'm so spoilt and I love it! I know I shouldn't
push the boundaries too much, but I wonder if they'd oblige if I asked for grapes
and a reed fan... Hmm, maybe I'll save that for GB...
'More or less I'm just pretty happy. I love being in the limelight and here in
Germany people are always looking at me, taking my photo and asking me to pose
with Chris. Actually I've got this sneaky suspicion that when people come to see
Bruno and Tomo to 'chat' more often than not it's just an excuse to talk about
me, but I would never tell the boys that!!
'Anyway, that's all for now, I'm off to prepare myself for Chris' big welcome
at 18h then the Ceremonial Start. I can't wait to take Chris up on the ramp and
see the fans.
'Ciiiiaaao', Maxi the MINI
12-08-20 Lyckat asfaltstest idag
Idag körde Ramona och Miriam det officiella asfaltstestet som arrangerades
strax utanför Trier.
- Jättebra möjlighet att få lära känna de tyska vägarna,
och framför allt att känna på det nya underlaget då
vi aldrig kört asfaltsrally tidigare. Det gick bättre och bättre
för varje omgång, så det var både positivt och lärorikt.
Bilen går riktigt fint, vi har fått till riktigt bra inställningar
och fått mycket god hjälp av Mikael på Trendab som åkte
ner för testet för att se över mjukvaran för motor och diffar,
Imorgon börjar Ramona och Miriam med rekognosceringen som pågår
till och med onsdag.
- Detta ska bli riktigt kul, vi ser verkligen fram emot vår asfaltspremiär!
12-08-18 Maxi-mum Focus
My full name is MINI Countryman John Cooper Works WRC 01B, but my friends call
me Maxi, because you name it, I've got it, a carbon extension on my bonnet, bigger
bumpers, fenders and rear wheel arches than a regular MINI. That makes my width
a whopping 1820mm plus I have plenty of extra power from my engine, turbo and
mapping. Not to brag, but it's true!!
It's fair to say, I'm pretty popular with boys. The boys at WRC Team MINI Portugal
- my team - certainly pay me a lot of attention. There are girls in the team too,
which is nice, because they know what it's like to work in such a testosterone-fuelled
I'm not stupid. I know that Chris (the boys call him 'Atko', but I like 'Chris')
competed with other cars before. It isn't about the past though, it's about the
future! He 100% committed and you know it isn't just about having a relationship,
it's about finding the right one. Just between you and me, I'm quietly confident
that this is it! A bit like Chris and Stéphane really. It's incredible
how much they trust each other and how intuitively they work together. I feel
really lucky to compete with them.
Chris and I have decided to be very open with each other from the start. He says
if I do something wrong he'll tell Bruno and Tomo. I said, if he does something
wrong, I'll leave the stage! Anyway, to be honest, I overheard Chris saying to
Bruno that I have a fantastic chassis and he immediately felt at ease with me!
Of course, I have friends back in the workshop in Italy - I live in Italy at the
moment, although I'm not Italian by birth. They tell me all sorts of stories!
There's a green MINI, Porquinho Verde, who's a lot of fun. He tells hilarious
tales about his driver Paulo. He says everyone loves Paulo and Paulo loves everyone!
He's here in Germany with me and I'm glad we'll be doing the rally together, because
although I'm 100% focused on the job in hand, I have noticed that he's got a kind
of cute livery...
Then there's the other black cars. They look pretty much like me, but - and I'd
never say this to them - I think I've got a nicer front bumper than the 01As (and
a few more horsepower!)
Earlier today Chris, Stéphane and I went testing with the team. I have
to say, I love the Tarmac! I get bigger tyres and stronger brakes, which increase
my corner speed and the G-force. It's the most amazing sensation!
I'm a little bit nervous about my first outing at ADAC Rallye Deutschland's Shakedown
next Thursday and going head-to-head with everyone else on the stages Friday morning,
but Chris is as calm as ever. He says there's no need to panic, we're in this
together and we just have to do our best!
So... Here we go. I'll let you know what happens.
Bye for now,
Love, Maxi the MINI
12-08-18 Rallytjejerna gör
comeback efter otäck brandolycka
Under förra deltävlingen i Rally-VM i Nya Zeeland kunde det ha gått
riktigt illa för den svenska tjejduon Ramona Karlsson och Miriam Walfridsson.
Som enda tjejekipage i Rally-VM var de snudd på nära att ta hem sin
första pallplats i Rally-VM , då de låg på en trygg andraplats.
Men plötsligt tog rallybilen eld, blev snabbgt övertänd och tjejerna
fick kasta sig ur bilen i farten. Rallybilen gick inte att släcka utan brann
upp framför ögonen på dem. Men nu är de tillbaks.
Sedan Ramona och Miriam kom hem från Nya Zeeland har teamet jobbat stenhårt
för att komma tillbaks till nästa VM-deltävling i Tyskland. Och
nästa vecka står tjejerna i startgropen igen.
- Vi gav oss tusan på att vi skulle vara tillbaks till Tyskland igen. För
bara några veckor sedan var vi utan tävlingsbil, och vår situation
var verkligen upp-och-nedvänd kan man säga. Men tack vare ett fantastiskt
stöd av framför allt vår chefsmekaniker Mikael Gustafsson och
vår sponsor Mitsubishi kunde vi snabbt lösa en ny bil som Mikael nu
har iordningställt och preparerat, säger Ramona.
Det har varit jobb in i det sista för att få alla bitar att falla på
plats, och det har varit intensiva dagar för teamet. Men vill man
så går det! Det känns skönt att nu kunna andas ut efter
mycket intensiva dagar. Det återstår en del jobb när vi kommer
hem för att lösa resten av de praktiska och ekonomiska bitarna, men
huvudsaken är att vi nu är på väg till Tyskland och att vi
kommer till start! säger Ramona positivt.
Rally Tyskland innebär Ramona och Miriams allra första asfaltstävling,
och har ryktet att vara et tufft, tekniskt och utslagsgivande rally. Start och
mål är i Trier, och vägarna består av 100% asfalt.
Det blir ett nytt underlag för oss, så det ska bli både lärorikt
och spännande. Det skiljer sig en hel del jämfört med att åka
på grus, säger Miriam. Under förra VM-tävlingen bevisade
tjejerna att de fått upp farten ordentligt, och var med och slogs uppe i
världstoppen. Inför Rally Tyskland är tar tjejerna det säkra
före det osäkra med sin målsättning. Eftersom asfaltsrally
är helt nytt för oss, är det svårt att förutspå
våra chanser jämfört med de som är mer rutinerade. Vi får
helt enkelt se hur det går, men givetvis siktar vi på att vara med
och kriga i den övre delen av fältet, säger Miriam.
Tidschemat ser ut enligt följande för Ramona och Miriam:
Tisdag Onsdag: Rekognosering
På fredag morgon startar rallyt, och målgång är på
söndag eftermiddag. På wrc.com finns både webradio och liveresultat,
och ramonarallying.com uppdateras både inför, under och efter rallyt.
12-07-27 The boys are back in...
Ciao a tutti and Olá a todos,
Were Max Pelucchi and Marco Moreiras and well be your hosts
during Neste Oil Rally Finland next weekend, taking you behind the scenes with
WRC Team MINI Portugal as we tackle a new exciting round of the 2012 FIA World
For the first time WRC Team MINI Portugals columns will feature two
voices, so that we can keep you up-to-date with what's happening on
both cars (and because we were fighting about who got to invite you to share the
life of a No. 1 mechanic on event)! Today, each of us will tell you a little bit
about himself, his career, his role in the team and what advice well give
to the crews for Rally Finland lets hope theyll listen. ?
Im Massimo Pelucchi but everybody calls me Max, Im Italian and
Im the No.1 on Armindo Araújos MINI.
Ive always been a big fan of motorsport cars, especially rally cars,
and working in this business was always one of my dreams. I graduated in mechanics
specializing in motorsport and I started working in a garage where
I stayed for a year until I saw a very interesting classified ad in a local newspaper.
Ralliart Italia the sister company of Motorsport Italia was
looking for a mechanic. I applied, I got the job and thats how I started.
I joined the team in January 2004 and - like everybody else - I started doing
simple and easy jobs but my responsibilities quickly started to grow.
Its now seven years that Ive been working as a No.1 mechanic,
first in the Italian Rally Championship, then in the PWRC with Armindo and since
last year at the top level of the sport with the MINIs. I feel very privileged
as I have fulfilled my dream to work in the WRC and have had the fortune to get
to work with colleagues like Bruno and Roby from the very start weve
made a lot of memories together!
Preparation for Rally Finland started a long time ago at the Motorsport
Italia workshop. We run meticulous checks on the MINIs to make sure they are perfect
and nothing has been left behind. After each rally we take the whole car apart,
we clean it thoroughly and check every bit and piece before we put everything
back together. If everything goes well and we dont find any problems, it
takes two mechanics from five to seven days and a lot of hard work to get this
Enough about Max, its my turn! Im Marco from Portugal, Im
the teams Chief Technician Im the No.1 mechanic on Paulo Nobres
car our beloved Porquinho Verde. I only started my adventure
with Motorsport Italia and WRC Team MINI Portugal at the beginning of this year
when I was invited to join the team by Team Manager Bruno and by Team Coordinator
and my old friend another Marco. I immediately fell in love with
the project and I left behind quite a lot to be in Monte-Carlo with the team from
what would have been my sixth Dakar two in the race truck and three as
Chief Mechanic through the Cross Country World Cup which I had worked on
for five years, including two victories (whoop, whoop) to the development of the
My passion for motorsport started very early as Rally de Portugal used to
run very close to my home town, I used to go and watch the beautiful night stages
near Sintra and the next morning 5km from my house I still remember
hearing the noise of the legendary Group B cars. That sound is still very clear
in my mind, I remember very well that I even used to grab my dads legs because
I was scared of the cars little did I know where Id be only a few
years later! ?
After that, the passion started to grow and I started very soon to work
in a rally drivers workshop near my house. I still remember my first job,
which was taking the stickers off the competition car - the next day I couldnt
feel my fingertips! So after school - note: my mother never allowed me to quit
school (luckily!) - I used to go straight to the workshop and thats how
everything began. Between circuit racing, rallies and cross country, here I am,
so many years later. Time really flies and I will celebrate 20 years in the business
As were getting ready for Rally Finland today, one of the most fascinating
rounds of the WRC with fast roads, breath-taking jumps and great fans
couldnt ask for more! Fighting with the Flying Finns wont
be easy as they are at home but well do our best, giving a lot of love,
attention and good care to prepare our amazing MINIs and always trying to perform
at the highest level.
As Chief Technician Im really happy with the growth of the team. It
has been a long walk for all of us due to the tight calendar but weve
always given 100% in what weve done so far. The relationships inside the
team are fantastic and I feel I should thank the whole team for all the efforts,
brotherhood and strength to help our MINI family grow!'
Were going back to work now, even though we just arrived in Finland
weve still got a lot to do and we have to prepare for the test on Monday.
Youll hear from us next week and well keep you up to speed with blow-by-blow
details during Rally Finland.
Max and Marco
12-07-27 Fords sprinters
aim to be quick out of the blocks in Finland
Sprinting will not just be the preserve of the planets best athletes next
week when Fords rally aces journey to Finland for the fastest round of the
FIA World Rally Championship. The Finnish fixture is one of the shortest in the
series history and Ford World Rally Teams drivers know its increased
intensity will push the emphasis even further towards pure speed.
Rally Finland (2 - 4 August) is affectionately known as The Finnish Grand
Prix as drivers do battle through the Scandinavian forests at average speeds
of up to 135kph. The 2012 version will be a sprinters paradise with just
303.52km of competition, the least scheduled for a WRC round since accurate records
Such is the pace in the country regarded as rallyings spiritual home, that
after 500 WRC rounds since the series started in 1973, eight of the 10 fastest
rallies have been in Finland.
Fords Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila know exactly what is required
to succeed. The Finns won on home ground in 2010 and finished on the podium in
each of the last three seasons. Team-mates Petter Solberg and Chris Patterson
are eager to gatecrash the Finns dominance of their home rally. The Norwegian
driver finished second in 2003 and third the previous year.
This is a sprint in the truest sense, said 27-year-old Latvala. The
pace is such that time differences are small and if you make a mistake theres
no opportunity to regain the seconds lost. Every error is magnified. Pre-event
testing is more important here than elsewhere because you must start the rally
100 per cent happy with the car set-up and feeling, added Latvala, whose
two-day test ends today.
Latvala and Solbergs Fiesta RS World Rally Cars will carry a special one-off
livery highlighting Fords EcoBoost engine technology as part of a worldwide
initiative in August across Fords motorsport programmes.
The 1.6-litre turbocharged engine that powers the rally cars draws on the knowledge
of Fords advanced EcoBoost technology, which provides increased fuel efficiency
and decreased emissions on its latest production vehicles. The livery will also
feature on cars in other disciplines, including the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide
Series and the Chinese Touring Car Championship.
Rally Finland is one of the jewels in the WRC crown. It comprises a mix of hard,
wide and fast roads combined with narrower, technical sections and huge crowds
will pack the forests to view the action.
The characteristics of the smooth gravel speed tests make this one of the most
difficult events in the calendar. The blisteringly fast roads are littered with
roller-coaster, stomach-churning jumps, which frequently hide bends over the crests.
They demand extreme bravery from the driving seat and pinpoint accuracy in the
delivery of pace notes from the co-driver. It is essential to select the correct
line before take-off to ensure maximum pace through the following
curves. Finns who nurtured their careers on roads of this nature have an advantage
over outsiders who require many years experience to fully adapt
to the driving style.
When you approach a big jump at 180kph its essential to kill the speed
before take-off, said Latvala. If the speed is too high, the aerodynamics
will force the back of the car down and the front, which is lighter, will rise.
The tactic is to brake, perhaps drop a gear, and accelerate full throttle over
the jump. Braking over the jump itself means the suspension isnt free and
the landing could be bad.
The final leg brings the return of the classic Ouninpohja test, run to its full
33.01km distance for the first time since 2007. Regarded by many as the best special
stage in the sport, the first 23km are held over wide, fast roads with many huge
jumps, before a spectacular hairpin bend sends competitors back into the forest
on narrow, more technical sections.
Solberg set the stage record in 2005 and the 37-year-old Norwegian is happy to
see it back on the schedule. The rally will be decided over those roads.
Its incredibly demanding and difficult. Its not so technical in the
traditional sense, especially on the wide roads. But the speed is so high that
if your line isnt correct over the jumps, its easy to make a mistake
which can end your rally, he said.
Its an amazing feeling to complete that stage knowing you have driven
as well as you could. Relief, happiness, confidence theyre all feelings
you experience when you have mastered Ouninpohja. Without doubt, its the
best stage in the entire championship, added Solberg, who was bubbling with
enthusiasm after completing what he described as one of his best-ever
tests on Wednesday.
* Michelins Latitude Cross gravel tyres will be used by the Ford drivers
and 40 of these will be available in soft compound only. Teams are not allowed
to hand-carve additional cuts into the tyres and each car can carry two spare
* Eight privately-run Fiesta RS WRCs are entered. Ott Tänak / Kuldar Sikk
and Evgeny Novikov / Denis Giraudet are nominated by M-Sport Ford World Rally
Team, while Adapta World Rally Teams Mads Østberg / Jonas Andersson
return after missing the previous round. Monster World Rally Teams Ken Block
/ Alex Gelsomino make their third WRC start of the year and Martin Prokop / Zdenek
Hruza crew the Czech Ford National Team car. Three Finnish crews complete the
list, Jari Ketomaa / Mika Stenberg, Matti Rantanen / Mikko Lukka and Sebastian
Lindholm / Timo Hantunen. Thirty-nine of the 86 entered crews will drive Ford
cars, spanning 19 different nationalities.
* The rally marks the third round of the Ford Racing-supported FIA WRC Academy.
Eleven young drivers will campaign identical Fiesta R2 cars over 17 of the rallys
18 stages. The series is led by Britains Alastair Fisher / Daniel Barritt.
* The full 2012 Ford World Rally team merchandise range is now available following
the launch of the new clothing series. Featuring T-shirts, polo shirts, fleeces
and shell jackets, the range appears mainly in Ford motorsport blue, with white
and black kinetic design panels. A limited edition range of merchandise will also
be launched to celebrate the EcoBoost livery in which the teams Fiesta RS
WRC will compete. Sneak previews will appear on Fords WRC social media channels.
Route modifications have brought an itinerary that again journeys south to Lahti,
but includes two full days around Jyväskylä, which hosts the single
service park at its Paviljonki exhibition centre. Virtually all the locations
are familiar, but some stages will be used in a reverse direction to keep crews
on their toes. After an early afternoon start on Thursday, competitors convene
at Lahtis picturesque harbour before tackling three stages as they return
to Jyväskylä. A long day on Friday covers territory mainly west of the
city before ending with a super special stage at the Killeri trotting track. The
final leg includes classic tests south-west of the rally base near Jämsä.
It closes with two passes over Ouninpohja, the second pass comprising the Power
Stage with bonus points on offer to the fastest three drivers. An evening finish
awaits in Jyväskylä after 18 stages in a route of 1625.69km.
RALLY FINLAND ROUND 8 FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
1 - 4 August 2012
Wednesday 1 August: Qualifying
QS Ruuhimäki 4.62km 19.30
Thursday 2 August: Day 1: Jyväskylä - Jyväskylä
Start Paviljonki 13.30
SS1 Koukunmaa 13.68km 17.23
SS2 SSS Jokimaa 2.00km 19.00
SS3 Mynnilä 14.22km 20.50
Serv A Paviljonki (flexi 45 mins) 22.35
Finish Paviljonki 23.20
Friday 3 August: Day 2: Jyväskylä - Jyväskylä
Serv B Paviljonki (15 mins) 06.30
SS4 Urria 12.75km 07.42
SS5 Jukojärvi 22.29km 08.39
Serv C Paviljonki (30 mins) 10.05
SS6 Mökkiperä 1 11.38km 11.28
SS7 Palsankylä 1 13.92km 12.14
SS8 Lankamaa 1 23.06km 13.32
Serv D Paviljonki (30 mins) 14.45
SS9 Mökkiperä 2 11.38km 16.08
SS10 Palsankylä 2 13.92km 16.54
SS11 Lankamaa 2 23.06km 18.12
SS12 SSS Killeri 2.06km 20.00
Serv E Paviljonki (flexi 45 mins) 20.30
Finish Paviljonki 21.15
Saturday 4 August: Day 3: Jyväskylä - Jyväskylä
Serv F Paviljonki (15 mins) 07.00
SS13 Surkee 1 14.95km 07.56
SS14 Leustu 1 21.94km 08.54
Serv G Paviljonki (30 mins) 10.07
SS15 Surkee 2 14.95km 11.18
SS16 Leustu 2 21.94km 12.16
Serv H Paviljonki (30 mins) 13.29
SS17 Ouninpohja 1 33.01km 15.37
SS18 Ouninpohja 2 33.01km 18.00
Serv E Paviljonki (10 mins) 20.03
Finish Paviljonki 21.00
Rally total 303.52km
12-07-03 Ford överväger
att avbryta WRC satsning efter 2013. Satsning på IRC lockande
Ford överväger att efter nästa att säsong avslutats avbryta
sin satsning på WRC och istället satsa på att köra i det
konkurrerande mästerskapet IRC(Intercontinental Rally Challange). Det är
beskedet att en ny promotor för WRC inte är på gång som
har fått Ford på andra tankar.
"FIA måste inse att vi är ett halvår ifrån nästa
års säsongs start och en promotor är inte tillsatt än"
säger Ford Europas motorsportchef Gerald Quinn
- "Det tog förra promotorn(North One) två år att sätta
sig in i arbetet, och beskedet i från i fredags är mycket oroande och
har stor inverkan på Fords syn på WRC. "
Ford är knutna till WRC till och med nästa säsong och har funderingar
på att till 2014 byta till det Eurosport promotade mästerskapet IRC
- "IRC är ett klassiskt exempel på hur ett mästerskap ska
skötas. IRC har genom TV, media och socialamedier nått ut till en bredare
publik och får på så sätt en större exponering. Det
är ett framåtriktat och framgångsrikt sätt att arbeta på"
- "Men misstolka inte detta. Ford är helt och hållet knutna till
WRC till och med 2013, och jag hatar tanken att bryta upp med WRC, men som situationen
ser ut så kommer vi att efter nästa års säsong titta på
möjligheterna för framtiden, och IRC är ett alternativ. Säger
12-06-25 Ramona och Miriams egna
ord om branden
Imorgon flyger Ramona och Miriam hem till Sverige igen efter det abrupta slutet
av Rally-VM i Nya Zeeland, som slutade i en brand. Efter två tredjedelar
av rallyt låg tjejerna på en trygg andraplats efter Argentinaren Marcos
Ligato, och med cirka tre minuter ledning före Aksa från Indonesien.
Taktiken var att köra med säkerhetsmarginal för att säkra
2:a-platsen under de sista milen som återstod. Men så hände det
som inte fick hända. Plötsligt började bilen brinna mitt på
sträckan, och Ramona och Miriam fick kasta sig ur i farten. Här följer
en sammanfattning av rallyt, och med tjejernas egna ord om vad som hände.
Fredagens etapp var en ordentlig utmaning för hela teamet. Med 20 mil SS,
och enbart en 15 minuters remoteservice som serviceuppehåll, gällde
det att både köra snabbt och säkert. En remoteservice innebär
att vi och mekanikerna enbart får serva och laga eventuella skador på
bilen med de reservdelar vi har med oss i rallybilen, förklarar Miriam.
Tjejerna lade in ett högt tempo från start, där de genast lade
sig i toppen av VM-fältet. Med topptider på varje sträcka, varav
två sträcksegrar, fick de äntligen ett kvitto på deras kapacitet.
Det var en helt fantastisk känsla. Mekanikerna har gjort ett fantastiskt
jobb med vår Mitsubishi EVO X som fungerar perfekt, och vi hittade ett högt
med samtidigt säkert tempo där vi inte tog några risker. Ramona
och Miriam tog sig i mål efter fredagens etapp på en trygg andraplats,
1.40 efter Argentinaren Marcos Ligato, och 40 sekunder före Ukrainaren Valeriy
Gorban. Taktiken under lördagen var att bevaka andraplatsen, vilket de gjorde
med marginal. Inför lördagens sista sträcka hade de cirka tre minuter
ned till tredjeplatsen då Gorban gjorde en avåkning och Subhan Aksa
från Indonesien istället tog över pallplatsen .
Nu visste vi att om vi bara tog oss i mål med ett stabilt tempo och
samtidigt höll koll på Aksa, så skulle 2:a-platsen vara vår.
Men så hände det som inte fick hända. Efter cirka 4 kilometer
in på dagens sista sträcka började bilen plötsligt att brinna
- Först kände vi en enorm värme i bilen. Miriam vände sig
bakåt och såg att hela bakdelen av bilen stod i flammor, och skrek
till mig att det brinner. Inom loppet av någon sekund kom lågorna
in i kupén och vi var omringade av eld. Vi var tvungna att kasta oss ur
bilen i farten, varefter rallybilen fortsatte in i en jordvall och brann upp,
- Sekunderna innan vi såg varandra, och visste att vi båda var okej,
kändes som timmar. Det var en enorm lättnad. När vi sedan vände
oss om och såg bilen som fullständigt var i lågor, var vi glada
och än mer lättade att vi hade klarat oss så bra som vi gjorde,
säger Miriam, som klarade sig undan med en lätt stukad fot efter att
ha fastnat i störtbågen och släpats med en bit på vägen.
Ramona fick en mindre och lättare brännskada, men annars mår tjejerna
under omständigheterna bra.
-Vår Mitsubishi är utrustad med den allra bästa säkerhetsutrustningen,
samt att vår personliga tävlingsutrustning är av högsta standard,
så vi klarade oss väldigt bra, säger Ramona
- All cred till Ricardo Trivinio med co-driver Alex Haro som var först på
plats efter olyckan, och till ambulans- och räddningsmän som blixtsnabbt
kom till plats med helikopter, säger Ramona och Miriam. Orsaken till branden
är ännu oklar. Ramona och Miriam flyger hem till Sverige imorgon och
har redan börjat arbeta inför nästa VM-tävling.
Detta ska inte få sätta käppar i hjulet för vår
fortsatta satsning. Vi är självklart otroligt besvikna över att
blivit totalsnuvade på vår första pallplats i VM, men vi måste
ta med oss det positiva mitt i denna bedrövelse. Vi är jättenöjda
med vår prestation, och den kan ingen ta ifrån oss.
Nu ska vi bara lösa den praktiska biten, vi tar en dag i taget och kommer
att jobba stenhårt för att sitta i en rallybil så snart som möjligt
igen, säger Ramona och Miriam.
12-06-24 The Finish but not the
'It's Tomo again this will be my last column here at Rally New Zealand. It was
a great weekend for WRC Team MINI Portugal with both drovers successfully completing
every stage! Armindo finished the rally in the Top 10 in 8th earning himself four
WRC points and Paulo brought his MINI home safely in 17th place overall.
'After two long drives to Remote Services on the first two days, it was great
to enjoy a quiet day in Auckland's main Service Park and I have to tell you we
had a fantastic view of the city skyline. Today's stages were based north of Auckland
and the itinerary included two runs through a Tarmac Super Special Stage at the
city's World Memorial Museum.
'We're getting used to the rain now, and it was well-predicted last night! Today
Armindo had a mix of two used soft tyres on the right side of his MINI and two
new soft tyres the left side. Choosing to fit the tyres side-to-side aims to keep
the balance between the front and the rear of the car. Paulo's MINI sported four
used soft tyres still in good condition and reported that the Puhoi stage (SS17)
was particularly slippery. Armindo's task for today was keeping Ken Block behind
him and then waiting to see if any crews in front had a problem. This strategy
worked well and we bagged 8th place after Tanak rolled on the penultimate stage.
We had a trouble free rally and it's a real testament to the team that after three
hard events the cars ran like clockwork. Armindo's confidence grew and his times
were the most competitive of his MINI career on gravel, which is a real bonus
going into the next event, Rally Finland. In Finland the roads will be in complete
contrast to New Zealand but grip levels can be similar.
'I had the benefit of being supported by George Corfield for the week. George
specialises in working with engine activity, fits in very well with the team and
has a lot of experience. He also worked on the development of MINI WRC so can
really give good insight into how to prepare the car best for an event!
'One of my favourite memories of this week for the team was getting to see our
Team Manager Bruno fishing on a MINI [pictured above] in the middle of Auckland's
harbour, a real treat! :-) Although, the professional highlight of the event for
me was getting both cars to the finish without problems. It's been a busy run,
with Rally Argentina, then MINI United followed by the Greece test, Acropolis
Rally and Rally New Zealand coming thick and fast. We had to re-shell a car in
the Service Park in Greece after an accident on the test ruled out using the car
on the rally. This was a real feat and showed that the team has real depth in
being able to react quickly and effectively to unpredictable situations. Most
people didn't even notice this occurred other than the few people who spotted
a bodyshell arriving on a transporter late on Tuesday afternoon prior to the rally.
For this reason I'm really delighted that the guys at MINI New Zealand gave all
the mechanics and myself a traditional Maori friendship token to mark the hard
work that's gone in since the start of the season, especially over the last few
months. Often mechanics are the unsung heroes of a rally operation!
'It was great to be back in New Zealand, it's a truly beautiful country. It was
nice to drive around the North Island, the service in Raglan, refuels and Whangarei
were a pleasure to visit. New Zealand has stunning views, the weather at this
time of year makes it all the more special - watching huge clouds roll in across
the rugged landscape you often think you could be in Wales and then you are reminded
you aren't when you spot a huge prehistoric fern! Magic!
'For now it's time to pack up the containers for the sea freight and await the
cars coming out of Parc Ferme so we can prep them for their long flight back to
Europe. Today I've already sent the setup sheets, damper and transmission specs
for the Tarmac test in San Remo where we have some good roads which mirror conditions
in Germany. In no time at all, Rally New Zealand will be a fond memory!
'Thanks for following WRC Team MINI Portugal's adventures over the weekend and
stay tuned for more behind the scenes stories!
'Cheers and best wishes, Tomo
Final Overall Classification Rally New Zealand
1.S. Loeb (FRA)/ D. Elena (MCO) Citroen 4:04:51.2
2.Hirvonen (FIN)/ J. Lehtinen (FIN) Citroen +29.6
3.P. Solberg (NOR)/ C. Patterson (GBR) Ford 1:36.4
4.E. Novikov (RUS)/ D. Giraudet (FRA) Ford +2:13.6
5.T. Neuville (BEL)/ N. Gilsoul (BEL) Citroen +2:42.4
6.D. Sordo (ESP)/ C. Del Barrio (ESP) MINI +3:03.1
7.J.M Latvala (FIN)/ M. Anttila (FIN) Ford +4:52.9
8.A. Araújo (PRT)/ M. Ramalho (PRT) MINI +9:36.4
9.K. Block (USA)/ A. Gelsomino (USA) Ford +10:30.3
10.M. Stohl (AUT)/ I. Minor (AUT) Ford +11:26.3
17.P.Nobre (BRA)/ E. Paula (BRA) MINI +31:53.5
35.A. Dalstein (FRA)/ Y. Lavigne (FRA) Mitsubishi +2:37:02.8
2012 FIA Drivers' Championship Standings
S. Loeb 145/ M. Hirvonen 107/ P. Solberg 90/ M. Ostberg 80/E. Novikov 55 / J.M.
Latvala 54/ M.
12-06-24 Elsewhere end of Day quotes
Rally New Zealand Day 3
Ken Block, Monster World Rally Team, Ford Fiesta RS WRC (9th)
I am happy to have finished with a good result. The stages here really are
awesome and I have had such fun driving them these really are some of the
best stages in the world.
Manfred Stohl, Brazil World Rally Team, Ford Fiesta RS WRC (10th)
We achieved what we aimed for to finish and the championship
point just makes it even better. Having not competed for five years, you forget
just how fantastic this rally is and I have really enjoyed competing here this
Jari Ketomaa, Ford Fiesta RS WRC (11th)
It was really slippery on the first stage this afternoon [SS19], but I am
happy to have made it to the end. We had a few problems with punctures and some
small set-up details earlier in the weekend, so for sure the result could have
been a little better. But the stages here are fantastic.
Maciej Oleksowicz, Ford Fiesta S2000 (26th)
We have had a pretty eventful weekend. I pushed the Fiesta [S2000] to the
limit but we made it to the end which proves just how strong the car is! To finish
on the podium again [in the S-WRC], despite our problems, is fantastic!
Louise Cook, Ford Fiesta ST (27th)
It hasnt been the easiest of rallies for us. This being our first
time to New Zealand we struggled a little with the pacenotes and I havent
felt 100 per cent all weekend. But to make it to the end is a great result and
I have loved every second of competing on these stages.
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Ford Fiesta RRC (28th)
We had some troubles earlier in the weekend but we made it to the finish
for fourth place and some good points [in the S-WRC]. The stages here have all
been really nice and really good fun to drive.
12-06-24 Novikov first of the
privateers as heartache strikes Tänak
M-Sport Ford World Rally Teams Evgeny Novikov secured fourth place overall
at the 2012 Brother Rally New Zealand today. Never out of the top-ten, the youngster
continually challenged the works drivers in terms of stage times and proved himself
to be one of the most exciting young talents in the World Rally Championship.
Elsewhere however, there was heartache for team mate Ott Tänak who was forced
to retire from the event on the penultimate stages.
Taking in 61.33 kilometres of competitive stages not used since the 1990s, the
final day of competition saw a mature drive from Novikov and co-driver Denis Giraudet
as the pairing consolidated their fourth place and best of the rest
status. Despite his composure behind the wheel of his Ford Fiesta RS WRC, Novikov
set an impressive pace over the morning loop. Making the most of Michelins
soft option tyres in the muddy conditions, the 21-year-old posted the second fastest
time over both Brother Puhoi 1 (SS18) and the short asphalt test on SSS Auckland
Domain 1 (SS19).
A faultless run followed over the afternoon loop and a string of top-ten stage
times saw Novikov secure fourth place overall with almost half a minute in hand
to his nearest rival, 24-year-old Belgian Thierry Neuville. Scoring vital points
for both the drivers and manufacturers championships, Novikov now
lies fifth in the overall standings one point ahead of Ford World Rally
Teams Jari-Matti Latvala with M-Sport Ford World Rally team third.
Elsewhere however, there was heartache for Tänak and fellow countryman Kuldar
Sikk on SS20. The Estonian had been running strongly in fifth place, and with
a string of competitive times over the morning loop including a second
fastest time just 0.6 seconds adrift of stage victory on SS16 was keeping
rival Neuville at bay.
However disaster struck on the afternoon loop when the 24-year-old was caught
out behind the wheel of his Ford Fiesta RS WRC on a fast section six kilometres
into SS20. Going off the road, both crew members were unharmed but the incident
put an untimely end to the duos event having been on course for a strong
Evgeny Novikov (4th) said:
The roads were very fast today and the conditions have been very difficult,
but our tyre choice has worked very well again so I am pleased with that. Even
the smallest mistake can cause the car to roll in these sorts of conditions so
we decided not to push today. Fourth place is a very good result for us and I
have really enjoyed the stages all weekend.
Ott Tänak (DNF) said:
Everything went well this morning. Thierry [Neuville] was going really well,
but we set some good times and were able to keep him behind us. Unfortunately,
I was caught out on a really fast section this afternoon [six kilometres into
SS20] and we went off the road.
I was trying to push as we lost a lot of time to Thierry on that stage over
the morning loop. He was on softs for the afternoon, and we were on hards, so
I knew I had to try hard. Unfortunately, the New Zealand camber caught us out.
Obviously I am very disappointed. Now I just need to concentrate on Finland
where hopefully we can finish with a strong result.
12-06-24 Solberg secures podium
place for Ford at Rally New Zealand
Ford World Rally Team drivers Petter Solberg and Chris Patterson claimed their
fourth podium of the season when they finished third in Brother Rally New Zealand
today. Driving a Ford Fiesta RS World Rally Car, they battled up the leaderboard
after losing time early in the three-day rally and climbed to third in the FIA
World Rally Championship driver standings.
Team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila finished seventh in the squads
other Fiesta RS WRC. They held a comfortable third until late in the opening leg
when they dropped more than 4min 30sec after their car slid into a fence and became
tangled in wire. The Finns claimed maximum bonus points for winning the final
live TV Power Stage today, with Solberg taking second.
This seventh round of the 13-event season was based in the middle of the southern
hemispheres winter. Temperatures were mild but heavy rain showers ensured
tyre selection for the fast and flowing gravel speed tests around Auckland was
always tricky, as teams strived to find the perfect balance between Michelins
hard and soft compound rubber in rapidly changing conditions.
New Zealands smooth but heavily-cambered North Island roads are regarded
as among the best in the championship. Drivers enjoyed 413.94km of competition
over 22 special stages in the lush, rolling farmland as the championship celebrated
its 500th round since its launch in 1973.
Solberg lost time on Friday morning when the team mistakenly opted for hard compound
tyres in cool and damp conditions. The 90sec time loss dropped the 37-year-old
Norwegian to seventh, but he recovered to fourth by the end of the day. Solberg
moved into the top three early yesterday and was the fastest driver through the
second leg, but the time gap to those ahead remained big and he eased through
the final day to consolidate third.
We came here with a good car and a big opportunity but unfortunately Fridays
mistake ended our hopes of a win, admitted Solberg. That was sad for
the team, but a podium is still a good result. The key today was to stay calm
to secure third, and taking bonus points in the Power Stage was a good ending.
We need some luck and make sure were fully prepared for the next rallies
to try to secure that elusive win at last. The speed of the car is fantastic and
everyone in the team is pushing hard for victory, so Im confident it will
come soon, he added.
Latvala was fastest in qualifying and after leading initially, the 27-year-old
settled into third. However, his victory hopes ended late on Friday when his car
hit a hole and spun into a fence. Although there was no damage, some wire became
wrapped around a wheel and the car was unmoveable until the crew used some clippers
to cut it free.
The incident relegated Latvala to ninth, but he climbed to eighth yesterday and
moved up another place today, despite intermittent rain making conditions tricky
over the seven stages covering 61.33km. With no chance of a podium, Latvala also
took the opportunity to test some revised differential settings on his Fiesta
Today I started to regain my speed and confidence and Im happy to
earn bonus points for winning the Power Stage, he said. I struggled
on Friday and after my spin I focused on testing. That brought some good ideas
for the next round in Finland. Looking at the points, I have no chance for the
drivers championship now but the main thing will be to keep fighting for
victory on every rally.
Its good that the summer break is here and I can try to relax and
come back with a refreshed spirit for the second half of the season. I want to
analyse everything that has happened so far this year, get rid of any negative
thoughts, and move forward, added Latvala.
Ford World Rally Team director Malcolm Wilson praised Solbergs recovery
drive. We made a mistake with the tyres on Friday which proved expensive,
but he fought back well to finish third. Of course, its disappointing to
come away with just third, especially after Jari-Matti was fighting for a win.
We have the speed from the car and drivers, but we need to put together the pieces
of the jigsaw to convert our pace into victories. Im confident we can do
that in the second half of the year, he said.
Ford Racing senior manager Gerard Quinn said: On a weekend where tyre choice
was critical and the weather made for challenging driving, Im satisfied
to finish this rally and close the first half of the season with a podium. Jari-Mattis
Power Stage win and Petters second place also brings valuable points in
the drivers championship. Our team now has a six-week break before Rally
Finland, in which well concentrate on preparing a strong challenge for the
second part of the season.
News from other Ford teams
M-Sport Ford World Rally Teams Evgeny Novikov / Denis Giraudet finished
fourth in their Fiesta RS WRC, 37.2sec behind Solberg. However, team-mates Ott
Tänak / Kuldar Sikk rolled into retirement three stages from the finish as
they tried to hold off a charging Thierry Neuville. Monster World Rally Teams
Ken Block / Alex Gelsomino finished ninth in only their second outing of the season.
Brazil World Rally Teams Manfred Stohl / Ilka Minor completed the leaderboard
in 10th in Stohls first world rally since December 2007. Jari Ketomaa /
Mika Stenberg finished 13th.
The series pauses for a six-week break before the second half of the championship
begins with Rally Finland, which is based in Jyväskylä on 2 - 4 August.
1. S Loeb/D Elena FRA Citroen DS3 4hr 04min 51.2sec
2. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen FIN Citroen DS3 4hr 05min 20.8sec
3. P Solberg/C Patterson NOR Ford Fiesta RS 4hr 06min 27.6sec
4. E Novikov/D Giraudet RUS Ford Fiesta RS 4hr 07min 04.8sec
5. T Neuville/N Gilsoul BEL Citroen DS3 4hr 07min 33.6sec
6. D Sordo/C Del Barrio ESP Mini John Cooper 4hr 07min 54.3sec
7. J-M Latvala/M Anttila FIN Ford Fiesta RS 4hr 09min 44.1sec
8. A Araujo/M Ramalho PRT Mini John Cooper 4hr 14min 27.6sec
9. K Block/A Gelsomino USA Ford Fiesta RS 4hr 15min 21.5sec
10 M Stohl/I Minor AUT Ford Fiesta RS 4hr 16min 17.5sec
1. S Loeb 145pts
2. M Hirvonen 107pts
3. P Solberg 90pts
4. M Østberg 80pts
5. E Novikov 55pts
6. J-M Latvala 54pts
1. Citroen Total WRT 237pts
2. Ford WRT 144pts
3. M-Sport Ford WRT 103pts
4. Qatar WRT 47pts
5. Citroen Junior WRT 42pts
6. Adapta WRT 27pts
Stage 16: 1. Neuville 4min 13.6sec; 2. Tänak + 0.6; 3. Latvala + 1.1; 4=
Solberg, Sordo + 2.5; 6. Loeb + 2.9.
Overall: 1. Loeb 3hr 32min 08.4sec; 2. Hirvonen + 10.5; 3. Solberg + 1:32.9; 4.
Novikov + 2:03.8; 5. Tänak + 2:21.5; 6. Neuville + 2:44.3; 8. Latvala + 4:56.2.
Stage 17: 1. Neuville 10min 22.6sec; 2. Novikov + 4.7; 3. Sordo + 5.1; 4. Latvala
+ 6.0; 5. Loeb + 6.4; 6. Solberg + 6.9.
Overall: 1. Loeb 3hr 42min 37.4sec; 2. Hirvonen + 15.8; 3. Solberg + 1:33.4; 4.
Novikov + 2:02.1; 5. Tänak + 2:23.2; 6. Neuville + 2:37.9; 8. Latvala + 4:55.8.
Stage 18: 1. Sordo 1min 44.0sec; 2. Novikov + 1.4; 3. Solberg + 1.8; 4. Tänak
+ 2.1; 5. Loeb + 2.6; 6. Latvala + 3.3.
Overall: 1. Loeb 3hr 44min 24.0sec; 2. Hirvonen + 17.4; 3. Solberg + 1:32.6; 4.
Novikov + 2:00.9; 5. Tänak + 2:22.7; 6. Neuville + 2:39.0; 8. Latvala + 4:56.5.
Stage 19: 1. Sordo 1min 41.7sec; 2. Loeb + 2.7; 3. Stohl + 3.0; 4. Neuville +
3.8; 5. Tänak + 3.9; 6. Novikov + 4.6; 7. Latvala + 4.7; 13. Solberg + 6.9.
Overall: 1. Loeb 3hr 46min 08.4sec; 2. Hirvonen + 20.9; 3. Solberg + 1:36.8; 4.
Novikov + 2:02.8; 5. Tänak + 2:23.9; 6. Neuville + 2:40.1; 8. Latvala + 4:58.5.
Stage 20: 1. Neuville 10min 22.2sec; 2. Loeb + 1.8; 3. Latvala + 2.1; 4. Solberg
+ 3.7; 5. Hirvonen + 6.2; 6= Novikov, Sordo + 6.4.
Overall: 1. Loeb 3hr 56min 32.4sec; 2. Hirvonen + 25.3; 3. Solberg + 1:38.7; 4.
Novikov + 2:07.4; 5. Neuville + 2:38.3; 6. Sordo + 3:03.5; 7. Latvala + 4:58.8.
Stage 21: 1. Latvala 3min 58.6sec; 2. Solberg + 2.1; 3. Sordo + 2.5; 4. Novikov
+ 2.7; 5. Hirvonen + 4.0; 6. Loeb + 4.2.
Overall: 1. Loeb 4hr 00min 35.2sec; 2. Hirvonen + 25.1; 3. Solberg + 1:36.6; 4.
Novikov + 2:05.9; 5. Neuville + 2:40.8; 6. Sordo + 3:01.8; 7. Latvala + 4:54.6.
Stage 22: 1. Latvala 4min 14.3sec; 2. Solberg + 1.4; 3. Loeb + 1.6; 4. Sordo +
2.9; 5. Neuville + 3.2; 6. Hirvonen + 6.2.
Overall: 1. Loeb 4hr 04min 51.2sec; 2. Hirvonen + 29.6; 3. Solberg + 1:36.4; 4.
Novikov + 2:13.6; 5. Neuville + 2:42.4; 6. Sordo + 3:03.1; 7. Latvala + 4:52.9.
12-06-24 P-G Andersson tvåa
trots superrally i Rally New Zealand - klättrade upp till andra plats i VM-tabellen
Per-Gunnar "P-G" Andersson och hans co-driver Emil Axelsson slutade
tvåa i VM-rallyt på Nya Zeeland i helgen. I och med den placeringen
klättrar de även upp till andra plats i VM-tabellen för Super 2000
- "Det var inte riktigt så här vi hade tänkt oss det hela"
skrattar P-G "Men med tanke på att vi fick utnyttja superrallyregeln
både på fredagen och lördagen är jag jättenöjd
med en andra plats".
I fredags tvingades de bryta rallyt i ledning efter en notmiss:
- "Det var helt vårt fel. Vi missbedömde helt enkelt en nog under
rekogonseringen. Jag vet inte när eller ens om det hänt förut"
säger P-G besviket. "Vi hade bedömt det som en vänster 4 minus,
men i själva verket var det en vänster 3".
De startade om under lördagen och avancerade upp från andra plats till
fjärde plats. Men på lördagens sista sträcka tvingades de
kasta in handduken igen:
- "Det var inget speciellt som hände. Vi fick lov att stoppa med trasig
styrarm" berättar P-G.
Under fredagens sträckor var det inga som helst draman för svenskarns
som åkte och bevakade sin andra plats efter Hayden Paddon.
Mer info, hittar du på www.pgandersson.se.
Där vi följt rallyt sträcka för sträcka
Rally New Zealand, Super 2000
1. Hayden Paddon (NZ) 4:20:17.4
2. P-G Andersson 4:53:37.1 +33:19.7
3. Maciej Oleksovicz (PL) 5:03:55.3 +43:37.9
4. Yazeed Al Rajhi (Sa) 5:10:02.5 +49:45.1
Komplett resultat: http://www.wrc.com/swrc/results/2012/brother-rally-new-zealand/stage-times/
VM-tabellen efter fyra deltävlingar:
1. Hayden Paddon (NZ) 62 poäng
2. P-G Andersson 43 poäng
2,Craig Breen (GB) 43 poäng
4. Majicej Oleksowicz (PL) 41 poäng
5. Yazeed Al Rahji (Sau) 22 poäng
12-06-23 More MINI Adventures Halfway
Round the World
'Here we are again at the end of another day at Rally New Zealand with both cars
safely parked in Parc Fermé ready for the start of the last leg of the
rally tomorrow. Armindo is still in the Top 10, in 9th overall, while Paulo finished
the day having climbed to 18th position.
'The day began once again with tyre choice, but today it was an easy one. Armindo
used both sets of soft tyres yesterday, so the choice for today was basically
made for us. Most crews went with hard tyres with only Paulo, fellow MINI driver
Dani Sordo and Petter Solberg going with softs in the morning. We had to try to
maximise the grip for Armindo with small adjustments to the dampers to make the
behaviour of the MINI more progressive. Unfortunately Armindo lost some time in
the first stages of the day. Some of this could be attributed to Armindo holding
back until he was confident in finding a good rhythm due to the combination of
the hard tyre and patchy drying conditions. However, he was also cautious because
he could also hear a noise from the left rear damper top mount on the road section
to SS11 - the second stage of the day. Fortunately, this didnt cost any
time in the stage technically and the boys did a great job in repairing it at
Remote Service in Whangarei.
'We actually carry a sort of metal super glue in the MINI for these situations.
The temporary repair held for half the afternoon but finally let go again late
in the day. Luckily again it didnt cost time in the stages - it was more
of an annoyance and Armindo managed to finish the day unperturbed. As soon as
he got back to the main Service Park in Auckland for tonight's Flexi-Service,
new parts were fitted to replace the damaged ones in the first four minutes of
the 45 minute service.
'Paulo had a great day enjoying the challenging northern stages. We trimmed the
MINI's height slightly for the second pass through Mitatai Girl School 2 (SS15)
and only effected routine maintenance this evening.
'To be sure we had every eventuality covered, the part that troubled Armindo was
also checked on Paulos car as a precaution and both MINIs are now all set
'During the service this evening we start to have a round-up of our weather information.
This includes satellite imagery and forecasting as well as people near the stages.
Whilst we are expecting a lot of rain tomorrow we haven't made any chassis changes
to react to it in tonight's service. Well do this tomorrow as it only takes
3-4 minutes to change anti-roll bars and damper settings and we will then just
do the job once as accurately as possible when we are more confident of the conditions
instead of trying to second guess.
'On most occasions I will discuss matters like tyre choice with Bruno - WRC Team
MINI Portugal's Team Manager. Whilst he may be a team manager he has a good understanding
of what is sensible and not. When you are in the Service Park and time is ticking
away, your judgement can get clouded or you try to take too many factors into
account. Its then Bruno that will stand quietly and make his choice - which
often turns out to be correct! There is also the financial implication to consider.
The tyres we use on rallies are expensive so we always try to be sensible. If
we can be sensible regarding our tyre usage then we can sometimes save some budget
that can be used elsewhere to better effect. This could be an extra day's testing
for example and this is where Brunos experience really comes into play.
All I want to do as an engineer is spend money on tyres, testing, development
springs, different brake pads and anything I can think of that might make the
driver go faster. Its Bruno I have to ask if we can buy them! ;-)
'I'm really glad both MINIs made it through another day here in New Zealand, it's
a great achievement! With both cars serviced and ready for tomorrow it's time
for me and the rest of the team to relax a bit. Me and some other team members
will go for a wine tasting tonight, to try some of the fantastic wines they have
here in New Zealand. We won't be too late though and we'll not taste too many
because tomorrow we have the third and last day of competition waiting for us.
I'm really looking forward to it, let's see how the weather plays out...
Bye for now,'
12-06-23 Ramona tvingades bryta
Ramona och Miriam tvingades att bryta på lördagens sista sträcka,
då deras bil plötsligt började brinna. Båda tjejerna tog
sig ut och mår bra.
Innan detta inträffade, låg de på en säker andraplacering.
Mer information kommer senare.
12-06-23 Elsewhere end of Day Quotes
Rally New Zealand Day 2
Ken Block, Monster World Rally Team, Ford Fiesta RS WRC (10th)
Today has definitely been better than yesterday. We are having to do a little
bit of sweeping but it is generally not too bad and I am still really enjoying
the roads I love being here!
Manfred Stohl, Brazil World Rally Team, Ford Fiesta RS WRC (11th)
After five years away from the sport I forget just how amazing this rally
is! The roads are so impressive, I am enjoying it so much. I will never forget
how to drive a a rally car quickly, but I am struggling to trust my pacenotes
100 per cent and get to the limit. But I am here to finish so I dont intend
to try and find that limit!
Jari Ketomaa, Ford Fiesta RS WRC (13th)
There are a few small things that mean we are not quite as fast as I would
like to be. We need to tweak the chassis set-up slightly and I need to get a little
more confidence behind the wheel. Hopefully I can get a little faster tomorrow,
but the roads are fantastic!
Louise Cook, Ford Fiesta ST (28th)
I am really struggling with the pacenotes. We only had an hours sleep last
night as we were up checking them! It is so hard to make notes first time for
such a specialist event and I am still not feeling 100 per cent either! Still,
I am enjoying the challenge and happy to be here in New Zealand.
Maciej Oleksowicz, Ford Fiesta S2000 (30th)
I had a really slow roll on the first stage [SS9] which was really frustrating.
After the accident yesterday and then this today the rally is becoming very difficult.
I thought Portugal was difficult but this is proving to be equally as difficult
for me! Nevertheless, I cant believe how strong the Fiesta [S2000] is
I have done my best to damage it and it is still going well.
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Ford Fiesta RRC
Al Rajhi suffered from an off over the afternoon loop. The team are currently
assessing the damage sustained to his Fiesta RRC and the Saudi Arabian will hopefully
restart under Rally 2 tomorrow.
12-06-23 M-Sport Duo continue to
impress down under
M-Sport Ford World Rally Teams Evgeny Novikov and Ott Tänak continued
their strong showing over Day 2 of Brother Rally New Zealand today. Never out
of the top-ten and challenging the four works drivers on individual stage times,
the youngsters lie 4th and 5th respectively; strengthening their status as the
World Rally Championships next generation of rally victors.
Heading to the northland region for 143.01 kilometres of competitive stages in
the Whangarei and Kaipara districts, M-Sports youngsters rose to the challenge
once more. With a second remote service this time based in Whangarei
demanding a mature and composed drive, both Novikov and Tänak showed some
strong pace whilst maintaining focus and keeping their Ford Fiesta RS WRCs out
Despite losing their podium position to a resurgent Petter Solberg, Novikov and
co-driver Denis Giraudet kept their own over the morning loop. Setting the third
fastest time through the 23.22 kilometers of Brother Mititai 1 (SS10), the Russian
was just 0.7 seconds adrift of pacesetter Jari-Matti Latvala and his first stage
win in the Ford Fiesta RS WRC.
Continuing his strong drive over the afternoon loop, the 21-year-old showed his
pace once again with another third fastest time through Wapu Gorge (SS12)
less than a second adrift of eight-time world champion Sébastien Loeb
and increased his advantage to team mate Tänak to more than 20 seconds going
into the final day of competition.
Displaying real maturity, Tänak and co-driver Kuldar Sikk were back to their
best. Keeping their Ford Fiesta RS WRC on the road, the duo also displayed some
real pace over the morning loop with a fourth fastest time through the opening
test (Batley, SS9) just 2 seconds adrift of Mikko Hirvonen and a
fifth fastest time through SS10 (Brother Mititai 1) just 0.2 seconds off
the pace of rally-leader Loeb.
Tänaks pace impressed further over the afternoon leg with a second
and third fastest time over SS12 and SS13 (Waipu Gorge and Brooks) respectively.
Despite suffering a spin on SS14 (Brother Mititai 2) losing over 10 seconds
the 24-year-old set the eighth fastest time followed by another strong
showing through the following stage to bring the gap to team mate Novikov down
to just 21.3 seconds.
Looking to maintain their positions over tomorrows final day, M-Sports
young guns head north of Auckland for 61.33 kilometers of stages not used since
the 1990s and two passes of a short asphalt test at the citys War Memorial
Evgeny Novikov (4th) said:
We have had a good day, but and I havent been pushing 100 per cent.
I took it a little steadier over the morning loop which is where Petter
[Solberg] passed me but I am confident that I could have pushed a lot harder
in some of those stages.
We set some good times in the first half of the afternoon too, but I backed
right off for the last two [stages] as they are quite tricky. Now tomorrow is
all about being sensible and keeping our fourth place.
Ott Tänak (5th) said:
We have had a good day and set some good times. For us, this event is all
about making it to the end so it is good to see that our times are still there
without being totally flat out and on the limit.
On SS14 we had a spin going into a fast right-hander which cost us about
10 seconds, but I am happy with our pace and feeling comfortable in the car so
tomorrow we can look to push a little bit more.
12-06-23 Solberg fastest for Ford
in second day of Rally New Zealand
Ford World Rally Team drivers Petter Solberg and Chris Patterson were fastest
over todays second leg of Brother Rally New Zealand as they climbed to third
place. They won two speed tests this morning in a Ford Fiesta RS World Rally Car,
and maintained a strong pace throughout the afternoon to complete the day 6.0sec
faster than their closest rivals.
Team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila won one special stage this morning
as Ford completed a clean sweep of fastest times in the loop. The Finns climbed
to eighth in the process after yesterdays time loss and remained there as
they tested set-up options this afternoon, adding another stage win.
This seventh round of the FIA World Rally Championship journeyed north of Auckland
for seven fast and flowing gravel stages covering 143.01km in the Whangarei and
Kaipara districts of North Island. Clear and sunny conditions this morning ensured
the roads were surprisingly dry, but an afternoon rain shower provided a damper
surface in sections of the penultimate test.
Solberg opted for Michelins soft compound tyres on his Fiesta RS World Rally
Car this morning and despite the dry surface, they worked well in the cool temperatures.
The 37-year-old Norwegian won both the first and last tests of the loop to move
from fourth to third before competitors enjoyed the respite of a 15-minute service
in Whangarei itself.
With harder compound rubber fitted to his Fiesta RS WRC this afternoon, Solberg
maintained a strong pace to return to Auckland having stretched his advantage
over fourth-placed Evgeny Novikov to 29.2sec.
We set good stage times throughout the day without any crazy attacking,
said Solberg. I simply kept a steady pace to stay in touch with those in
front, because there was nothing to win and plenty to lose. The roads were more
slippery and muddy than we expected this afternoon, and drier than we anticipated
We have six good soft tyres left for tomorrow, but it we are to have any
chance at all of catching those in front then we need proper rain. We need to
be lucky so perhaps I should make a rain dance tonight! Well look at the
situation after the opening stage but were not going to take the level of
risk that we did at the last round in Greece, because a podium is important for
Ford, he added.
Latvala opted for hard rubber this morning and won the middle stage of the opening
loop as he moved from ninth to eighth. With no realistic chance of climbing further
on pace alone, the 27-year-old was happy to experiment with his cars set-up
and was fastest through the penultimate test.
Its difficult to see how I can move higher with big time gaps to those
ahead, said Latvala. I wasnt fighting with anyone, but concentrating
more on the cars set-up. Yesterday I didnt have a perfect feeling
with the car but we made a few set-up changes overnight and some more today. The
feeling is coming back and Im happy with the improvements.
Ford World Rally Team director Malcolm Wilson said both Solberg and Latvala enjoyed
better days today. Looking at just how close the times were, there could
have been a good battle for the lead if Petter and Jari-Matti hadnt lost
time yesterday. Each won two stages and Jari-Matti tested revised differential
settings given that he had no real prospect of catching anyone ahead.
Tomorrows forecast is for heavy rain and so the result is still not
decided. Rain would suit Petter as he still has a set of good condition soft tyres
to use, he said.
News from other Ford teams
M-Sport Ford World Rally Teams Evgeny Novikov / Denis Giraudet slipped behind
Solberg to hold fourth in their Fiesta RS WRC, 21.3sec ahead of team-mates Ott
Tänak / Kuldar Sikk. The Estonians survived a brush with a bank in stage
13 and a spin on the next test. Monster World Rally Teams Ken Block / Alex
Gelsomino remain 10th, and are now more than 70sec ahead of Brazil World Rally
Teams Manfred Stohl / Ilka Minor. Jari Ketomaa / Mika Stenberg are 13th.
The final leg is based just north of Auckland and is the shortest of the weekend.
Drivers restart at 06.40 and face two loops of stages, including two passes over
the asphalt roads at the citys War Memorial Museum. The final Power Stage
test offers bonus points to the fastest three drivers. The finish is on the citys
waterfront at 15.30 after seven stages covering 61.33km.
Leaderboard after Day 2
1. S Loeb/D Elena FRA Citroen DS3 3hr 27min 51.9sec
2. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen FIN Citroen DS3 3hr 27min 58.3sec
3. P Solberg/C Patterson NOR Ford Fiesta RS 3hr 29min 25.2sec
4. E Novikov/D Giraudet RUS Ford Fiesta RS 3hr 29min 54.4sec
5. O Tänak/K Sikk EST Ford Fiesta RS 3hr 30min 15.7sec
6. T Neuville/N Gilsoul BEL Citroen DS3 3hr 30min 39.1sec
7. D Sordo/C Del Barrio ESP Mini John Cooper 3hr 30min 57.8sec
8. J-M Latvala/M Anttila FIN Ford Fiesta RS 3hr 32min 49.9sec
9. A Araujo/M Ramalho PRT Mini John Cooper 3hr 36min 13.0sec
10 K Block/A Gelsomino USA Ford Fiesta RS 3hr 36min 59.5sec
Stage 9: 1. Solberg 9min 45.3sec; 2. Loeb + 4.3; 3. Hirvonen + 7.0; 4. Tänak
+ 9.0; 5. Novikov + 9.6; 6. Sordo + 10.0; 7. Latvala + 10.5.
Overall: 1. Loeb 2hr 17min 24.6sec; 2. Hirvonen + 6.7; 3. Solberg + 1:35.0; 4.
Novikov + 1:36.3; 5. Tänak + 1:51.7; 6. Neuville + 2:25.1; 8. Latvala + 5:02.3.
Stage 10: 1. Latvala 12min 14.4sec; 2= Novikov, Neuville + 0.7; 4. Loeb + 1.1;
5. Tänak + 1.3; 6. Solberg + 1.9.
Overall: 1. Loeb 2hr 29min 40.1sec; 2. Hirvonen + 8.5; 3. Solberg + 1:35.8; 4.
Novikov + 1:35.9; 5. Tänak + 1:51.9; 6. Neuville + 2:24.7; 8. Latvala + 5:01.2.
Stage 11: 1. Solberg 15min 34.4sec; 2. Hirvonen + 3.0; 3. Latvala + 4.0; 4. Neuville
+ 7.5; 5= Loeb, Tänak, Sordo + 9.8.
Overall: 1. Loeb 2hr 45min 24.5sec; 2. Hirvonen + 1.7; 3. Solberg + 1:26.0; 4.
Novikov + 1:40.1; 5. Tänak + 1:51.9; 6. Neuville + 2:22.4; 8. Latvala + 4:55.4.
Stage 12: 1. Loeb 6min 34.2sec; 2. Tänak + 0.8; 3. Novikov + 0.9; 4. Solberg
+ 1.5; 5. Latvala + 2.2; 6. Hirvonen + 3.1.
Overall: 1. Loeb 2hr 51min 58.7sec; 2. Hirvonen + 4.8; 3. Solberg + 1:27.5; 4.
Novikov + 1:41.0; 5. Tänak + 1:52.7; 6. Neuville + 2:26.1; 8. Latvala + 4:57.6.
Stage 13: 1. Loeb 8min 00.7sec; 2. Hirvonen + 0.6; 3. Tänak + 2.1; 4. Solberg
+ 2.2; 5. Latvala + 3.0; 6. Sordo + 3.7.
Overall: 1. Loeb 2hr 59min 59.4sec; 2. Hirvonen + 5.4; 3. Solberg + 1:29.7; 4.
Novikov + 1:46.2; 5. Tänak + 1:54.8; 6. Neuville + 2:35.4; 8. Latvala + 5:00.6.
Stage 14: 1. Latvala 12min 13.6sec; 2. Loeb + 1.2; 3= Hirvonen, Novikov + 3.7;
5. Solberg + 5.2; 6. Sordo + 5.7.
Overall: 1. Loeb 3hr 12min 14.2sec; 2. Hirvonen + 7.9; 3. Solberg + 1:33.7; 4.
Novikov + 1:48.7; 5. Tänak + 2:15.9; 6. Neuville + 2:42.3; 8. Latvala + 4:59.4.
Stage 15: 1. Hirvonen 15min 36.2sec; 2. Latvala + 0.1; 3. Solberg + 1.1; 4. Loeb
+ 1.5; 5. Neuville + 6.4; 6. Sordo + 6.6.
Overall: 1. Loeb 3hr 27min 51.9sec; 2. Hirvonen + 6.4; 3. Solberg + 1:33.3; 4.
Novikov + 2:02.5; 5. Tänak + 2:23.8; 6. Neuville + 2:47.2; 8. Latvala + 4:58.0.
12-06-22 Elswhere, end of Day Quotes,
Rally New Zealand Day 1
Ken Block, Monster World Rally Team, Ford Fiesta RS WRC (10th)
I was happier this afternoon being on the soft tyres and I changed some
diff settings which also helped. Hopefully we can continue to improve tomorrow.
I am still really enjoying the roads here in New Zealand.
Manfred Stohl, Brazil World Rally Team, Ford Fiesta RS WRC (11th)
Today has been ok. We did not have such a bad day, but unfortunately at
midday remote service we found a problem with the outer joint on the right rear
corner. With no way to fix it [in the 15 minute service] we had to be careful
to make sure we made it back to service this evening. Our aim for the event remains
the same to finish the rally.
Jari Ketomaa, Ford Fiesta RS WRC (14th)
Unfortunately we lost quite a bit of time this morning with two punctures
but this afternoon was good. With DMack having nominated soft as the main compound
for this rally we are in a strong position as all the Michelin runners only have
10 softs available. I hope this will be an advantage for us over the next two
days. We will try our best!
Louise Cook, Ford Fiesta ST (30th)
Despite suffering with flu and the challenges of adapting to a new car, Cook is
enjoying the stages and going well in 30th.
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Ford Fiesta RRC
Issues with a damaged radiator forced Al Rahji to retire for the day. The team
are working on repairing the car and the Saudi Arabian will hopefully restart
under Rally 2 tomorrow.
Maciej Oleksowicz, Ford Fiesta S2000
Following an off, the team are working on repairing the car and Oleksowicz will
hopefully restart under Rally 2 tomorrow.
12-06-22 Ramona och Miriam 2:a efter
första dagen i Nya Zeeland
Efter rallyts första dag ligger tjejerna på en andraplats i PWRC, 1:40,1
minut efter ledaren M. Ligato och 37,7 sekunder före trean V. Gorban. Tävlingen
har hitintills bjudit på övervägande snabba sträckor.
- Vi är jättenöjda, säger Ramona. Vi har klarat av rallyts
tuffaste sträckor utan en skråma på bilen, och vi har kört
i ett bra tempo utan risktaganden. På de sista specialsträckorna blev
vi något hindrade av bilen som var framför oss, men förutom det
har allting löpt på problemfritt. På SS 3 och SS 4 hade vi bästa
tiderna i PWRC, och det känns positivt!
Nu laddar Ramona och Miriam om inför morgondagens rally, som kommer att bjuda
på snabba sträckor med doserade vägar och femton mils körning
12-06-22 Consistency key for Tänak
as Novikov secures third
Proving themselves to be two of the brightest young talents in the World Rally
Championship (WRC), Evgeny Novikov and Ott Tänak reinforced M-Sport Ford
World Rally Teams status as the leading privateers over the first day of
competition at the 2012 Brother Rally New Zealand. Posting consistent top six
times, both youngsters displayed speed and intelligence; making the right tyre
choices and completing a faultless drive to lay third and fifth respectively at
the end of Day 1.
Covering 209.60 competitive kilometres over half the events total
distance the cambered stages south-west of the rally base in Auckland demanded
constant concentration. Split by a remote service in Raglan, the M-Sport duo had
to contend with the added challenge of having limited spares available for the
short 15 minute service. Nevertheless, rising to the challenge, the pairing showed
a sense of maturity which, teamed with their obvious pace, paid dividends on the
Tasman Sea coastline.
Choosing to shod their Ford Fiesta RS WRC with Michelins option soft tyre
over the morning loop, Novikov and co-driver Denis Giraudet proved that they had
the intuition as well as the pace. With the muddy stages failing to dry, the young
Russians decision proved pivotal. Getting into his rhythm, Novikov posted
the fourth fastest time over the first run of Te Akau South (SS3) to leap-frog
team mate, Tänak, for fourth.
Another faultless drive followed over the afternoon loop and, following a mistake
from Ford World Rally Teams Jari Matti Latvala, Novikov found himself in
another podium position. Keeping up his consistency with two fifth and two sixth
fastest times, the 21-year-old kept a resurgent Solberg at bay to maintain his
third place come the end of Day 1.
With consistency key for Tänak and co-driver Kuldar Sikk on their first venture
to the New Zealand stages, the pairing kept their composure where the more experienced
faltered. Making the correct tyre choices and keeping their Ford Fiesta RS WRC
out of trouble, the Estonian duo posted consistent top six times over the morning
loop including a fourth fastest time over the first run of Te Akau North
(SS4) to secure fifth place and keep rival Thierry Neuville adrift with
a 20 second advantage over the Belgian.
Embarking on the second pass, Tänaks mature drive continued. Despite
the drier stages resulting in a drop-off in performance from the soft tyre, the
24-year-old maintained his composure; mastering the difficult stages to secure
fifth place. Although losing out to a charging Solberg in the works Fiesta RS
WRC, Tänak benefited from Latvalas mistake on SS7 and extended his
lead over Neuville to more than half a minute.
Eager to keep the momentum and impress further, M-Sports young guns will
head to the northland region tomorrow for 143.01 kilometers of competitive stages
split by a second remote service in the Whangarei and Kaipara regions.
Evgeny Novikov (3rd) said:
Things are going good. The morning stages were more slippery than I expected
but everything is ok and I am happy with our pace.
The tyres were not so good at the end of the day but I am happy with my
position overall. It has been a good day and I made the right tyre choices. We
will try to keep the same speed tomorrow, but we know Petter [Solberg] will be
Ott Tänak (5th) said:
We had a big moment on SS4 going into a fast, sixth-gear right-hander which
was quite muddy. We had a big slide, but apart from that it was a good morning.
Some parts of the stages were more slippery than I had expected, but I really
enjoyed the morning loop.
We went for a big push on the last stage in the afternoon [SS8] but unfortunately
the tyres wore a little more over the second pass by the middle of SS7
they were getting quite worn.
I am happy with my day. We have a good position so I will try to continue
the same tomorrow.
12-06-22 P-G Andersson fyra i VM-rallyt
på nya Zeeland trots att han tvingades bryta i ledning
Per-Gunnar "P-G" Andersson och hans co-driver Emil Axelsson imponerade
startki rally-VM på Nya Zeeland. De kammade imponerande nog hem de två
första sträckorna före den mycket snabbåkande hemmaåkaren
Hayden Paddon. Dessvärre hamnade de på sidan av vägen efter en
avåkning på tredje sträckan och tog sig inte tillbaka på
- "Det var helt vårt fel. Vi missbedömde helt enkelt en nog under
rekogonseringen. Jag vet inte när eller ens om det hänt förut"
säger P-G besviket. "Vi hade bedömt det som en vänster 4 minus,
men i själva verket var det en vänster 3".
Därmed kom de med för hög fart in i svängen och avåkningen
blev ett faktum. De hamnade så illa till, att de inte tog sig tillbaka och
tvingades kasta in handduken för första dagens rally.
- "Men bilen hade inga som helst skador så vi startar om imorgon igen"
säger P-G (Vilket är i kväll klockan 23:13 svenk tid).
Det blev ett tungt rally även för de övriga Super 2000 förarna.
Hayden Paddon är den enda som klarat sig utan problem. Protonteamkompisen
Alister McRae fick fel på generatorn och tvingades bryta vid starten på
fjärde sträckan. P-G och Emil ligger därmed fyra i rallyt, trots
- "Det var ju inte riktigt det här vi tänkt oss. " säger
P-G "Men vi får ta nya tag och samla ihop oss och se till att vi avancerar
uppåt i resultatet och tar så många VM-poäng vi kan".
Mer info, hittar du på
www.pgandersson.se. Där kommer vi att följa rallyt, sträcka
Rally-VM Nya Zeeland efter dag 1
1. Hayden Paddon (NZ) 2:15:20.0
2. Alister McRae (GB) 49:55.9 +25:25.2
3. Maciej Oleksovicz (PL) 2:43:23.8 +28:03.8
4. P-G Andersson 2:45:05.0 +29:45.0
5. Yazeed Al Rajhi (Sa) 2:55:43.7 +40:23.7
12-06-22 On the Road Again!
'Hi everyone or 'Kia Ora' as the Maoris say,
'Tomo here again! So were at the end of Day One at Rally New Zealand and
its been a good one for WRC Team MINI Portugal. Both Armindo and Paulo made
it through a tough day of competition with Armindo coming home in eighth overall
and Paulo in 20th.
'This morning my alarm went off quite early (5am!) and we started the day with
quite a debate about tyres. After discussion with the engineers and Team Manager
both Armindo and Paulo elected to use softs, which proved to be correct as all
the stages were humid and wet after last nights rain.
'After a quick breakfast and loading the vans with equipment most of the team
headed down south to Raglan for the Remote Service while I stopped at the Te Akau
refuel to catch up with our drivers after SS2, the first run of Whaanga coast.
Its the job of the engineer and No. 1 mechanic to try to be at all remote
refuels. This is allowed within FIA regulations and is very useful because you
get a chance to look the cars over, check tyre wear and also advise of any set-up
changes required. Today both Armindo and Paulo were in good spirits and content
with their times so no changes were made.
'Two more stages then the cars headed to the remote service point in Raglan and
went well with both MINIs requiring only routine servicing. Due to the fact that
the ambient conditions hardly changed soft tyres were again fitted for the second
loop of stages. We analyzed engine data at lunchtime via the data cards removed
from both crews data recorders. This samples all major parameters at up to 1000
times a second and also allows an element of chassis tuning via the sensors directly
linked to the driver. These include front and rear axle speeds [road speed], steering
wheel angle, accelerator pedal angle and brake pressures. It's a very useful record
to allow us to compare drivers so that they can learn from each other's strengths
and unlock some extra speed.
'Raglan remote is a famous location for all the teams, historically it has been
more or less the last service of the rally, today it was the first. The service
is on the town's airfield adjacent to the sea and you can see the waves crashing
into the shore which adds some drama to the occasion. Also whilst trying to consider
carefully the set-up and tyre choice you can often see the weather fronts coming
'With Remote Service done and after a nice packed lunch which kept us going for
the rest of the day, it was back to the refuel once again for Max [Armindos
No. 1 mechanic, pictured with me] and I to catch the crews after the second Whaanga
Coast pass (SS6). Everything was OK, but Paulo needed to use some of his drinking
water in the washer tank as hed nearly exhausted his supply. No set-up changes
were necessary, which confirmed we were near to ideal for Armindo and Paulo. However,
looking at the tyres, as with all the Top 10 crews it looked like some static
camber could be reduced (this is the angle of the wheel from the vertical when
looking form the front of the car ;-)). The purpose of the angle is to try and
maximise the tyres contact patch when cornering - too much and the tyre
overheats on the inside, too little and the tyre overheats on the outside. This
would be impossible on a standard car as it has a fixed parameter, but it will
only take Max and the boys five minutes to tune at tonights service ready
for tomorrows stages.
'With our detour via refuel, Max and I were the last members of the team to arrive
at the Viaduct Events Centre Service Park back in Auckland. We immediately started
preparing for the final flexi-service today and the mechanics have readied the
spares in case any are needed. Normally it should be routine, but we need to expect
'Our MINIs are about to come in for service so I have better go and check on them.
Tomorrow will be another long day as we have another Remote Service, this time
we head up 150km north of Auckland to Whangarei but I'm really looking forward
to another day of MINI adventures
'Stay tuned for future updates!'
12-06-22 Solberg leads Fords
bid after tough opening in New Zealand
Petter Solberg and Chris Patterson fought back to the fringes of the podium at
Brother Rally New Zealand after a difficult opening leg for Ford World Rally Team
today. They lie fourth in a Ford Fiesta RS World Rally Car after a determined
drive this afternoon helped offset a tough morning, when a wrong tyre selection
dropped them down the leaderboard.
Team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Miika Anttila, who were fastest in qualifying
yesterday, led initially in their Fiesta RS WRC. They were fighting hard in third
until the penultimate speed test when they went off the road into a fence and
lost more than four minutes. They lie ninth.
This seventh round of the FIA World Rally Championship, and the 500th fixture
in the history of the series, began last night on the shortest day of New Zealands
winter when Auckland hosted the start.
The action began in earnest today when competitors journeyed south-west for two
identical loops of four speed tests overlooking the stunning Tasman Sea coastline
near Raglan. The 209.60km of competition covered some of New Zealands finest
rallying roads, offering a mix of flowing cambered sections and twisty, technical
tracks in the coastal rain forests.
The leg contained more than half the rallys competitive distance and with
just a 15-minute service, during which teams could only make repairs with spare
parts carried in the rally cars, avoiding mechanical problems was essential. Cool
temperatures and showers this morning gave way to drier conditions this afternoon.
The differing strategies regarding start position and tyre selection provided
one of the major talking points. Solberg opted to start second of the leading
drivers and the team opted to fit Michelins hard compound tyres to his Fiesta
RS WRC for the opening loop. However, the roads were wetter than expected and
37-year-old Solberg dropped 90sec to lie seventh.
With more suitable soft compound tyres fitted for the afternoon, Solberg stepped
up the pace and twice set second fastest times during the repeat pass over the
stages. He ended the day just 8.3sec from third place.
It could have been a better morning! he said. We made a decision
as a team to choose hard tyres. We had to estimate how the conditions would be
as the morning progressed, and we made a mistake. We had a good run this afternoon,
trying to climb the leaderboard sufficiently to be close to the podium tonight.
It will be tough to take time out of the guys ahead, although we have more
of our soft compound tyre allocation remaining than they do. Hopefully it will
rain tomorrow and Sunday so that we can make that count. But I will continue to
push and try to climb back into the fight again, added Solberg.
Latvala took a different strategy, the 27-year-old Finn opting to start last of
the leading drivers, with the aim of capitalising on roads swept clear of slippery
gravel by those ahead. Using soft compound tyres, Latvala was fastest on the opening
stage and was never outside the top three as he reached the service break in Raglan
in third. However, his hopes suffered a setback two-thirds of the way through
the penultimate stage.
I spun at a slow second gear corner, he explained. I saw that
some drivers had taken a big cut so I tried to do the same. The front right of
the car touched a hole and the car spun through 180 degrees. I was quickly back
on the throttle but the car hit a fence and some wire wrapped itself around the
wheel. The car wouldnt move. I had to wait until a farmer came with some
cutters to free the wire.
Im extremely disappointed. It feels as if nothing is working for me
this year. I wasnt pushing flat out, just driving at a rhythm with which
I felt comfortable. Ill start afresh tomorrow, with the aim of climbing
back into the top six, he added.
Ford World Rally Team director Malcolm Wilson admitted it wasnt the
best of days. We made a team decision regarding Petters tyres
this morning that turned out to be wrong, and paid the price. Jari-Matti was in
the battle for the lead but he lost his victory chance when he cut a corner and
went through a fence. Well try to keep the pressure on over the last two
days and see what twists and turns there might be, he said.
News from other Ford teams
M-Sport Ford World Rally Teams Evgeny Novikov / Denis Giraudet lie third
in a Fiesta RS WRC, with team-mates Ott Tänak / Kuldar Sikk just 16sec behind
in fifth. Monster World Rally Teams Ken Block / Alex Gelsomino are 10th,
despite a spin on the mornings final stage. Block eased ahead of Brazil
World Rally Teams Manfred Stohl / Ilka Minor, who lost time this afternoon
with a damaged right rear driveshaft. Jari Ketomaa / Mika Stenberg had a troubled
morning after hitting a bank and puncturing a tyre in the opening stage, going
off the road on the next test and stopping to change a puncture in stage 3. However,
they recovered to hold 14th.
The second day takes competitors north of Auckland into the Northland region for
tests in the Whangarei and Kaipara districts. After restarting at 07.10, drivers
tackle three stages before the respite of a 15-minute service in Whangarei. Four
more tests follow before they return to Auckland for the final overnight halt
at 19.48 after 143.01km of competition.
Leaderboard after Day 1
1. S Loeb/D Elena FRA Citroen DS3 2hr 07min 35.0sec
2. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen FIN Citroen DS3 2hr 07min 39.0sec
3. E Novikov/D Giraudet RUS Ford Fiesta RS 2hr 09min 06.0sec
4. P Solberg/C Patterson NOR Ford Fiesta RS 2hr 09min 14.3sec
5. O Tänak/K Sikk EST Ford Fiesta RS 2hr 09min 22.0sec
6. T Neuville/N Gilsoul BEL Citroen DS3 2hr 09min 53.0sec
7. D Sordo/C Del Barrio ESP Mini John Cooper 2hr 10min 09.3sec
8. A Araujo/M Ramalho PRT Mini John Cooper 2hr 12min 11.9sec
9. J-M Latvala/M Anttila FIN Ford Fiesta RS 2hr 12min 31.1sec
10 K Block/A Gelsomino USA Ford Fiesta RS 2hr 14min 00.3sec
Stage 1: 1. Latvala 7min 38.4sec; 2. Hirvonen + 2.8; 3. Loeb + 3.5; 4. Neuville
+ 8.4; 5. Tänak +10.3; 6. Novikov + 14.2; 7. Solberg + 18.0.
Stage 2: 1. Hirvonen 20min 51.8sec; 2. Loeb + 10.2; 3. Latvala + 14.3; 4. Neuville
+ 28.1; 5. Novikov + 29.3; 6. Tänak + 32.5; 7. P Solberg + 39.1.
Overall: 1. Hirvonen 28min 33.0sec; 2. Loeb + 10.0; 3. Latvala + 11.5; 4. Neuville
+ 33.7; 5. Tänak + 40.0; 6. Novikov + 40.7; 7. Solberg + 54.3.
Stage 3: 1. Loeb 18min 21.9sec; 2. Latvala + 1.7; 3. Hirvonen + 3.4; 4. Novikov
+ 9.9; 5. Tänak + 18.0; 6. P Solberg + 23.0.
Overall: 1. Hirvonen 46min 58.3sec; 2. Loeb + 7.5; 3. Latvala + 9.8; 4. Novikov
+ 47.2; 5. Tänak + 54.6; 6. Neuville + 58.8; 7. Solberg + 1:13.9.
Stage 4: 1. Loeb 17min 04.3sec; 2. Hirvonen + 3.6; 3. Latvala + 9.8; 4. Tänak
+ 14.7; 5. Novikov + 16.9; 6. P Solberg + 18.1.
Overall: 1. Hirvonen 1hr 04min 06.2sec; 2. Loeb + 3.9; 3. Latvala + 16.0; 4. Novikov
+ 1:00.5; 5. Tänak + 1:05.7; 6. Neuville + 1:25.8; 7. Solberg + 1:28.4.
Stage 5: 1. Loeb 7min 33.5sec; 2. Latvala + 1.5; 3. Hirvonen + 2.4; 4. P Solberg
+ 3.3; 5. Novikov + 3.4; 6. Tänak + 6.0.
Overall: 1. Hirvonen 1hr 11min 42.1sec; 2. Loeb + 1.5; 3. Latvala + 15.1; 4. Novikov
+ 1:01.5; 5. Tänak + 1:09.3; 6. Solberg + 1:29.3.
Stage 6: 1. Hirvonen 20min 41.3sec; 2. P Solberg + 4.7; 3. Loeb + 6.1; 4. Latvala
+ 10.0; 5. Novikov + 10.5; 6. Tänak + 19.8.
Overall: 1. Hirvonen 1hr 32min 23.4sec; 2. Loeb + 7.6; 3. Latvala + 25.1; 4. Novikov
+ 1:12.0; 5. Tänak + 1:29.1; 6. Solberg + 1:34.0.
Stage 7: 1. Loeb 18min 09.9sec; 2. Hirvonen + 3.0; 3. P Solberg + 5.1; 4. Sordo
+ 6.0; 5. Neuville + 6.7; 6. Novikov + 7.9; 25. Latvala + 4:25.6.
Overall: 1. Hirvonen 1hr 50min 36.3sec; 2. Loeb + 4.6; 3. Novikov + 1:16.9; 4.
Solberg + 1:36.1; 5. Tänak + 1:39.5; 6. Neuville + 1:54.2; 9. Latvala + 4:47.7.
Stage 8: 1. Loeb 16min 54.1sec; 2. P Solberg + 7.8; 3. Hirvonen + 8.6; 4. Sordo
+ 10.5; 5. Tänak + 12.2; 6. Latvala + 13.0.
Overall: 1. Loeb 2hr 07min 35.0sec; 2. Hirvonen + 4.0; 3. Novikov + 1:31.0; 4.
Solberg + 1:39.3; 5. Tänak + 1:47.0; 6. Neuville + 2:18.0; 9. Latvala + 4:56.1.
Nu har Ramona och Miriam kört shakedown, och fick tredje bästa tid i
PWRC en tiondel efter Gorban (Ukraina). Bästa tid i PWRC hade Kikireshko
- Även om tävlingen inte avgörs på shakedown, så är
det skönt när allting klaffar redan från början. Mekanikerna
har gjort ett fantastiskt jobb med bilens inställningar, nu känner vi
att vi har en bil som kommer att fungera bra på Nya Zeelands vägar.
Och det var riktigt roligt och väldigt skönt att få komma igång,
säger Ramona och Miriam.
Tidigt imorgon bitti (Nya Zeeland är 11 h före Sverige) startar tävlingens
första bil, och det blir en lång dag. Över 20 mils specialsträckor
väntar på tävlingsdeltagarna.
Tjejerna är laddade.
12-06-21 Ready, Set, Let's Go!
'It's Tomo again and this time I'm writing live from Auckland. I arrived safe
and sound on Saturday morning and I have to say it's great to be back in New Zealand.
Being here feels a lot like a home-away-from-home - everybody speaks English,
menus offer traditional English food (the pies in our hospitality are incredible!),
they drive on the left like us and the weather which passes through four seasons
in one day sometimes from torrential rain to bursts of beautiful sunshine is just
'I flew to New Zealand via Hong Kong and brought along 80kg of spare parts and
equipment including the latest specification of gravel dampers for Armindo. It
was impossible to ship these air freight as we are always improving details of
both performance and reliability right down to the last minute.
'When we arrived after a marathon journey, we immediately set to unpacking the
container from Argentina and setting up the service area. That done I moved onto
checking fuel calculations for the rally. This is vital for two reasons. Firstly
I have to ensure the car doesn't run out of gas! Secondly it affects the car's
weight. The minimum weight is 1200kg without crew and 1350kg with crew. We're
lucky - the combined weight of Armindo and Miguel is 132kg (very light!) so hitting
our minimum weight target becomes a science - or rather an art! For an engineer
preparing the car closest to the target is a big win! We add some extra weight
to the MINI to ensure it meets the requirement at all times. If for any reason
the car starts using more fuel pushing it below the minimum then we risk exclusion.
It's quite a job accurately tracking car weight. Things we monitor include the
crews' camel bag levels - Armindo and Miguel have three litres each and I get
a bit angry if it isn't all drunk, because it can equate to 6kg and throw my weight
calculation off. Equally, on an average loop there is around 3-4kg of tyre wear,
but it can be more if the roads are very abrasive.
'Specific to New Zealand in terms of weight is mud accumulation. NZ can be bad
for this, with some sections of the rally being quite wet and muddy it can add
as much as 100kg. So when the crews stop to change their tyres they can be seen
with home-made spatulas specifically designed to scrape the mud off as quickly
'One of my jobs at the beginning of the week was stage inspection. In New Zealand,
the stages offer a fantastic challenge for the crews. The car needs to change
direction quickly and it's an event where set-up is vital to clocking fast times.
Changes to grip make things even harder - some corners can be quite muddy and
then other have good grip. Weather just compounds the complexity! If it rains
then road position is vital. Engineering staff work hard to get the most from
cars and drivers, but there will also be intense weather monitoring as we try
to predict when and where the rain will fall.
'At the end of a hard day's rally prep, it's necessary to wind down. For that
reason I like to walk down to the Brewery pub for a beer. It's a stone's throw
from the Service Park and is one of Auckland's oldest buildings. For serious beer
tastings they even have their own dedicated room! After a good beer I like to
grab something to eat and my favourite place is just a few hundred yards from
the Service Park. It's called Angus Steak House :-)
'The FIAs technical checks passed well yesterday, we had all the anti-tamper
seals checked on the MINIs and spare parts and added seals to five sets of dampers.
The cars were set-up according to both Armindo and Paulos comments after
recce and anticipating the conditions of the Qualifying Stage. We looked at previous
Rally New Zealands, particularly 2007 - the last time the cars were Michelin-shod
as tyre choice will be critical this weekend due to the unpredictable weather
'Many other aspects of the car specification are weather dependent. If it becomes
wet, the main set-up changes are to springs, anti-roll bars and dampers, which
become softer. This helps to make the MINI more progressive for Armindo and Paulo
and its easier for the drivers to predict levels of grip available. This
is very important in the changeable NZ conditions when driving through patchy
wet and muddy sections. We also shift the balance to the rear slightly so the
rear of the car slides more easily than the front and the car turns into corners
well. Everyone driving on the road has experience trying to get their car to turn
on ice or snow in winter when all it wants to do is go straight on! The driver
has a similar feeling to a lesser degree when he hits mud - what we dont
want to do however is go too far with the change, otherwise the car slides too
much and a lot of time is lost. This is great for the spectators as it looks spectacular
but in reality is very slow!
'Free practice and qualifying met expectations this morning. Armindo ran on hard
tyres for the first run and switched to soft for the second, then stayed on soft
for qualifying as this was the fastest tyre for the conditions. Paulos engineer
this weekend, George [pictured with me above], specialises in engine calibration
and tweaked the engine software to optimise the speed at which the turbo runs.
'Paulo ran on hard tyres for free practice and qualifying as he wanted to keep
his limited stock of soft tyres for the rally. The cars are back in service now
and we are going over them to check everything is as it should be for the rally
tomorrow. Day One is a very tough leg with the largest of stage mileage. I do
feel that the event may be decided by Friday evening but who knows, already this
year we have seen extreme situations like in Portugal where multiple unexpected
retirements proved that in rally really anything can happen!
Bye for now,'
12-06-20 P-G och Emil tillbaka
i Rally-VM - startar i Nya Zeeland i helgen!
Per-Gunnar "P-G" Andersson och hans co-driver Emil Axelsson är
i år fabriksförare för Proton. Tillsammans med teamet satsar de
i första hand på Asia Pasific serien, men startar även i de VM-rallyn
som inte krockar med den serien. Senaste VM-deltävlingen de körde i
år var Rally Sweden på hemmaplan. De kammade hem Super 2000-klassen
och bjöd därmed Proton på sin första VM-seger.
I midsommarhelgen är det åter dags för VM-rally för svenskarnas
del i Nya Zeeland. De startade där för tre månader sedan i Asia
Pasific och drabbades då inledningsvis av en punktering som kostade dem
ca en och en halv minut. Under rallyts gång körde de upp sig och slutade
tvåa, bara 28,1 sekunder efter Chris Atkinson.
Tidigt i morse var VM-ekipagen färdigrekade:
- "Det här rallyt har inte riktigt samma vägkarraktär som
sist" berättar P-G "Några sträckor är liknande,
men den här gången bjuds det på snabbare vägar som svänger
hela tiden. Ett riktigt häftigt rally!".
Inför rallyt har P-G och Emil hunnit med ett test på plats:
- "Bilen kändes riktigt bra. Jag tror Hayden Paddon blir farlig här
på sina hemmavägar. Men jag lovar att vi ska göra vad vi kan!"
Brother Rally New Zealand är ett grusrallyt som består av totalt 22
specialsträckor. Rallyt drar igång klockan 22:38 på torsdag kväll
Mer info, hittar du på www.pgandersson.se.
Där kommer vi att följa rallyt, sträcka för sträcka
Startlista SWRC Brother Rally New Zealand
31. Hayden Paddon Nya Zeeland
33. P-G Andersson Sverige
34. Alister McRae England
35. Maciej Oleksovicz Polen
36. Yazeed Al Rajhi Sadi Arabien
( Svensk tid)
(Torsdag) Fredag 22 juni
22:28 SS1 Te Hutewai 1 11,18 km
22:51 SS2 Whaanga Coast 1 29,67 km
00:24 SS3 Te Akau South 1 31,82 km
01:07 SS4 Te Akau North 1 32,13 km
03:33 SS5 Te Hutewai 2 11,18 km
03:56 SS6 Whaanga Coast 2 29,67 km
05:29 SS7 Te Akau South 2 31,82 km
06:12 SS8 Te Akau North 2 32,13 km
(Fredag) Lördag 23 juni
23:13 SS9 Batley 17,61 km
00:01 SS10 Brother Mititai 1 23,22 km
00:34 SS11 Girls High School 1 26,99 km
04:02 SS12 Waipu Gorge 11,38 km
04:25 SS13 Brooks 13,60 km
05:08 SS14 Brother Mititai 2 23,22 km
5:41 SS15 Girls High School 2 26,99 km
(Lördag) Söndag 24 juni
22:08 SS16 Burnside/Wech Access 1 7,3 km
22:26 SS17 Puhoi 1 17,94 km
23:44 SS18 SSS Auckland Domain 1 2,05 km
01:28 SS19 SSS Auckland Domain 2 2,05 km
02:36 SS20 Puhoi 2 17,94 km
03:09 SS21 Ahuroa 6,75 km
03:40 SS22 Burnside/Wech Access 2 7,3 km
12-06-20 Sista reccen är körd!
Ramona och Miriam är nu klara med reccen i Nya Zeeland. Från och med
i måndags har de alltså varit ute och skrivit sina noter på
de dryga 40 mil specialsträckorna som ingår i VM-rallyt.
- Reccen har gått bra, det känns som att vi har fått till bra
noter och en bra känsla för vägkaraktären. Det är generellt
riktigt snabba och bitvis mycket doserade vägar, säger Ramona och Miriam.
Ikväll väntar en pressträff hos Andrew Simms, Aucklands Mitsubishi-återförsäljare,
och imorgon körs shakedown. På fredag morgon startar rallyt och tjejerna
- Detta ska bli riktigt roligt. Vi gillar vägarna skarpt. Får man till
linjer och rytm så lär de vara en riktig njutning att köra på
men samtidigt med en hel del utmaningar.
12-06-18 Bra första test i
Ramona Karlsson och Miriam Walfridsson hade ett bra första test inför
helgens Rally Nya Zeeland. På söndagen deltog man i ett officiell och
hade chans att testa nya motorn inför starten på fredag. Det blev totalt
drygt fyra mils testande för rallyduon.
- Det här är är en testväg som är känd för
att vara en av Carlos Sainz favoritvägar här nere, berättar Ramona.
Det är vägar som är mycket doserade vilket gör att man kan
åka genom kurvorna med högre hastighet men detä r viktigt att
hålla rätt linje. Testet var väldigt bra, bilen kändes bra
direkt och det var nyttigt att få några mil och lite känsla för
rallyvägarna här nere.
Nu väntar tre dagars recce där Ramona och Miriam ska sätta noterna
för rallyt. Då får man också köra på rallysträckorna
för första gången.
- Det känns riktigt bra, säger Miriam. Nu börjar vi reccen och
det ska bli kul och spännande att se hur sträckorna ser ut. Vi ser fram
emot att få till bra noter under de här tre dagarna!
12-06-16 Ramona och Miriam redo
för Rally Nya Zeeland
Ramona Karlsson, Miriam Walfridsson och hela teamet är nu på plats
i Nya Zeeland för Nya Zeelands VM-rally nästa helg. Ramona Karlsson
ser fram emot att vara åter i rallybilen för säsongens tredje
VM-rally och tror vägarna på Nya Zeeland kan passa dem.
Det här är ett rally jag verkligen ser fram emot och vi är
riktigt laddade, säger Ramona. Det är väldigt fina grusvägar
som påminner lite grann om de finska rallyvägarna och det bör
passa oss bra. Målet är att gå i mål och köra igenom
hela rallyt. Det är några lokala förare anmälda i klassen
som är snabba och kan vägarna bra men går vi i mål i topp-5
är vi nöjda.
Rallyhelgen inleds redan nu på söndag med ett officiellt test följt
av tre dagars rekognosering. Ramona och Miriam har redan förberett sig väl.
Vi har datorerna laddade med filmer från tidigare rallyn här
och Miriam har också pratat med Emil (Axelsson, kartläsare åt
P-G Andersson) och fått en del tips. Vi känner oss väl förberedda.
Nu ska teamet montera nya motorn i bilen inför söndagstestet.
Rallyt inleds officiellt på fredag och består av 40 mil specialsträckor
som körs fredag, lördag och söndag.
12-06-15 Looking ahead to Rally
Im Richard Thompson or 'Tomo' as my friends and colleagues
call me and Im WRC Team MINI Portugals Engineer. Ill
be your guide on our latest MINI adventure as we head halfway round the globe
for Rally New Zealand, one of my favourite rounds of the WRC where were
aiming for the best result possible.
I come from a village south of Dalby forest in the north of England, which
the then named Rally GB went through and I remember as a very young boy seeing
cars pass our house and being serviced in the village, I thought it looked great
and wanted to be a part of the sport as soon as I could. Soon a MINI (of course,
what else?) come up for sale that needed some work, so I snapped it up! I spent
hours with the A series engine found in the car in those days, fitting bigger
valves, a rally camshaft, better pistons. I fitted to it a close ratio gearbox
and a limited slip differential that made it really tricky to drive but had great
traction! We went all over the country competing, the only limiting factor being
the ability to pay for the fuel, tyres and entry fee
I did manage to win
a local rally but knew I wasnt going to trouble Ari Vatanen at any time
in the near future!
While I might not have had my eye on a world title in the car, I certainly
did out of the car and quickly dedicated myself to rallying in any shape or form.
Now, as a Chief Engineer, my job for New Zealand started straight after Greece.
I have to ensure we have the correct build specification for the cars and also
the hardware to allow the drivers to go as fast as possible the correct
transmission settings, springs, dampers and anti-roll bars need to be specified
as well as set correctly on both cars. We have a total of five sets of dampers
for the two MINIs, this is for the whole of the event for the rally - a fixed
maximum applied by the FIA - and spares need to be set to cover any expected changes
in conditions. The event this year is run in their winter but can be quite dry
as well as very wet obviously! Its pretty fantastic to be involved with
a manufacturer that meant so much to me as a youngster. I remember sitting in
the newly completed MINI John Cooper Works WRC for the first time in the workshop
and really feeling a warmth and affinity with the car! Then, last year whilst
working in Italy I was even able to show my boyhood hero Sandro Munari who in
1977 won the then named World Cup for drivers around Piero Longhis MINI
John Cooper Works which was a real honour.
I've been to Rally New Zealand a lot of times and have some great memories. One
of the best is from 2006 when I was there working with Moto GP legend Valentino
Rossi, it was amazing what a fantastic guy! He loves rallies but hates
getting up early in the morning. During recce, the recce mechanics would drive
his recce car to the start of the stages, he would get up at the last possible
moment and jump into a helicopter (!) the team had hired for him , fly to the
start of the stage and then do the recce. Pace notes were also of secondary importance
- if he found a nice view, he'd stop in the middle of the stage, take pictures,
get back in the car and continue. It was good fun working with Valentino!
This time round after I touch down, I'll take half a day to get my bearings
after 30 hours of travel, then I'll go and inspect the stages. Its great
to get out and see the conditions the drivers will encounter during the rally.
As engineers we note each kilometre in detail. We register things like surface
conditions, how hard the surface is, the diameter of the gravel and any clean
lines. We also consider if the stages will rut badly, gradients and any other
details that help to ensure we are as competitive as possible. This might include
something as simple as noting phone service in or at the stage, which is essential
to ensuring the crew gets the best technical backup possible.
In terms of differences with Rally Acropolis our previous event
which was hot, dry and quite hard on the cars, New Zealand wont be as tough
on the crews as the ambient temperature inside the cars will be much lower than
in Greece. The set-up wont be too different, but the crews will need a slightly
softer car, with less focus on sheer endurance. Also this year it will be probably
colder, wetter and more slippery compared to other years so the drivers will have
to focus on doing a good job on the recce to get pace notes as near to perfect
as possible making careful notes of surface changes in particular. With Armindo
/ Miguel and Paulo / Edu having competed in New Zealand before, hopefully both
crews will have a head-start on this. Theyll have also to spend time and
energy on watching the recce videos carefully and get to know the stages. It will
be a tricky event with a lot of slow turns, changes of grips and rough bits so
a good preparation is the key to success! The drivers have to compete, almost
straight away on one of the most difficult stages of the year, its name
is Whangaa coast and will be run as SS2 and a second pass through the stage as
SS6. It has seen some titanic battles over the years and is very enjoyable for
the drivers - if they get it right that is! Watch out for the fantastic footage
oftened filmed from a helicopter.
Thats all for now, Ill be back live from New Zealand during
the week to update you on the teams progress at the rally.
12-06-15 Aoteroa Adventure awaits
A new challenge awaits Evgeny Novikov and Ott Tänak as the aspiring youngsters
look to secure another strong result for the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team on
the gravel tracks of the World Rally Championships (WRC) 500th event at
Brother Rally New Zealand next week.
Despite a years break in the calendar, Rally New Zealand has been a regular
and popular fixture in the world series since its inaugural inclusion in 1977
securing the WRC Rally of the Year award in 2001.
Famed for its high-speed stretches, technical corners and picturesque scenery,
the smooth gravel roads will pose a fresh challenge for Novikov, who has contested
the southern hemisphere event only once before, and Tänak who will be making
his first venture to the stages this year.
Based in the city of Auckland home to a third of the New Zealand population
this years event will include two remote services as the rally takes
in much of what the Isle of the Long White Cloud has to offer. Traditionally a
loose-surface event, the occasional stretch of asphalt will provide some thrilling
on-stage action; and with two special stages through Aucklands city centre,
rally fans and spectators the breadth of the country will have the opportunity
to take in the action for themselves.
In the midst of winter, inclement weather conditions are sure to play a pivotal
role. Teamed with the importance of road position, tactical tyre choices and a
need for consistency, M-Sports young guns will need to adopt all of their
experience and composure as they look to tame the cambered gravel roads which
are renowned as some of the best in the world. Nevertheless with the fast, flowing
nature of the New Zealand stages suiting both drivers attacking driving
style, the duo will be out to impress.
Following a stunning start to the season, Novikov and co-driver Denis Giraudet
will be looking to reignite their assault on the WRC Drivers' and Co-drivers'
Championships. The young Russian has come into his own this season with a string
of record results behind the wheel of his Ford Fiesta RS WRC which he will be
eager to replicate next week.
Having contested Rally New Zealand as part of the Production World Rally Championship
(P-WRC) with a Mitsubishi Lancer in 2008, Novikov was on course for a second place
finish on his debut at the event until mechanical problems forced an untimely
exit. Back for 2012, the 21-year-old will be keen to make the added power in his
Fiesta RS WRC count as he looks to display what makes him one of the most exciting
young talents in the WRC.
Recovering well from early misfortune at last months Acropolis Rally, Tänak
will be hoping to make the most of his regained confidence in New Zealand. With
the emphasis on experience, the Estonian will be aiming to complete all of the
events 22 stages and secure the maximum benefit from the event. Yet given
his obvious pace and ambition behind the wheel of his Ford Fiesta RS WRC, the
youngster is sure to show his speed as he chases a strong points finish.
With fellow country-man Kuldar Sikk in the navigators seat, Tänak will
be in good hands Sikk securing fifth place overall on the 2008 edition
of the event alongside another Estonian, Urmo Aava.
Evgeny Novikov said:
I am feeling very good ahead of the rally and we are hoping that everything
goes well. I have competed in New Zealand once before in 2008. It was a long time
ago, but as I remember the stages are all really nice and very different from
the others [in the championship].
They are really fast which suits my driving style they are really
enjoyable to drive and you can drive to the maximum. We will have to see where
our pace is when we get there, but the main thing for us will be to finish.
Ott Tänak said:
The feeling is good ahead of New Zealand. This will be my first time at
the event, but I have heard that the stages are amongst some of the best in the
season and I am very excited to compete there.
The stages are mostly very fast and flowing. There are also very few rocks
which makes it easier on the car and much easier for the drivers to drive as fast
as they can which I hope suits my driving style. We have had some good
times on similar stages this year so the feeling is good.
Having Kuldar [Sikk] in the car will also be an advantage as he has competed
here twice before and it is always good to share in his experience. We will be
looking for a good result, but first we need to find our pace and see how it compares
to everyone else. We will try our best and hopefully get a good result for the
12-06-14 Fords hard chargers
prepared for close combat in New Zealand
Ford World Rally Team heads to Brother Rally New Zealand (21 - 24 June) next week
with both drivers able to draw on past experience of how intense the fight for
victory there can be. Both Jari-Matti Latvala and team-mate Petter Solberg have
enjoyed the spoils of victory by just a handful of seconds after dramatic battles
which were only decided in the final kilometres.
Latvala and Miikka Anttila won the most recent fixture there in 2010, emerging
from the last speed test with a slender 2.4sec advantage after a thrilling four-car
showdown. It is the fourth-closest finish in the history of the FIA World Rally
Six years earlier Solberg won by just 5.9sec following a similarly action-packed
rally. Fittingly, both drivers clinched victory in the classic Whaanga Coast special
stage, one of the sports iconic and most challenging venues.
Rally New Zealand, round seven of the 13-event WRC, is the last outing before
a six-week break and the 500th championship encounter since the series began in
1973. Drivers regard the flowing gravel roads as among the best in the world and
both 27-year-old Latvala and 37-year-old Solberg, partnered by Chris Patterson,
list the event as one of their favourites.
The cambered roads around the North Island Maori-stronghold of Auckland are as
smooth as a billiard table and positively entice drivers to attack. They wind
through lush, green countryside and the scenery is as stunning as the roads, the
picture postcard views over the Tasman Sea from Whaanga Coast being some of the
finest of the championship.
Late June is the middle of winter in the Land of the Long White Cloud and rain
will be a constant threat. Car reliability will be crucial, as the opening two
legs offer just a 15-minute remote service midway through, in which teams can
make repairs using only parts carried in the cars. This will be particularly true
in the first leg which, at 209.60km, contains more than half the competitive distance.
The first day will be tough because the stages are long and there is just
one short service zone to make repairs if we have problems, said Latvala.
We will have limited access to spare parts, so its vital to avoid
mechanical issues. The famous Whaanga Coast stage will be run twice in the leg
and its one of the most challenging tests in the championship. There are
always dramas on those roads.
It was the final stage in 2010 and to come out of there and find I had won
the rally was a great, great moment after such a hard battle. Four of us had the
chance to win but the stage caught out the three others. It is one of the sports
The roads are used daily by the public so they have a smooth, hard surface
with a lot of camber. As you cross the camber through the flowing corners, it
feels as though the car is dancing. Its a great feeling and its hard
not to attack over such wonderful stages. Because its mid-winter, the risk
of rain is higher and the roads may not be quite as smooth as we have been used
to, added Latvala.
Solberg, too, has great respect for Whaanga Coast. Its a special place.
Its incredibly twisty and hugely technical towards the finish and a stage
where the drivers come to the fore. Its tricky, but a driver can really
make a difference with a good performance through there, said the Norwegian.
Its winter in New Zealand so theres a good chance the temperatures
will be low and rain is likely. That will make it hard to generate heat into the
hard compound tyres, which will be our primary option for the rally. Its
the same for everyone and theres nothing we can do about it, but the other
side of the coin is that the Fiesta RS WRC works well with hard compound rubber.
Looking back to the previous round in Greece, I knew the risks when I raised
my pace by half a per cent on the final day and I made a mistake that was costly.
But I could sense victory then. I want to win and Im confident that victory
will come very soon. New Zealand would be a great place for it to happen,
* Michelins Latitude Cross gravel tyres will be used by the Ford drivers
and 35 of these will be available in hard compound. New-for-2012 regulations mean
drivers will also have 10 soft compound tyres available if conditions are wet
and muddy. However, only 35 units can be used in total during qualifying and the
rally itself. Teams are not allowed to hand-carve additional cuts into the tyres
and each car can carry two spare wheels.
* Five privately-run Fiesta RS WRCs are entered. Ott Tänak / Kuldar Sikk
and Evgeny Novikov / Denis Giraudet are nominated by M-Sport Ford World Rally
Team. Monster World Rally Teams Ken Block / Alex Gelsomino will make their
second WRC start of the season while Brazil World Rally Team will be present,
but with team manager Manfred Stohl / Tina-Maria Monego making a one-off appearance.
It will be Stohls first WRC outing since December 2007. The Fiesta RS WRC
entries are completed by Finns Jari Ketomaa / Mika Stenberg.
* Latvala warmed up for the rally by winning the historic class in the POP Pankki
SM-Ralli last Saturday. Latvala and co-driver Asko Sairanen took the class honours
by more than five minutes in a Ford Escort RS Mk2 on the one-day event based at
Lapua in western Finland.
The route returns to areas familiar to the drivers, but is centred around a new
service park at the recently completed Wynyard Quarter on Aucklands waterfront.
After Thursday evenings start ceremony, drivers journey south-west the following
day to the Tasman Sea coastline for tests near Raglan, including two passes through
Whaanga Coast. Raglan hosts a remote service midway through the leg. The second
day heads to the Northland region for stages in the Whangarei and Kaipara districts,
with another remote service in Whangarei itself. The final day is just north of
Auckland, covering roads not used since the 1990s. It includes two passes over
a short asphalt test at the citys War Memorial Museum, as well as the final
Power Stage, which offers bonus points to the fastest three drivers. Drivers face
22 stages covering 413.94km in a route of 1656.38km.
ROUND 7 FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
21 - 24 June 2012
Thursday 21 June: Qualifying
QS Inland Road 5.06km 10.33
Friday 22 June: Day 1: Auckland - Auckland
Start Viaduct Events Centre 06.00
SS1 Te Hutewai 1 11.18km 08.28
SS2 Brother Whaanga Coast 1 29.67km 08.51
SS3 Te Akau South 1 31.82km 10.24
SS4 Te Akau North 1 32.13km 11.07
RSZ A Raglan (15 mins) 13.07
SS5 Te Hutewai 2 11.18km 13.33
SS6 Brother Whaanga Coast 2 29.67km 13.56
SS7 Te Akau South 2 31.82km 15.29
SS8 Te Akau North 2 32.13km 16.12
Serv B Viaduct Events Centre (flexi 45 mins) 18.45
Finish Viaduct Events Centre 19.30
Saturday 23 June: Day 2: Auckland - Auckland
Serv C Viaduct Events Centre (15 mins) 07.10
SS9 Batley 17.61km 09.13
SS10 Brother Mititai 1 23.22km 10.01
SS11 Girls High School 1 26.99km 10.34
RSZ D Whangarei (15 mins) 12.29
SS12 Waipu Gorge 11.38km 14.02
SS13 Brooks 13.60km 14.25
SS14 Brother Mititai 2 23.22km 15.08
SS15 Girls High School 2 26.99km 15.41
Serv E Viaduct Events Centre (flexi 45 mins) 19.03
Finish Viaduct Events Centre 19.48
Sunday 24 June: Day 3: Auckland - Auckland
Serv F Viaduct Events Centre (15 mins) 06.40
SS16 Burnside / Wech Access 1 7.30km 08.08
SS17 Brother Puhoi 1 17.94km 08.26
SS18 SSS Auckland Domain 1 2.05km 09.44
Serv G Viaduct Events Centre (30 mins) 10.34
SS19 SSS Auckland Domain 2 2.05km 11.28
SS20 Brother Puhoi 2 17.94km 12.36
SS21 Ahuroa 6.75km 13.09
SS22 Burnside / Wech Access 2 7.30km 13.40
Serv H Viaduct Events Centre (10 mins) 14.53
Finish Silo Park, Jellicoe Street 15.30
Rally total 413.94km
12-06-08 Duplessis takes Sprit
of The FIA WRC Academy in Greece
As the FIA WRC Academy crews completed a pre-event test for the Acropolis Rally
in Arthikia, Greece last month, Chris Duplessis winning personality saw
him awarded the events Spirit of the FIA WRC Academy award.
With the test stage running alongside the Elementary School of Athikia, the school
children had spent the morning drawing the colourful cars with Duplessis
bright orange DirtFish Ford Fiesta R2 proving a popular choice.
Driving alongside the school on his final run, the American slowed down to give
the youngsters a drive-by high-five much to the delight of
the excited school children.
Working at a rally school in his native America, Duplessis is well known for his
charisma and compassion which makes him one of the most popular personalities
in the feeder series; and his thoughtful actions on the Acropolis Rally only reinforce
his status as a true ambassador for the sport.
Supported by Ford Racing in Europe and with control tyres from Pirelli, the WRC
Academy crews will next tackle the challenging tracks of Neste Oil Rally Finland
in August where Duplessis will be keen to build on his sixth place finish at the
Having set the third fastest time over the penultimate stage in Greece, Duplessis
who is supported by Ford Racing US is growing in confidence and
will be keen to impress as he embarks on the event he has been looking forward
to all year.
Chris Duplessis said:
I love kids and to see them so excited to have the rally car driving by
their school was awesome they where yelling "rally, rally rally!
One little girl had even drawn a picture of my DirtFish orange Fiesta. I really
loved Greece the food was great, the landscape was beautiful and the people
were the nicest I have ever met.
I am so excited for Finland now it is the rally I loved watching
growing up. The fans are crazy and there are loads of big jumps and flat-out roads
that is rallying at its best! We had a top three stage time in Greece and
I would love to have more of that in Finland. I am still getting used to the car
and finding my speed, but hopefully Finland will be my coming out party!
12-05-27 Latvala takes podium
in Greece as Solberg misses out on win
Ford World Rally Team drivers Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila finished third
in the Acropolis Rally of Greece today on their comeback from injury. Latvala
climbed onto the podium in a Ford Fiesta RS World Rally Car after team-mates Petter
Solberg and Chris Patterson crashed out of this sixth round of the FIA World Rally
Championship this morning while chasing victory.
Latvala returned to action after missing the previous round with a broken collarbone
sustained in a training accident. Both the 27-year-old Finn and Solberg challenged
for a win over boulder-strewn mountain roads, but a puncture for Latvala after
he hit a bank in the penultimate leg and Solbergs accident ended their hopes.
The rally lived up to its reputation as the toughest event in the calendar. Many
drivers encountered mechanical problems on the rocky roads around the Gulf of
Corinth, west of Athens. And, unexpectedly for a summer rally in Greece, heavy
rain transformed the gravel tracks into a mudbath yesterday, generating treacherous
conditions that drivers likened to driving on ice.
After the Ford duo finished first and second in qualifying, Latvala initially
led the rally, which covered 22 speed tests and 409.47km of competition over four
days. He fought tooth and nail with Sébastien Loeb, and Latvala was just
2.2sec behind his rival when he hit a bank and punctured a tyre yesterday afternoon.
He had to stop to fit a spare wheel and fell to fourth.
With no pressure from behind and no opportunity to close on those ahead, Latvala
took no risks over todays final leg, comprising five special stages and
65.55km. He climbed to third when Solberg retired and claimed two bonus points
after finishing second in the final Power Stage. He won 10 stages during the weekend.
I need to be satisfied in one sense because I said before the rally that
I wanted to finish on the podium and I did that, said Latvala. Of
course, at the same time Im disappointed because I could have won. Its
good to be back on the podium after a long time away but I need to push for wins
now. Thats the only thing I can do.
Its quite incredible that once again I was leading the rally and looking
good, but couldnt convert it into victory. Ive had too many setbacks
like that this year and its hugely frustrating for the team. I need to iron
out the little mistakes and I hope I can turn things round at the next event in
New Zealand, added Latvala, who lies fifth in the championship standings.
Solberg settled into third and when Latvala punctured, the 37-year-old Norwegian
stepped up his pace. He won three consecutive stages yesterday afternoon to restart
today just 10.2sec from the lead. However, his victory hopes ended in the opening
test when he hit a bank.
I approached a long left bend in a narrow downhill section, said Solberg.
I hit the bank on the right of the road and then the car bounced into the
bank on the opposite side. The impact knocked the left rear wheel off and that
was it. I feel so sorry for the team because I wanted to win but unfortunately
it wasnt to be.
The plan was to push and try to take two or three seconds back on the first
stage. I wanted to put pressure on Loeb, I had to try. After the opening 10km
we were equal on time so I decided to push a bit harder. Until the accident my
driving was perfect with no mistakes. Its disappointing but I must look
ahead to the next rally and stay positive, added Solberg, who is fourth
in the drivers points.
Ford World Rally Team director Malcolm Wilson admitted the outcome was a disappointment.
It was one of the most closely-fought rallies I can recall. We lost Jari-Matti
from the battle for the lead but we had a second chance with Petter. To lose him
was doubly disappointing. Im pleased to see Jari-Matti on the podium on
his return from injury and that he had no ill effects, he said.
Ford Racing motorsport manager Gerard Quinn said: Jari-Matti made a strong
return after injury and a podium was the least he deserved given the pace he showed.
The battle for the lead yesterday was thrilling. Petter, too, challenged for victory
and on another day perhaps he would have taken the win. Rallies are won and lost
in split second incidents and thats something we saw today.
News from other Ford teams
Adapta World Rally Teams Mads Østberg and Jonas Andersson were fourth
in a Fiesta RS WRC and lie third in the drivers championship. They were
one place ahead of the similar Czech Ford National Team car of Martin Prokop and
Zdenek Hruza. Yazeed Al Rahji and Michael Orr took eighth in a Fiesta RRC, while
M-Sport Ford World Rally Teams Ott Tänak and Kuldar Sikk recovered
to ninth after opening leg problems. Team-mates Evgeny Novikov and Denis Giraudet
restarted today after retiring yesterday when a damaged radiator caused their
cars engine to overheat. However, the problem returned after a few kilometres
and they stopped. Brazil World Rally Teams Daniel Oliveira and Carlos Magalhaes
retired in the opening stage of the morning.
The final round of the first half of the year takes the team outside Europe for
the last time this season. Auckland hosts Rally New Zealand on 21 - 24 June, a
gravel event on the countrys North Island.
1. S Loeb/D Elena FRA Citroen DS3 4hr 42min 03.3sec
2. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen FIN Citroen DS3 4hr 42min 43.3sec
3. J-M Latvala/M Anttila FIN Ford Fiesta RS 4hr 45min 08.1sec
4. M Østberg/J Andersson NOR Ford Fiesta RS 4hr 48min 19.7sec
5. M Prokop/Z Hruza CZE Ford Fiesta RS 4hr 49min 49.8sec
6. T Neuville/N Gilsoul BEL Citroen DS3 4hr 51min 44.7sec
7. S Ogier/J Ingrassia FRA Skoda Fabia S2000 4hr 55min 03.2sec
8. Y Al Rajhi/M Orr SAU Ford Fiesta RRC 5hr 02min 15.5sec
9. O Tänak/K Sikk EST Ford Fiesta RS 5hr 05min 22.2sec
10 A Alkuwari/N Arena QAT Mini John Cooper 5hr 10min 43.8sec
1. S Loeb 119pts
2. M Hirvonen 89pts
3. M Østberg 80pts
4. P Solberg 73pts
5. J-M Latvala 45pts
6. E Novikov 43pts
1. Citroen Total WRT 194pts
2. Ford WRT 121pts
3. M-Sport Ford WRT 91pts
4. Citroen Junior WRT 42pts
5. Qatar WRT 37pts
6. Adapta WRT 27pts
Stage 18: 1. Latvala 12min 42.0sec; 2. Loeb + 0.9; 3. Hirvonen + 6.7; 4. Østberg
+ 11.0; 5. Tänak + 14.8; 6. Neuville + 20.8.
Overall: 1. Loeb 4hr 08min 55.9sec; 2. Hirvonen + 1:57.7; 3. Latvala + 4:43.7;
4. Østberg + 7:49.8; 5. Prokop + 8:34.1; 6. Neuville + 10:59.3.
Stage 19: 1. Loeb 8min 13.7sec; 2. Østberg + 2.3; 3. Latvala + 3.1; 4.
Hirvonen + 3.5; 5. Neuville + 9.6; 6. Tänak + 13.0.
Overall: 1. Loeb 4hr 17min 09.6sec; 2. Hirvonen + 2:01.2; 3. Latvala + 4:46.8;
4. Østberg + 7:52.1; 5. Prokop + 8:50.2; 6. Neuville + 11:08.9.
Stage 20: 1. Latvala 12min 39.6sec; 2. Østberg + 4.8; 3. Tänak + 5.7;
4. Neuville + 10.2; 5. Hirvonen + 17.0; 6. Prokop + 24.3.
Overall: 1. Loeb 4hr 31min 27.4sec; 2. Hirvonen + 40.0; 3. Latvala + 3:08.6; 4.
Østberg + 6:18.7; 5. Prokop + 7:36.3; 6. Neuville + 9:40.9.
Stage 21: 1. Latvala 8min 09.7sec; 2. Østberg + 0.1; 3. Neuville + 1.1;
4. Hirvonen + 3.1; 5. Tänak + 3.3; 6. Loeb + 4.4.
Overall: 1. Loeb 4hr 39min 41.5sec; 2. Hirvonen + 38.7; 3. Latvala + 3:04.2; 4.
Østberg + 6:14.4; 5. Prokop + 7:41.4; 6. Neuville + 9:37.6.
Stage 22: 1. Loeb 2min 21.8sec; 2. Latvala + 0.6; 3. Hirvonen + 1.3; 4= Østberg,
Tänak + 2.0; 6. Neuville + 3.8.
Overall: 1. Loeb 4hr 42min 03.3sec; 2. Hirvonen + 40.0; 3. Latvala + 3:04.8; 4.
Østberg + 6:16.4; 5. Prokop + 7:46.5; 6. Neuville + 9:41.4.
12-05-27 Elsewhere end of Day Quotes,
Acropolis Rally Day 3
Mads Østberg, Adapta World Rally Team, Ford Fiesta RS WRC (4th)
- Everything went as planned this afternoon. We finally got some good feeling
with the car after we changed the brake master cylinder in the last service. The
car felt quite different, so maybe there was something with that all weekend because
the car felt very strange from time to time and we had to make quite a few set-up
changes but now the car felt good.
- It has been a tricky event and the off on Friday was not good. But apart
from that I think we have done exactly what we planned to do. The result in the
end is not so bad at all really so I am happy with that.
Martin Prokop, Ford Fiesta RS WRC (5th)
- The weekend was very good for us with no mistakes. The car was good
we had a few problems with the anti-roll bar but the rest was ok. This type of
rally means it is very tough to bring the car to the end so I am very happy
it is another fantastic result for us.
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Ford Fiesta RRC (8th)
- This afternoons stages were quite nice. I tried to push a little
bit, but was careful not to make any mistakes. We made it to the end and it was
a great job for me and for the team. I have learnt a lot on this rally
about driving in rough surfaces and with lots of changeable weather making the
roads really slippery so I take a lot of good experience from this event.
It really was a great result for us.
Spyros Pavlides, Ford Fiesta RS WRC (12th)
- We took it really quite slowly over the last stage [SS22] I made
sure I avoided every rock and every stone just to make it to the end. I am glad
we are here, our position is not bad at all and I really enjoyed the rally. I
could not say any more the team and everyone were fantastic and it has
been a brilliant weekend!
12-05-27 Strong recovery sees
Tänak take points in Greece
Embarking on the 58th Acropolis Rallys shortest day of competition, Ott
Tänak recovered well to secure ninth place and vital points for the M-Sport
Ford World Rally Team to retain their third place as the leading privateers in
the World Rally Championship Manufacturers standings.
Contesting 65.55 km close to the rally base in Loutraki, Tänak and co-driver
Kuldar Sikk embraced the rough terrain behind the wheel of their Ford Fiesta RS
WRC to make it into the top-ten. Following the retirement of Daniel Oliveira and
team-mate Evgeny Novikov, the Estonian found himself having to contend with the
loose surface once again as he sought out a clean line with his early road position.
Yet despite being disadvantaged running as the third car on the road, Tänak
excelled to secure his position with a fifth and sixth fastest time respectively.
Returning for the final tests, Tänak impressed once more with a third fastest
time over Aghii Theodori 2 (SS20) and a fifth fastest time through the 11.37 km
of New Pissia 2 (SS20) just 3.3 seconds adrift of pacesetter Jari-Matti
Latvala and 1.1 seconds up on eight-time world champion Sébastien Loeb.
Elsewhere however, there was disappointment for Novikov and co-driver Denis Giraudet.
Despite setting some impressive stage times over the first two days of competition,
the duo were unable to translate their speed into points as the initial damage
to their radiator on Day 2 resulted in engine damage on SS18. Regrettably, with
raising engine temperatures, the pairing were forced to retire their Ford Fiesta
RS WRC from the event.
Nevertheless, thanks to the Russians strong performance over the opening
rounds of the season, Novikov holds sixth place in the WRC drivers standings.
Ott Tänak (9th) said:
- This afternoons stages were ok with no dramas. It was still quite
loose at the front but we did our best. On Saturday and Sunday we had quite a
good run and were building our confidence with quite a good feeling in the car.
It was more than a shame about Friday because we have been feeling really good
over the last few days.
12-05-27 All Home Safely
Ciao a tutti,
'It's Bruno again and this is my last column for the Acropolis Rally and for the
season in fact, because as we head to New Zealand our Chief Engineer Tomo will
take over as your guide!
'It was a weekend - or a week rather - of mixed fortunes I have to say, it feels
like we've lived a season's worth of drama in one event! This is one of those
rallies we'll all remember for how hard it was from the very beginning.
'After a rocky start to the week (in more ways than one!), this morning we all
cleared our minds and started the day with a positive attitude trying to make
the most of the remaining stages and use the experience for the rest of the season.
Both crews aim for today was to cut a steady path through the stages to make sure
they got their MINIs over the finish ramp. Despite the time loss due to Rally
2 penalties, Armindo made his way up on the leaderboard to finish in 11th place
overall. For us as a team, there is a private satisfaction with this result. After
coming to the Acropolis last year and retiring on Day Two, our main aim was to
finish the event successfully this season and to have not one but two MINIs at
the end is great.
'It was a rough event, there's no better way to describe it. However we tried
to face its challenges as best as possible always learning something from our
mistakes and misfortunes. For us we face every problem as a team and find a solution
as a team, and more than anything that's been our strength this weekend.
'Tomorrow we head back to Italy to the Motorsport Italia headquarters and we'll
have a busy couple of weeks preparing for Rally New Zealand. We'll be working
very hard in the workshop to make sure our cars are spot on for the next event
which we'll once again head to intent on securing the best result possible.
'That's all from me, despite everything it's been a fantastic Rally Greece.
'I hope you have enjoyed this MINI adventure as much as I have and I would like
to thank you for the support the WRC Team MINI Portugal has been receiving here
and from all over the world!
Bruno De Pianto
Final Overall Classification Acropolis Rally
1.S. Loeb (FRA)/ D. Elena (MCO) Citroen 4:42:03.3
2.Hirvonen (FIN)/ J. Lehtinen (FIN) Citroen +40.0
3.J.M Latvala (FIN)/ M. Anttila (FIN) Ford +3:04.8
4.M. Ostberg (NOR)/ J. Andersson (SWE) Ford +6:16.4
5.M. Prokop (CZE)/ Z. Hruza (CZE) Ford +7:46.5
6.T. Neuville (BEL)/ N. Gilsoul (BEL) Citroen +9:41.4
7.S. Ogier (FRA)/ S. Ingrssia (FRA) Skoda +12:59.9
8.Y. Al Rajhi ( / M. Orr (GBR) Ford +20:12.2
9.O. Tanak (EST)/ K. Sikk (EST) Ford +23:18.9
10.A. Alkuwari (QAT)/ N. Arena (ITA) MINI +28:40.5
11.A. Araújo (PRT)/ M. Ramalho (PRT) MINI +30:28.6
17.P.Nobre (BRA)/ E. Paula (BRA) MINI +59:10.2
32.H. Kaltsounis (GRE)/ A. Peridis (GRE) Opel +2:24:04.5
2012 FIA Drivers' Championship Standings
S. Loeb 119/ M. Hirvonen 89/ M. Ostberg 80/ P. Solberg 73/ J.M. Latvala 45/ E.
Novikov 43/ M. Prkop 36/ N. Al-Attyiah 23/ S. Ogier 22/ T.Neuville 22...A. Araújo
7...A. Alkuwari 1
12-05-27 Akropolisrallyt krävde
sin tribut de båda svenska landslagsförarna bröt i WRC
Det blev en tuff tillställning för de båda landslagsförarna
Pontus Tidemand och Fredrik Åhlin när de skulle försvara de svenska
färgerna i Akropolisrallyt i helgen. Båda förarna tvingades under
rallyts sista dag att bryta.
Akropolisrallyt, som är den andra deltävlingen av sex i WRC Academy,
anses vara en av de allra tuffaste i kalendern. Det extremt varma vädret
och de steniga och hårda vägarna gör rallyt extra tufft för
ekipagen. Det här kan de svenska två teamen i WRC Academy med absolut
säkerhet nu skriva under på.
Den 21-årige landslagsföraren Pontus Tidemand tillsammans med sin kartläsare
Stig Rune Skjaermoen, låg dock i toppen under rallyts två första
dagar. Pontus inledde rallyt starkt och slog till med snabbaste tid på första
- Det var en bra början på en riktig tuff tävling, jag kände
mig fram lite under första sträckan och fann ett bra tempo. Men det
är ett överlevnadsrally, så det gäller att ta sig runt hel
och hållen, speciellt under dag två då sträckorna är
jättehårda mot bilen sa Pontus efter första dagen då
han med 3,9 sekunders marginal låg i ledning i klassen.
För den 20-årige landslagsföraren Fredrik Åhlin, med kartläsare
Morten Abrahamsen, började rallyt inte lika bra. Redan på första
sträckan började problemen för grabbarna.
- Allt flöt på bra och jag laddade fullt, men vid en hård
inbromsning så sa det bara pang under bilen! Vi hade tyvärr slagit
i en av de beryktade grekiska stenarna berättar Fredrik sorgset.
- Och till råga på allt åkte vi på en punktering,
och samtidigt började oljelampan att blinka. Under däckbytet såg
vi att det läckte rejält med olja, tyvärr hade stenen slagit sönder
oljetråget. Då tog vi beslut att bryta för dagen. Vi ville inte
chansa på att köra vidare och kanske skada bilen ännu mer. Nä
det var bara att bryta ihop och komma igen berättar Fredrik.
- Det var ett klokt beslut att bryta i det läget säger rallylandslagets
förbundskapten Anders Dawidson. Det är klart mycket bättre
att bita ihop och starta om dag två än att chansa och köra vidare
med risk för motorras säger Anders.
- Båda grabbarna visar ju kontinuerligt att de är snabba förare.
Det är synd att vägarna i Akropolisrallyt är så tuffa mot
bilarna. Det känns som om det mer blir en chansning på att bilen ska
hålla ihop hela rallyt, än en ren förarprestation som till slut
fäller avgörandet säger Anders Dawidson.
Efter att etapp två avslutades på fredagen låg Pontus på
en stark tredjeplats i klassen. Jag tog det medvetet lite lugnt för
att verkligen ta mig igenom alla sträckorna. Jag körde snabbt men inte
fullt eftersom det fanns så många stenar på vägen och det
är bättre att köra runt dem än över dem säger
För Fredrik blev det några snabba sträcktider under dag två,
men på sista sträckan slog en sten sönder växellådan.
- Jag är mest lycklig över hur Morten och jag lyckades reparera
den skadade växellådan berättar Fredrik. Jag tog min
balaklava och tryckte in i hålet på lådan och sen hällde
vi i vanlig motorolja. Man får ju ta vad man har. I värsta fall hade
jag tryckt i ett paket margarin säger Fredrik som sedan lyckades att
ta sig hela vägen till serviceplatsen.
På rallyts sista dag tvingades tyvärr de båda svenska landslagsförarna
- Jag kom bara ett par kilometer på sträcka elva så slutade
bilen helt plötsligt att driva berättar Pontus. Det var
en av drivaxlarna som hade gått rakt av. Snopet! Just nu känns det
fruktansvärt tungt eftersom vi verkligen har kört med insidan hela helgen
och tagit det lite lugnare för att bilen skall hålla ihop på
de dåliga vägarna. Nu är det bara att ladda om till nästa
tävling i Finland och då är det bara vinst som gäller
Fredriks rally tog slut strax innan målgång på den sista sträckan.
Jag lyckades pricka en liten stenhäll på insidan i en skarp kurva.
Bilen gick upp på två hjul och höll på att tippa över.
Jag fick ner bilen på alla fyra men då var det redan försent.
Vi hade åkt av vägen och det tog i ordentligt i framvagnen och vi rullade
ett varv framlänges nedför en slänt berättar Fredrik.
- Det gick inte så fort. Vi fick lite plåtskador och efter lite
fix och trix så tog vi oss upp på vägen igen och kunde för
egen maskin ta oss tillbaka till serviceplatsen, igen. Nu glömmer vi det
här, åker hem och kör många snabba mil med min egen Fiesta
R2, åker sen till Finland och satsar på seger säger Fredrik.
- Det blev en tuff tillställning för alla WRC Academy-ekipage
i Grekland, inte bara för Pontus och Fredrik. Det var många som haltade
över mållinjen. Precis som vi trodde. Nu hade vi stenarna och drivaxlarna
emot oss, nästa gång blir det förhoppningsvis tvärtom. Nu
är det bara för grabbarna att ladda om och förvalta det lite längre
uppehållet till nästa deltävling på bästa sätt
avslutar Anders Dawidson.
WRC Academy Akropolis vanns av den brittiske föraren Elfyn Evans.
Nästa VM-deltävling för de två svenska landslagsförarna
i WRC Academy blir Rally Finland, 2 4 augusti.
Poängställning WRC Academy 2012 Junior VM, efter två av
Pos Driver Total
1. Alastair Fisher 46
2. Elfyn Evans 38
3. Brendan Reeves 35
4. Jose Suarez 21
5. Timo Van Der Marel 18
6. Pontus Tidemand 17
7. John Maccrone 15
8. Fredrik Åhlin 11
9. Chris Duplessis 8
10. Joao Silva 4
11. Ashley Haigh-Smith 0
12-05-27 Elswhere Midday Quotes,
Acropolis Rally Day 3
Mads Østberg, Adapta World Rally Team, Ford Fiesta RS WRC (4th)
- This morning was quite ok. The first stage [SS18] was ok but we had a
spin approximately half way through the stage. It was just a small mistake from
me the car over-steered into a right-hander just before we went into a
left-hander. I could probably have done it, but instead I did a half-spin and
reversed as I didnt want to take the risk. Apart from that it has been good.
The second stage [SS19] was good and we had a good rhythm.
- This afternoon we will try and keep everything the same and just drive
through the stages. They are quite enjoyable stages it has been a tough
weekend so it is nice to end with some nice stages where you can properly rally.
I would like to push on the Power Stage also, so we will try to do that.
Martin Prokop, Ford Fiesta RS WRC (5th)
- The morning stages were pretty rough. Our man aim was to get through and
keep the gap to Thierry [Neuville]. We will adjust the ride-height a little in
service. Then it is just about getting to the end of the event for another good
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Ford Fiesta RRC (8th)
- The stages have been good. The first one [SS18] was a bit rough but I
had a smooth drive. We are in a very good position now and I hope it continues
to the finish. This afternoon I will try and push a little bit, but be careful
also as this will be a fantastic result for us!
Spyros Pavlides, Ford Fiesta RS WRC (12th)
- The first stage [SS18] was a little rough towards the end, but the second
one [SS19] was good. We almost set a top-ten time so I was happy with that. This
afternoon we will just do the same. I am really enjoying the rally and the car
is a real pleasure to drive.
12-05-27 M-Sport Ford WRT Midday
Quotes, Acropolis Rally Day 3
Ott Tänak (9th)
- The stages were quite tricky this morning. Evgeny [Novikov] and Daniel
[Oliveira] retired in front of us so we are again fairly early in the running
order the roads are very loose again and it is difficult with the traction
but we did our best. We tried to keep the pace the same as yesterday and our times
- At the moment the weather is pretty uncertain for the afternoon
we dont know what it will do but we will just do out best and carry
on. Then if everything is ok we will try and push a little more for the Power
Evgeny Novikov (DNF)
As a result of the damaged incurred yesterday, Novikov was forced to retire his
Ford Fiesta RS WRC from the event on SS18.
12-05-26 Elsewhere end of Day
Quotes, Acroplis Rally Day 2
Mads Østberg, Adapta World Rally Team, Ford Fiesta RS WRC (5th)
The rain made the last few stages pretty interesting! On the last stage
[SS17] it was raining quite heavily but there was a bit more grip there than on
the previous one [SS16]. In some places towards the end [of SS16] there was no
grip at all and I had to brake down into two gears lower than I normally would.
There is a junction about one kimometre before the end and I had to brake about
50 meters earlier than I would normally it was almost down to walking speed!
You just have to smile really because it was the same for everyone.
- Tomorrow we will be in quite a good start position which will make things
a bit easier. We have always been early on the road this weekend which has made
it difficult to set some good times, but hopefully tomorrow we can set some strong
times that is the plan.
Martin Prokop, Ford Fiesta RS WRC (6th)
- This afternoon was not so good because on the first stage [SS14] we lost
the rear anti-roll bar again which made the car very unstable. It was not possible
to go fast because this made the balance of the car very tricky. We were cruising
through to the finish, but we are happy with this position it is perfect.
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Ford Fiesta RRC (9th)
- For me the afternoon was a little tricky especially with the rain
on the last two stages [SS16 and SS17] which made them really slippery. I was
surprised after maybe seven kilometers where there was a lot of mud on a twisty
corner and I was lucky to make it through the stage to set a good time. On the
last stage [SS17] we made the car a little softer and it went really well. Tomorrow
is short day so we will try and keep the same level and take no big risks to make
sure we finish the event.
Spyros Pavlides, Ford Fiesta RS WRC (16th)
- We set a good time on the second to last stage [SS16] but the conditions
were ridiculous! As we started the stage it felt as though the storm was right
on top of us. It was difficult, but we are here and we made up a couple of places
so I cant complain too much. If it is dry tomorrow we will try and keep
up the pace and hopefully post some more good times.
Daniel Oliveira, Brazil World Rally Team, Ford Fiesta RS WRC (22nd)
- The afternoon stages were ok. But the second to last one [SS16] was really
difficult and we went off. It was really slippery and we just carried a bit too
much speed. But apart from that it was a good run with few mistakes. Tomorrow
we will do the same we have nothing to fight for so it is just about working
on improving the pace and getting the experience of the stages without taking
too many risks.
12-05-26 Tänak climbs timesheets
but disappointment for Novikov as the going gets rough
M-Sport Ford World Rally Teams Evgeny Novikov and Ott Tänak set some
strong times over the second day of competition at the 58th Acropolis Rally. But
whereas Tänak climbed the timesheets, there was heartache for Novikov
falling prey to the treacherous stages and having to restart under Rally 2 tomorrow.
Crossing the famous Corinth Canal, the second day of competition saw M-Sports
youngsters embark on 149.56km with two identical loops of four stages. Based in
the Peloponnese peninsula, the areas natural beauty masks some of the roughest
stages in the World Rally Championship (WRC). Littered with large rocks, the bumpy
stages provided some demanding terrain with mixed fortunes for the M-Sport pairing.
Continuing what has been an impressive showing this weekend, Novikov and co-driver
Denis Giraudet proved their pace over the mornings opening tests. Setting
successive top-five times over the opening two stages, the Russian was able to
keep in touch with the four evenly-matched manufacturer cars ahead. But there
was heartache on the first pass over Kefalari (SS12) as the ALM Russia supported
driver suffered a damaged radiator. Losing water, this increased the engine temperatures
and the 21-year-old chose to retire his Ford Fiesta RS WRC so as not to risk any
Elsewhere, Tänak and co-driver Kuldar Sikk put the disappointments of yesterday
firmly behind them. Rising to the challenge over the roughest day of competition
yet to be seen in this years championship, the Estonian set a string of
top-ten times over the morning loop to climb five places from 21st to 16th overall.
Embarking on the second loop, Tänak had to contend with further challenges
as the previous pass exposed the treacherous underlying bedrock. With composure
behind the wheel of his Ford Fiesta RS WRC, the 24-year-old increased his pace
to set a string of competitive times including a fourth fastest time through the
torrential rain of SS15 3.9 seconds up on Portugal winner Mads Østberg
to lie 12th heading into the final day.
Ott Tänak (12th) said:
- The first stage [SS14] was ok. It was quite smooth and for sure the tyres
were wearing quite a lot but I really enjoyed it we did our best and our
times were pretty good too. The next stage [SS15] was very rough I thought
we could try and push a little but it was quite hard for the car so we slowed
down a bit. Then on the third stage [SS16] it started to rain and was really muddy
in places. It was quite tricky but we had no problems and took no big risks. Tomorrow
we will just carry on the same as today: start slowly and pick up the pace as
the day goes on.
12-05-26 Both MINIs to restart
final day at the Acropolis Rally
We all knew this was going to be a tough day but it ended up being eventful from
start to finish for the WRC Team MINI Portugal squad. With both Paulo and Armindo's
retirements from the day the mechanics had a lot of work to do to make sure both
MINIs would be on top form and back for more action tomorrow. It's hard for a
Team Manager to report when both of his crews have retired but that is rally and
the only thing to do now is put today behind us and look forward to a fresh start
in the morning.
The day started with four competitive stages, for a total of 74.78km, before the
cars headed back to the Service Park in Loutraki. After being on the road all
day yesterday, it was nice for the team to all be together and to have the chance
to catch up with the fans and other teams in the service park, while always keeping
an eye on the split times and tracking system. Of course, although we're always
focused on our drivers, it's interesting to watch and see how all the other guys
are progressing through the stages. On a tough rally like this one anything can
happen after all just like it did in Portugal earlier in the year. Ultimately,
what everyone wants to see is a fantastic rally where the sporting competition
is at as high a level as possible and everyone has the opportunity to drive to
the best of their potential.
Unfortunately it wasn't to be our day for that! As we were keeping track
of the drivers' progress on the first stage of the day Klenia Mycenae I
disaster struck 6.7km into the stage when Paulo's MINI's compression strut
broke after an impact and he lost the front left wheel.
Meanwhile Armindo made his way through the treacherous morning stages not focused
on sheer speed but on getting his MINI back to service in one piece - and so he
did and - quite amazingly given the conditions - in top form! While the mechanics
were working on his car, Armindo went for a ride around the service park on the
signed custom made WRC Team MINI Portugal one-ofakind bike which is
for auction to raise money for the Hellenic Society for Disabled Children. We're
all very proud that our bike currently has the highest bid and we're very happy
that we're helping to raise money for such a good cause.
As Armindo left for the afternoon loop, Paulo's car arrived back from SS10 and
the guys started the three hours work session allowed by the Rally 2 regulations.
They made repairs to the damaged wheel but they also checked the whole MINI over
to ensure it was good to go for the last day of the Acropolis Rally.
Unfortunately more bad news came on SS15 Ghymno 2 - the second stage of
the afternoon loop when Armindo retired after damaging a compressor strut on the
previous stage, which then broke, his front right wheel slowly becoming unusable.
It was a real shame because Armindo had been nursing the car during the whole
rally to make sure he would get to the finish on Sunday (ideally successfully
completing every stage in the process!) To focus on the positive, the damage is
limited and he will be able to restart tomorrow alongside Paulo.
Now I'm writing on my laptop while watching the service on Armindo's car. There
is still some work to do to prepare everything for tomorrow morning and I'm quickly
debriefing with the crews before we go back to the hotel, snatch just a little
sleep and then head right on back to service for the third and final day of Acropolis
Rally of Greece.
Bruno De Pianto
12-05-26 Solberg takes on Fords
victory challenge as Latvala falls back
A thrilling second leg of the Acropolis Rally of Greece ended with Ford World
Rally Teams Petter Solberg and Chris Patterson lying second, just 10.2sec
from the lead. They took on the squads bid for victory in this sixth round
of the FIA World Rally Championship when team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka
Anttila fell back with a puncture after swiping a bank.
The excitement was present throughout as Latvalas Ford Fiesta RS World Rally
Car fought tooth and nail for the lead with Sébastien Loeb. The gap between
the duo fell to just 1.0sec before the 27-year-old Finn hit trouble. Then, as
torrential rain transformed the rocky gravel roads into a mudbath, Solberg attacked
to win the final three speed tests and halve the Frenchmans lead.
Todays competition was based in the beautiful mountains of the Peloponnese
peninsula, across the famous Corinth Canal from the rally base in Loutraki. Two
identical loops of four special stages covering 149.56km were on offer, placing
further strains on man and machine over the roughest roads of the weekend.
As summer finally showed its face, Solberg was fast but cautious through the morning,
after the team changed the entire rear assembly of his Fiesta RS WRC last night.
He claimed two second and two third fastest times to hold a comfortable third,
but after Latvalas problem he set about eating into Loebs 21.9sec
Conditions became treacherous as several centimetres of mud caked the boulder-strewn
roads and competitors likened conditions to driving on ice with slick tyres. The
37-year-old Norwegian revelled on the slippery roads and a hat-trick of wins set
up an appetising finale tomorrow.
I made some small detailed improvements to the car and it made a huge difference,
said Solberg. After losing 14sec on the first day and 10sec yesterday, to
lie just 10sec from the lead tonight isnt so bad. It will be a big fight
tomorrow and Im feeling confident. The stages will suit me and I really
want to win.
I was careful in the rough sections this morning but pushed hard everywhere
else. I took no risks but the balance of my driving was good. I raised the cars
settings this afternoon and it was so rough in places that it was more a matter
of surviving than performing. I didnt push in those sections. There was
no point in trying to be a hero, it was better to be clever, he added.
Latvala enjoyed the best of the morning in his battle for the lead after set-up
changes improved his feeling with the Fiesta RS WRC. He started 6.5sec from top
spot, and two consecutive stage wins reduced the gap to a single second. He returned
to the mid-leg service in Loutraki just 2.2sec behind his rival.
In the rough sections I drove at 95 per cent and when conditions were better
I went flat out, said Latvala. It was important to know when to be
careful and when to attack. I knew I could go faster but I also knew that if I
attacked too much and hit one of the big rocks, it could have been game over.
His hopes of a win ended in the opening afternoon stage, following a puncture
when he hit a bank. He stopped to fit the spare wheel and lost more than 3min
30sec, dropping to fourth. The incident also broke the cars rear right brake
calliper and Latvala drove the final three tests with only three brakes, losing
further time but comfortably retaining fourth.
It happened in a medium speed left corner, said Latvala. It
was uphill and I went into it too fast. I thought if I carried more speed into
the corner, I would be faster in the uphill exit. But the car touched a bank and
the tyre soon started to come off the rim. It eventually came off completely and
the rocky road broke the wheel, so I had to stop to change it. It was disappointing
after such a big fight for the lead. It has been a disappointing year, but I will
Ford World Rally Team director Malcolm Wilson said it was a day of mixed fortunes.
Were disappointed Jari-Matti fell back after such a close battle for
the lead, but Petter enjoyed a superb day. He fought back superbly after his time
loss earlier in the rally and hes in a position to challenge for victory.
I hope that on the toughest rally of the year, we can carry the fight to the end,
News from other Ford teams
Adapta World Rally Teams Mads Østberg and Jonas Andersson climbed
from eighth to fifth in their Fiesta RS WRC, despite concerns over a noisy driveshaft
this morning. They are one place ahead of the similar Czech Ford National Team
car of Martin Prokop and Zdenek Hruza. As the attrition piled up, Yazeed Al Rahji
and Michael Orr climbed to ninth in a Fiesta RRC. M-Sport Ford World Rally Teams
Ott Tänak and Kuldar Sikk recovered to 12th after yesterdays problems.
However, team-mates Evgeny Novikov and Denis Giraudet retired when they suffered
a damaged radiator and the high engine temperatures that followed caused the water
pump to break. Elfyn Evans and Phil Pugh won the Ford Racing-supported FIA WRC
Academy in a Fiesta R2, heading home Alastair Fisher and Daniel Barritt who retain
an eight point lead in the championship.
The final leg is the shortest of the rally and is based just outside Loutraki.
After restarting at 08.30, drivers tackle two identical loops of two tests, before
the final Power Stage, which offers bonus points to the fastest three drivers.
The five stages cover 65.55km with the finish back in Loutraki at 15.30.
Leaderboard after Day 3
1. S Loeb/D Elena FRA Citroen DS3 3hr 56min 13.0sec
2. P Solberg/C Patterson NOR Ford Fiesta RS 3hr 56min 23.2sec
3. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen FIN Citroen DS3 3hr 58min 04.9sec
4. J-M Latvala/M Anttila FIN Ford Fiesta RS 4hr 00min 57.6sec
5. M Østberg/J Andersson NOR Ford Fiesta RS 4hr 03min 52.7sec
6. M Prokop/Z Hruza CZE Ford Fiesta RS 4hr 04min 21.6sec
7. T Neuville/N Gilsoul BEL Citroen DS3 4hr 06min 52.4sec
8. S Ogier/J Ingrassia FRA Skoda Fabia S2000 4hr 08min 30.9sec
9. Y Al Rajhi/M Orr SAU Ford Fiesta RRC 4hr 15min 05.3sec
10 A Mikkelsen/O Floene NOR Skoda Fabia S2000 4hr 18min 21.6sec
Stage 10: 1. Loeb 11min 24.2sec; 2. Latvala + 1.1; 3. P Solberg + 3.2; 4. Hirvonen
+ 5.0; 5. Novikov + 14.3; 6. Østberg + 20.4.
Overall: 1. Loeb 2hr 25min 25.5sec; 2. Latvala + 7.6; 3. P Solberg + 20.9; 4.
Hirvonen + 51.0; 5. Novikov + 4:09.3; 6. Prokop + 5:08.3.
Stage 11: 1. Latvala 12min 38.0sec; 2. Hirvonen + 1.2; 3. P Solberg + 2.1; 4.
Loeb + 2.5; 5. Novikov + 9.4; 6. Østberg + 22.5.
Overall: 1. Loeb 2hr 38min 06.0sec; 2. Latvala + 5.1; 3. P Solberg + 20.5; 4.
Hirvonen + 49.7; 5. Novikov + 4:16.2; 6. Prokop + 5:37.3.
Stage 12: 1. Latvala 13min 18.8sec; 2. P Solberg + 2.9; 3. Loeb + 4.1; 4. Hirvonen
+ 10.8; 5. Østberg + 19.9; 6. Neuville + 22.5.
Overall: 1. Loeb 2hr 51min 28.9sec; 2. Latvala + 1.0; 3. P Solberg + 19.3; 4.
Hirvonen + 56.4; 5. Novikov + 4:43.3; 6. Prokop + 6:03.7.
Stage 13: 1. Loeb 13min 02.9sec; 2. P Solberg + 0.8; 3. Latvala + 1.2; 4. Hirvonen
+ 9.7; 5. Østberg + 19.6; 6. Prokop + 24.3.
Overall: 1. Loeb 3hr 04min 31.8sec; 2. Latvala + 2.2; 3. P Solberg + 20.1; 4.
Hirvonen + 1:06.1; 5. Prokop + 6:28.0; 6. Østberg + 6:30.4.
Stage 14: 1. Loeb 11min 15.8sec; 2. P Solberg + 1.8; 3. Hirvonen + 5.7; 4. Neuville
+ 10.9; 5. Østberg + 12.8; 6. Tänak + 13.4; 30. Latvala + 3:24.4.
Overall: 1. Loeb 3hr 15min 47.6sec; 2. P Solberg + 21.9; 3. Hirvonen + 1:11.8;
4. Latvala + 3:26.6; 5. Prokop + 6:42.4; 6. Østberg + 6:43.2.
Stage 15: 1. P Solberg 12min 36.7sec; 2. Loeb + 6.4; 3. Hirvonen + 6.7; 4. Tänak
+ 17.1; 5. Østberg + 21.0; 6. Neuville + 23.9; 8. Latvala + 36.6.
Overall: 1. Loeb 3hr 28min 30.7sec; 2. P Solberg + 15.5; 3. Hirvonen + 1:12.1;
4. Latvala + 3:56.8; 5. Østberg + 6:57.8; 6. Prokop + 7:08.4.
Stage 16: 1. P Solberg 14min 07.7sec; 2. Loeb + 1.4; 3. Neuville + 26.6; 4. Hirvonen
+ 26.9; 5. Østberg + 30.4; 6. Tänak + 33.3; 7. Latvala + 36.3.
Overall: 1. Loeb 3hr 42min 39.8sec; 2. P Solberg + 14.1; 3. Hirvonen + 1:37.6;
4. Latvala + 4:31.7; 5. Østberg + 7:26.8; 6. Prokop + 7:45.1.
Stage 17: 1. P Solberg 13min 29.3sec; 2. Loeb + 3.9; 3= Latvala, Østberg
+ 16.8; 5. Hirvonen + 18.2; 6. Tänak + 19.7.
Overall: 1. Loeb 3hr 56min 13.0sec; 2. P Solberg + 10.2; 3. Hirvonen + 1:51.9;
4. Latvala + 4:44.6; 5. Østberg + 7:39.7; 6. Prokop + 8:08.6.
12-05-26 Dominant performance sees
Evans claim maiden FIA WRC Academy Victory
As the FIA WRC Academy crews tackled the most challenging event of their careers
at the 58th Acropolis Rally this weekend, it was Elfyn Evans (23) who came out
on top to claim his maiden WRC Academy victory with a dominating seven out of
a possible ten stage wins. The Welshman is known for his speed and mechanical
sympathy a mix which proved advantageous on the abrasive Greek stages.
Alastair Fisher (23) claimed second place to maintain his lead at the head of
the standings with Brendan Reeves (23) securing his second podium of the year
finishing the event in third.
Supported by Ford Racing in Europe and with control tyres from Pirelli, the WRC
Academy got underway with a 25km stage on Thursday evening with rookie Pontus
Tidemand (21) setting the pace to take an early lead 3.9 seconds up on
Evans with Fisher a further 4.1 adrift in third.
Elsewhere however, the opening test spelled disaster for Swedens Fredrik
Åhlin (21). Keen to translate his speed into a strong result on the Acropolis
Rally, the youngster slid off the road after being distracted by an engine light
following a heavy landing which damaged the sump on his Ford Fiesta R2. Åhlins
mature approach saw him take advantage of the Rally 2 regulation rather than continuing
and risking any further damage to his Fiesta.
The competition restarted on Friday morning with the WRC Academy crews contesting
six stages including Greek classics, Bauxites and Drossohori.
The remote service in Itea posed a new challenge for the competitors having
to complete all six stages with only the spares in the rally car available for
repairs. Thanks to his speed and mechanical sympathy, Evans dominated the day
with a clean-sweep of stage victories that saw the Welshman assume control at
the head of the standings.
With a good run over Elikonas 1 (SS4), Fisher got the better of Tidemand in their
battle for second, leading the Swede by five seconds going into service. Unfortunately,
having been going strongly in seventh, Dutch Federation (KNAF) supported driver
Timo Van Der Marel (22) clipped a rock on SS4 which damaged the front wishbone
on his Fiesta R2 forcing him to Rally 2 the following day.
Evans dominance continued over the afternoon to lead the series by 29.5
seconds at the end of Day 1. Getting to grips with the art of loose-surface rallying,
asphalt specialist Jose Suárez (20) claimed the third fastest time over
Bauxites 1 (SS5) to climb to fifth place in the overall standings just
27.1 seconds adrift of Reeves going strongly in fourth.
Re-starting on Saturday morning, the crews contested four stages through the beautiful
Peloponnese peninsula which masked the roughest day of competition in this years
World Rally Championship (WRC). The going was tough, and the abrasive nature of
the stages littered with rocks and exposed bedrock claimed a number
Amongst the unfortunate, and heart-achingly close to his second consecutive WRC
Academy podium, Tidemand broke a driveshaft 5km into SS11. Also falling foul of
the stages rough characteristics, fellow Swede Åhlin rolled his Fiesta
on SS12 forcing an untimely retirement after demonstrating some impressive
speed over the mornings opening stages.
The same stage saw heartache for Ashley Haigh-Smith (19) with a broken driveshaft
on his debut as an official WRC Academy driver and there was further disappointment
for João Silva. Having shown clear progression by setting the fourth fastest
time over SS11, an impact to the exhaust saw the Portuguese driver damage the
fuel tank of his Fiesta R2.
Elsewhere however, Evans claimed a further two stage victories to secure his maiden
WRC Academy victory. Despite rolling his Fiesta R2 and losing over a minute on
SS12, Fisher recovered well with a broken windscreen to secure second
place and maintain his lead at the head of the series while a mature drive from
Reeves saw the Australian stay clear of trouble to secure his second WRC Academy
podium of the year in third.
Battling throughout the weekend, John MacCrone (23) pipped Suárez in a
nail-biting battle for fourth place. The closing stages saw both drivers snatch
a stage win - which marked the first WRC Academy stage victory for the Scotsman
and Suárez's first on gravel - but it was MacCrone who came out on top
by a margin of just 6.8 seconds. Claiming his first WRC Academy points, American
Chris Duplessis (24) brought his Fiesta R2 safely home in sixth, with Van Der
Marel recovering from yesterdays issues to claim the final points in seventh.
With seven out of eleven Fiesta R2s making it to the end of the roughest event
on the WRC calendar, the WRC Academy crews, and Ford Fiesta R2, impressed once
again raising to the challenges posed by the demanding terrain.
With four events remaining, the WRC Academy championship standings are closer
than ever. Fishers second place saw him maintain his series lead with just
an eight point advantage to Evans in second. Reeves lays a further three points
adrift in third with Suárez fourth and Van Der Marel and Tidemand rounding
off the top six.
Elfyn Evans (1st) said:
- I am very happy and this event is definitely up there as one of my best
results. It has been a difficult event and SS11 was probably the toughest stage
I have ever driven but the Fiesta [R2] and Pirelli tyres have done fantastically
well. It was very rough in places and we didnt have a single puncture. If
you saw the conditions I dont think you would believe that they would be
able to cope, so it is a real credit to Pirelli.
- We had a really tough rally in Portugal so put a lot of work into preparing
for Greece and everything has gone really well. Phil [Pugh] has been world class
and I am very lucky to have him in the car.
Alastair Fisher (2nd) said:
We are very happy to finish second having been upside down! It was an enjoyable
rally. The plan from the start was to get a podium so we achieved that and have
scored some good points for the Championship. We rolled on SS11 on a very slow
corner when the wheel got caught in a rut, so we were very lucky that we were
able to maintain our position it was tricky having to drive the last stages
with a broken windscreen!
Brendan Reeves (3rd) said:
- We are happy to have finished with our second podium of the season. Last
year we didnt get a podium at all and this year we have two after two events
and we have collected some important points for the Championship.
- Overall the rally has been enjoyable but challenging. We have had some
highs and lows, yesterday had some great stages and today it was just about getting
through. Rhianon [Smyth] did a great job for our 50th event together and a podium
finish was a nice way to celebrate that.
John MacCrone (4th) said:
- It feels good to have taken a stage win today. Jose [Suárez] was
putting some pressure on us so we had to push for fourth position. It was really
fun to push a bit more, especially on the fast stages this afternoon. I am committing
to my notes and they were working well. If someone had told me we would finish
fourth in the toughest event on the [WRC] Academy calendar I would happily have
taken it and here we are!
Jose Suárez (5th) said:
- We are very very happy. Of course I would have preferred to finish fourth,
but we are pleased with our times and we had no problems with the car. I am not
sure what has changed since the last event, but everything seems to be working
well for us.
Chris Duplessis (6th) said:
- Today was awesome and the Dirt Fish Fiesta [R2] was amazing. The M-Sport
[WRC] Academy guys and Pirelli have put a great package together and we have done
some of the roughest stages I have seen with no issues.
- We opened it up a bit this afternoon and will hopefully get more consistent,
fast times in the future. It felt easy to go at that pace and also good to set
some quick times. We had a blast!
Timo Van Der Marel (7th) said:
- It has been a very difficult rally for us. Luck has been a real factor
in this rally and not so much on our side. We had some problems yesterday and
had to Rally 2, but we made it through safely today and got some important points
for the Championship.
Pontus Tidemand (DNF) said:
- We started really well. We had a really good pace and made no mistakes.
We should have got some really good points here, but the broken driveshaft means
that we leave with only the one stage point from Thursday.
- Of course I am very disappointed, but we will concentrate on Finland now
where we should be strong and have a good chance of victory.
Ashley Haigh-Smith (DNF) said:
- The event was brilliant. Ok the no score is not what we wanted, but considering
how difficult this rally is we cant be too disappointed with our performance.
I was gaining confidence with every stage and the notes were working really well.
Our M-Sport mechanics were fantastic and now I am really looking forward to Finland.
Fredrik Åhlin (DNF) said:
- This has not been our weekend for sure. We had a mechanical problem on
the first stage, and then today I made a mistake on the road. We have had so much
bad luck this year and it almost feels as though it is just not meant to be.
- But we have Finland next which will hopefully be my event. The stages
should really suit me and we will be out for the win.
João Silva (DNF) said:
- I enjoyed the rally and you can see that our pace has improved since Portugal.
We said that we wanted to be in the mid-field for this event and we have achieved
that which is a positive. It was unfortunate that we had to retire, but this was
a rough event and I was pleased with the car and our pace.
12-05-26 Pontus Tidemand bröt
sista dagen i Rally Greece
Efter en imponerande jämn och mogen körning låg 21-åriga
landslags-föraren Pontus Tidemand tillsammans med kartläsaren Stig Rune
Skjaermoen på en tredje plats i WRC Academy inför sista dagen.
Men redan på andra sträckan av de fyra avslutande sträckorna var
Rally Greece, även känt som Akropolis-rallyt slut för talangen.
- Jag kom bara ett par kilometer på sträcka elva så slutade bilen
helt plötsligt att driva. Det var en av drivaxlarna som hade gått rakt
av. Just nu känns det fruktansvärt eftersom att vi verkligen har kört
med insidan hela helgen och tagit det lite lugnare för att bilen skall hålla
på de dåliga vägarna här nere , berättar Pontus
Även tvåan Alistar Fisher hade problem och rullade på samma sträcka
men kom vidare med en minuts förlorad tid, men slutade ändå på
en andra plats efter vinnaren Elfyn Evans.
- Målet med sista dagen var bara att köra igenom och låta de
andra göra misstag, nu gick bilen sönder för mig istället
och det är inget annat att göra att än att försöka ladda
om nästa deltävling i samband med Rally Finland. Då skall vi inte
köra för att ta oss igenom rallyt utan där är det bara vinst
som gäller, avslutar Pontus
12-05-26 M-Sport Ford WRT Midday
Quates, Acropolis Rally Day 2
Ott Tänak (16th) said:
- This morning was quite ok and we had no dramas, but it is very loose running
first on the road and there are no lines at all which makes it difficult to set
any good times.
- For sure we were not feeling 100 per cent confident this morning and we
took it on the safe side. But we took it stage by stage and on the last one [SS13]
we were a bit closer to the guys in front which was good.
Due to the abrasive nature of the morning stages, Novikov lost water on SS12.
This consequentially increased the engine temperature and the Russian chose to
retire his Ford Fiesta RS WRC so as not to risk any further damage. The 21-year-old
will hopefully restart under Rally 2 tomorrow.
12-05-26 Elsewhere midday Quatoes,
Acropolis Rally Day 2
Martin Prokop, Ford Fiesta RS WRC (5th)
- This morning was good, but I lost a bit of concentration on the third
stage [SS12]. I was too wide on every corner and sliding too much so we lost a
good 10 seconds on that fast section. But the rest was good. We were trying to
hold Mads [Østberg] off in the morning, but now it is not possible
he has just been getting faster and faster.
- We wont change so much this afternoon as the car felt pretty good
this morning. We will just do a few damper clicks to make it a little harder and
maybe raise the car a little.
Mads Østberg, Adapta World Rally Team, Ford Fiesta RS WRC (6th)
- This morning was quite ok. We have just been focussing on trying to catch
the two cars in front and we have done that now as we are really close to Martin
[Prokop]. We have tried to push the pace a little, but it is very difficult with
the start position. The roads are so loose up front and it is difficult to go
fast. We have just been driving sensibly really and I am happy with that.
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Ford Fiesta RRC (13th)
- This morning has been ok but the second [SS11] and third [SS12] stages
were really rough. I liked the last stage [SS13] a lot it was a lot smoother
than the others and I felt as though we could push a bit more. It is a very rough
rally but I am happy with the pace we have been setting.
Spyros Pavlides, Ford Fiesta RS WRC (17th)
- This morning went fine apart from the last stage [SS13] where we had a
spin and lost about 20 seconds. It was not as rough as I had expected and the
car is handling everything well.
- We have made up about 40 seconds on the guy in front of us this morning
[Nicholas Fuchs]. We have about another 20 seconds until we catch him so that
will be our aim in the afternoon.
Daniel Oliveira, Brazil World Rally Team, Ford Fiesta RS WRC (23rd)
- I am feeling a lot better this morning and the stages were good. We made
a small mistake on the first one [SS10], but overall it was good. After not completing
yesterday we are just relaxing and working on setting a good pace.
- The three first stages were quite rough, but not so bad. We will have
to see what they will be like this afternoon and we will try and do the same.
12-05-25 Two Remote Services and
Two MINIs at the End of The Day
Ciao a tutti,
Bruno here again to tell you all about WRC Team MINI Portugals first
full day at the Acropolis Rally. It was a tremendously long day and Im so
glad we got through it with both cars in once piece and everyone still smiling!
The teams alarms went off quite early this morning (about 4.45am!)
Paulos MINI was the first car to leave the service park to head north at
6am immediately followed by Armindos. After first service and a quick breakfast
it was time to pack up and head to Itea for Remote Service. Todays itinerary
featured five stages divided by not one, which is a big enough challenge, but
two Remote Services in Itea. This meant the cars had to survive more than 100km
of competition with only limited checks allowed. Everybody knows how tough the
Acropolis is and if you can only carry on limited repairs to the cars, things
suddenly become even more difficult a small mistake can cost you a lot.
Armindo and Paulo did a fantastic job as they both brought their MINIs dust-laden,
but without even a scratch. This is no mean feat after running first and second
on the road, hacking through the Greek dust and avoiding extreme boulders in incredible
heat! Of course, Paulo being so good-natured, he reassures us that its a
challenge wherever you are running on the road, so first or last you just have
to dig in and do the best job you can. If first on the road is the biggest challenge,
then hes ready for it! As for Armindo, well for a long as weve been
working together, Ive never known him do anything other that take stock
of the job in hand and get it done as professionally as possible!
Fortunately for the crews and us our hospitality guys were waiting for
them as soon as they hit Itea ready for their very own refuel before they headed
back out to recommence their battle against the rough and tough Greek stages!!
After the second Remote Service the team made their way back to the main Service
Park in Loutraki, where Armindo and Paulo retuned after completing three more
stages totaling 169.12km of Special Stages today. The mechanics checked
both MINIs during Flexi Service to make sure they were spot on to tackle tomorrows
My crews did a good job today, both of them completed the day without
major problems facing extremely difficult conditions. Im equally proud
of the work the rest of the team carried out, everybody is working long hours
and always giving their best. The fact that everyone in the team gets on so
well and knows when to share a joke as well as when to knuckle down helps everyone
a lot. Were from around the world Italy and Portugal of course,
but also Brazil, Britain and Ireland and its really incredible to see
how close everyones already become during the first half of the season,
creating our own MINI family!
Thats all for today, tomorrow is another long day and theres
a lot more twists and turns to come Im sure! For now our focus
is on survival, getting the best result we can and enjoying the fantastic Acropolis.
12-05-25 Elsewhere end of Day Quotes,
Acropolis Rally Day 1
Martin Prokop, Ford Fiesta RS WRC (6th)
- This afternoon was not too bad. The conditions were completely different
to what we experienced this morning with more clean lines. But we had a problem
with the car as we broke the rear anti-roll bar on the rear [on SS7]. The car
was moving like a boat! And it was not possible to go fast really. So we lost
some time to Nasser [Al-Attiyah] there.
- Of course we are happy to be here without any bigger problems and other
than that the car looks good so Im feeling happy for tomorrow.
Mads Østberg, Adapta World Rally Team, Ford Fiesta RS WRC (8th)
- The car started to feel quite strange towards the end of the second to
last stage [SS8] and we had a few moments out of nowhere it felt as though
the car was locking the back wheels under braking.
- This was the same in the last stage [SS9]. I tried to drive a bit more
aggressively and this felt good for a while, but about 15 kilometers into the
stage there is a very narrow section and a short left hander followed by a 90
degree left I dont know if I caught the pacenotes a little late or
if Jonas [Andersson, co-driver] was a little late, but I pressed the brake and
the car went straight off the road.
- We didnt hit anything so it was no drama, but we went down into
the loose sand and couldnt get out. There were a few spectators there, but
it took them a while to help us as I think they were a bit frightened to touch
- We got going in the end, but it was a bit stupid really. Even if the pacenotes
were a little late, I shouldnt have been pushing so much with such big gaps
[to those in front and behind].
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Ford Fiesta RRC (13th)
- This afternoon was a lot better. We worked on the set-up but it is still
not quite perfect. Tomorrow will be very rough and we will make some slight alterations
to the suspension. But all in all it is good for me to be here it is a
really tough event and I like it a lot.
Spyros Pavlides, Ford Fiesta RS WRC (17th)
- This afternoons stages were fine actually. We had a much better
run than this morning and I really enjoyed the last stage [SS9]. We will try and
keep this speed up and push a little bit more tomorrow to get a couple more positions.
For sure it is going to be difficult as the stages will be really rough, but we
will try our best.
Louise Cook, Ford Fiesta ST (40th)
- The last stage [SS9] was quite rough as there were a lot of ruts and some
big rocks so we took it fairly easy on that one as it was a bit hard on the old
girl! But the repeat stages [SS7 and SS8] were pretty much the same as this morning.
We had a good rhythm and felt as though we were making some good progress.
12-05-25 Strong start for Novikov
as Greek tradegy strikes Tänak
M-Sport Ford World Rally Teams Evgeny Novikov and Ott Tänak put in
a strong performance in the early stages of the 58th Acropolis Rally, only to
be blighted by cruel misfortune on the first full day of competition. Nevertheless,
with a string of top-ten times, Novikov overcame his problems to hold a credible
fifth place. Having to Rally 2 tomorrow, Tänak lays 21st at the end of Day
Novikov showcased his speed in yesterdays qualifying stage as a blistering
time saw the young Russian separate the two works Citroëns a second
up on Mikko Hirvonen and just 0.3 adrift of eight-time world champion Sébastien
Loeb. Elsewhere, despite damaging the right-front of his Ford Fiesta RS WRC on
the final corner, Tänak did well to make it to the stage end to set the eighth
The first stage of the event came with a 25km stage en route from the ceremonial
start in Athens to the rally base in Loutraki where both Novikov and Tänak
set competitive times to lay sixth and seventh respectively.
The rally restarted this morning and although the first full day of competition
may not be deemed the most demanding in terms of stage difficulty, it proved a
real challenge for the teams in terms of tactics. Faced with two remote services
north-west of the rally base in Itea, M-Sports young guns had to find the
right balance between speed and consistency as only the spare parts carried in
the rally car were available to repair the cars throughout the day.
Rising to the challenge, Novikov and co-driver Denis Giraudet continued their
strong showing over the morning loop. With two top-five times behind the wheel
of their Ford Fiesta RS WRC, the pairing were able to leap-frog Rally de Portugal
victor Mads Østberg for fifth place.
Despite incurring a spin and over-shooting a junction, Tänak and co-driver
Kuldar Sikk held their own over the morning tests. Building their experience over
the stages, the Estonian pairing set consecutive top-ten times to lay seventh
overall 13.9 seconds up on rival Thierry Neuville.
Two stages followed, splitting the two remote services, with the M-Sport duo having
a trouble-free run to maintain their fifth and seventh places respectively. But
as the crews embarked on the days final loop, misfortune struck with Tänak
being forced to retire from the days competition and Novikov falling foul
to technical issues albeit valiantly battling on to regain fifth place.
Suffering from a broken connector on the MAP sensor connector through SS7, Novikov
lost time to fall behind both Østberg and Neuville. Bad luck struck again
for the youngster on SS8 with a loose pin in the gear lever forcing the Muscovite
to change gear with the linkage only. Undeterred, Novikov and Giraudet put the
mechanical skills to good use again fixing the lever with tape, wire and
cable ties to set the fourth fastest time and regain fifth overall on the final
stage of the day [SS9].
Elsewhere, a pacenote mix-up for Tänak saw the Estonian lose time through
SS7. Despite making it to the end of the stage, the initial impact had damaged
the rear wishbone of his Fiesta RS WRC, forcing the 24-year-old to Rally 2 tomorrow.
Evgeny Novikov (5th) said:
- We had a couple of small problems this afternoon. On the first stage [SS7]
we had a broken connection [on the MAP sensor connector] which lost us a lot of
time. Then on the second stage [SS8] the pin that holds the gear lever in place
came out and I had to change gear using the bottom of the lever which was hard
work! We managed to fix it and had no problems through the last stage [SS9], so
now tomorrow will be about maintaining our position and keeping the pace through
the rougher stages.
12-05-25 Latvala and Solberg come
to the fore as the going gets tough
Ford World Rally Team won seven of the nine speed tests in the opening leg of
the Acropolis Rally of Greece as both pairings ended todays 706km marathon
in the top three positions. Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila won five stages
to lie second, just 6.5sec from the lead, while team-mates Petter Solberg and
Chris Patterson claimed two victories to hold third.
This sixth round of the FIA World Rally Championship lived up to its reputation
as the toughest in the 13-rally series as several top drivers encountered mechanical
problems. But remarkably the top three are covered by less than 18sec after 194.36km
of rough road competition in the mountains surrounding the Gulf of Corinth, west
After last nights opening special stage near the rally base in Loutraki,
competitors endured almost 16 hours at the wheel today. The route took them around
the Gulf to the coastal town of Itea before journeying back to Loutraki after
eight more tests. They were allowed just two 15-minute service opportunities in
Itea, during which only spare parts carried in the rally car could be used for
Latvala showed no signs of discomfort from the broken collarbone that forced him
to miss the last round in Argentina. The 27-year-old Finn showed no signs of rust
either, adding two more stage wins this morning in his Ford Fiesta RS World Rally
Car to last nights opening victory. His only blemish came on the final stage
of the loop when he stalled the engine and overshot a muddy junction.
The 10sec dropped in that incident cost him the lead and Sébastien Loeb
extended his advantage over the next two stages as Latvala felt less comfortable
on roads made muddy by yesterdays rain. However, Latvala reduced the 10.1sec
gap on the final three stages, being used for a second time, and two more wins
brought the margin down to just 6.5sec.
Apart from the overshoot, it was a good comeback he said. I
had no pain in my shoulder, although I could feel my left arm was tired because
it has less power. As I hadnt competed for a while I was concerned I wouldnt
be fast enough, but those worries quickly disappeared. It was a good battle for
the lead. It was more like fighting in Finland, where every tenth is important,
than driving in Greece.
When I missed the junction, I wasnt prepared for it to be so slippery.
When I braked the engine stalled and the car overshot the corner, but fortunately
there was nothing to hit. It was surprisingly damp in places and I didnt
have enough traction. The tyres didnt warm up quickly enough at the start
of the stage but once they had heated up, I was able to pull time back.
In the middle loop I carried two spare wheels and in hindsight perhaps one
would have been better. Both stages contained plenty of uphill sections and I
think the extra 25kg from a second spare made a difference. Its normal to
carry two spares in Greece because of the high tyre wear in the heat, but temperatures
were cooler than usual and the tyres didnt wear as much, added Latvala.
Solberg was anxious to regain time lost following a poor tyre choice last night.
After restarting in fifth he won the mornings final stage to take third.
However, he lost 10sec and a place after a massive impact with a rock in a compression
which bent the rear suspension, broke a wheel rim and punctured a tyre.
It was the biggest moment of my career in terms of shock, explained
Solberg. I didnt have the rock marked in my pace notes and I cant
say what happened because I dont know. There was a massive impact, the car
flew into the air and I thought my rally was finished. The boys did a fantastic
job to repair it in such a short time and Im sure they can complete the
job tonight. It proves how strong the car is that it can survive an impact like
that, and its encouraging with tomorrows rough stages ahead.
With the suspension straightened, the 37-year-old Norwegian added another fastest
time in the final loop to regain third. Considering the time I lost last
night and today, then I couldnt be in a better position. It will be crucial
to avoid problems tomorrow and push in the places where it is safe to do so and
where I feel I can take time, added Solberg.
Ford World Rally Team director Malcolm Wilson said: Today was much better
than our Fridays have been in recent rallies! Im pleased to see Jari-Matti
back and in top form. There was a lot of damage to the underside of Petters
car, and I must pay tribute to the technicians who did a remarkable job at service
to keep him going. Tomorrow is another long day and beyond doubt the roughest
of the rally.
News from other Ford teams
M-Sport Ford World Rally Teams Evgeny Novikov and Denis Giraudet lie fifth
in a Fiesta RS WRC despite afternoon problems with a broken connection on the
FIA log-in box and a broken gear stick. The Czech Ford National Team car of Martin
Prokop and Zdenek Hruza is sixth, despite an incident-packed day that included
going off the road, a spin and a broken anti-roll bar. Adapta World Rally Teams
Mads Østberg and Jonas Andersson held fifth until they dropped three minutes
in the final stage after sliding wide and getting stuck. M-Sport Fords Ott
Tänak and Kuldar Sikk lost time after going off the road following a pace
note mix-up, before an oil leak in a differential ended their day. Brazil World
Rally Teams Daniel Oliveira and Carlos Magalhaes were forced to stop after
todays opening stage due to illness.
The second leg is based on the Peloponnese peninsula, across the famous Corinth
Canal from Loutraki. Competitors restart at 07.30 for two identical clockwise
loops around the peninsula, split by a return to Loutraki for an early afternoon
service. Each loop contains four stages, including one never used in the rally
previously, and the eight tests cover 149.56km. Drivers return to Loutraki for
the final overnight halt at 21.05.
Leaderboard after Day 2
1. S Loeb/D Elena FRA Citroen DS3 2hr 14min 01.3sec
2. J-M Latvala/M Anttila FIN Ford Fiesta RS 2hr 14min 07.8sec
3. P Solberg/C Patterson NOR Ford Fiesta RS 2hr 14min 19.0sec
4. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen FIN Citroen DS3 2hr 14min 50.9sec
5. E Novikov/D Giraudet RUS Ford Fiesta RS 2hr 17min 56.3sec
6. M Prokop/Z Hruza CZE Ford Fiesta RS 2hr 18min 48.0sec
7. N Al Attiyah/G Bernacchini QAT Citroen DS3 2hr 18min 58.2sec
8. M Østberg/J Andersson NOR Ford Fiesta RS 2hr 19min 15.9sec
9. S Ogier/J Ingrassia FRA Skoda Fabia S2000 2hr 19min 28.5sec
10 A Mikkelsen/O Floene NOR Skoda Fabia S2000 2hr 20min 32.3sec
Stage 2: 1. Latvala 9min 38.7sec; 2. Loeb + 0.4; 3. P Solberg + 2.7; 4. Hirvonen
+ 3.3; 5. Novikov + 5.6; 6. Tänak + 13.8.
Overall: 1. Latvala 27min 16.7sec; 2. Loeb + 3.2; 3. Hirvonen + 10.4; 4. P Solberg
+ 17.3; 5. Novikov + 26.0; 6. Østberg + 30.0.
Stage 3: 1. Latvala 16min 06.3sec; 2. Loeb + 0.1; 3. P Solberg + 0.2; 4. Hirvonen
+ 3.9; 5. Novikov + 11.1; 6. Østberg + 19.3.
Overall: 1. Latvala 43min 23.0sec; 2. Loeb + 3.3; 3. Hirvonen + 14.3; 4. P Solberg
+ 17.5; 5. Novikov + 37.1; 6. Østberg + 49.3.
Stage 4: 1. P Solberg 14min 05.9sec; 2= Loeb, Hirvonen + 9.7; 4. Latvala + 14.2;
5. Østberg + 15.3; 6. Novikov + 19.1.
Overall: 1. Loeb 57min 41.9sec; 2. Latvala + 1.2; 3. P Solberg + 4.5; 4. Hirvonen
+ 11.0; 5. Novikov + 43.2; 6. Østberg + 51.6.
Stage 5: 1. Hirvonen 14min 08.9sec; 2. Loeb + 1.1; 3. P Solberg + 5.3; 4. Latvala
+ 5.6; 5. Østberg + 19.5; 6. Novikov + 22.0.
Overall: 1. Loeb 1hr 11min 51.9sec; 2. Latvala + 5.7; 3. P Solberg + 8.7; 4. Hirvonen
+ 9.9; 5. Novikov + 1:04.1; 6. Østberg + 1:10.0.
Stage 6: 1. Loeb 18min 13.4sec; 2. Neuville + 3.4; 3. Latvala + 4.4; 4. Hirvonen
+ 5.1; 5. P Solberg + 8.1; 6. Østberg + 10.6.
Overall: 1. Loeb 1hr 30min 05.3sec; 2. Latvala + 10.1; 3. Hirvonen + 15.0; 4.
P Solberg + 16.8; 5. Novikov + 1:15.6; 6. Østberg + 1:20.6.
Stage 7: 1. Latvala 13min 48.9sec; 2. Loeb + 0.7; 3. P Solberg + 3.5; 4. Hirvonen
+ 4.3; 5. Østberg + 17.0; 6. Neuville + 18.4.
Overall: 1. Loeb 1hr 43min 54.9sec; 2. Latvala + 9.4; 3. Hirvonen + 18.6; 4. P
Solberg + 19.6; 5. Østberg + 1:36.9; 6. Neuville + 2:31.7.
Stage 8: 1. P Solberg 13min 42.1sec; 2. Loeb + 0.3; 3. Latvala + 1.1; 4. Hirvonen
+ 8.8; 5. Østberg + 17.3; 6. Neuville + 18.6.
Overall: 1. Loeb 1hr 57min 37.3sec; 2. Latvala + 10.2; 3. P Solberg + 19.3; 4.
Hirvonen + 27.1; 5. Østberg + 1:53.9; 6. Neuville + 2:50.0.
Stage 9: 1. Latvala 16min 20.3sec; 2. P Solberg + 2.1; 3. Loeb + 3.7; 4. Novikov
+ 25.5; 5. Hirvonen + 26.2; 6. Al-Attiyah + 29.3.
Overall: 1. Loeb 2hr 14min 01.3sec; 2. Latvala + 6.5; 3. P Solberg + 17.7; 4.
Hirvonen + 49.6; 5. Novikov + 3:55.0; 6. Prokop + 4:46.7.
12-05-25 Pontus Tidemand trea efter
andra dagen av Rally Greece
Under fredagen kördes andra etappen av Rally Greece, VM-deltävlingen
där WRC Academy kör sin andra deltävling.
Efter torsdagen så var 21-åriga Pontus Tidemand i ledning med 3,9
sekunder men under fredagen föll Pontus till en tredjeplats av de 11 ekipagen.
- Jag har medvetet tagit det lite lugnt för att verkligen ta mig i mål,
men de åker snabbt i toppen det är det inget snack om, säger Pontus
Efter att sex av de tio specialsträckorna har körts så ligger
Pontus på tredjeplats, 58.3 sekunder efter ledaren Elfyn Evans och 28.8
sekunder efter tvåan som är vinnaren av WRC Academy i Rally Portugal
- Imorgon är det jätte-tuffa sträckor så det är bara
avvakta och se vad som händer, jag har ju nästan 40 sekunder ner till
fjärde platsen, avslutar Pontus.
De avslutande fyra sträckorna startar med SS10 kl. 07:38 svensk tid imorgon
Overall standings after Day 2:
12-05-25 FIA WRC Academy end of
Day Quotex, Acropolis Rally Day 1
Elfyn Evans (1st) said:
- The conditions have been surprisingly good in most places and we have
a really good rhythm. We are pushing hard but not doing anything silly. We had
a few niggling problems today but thankfully nothing major and the car has done
well. I think tomorrow will be difficult as the roads are rougher so we will just
have to drive to what we see.
Alastair Fisher (2nd) said:
- It is going OK, we have been consistent on every stage so I am happy with
that. Elfyn [Evans] is going well and our times have been close. The car is going
well considering what we are putting it through. There is still everything to
play for tomorrow!
Pontus Tidemand (3rd) said:
- Everything has gone well today, we are here in third place which is good!
Alastair [Fisher] and Elfyn [Evans] are going very well. We are not pushing 100
per cent as there are a lot of stones that I am being careful to drive around.
Overall I am happy.
Brendan Reeves (4th) said:
- Everything has gone well and we are still in fourth. It would have been
nice to move into third position but we havent had the pace this afternoon.
The last stage had about 30 or 40 hairpins and was very technical so we just made
sure we got through it. The car feels loose in the rear and I made some set-up
changes to try and help but I think it is just the nature of the stages. Tomorrow
is a lot rougher so we will just take it as it comes and see what happens.
Jose Suárez (5th) said:
- It was a good day and we set some good times on the stages. I am still
taking care in the conditions and I am a little surprised with our speed because
we havent done any rallies since Portugal. We had a problem with our jack
when we tried to change the tyres front to rear so we had to be careful for the
last stages. We will keep looking after the car tomorrow.
John MacCrone (6th) said:
- It has been OK. We got a puncture on the third stage today [SS4] and lost
fifth place, but apart from that there has been no dramas. We are driving safely
which is frustrating on one hand because I really want to push on but it is a
long rally and it is not worth the risk at the moment. The puncture set us back
a bit but tomorrow will be rougher and a lot can happen.
João Silva (7th) said:
- Today has been good and we have had no problems. The stages this morning
felt good but the last two [SS5 and SS6] were very slippery. I could feel the
car moving around a lot so I think I need to adjust my set up for this. We will
try to go with the same approach tomorrow and continue to get experience.
Chris Duplessis (8th) said:
- I am having a lot of fun, the stages are difficult, but so much fun! The
pace of the top [WRC] Academy drivers is so fast but we are making lots of improvements
and just driving our own rally. Tomorrow will be a long day and we will keep our
heads down and continue doing our thing. I am quite looking forward to the rough
stages tomorrow actually.
Ashley Haigh-Smith (9th) said:
- It has been a good day. We have gone from 3.5 seconds per kilometer to
2.1 seconds per kilometer from Alastair [Fisher] which is a good improvement.
We have been working on lots of things from the suspension set-up to our pacenotes
and braking. We are making lots of improvements and will keep trying to do this
tomorrow. I would like to reduce our gap again tomorrow and see where we can go
Fredrik Åhlin (10th) said:
- This just doesnt seem to be our rally! We hit a stone on the last
stage and the gearbox started leaking. We stopped and put some engine oil in that
we had in the car to get back to service. I was struggling a bit with the motivation
to push 100 per cent but we have set some OK times. I know I am very fast in the
fast sections but must be losing some time in the slower uphill sections. We will
try again tomorrow.
Timo Van Der Marel (11th Rally 2) said:
- I dont exactly know where it happened, but we hit a rock and cracked
the wishbone. The crack got larger and eventually broke on SS4. We kept driving
to the end of the stage so that we could change it on the road section but between
the finish and stop control the driveshaft came out of the gearbox and we couldnt
go any further. I am very disappointed, if the stop control was 100m earlier we
would have maybe been ok! But we will be back tomorrow and you never know what
Overall standings after Day 2:
Van Der Marel +16:4.2 (Rally 2)
12-05-25 Greek celebrity in Thrilling
FIA WRC Academy passenger ride
Supported by Ford Racing in Europe and with control tyres from Pirelli, the FIA
WRC Academy completed a pre-event test in Athikia ahead of the 58th Acropolis
Rally on Thursday. Joining the WRC Academy competitors, Greek celebrity Katerina
Laspa was thrilled by a passenger ride from one of the sports most talented
young stars Swedens Pontus Tidemand.
With an extensive TV career in her native Greece, Laspa has hosted shows such
as Greek gameshow BINGO as well as daily and weekly TV magazine shows
on some of Greeces most popular national channels. Besides these, Laspa
has also been involved with charity work for Make a Wish, Actionaid
and Smile of the Child.
In addition to her impressive TV career, Laspa has also enjoyed time as a professional
sportswoman. A national swimming champion, she was part of the national team in
the Balkan and Mediterranean Games and has also participated in national beach
volley ball games for charity.
A keen rally fan, this was Laspas first experience in a rally car and the
Greek celebrity found Tidemand and the Ford Fiesta R2 much faster than she had
expected. Unfortunately for Laspa, Tidemand chose to stick with regular co-driver
Stig Rune Skjaermoen as the Scandinavian pairing began their debut assault on
the 58th Acropolis Rally.
Katerina Laspa said:
Pontus [Tidemand] was very very fast a lot faster than I had expected.
He was the perfect driver and I would love to have the chance to do it again next
year. Thankfully he [Tidemand] knew where he was going and we made it back as
I am not so sure that I would make a very good co-driver!
Pontus Tidemand said:
- It was really good fun. The stage was very fast downhill and I think Katerina
[Laspa] was a little surprised with the speed and movement in the car. But she
wanted to go out for another run as soon as we finished the first one so I think
she enjoyed it I think I will stick with Stig Rune [Skjaermoen] for the
to watch the video of Laspas passenger ride with Pontus Tidemand.
12-05-25 Elsewhere second Midday
Quotex, Acropolis Rally Day 1
Mads Østberg, Adapta World Rally Team, Ford Fiesta RS WRC (6th)
- The stages have been quite ok, but we have been working a lot with the
set-up of the car to try and make it perfect. It is just small details, but when
you are fine-tuning, just a few clicks can be totally wrong. We have tried a bit
of everything and we are getting there now. On the last stage [SS6] the car felt
quite good so we will try a little bit more in service now and hopefully it will
be ok for the afternoon. If not, then I can do some changes myself out there.
- Apart from that everything else seems to be going ok. We are catching
Evgeny [Novikov] and our aim will be to get ahead of him this afternoon so we
have the advantage of road position going into tomorrow.
Martin Prokop, Ford Fiesta RS WRC (9th)
- The stages are very nice, but there was some mud on the last stage [SS6]
which was a little tricky. There was a mix of very slow and very sharp corners
so the momentum was changing all the time. We had a small mistake on the last
stage [SS6] where I lost the rear and we went into a half spin we had to
restart the engine about five times but we got going again which is the main thing.
- Nasser [Al-Attiyah] has also been setting some really good times, so I
dont think we will catch him this afternoon. When I saw he went for the
soft tyre I was surprised, but now I understand why he chose them! We also went
with two spares which may have been a little over cautious, but it is better to
be safe here.
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Ford Fiesta RRC (14th)
- It was ok. I think I made the car a little hard so will need to take it
one click sofTer for the last stages. But I am really enjoying it. Some of the
stages are a little rough, but it is a good challenge. Now we will have a look
at the set-up in service and see if we can improve the pace a little.
Oleksii Tamrazov, Ford Fiesta RS WRC (15th)
- The stages were ok, but the first one was really slippery and we had to
really concentrate. But I am really enjoying the stages and we will try and push
a little harder this afternoon set some good times and make M-Sport proud
Spyros Pavlides, Ford Fiesta RS WRC (20th)
- The first stage [SS5] went very well and we set a really good time. But
on the second stage [SS6] we got stuck in the mud and stalled which cost us about
a minute. But we will try again. This afternoon is all about trying to push a
Louise Cook, Ford Fiesta ST (45th)
- The first stage [SS5] was good and we managed to get a good rhythm with
the pacenotes which was encouraging. Stefan [Davies, co-driver] hasnt been
too well but he is a bit better now so he managed to speak the notes really quickly.
- The second stage [SS6] wasnt so great. It was really rough and there
are some massive rocks in there which you have to really look out for. Also it
looks like we might have an issue with the engine we had to keep turning
it of and on again on the stage.
- We have been trying to amend our notes as we have been going through,
so hopefully the second pass will be good. We are just taking it easy, gaining
experience and trying to finish the day.
12-05-25 M-Sport Ford WRT second
Midday Quotes, Acropolis Rally Day 1
Evgeny Novikov (5th) said:
- The stages were ok. The last one [SS6] was a bit slippery but we made
it through ok. The car feels good so this afternoon will be all about driving
at the same speed and ironing out any small mistakes.
Ott Tänak (7th) said:
- The stages were ok. The beginning of the first stage [SS5] was a little
slippery and quite loose which was not so nice running quite early on the road
but it got better as the stage went on.
- As for the second stage [SS6] the beginning was starting to dry, but then
it got damper and damper as the stage went on so that was pretty tricky. We couldnt
get a good rhythm because the car was sliding a bit too much. But it will be ok,
my main aim is to get the experience of these stages.
12-05-24 Latvala leads for Ford
in Greece after Solberg wins qualifying
Ford World Rally Team drivers Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila made a stylish
return from injury to lead the Acropolis Rally of Greece after tonights
opening speed test. Latvala, recovering from a broken left collarbone, won the
25.24km Kineta special stage, the longest of the rally, by 2.8sec in a Ford Fiesta
RS World Rally Car.
Team-mates Petter Solberg and Chris Patterson were fifth in another Fiesta RS
WRC, 14.6sec behind their colleagues. Solberg admitted his choice of Michelins
soft compound tyres was a mistake as the rough and rocky roads near
Loutraki, west of Athens, proved more abrasive than he thought.
Latvalas early lead ended a satisfying day for the Ford team, which earlier
claimed first and second in qualifying for this sixth round of the FIA World Rally
Championship. Solberg was fastest over the 6.20km test by just 0.098sec from Latvala.
It meant the duo were able to select low starting positions for the opening leg,
from which they hope to benefit from cleaner and faster road conditions.
Latvala missed the previous round in Argentina after falling while cross-country
ski-ing in training. However, the 27-year-old was quickly back into the groove
in tonights test, which contained a 4.5km asphalt section in the middle,
and was held under cloudy skies and cool temperatures.
- The stage felt very fast, but perhaps it was because Ive not been
in a rally car for a few weeks, he said. My split times were similar
to Sébastien Loebs but I pulled clear at the hairpins in the final
section. I had no pain in my shoulder, which is encouraging for the rest of the
rally, and now I will have some treatment from our physio. This will be a rough,
tough rally, so I must take care.
Solberg completed the stage with all four tyres badly worn, and the 37-year-old
Norwegian admitted his gamble in opting for soft rubber was an error.
- It was my choice, he said. The team said it was a risk and
they were right. I thought the tyres could work well in the falling temperatures
and I expected the roads to be sandier with our low start position. But the car
slid around a lot, even before the asphalt. Its not the end of the world.
Ive led several rallies this season during the first leg, but now Im
the chaser, so lets see how that works.
Ford World Rally Team director Malcolm Wilson said: Im delighted to
see Jari-Matti back on form after his injury. He did an excellent job. Petter
thought soft tyres were worth a try but it didnt pay off. He did well not
to lose too much time and hes still in a solid top five position.
News from other Ford teams
Adapta World Rally Teams Mads Østberg and Jonas Andersson were fourth
in their Fiesta RS WRC, ahead of M-Sport Ford World Rally Teams Evgeny Novikov
and Denis Giraudet in sixth. Team-mates Ott Tänak and Kuldar Sikk were seventh,
despite a small spin near the start, while the Czech Ford National Team Car of
Martin Prokop and Zdenek Hruza was eighth. Brazil World Rally Teams Daniel
Oliveira and Carlos Magalhaes lie 12th.
Friday is a marathon for competitors, with more than 700km of driving and almost
16 hours behind the wheel. They start at 06.00 and journey north around the Gulf
of Corinth to tackle stages near Itea that have not been used since 2009.
After leaving Loutraki there are only two short remote service zones in Itea,
during which competitors can only use spare parts carried in the rally car. The
day ends at 21.50 after a 45 minute service in Loutraki, following eight stages
and 169.12km of action.
Leaderboard after Day 1
1. J-M Latvala/M Anttila FIN Ford Fiesta RS 17min 38.0sec
2. S Loeb/D Elena FRA Citroen DS3 17min 40.8sec
3. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen FIN Citroen DS3 17min 45.1sec
4. M Østberg/J Andersson NOR Ford Fiesta RS 17min 51.7sec
5. P Solberg/C Patterson NOR Ford Fiesta RS 17min 52.6sec
6. E Novikov/D Giraudet RUS Ford Fiesta RS 17min 58.4sec
7. O Tänak/K Sikk EST Ford Fiesta RS 18min 14.3sec
8. M Prokop/Z Hruza CZE Ford Fiesta RS 18min 15.4sec
9. T Neuville/N Gilsoul BEL Citroen DS3 18min 15.8sec
10 S Ogier/J Ingrassia FRA Skoda Fabia S2000 18min 19.8sec
Stage 1: 1. Latvala 17min 38.0sec; 2. Loeb + 2.8; 3. Hirvonen + 7.1; 4. Østberg
+ 13.7; 5. P Solberg + 14.6; 6. Novikov + 20.4.
12-05-24 M-Sport Ford WRT end of
Day Quatex, Acropolis Rally day 1
Evgeny Novikov (6th) said:
- For sure this [SS1] was not the easiest stage to start with. It was quite
difficult and there are a lot of tricky places. There is an asphalt section in
the middle and we took it easy through there as we have never driven that section
in competition and I didnt want to take any risks. So we lost a bit of time
- Apart from that, everything was fine. The stage was completely dry and
there was no rain at all.
Ott Tänak (7th) said:
- The stage was quite ok, but it was very loose and quite slippery. We had
a spin at the beginning of the stage, but after that the feeling was getting better
and better. Other than that we had no problems and I am looking forward to tomorrows
12-05-24 Ready for Anything
'It's Bruno again. A lot's happened since my last column and the rally hasn't
even started yet!
'Our crews have just completed the Qualifying Stage without any problems, Armindo
and Miguel are in a new car they hadn't tested before so they took the two runs
of Free Practice to find a good set-up for the weekend and then headed straight
into the Qualifying Stage and choose to run second on the road. Paulo and Edu
had a trouble-free and clean run and will set off later today at the front of
'As you may have heard we had an 'interesting' test at the start of the week.
After three runs through the stage, Armindo and Miguel clipped a large rock -
typical of the Greek terrain - with the front right wheel of their MINI Countryman
John Cooper Works WRC and flipped the car nose over end. It was quite dramatic,
but fortunately the crew were unhurt. Having been working with Armindo now for
five years, I can honestly say that this is the first time I've ever known him
to have an accident like this on a test, but, we all know, that's rally! Unfortunately,
the car didn't come out of it as well as the crew - it was a write off. It was
action stations as our third car travelled here from Italy overnight arriving
on Tuesday and the mechanics and the rest of the team worked night and day to
be prepared for scrutineering on Wednesday to make sure we could start the rally
without a hiccough.
'Armindo and Miguel went for a check-up before recce and Armindo visited the physio
to make sure his back was OK after the impact. They completed recce with no problems,
determined to make up for the incident during the rally and focused on making
the best pace notes possible - taking care to beware of every rock and mark out
cuts where depending on the start order rocks might be revealed if the roads start
to be worn away by cars in front of them.
'Meanwhile, Paulo had a great test, drove just over 100km and increased his confidence
and feel for the road throughout the day. With Paulo being a big supporter of
Erechim Rally in Brazil which finished last weekend, part of his spirit was of
course at home with his countrymen. Now he's here in Greece as focused as ever
on increasing the profile of rallying in Brazil and encourage everyone to understand
exactly why he loves rally sport so much!
'Last night Armindo had the opportunity to try his very own WRC Team MINI Portugal
MINI in the third edition of the WRC video game saga during the pre-launch press
event. It was great, he also had a lot of interviews with gaming press from all
over Europe giving his feedback to improve the game before it's release in October.
'After some filming and a photoshoot this morning, the crews are now preparing
to go to Athens for the Ceremonial Start where they will take part in a presentation
of a one-of-a-kind signed WRC Team MINI Portugal bike alongside the other WRC
manufacturers which will be auctioned during the rally to raise money to support
the Hellenic Society for Disabled Children. The crews will then head straight
to the first stage of the event from Athens.
Watch this space for more updates from WRC Team MINI Portugal, let's hope for
a good start to the Acropolis Rally!'
12-05-24 Hirvonen advises FIA WRC
The FIA WRC Academy crews continued their training with a chance to meet Citroën
Total World Rally Teams Mikko Hirvonen yesterday evening (Wednesday).
Having contested the Acropolis Rally on nine previous occasions with four podium
finishes and a win with Ford in 2009,
Hirvonen was the perfect candidate to share his experiences and advice of the
Greek stages as well as his long career competing at rallyings highest level
in the World Rally Championship (WRC).
In an informal discussion with the WRC Academy competitors, the Citroën driver
was able to share his advice and tips as he gave the crews another perspective
on both the event and rallying in general. The Finn provided the youngsters with
a whole host of recce tips on an event where detailed pacenotes will prove vital
as well as discussing the route he took from national rallying in the Finnish
National Championship to competing in the international field.
Mikko Hirvonen said:
I think the WRC Academy is a very good initiative and a very good series
for young drivers to be involved in. It is a great way to gain experience of the
WRC and learn how to compete on a range of events.
All the [WRC Academy] guys are really enthusiastic and eager to learn and
they seem to have learnt a lot already. The WRC Academy is certainly a very good
stepping stone for the future.
Jose Suárez said:
The session with Mikko [Hirvonen] was very informative and we learnt a lot
from him. It was a great opportunity to speak to someone at his level and gain
some tips and advice from someone at the top of the sport something that
we would never have had the chance to do outside of the WRC Academy.
For me, the best piece of advice he gave was about second stage passes.
In Greece we will do no repeat stages in the WRC Academy, so to get his perspective
on this and understand just how much the terrain changes will for sure be very
useful in the future.
Supported by Ford Racing in Europe and with control tyres from Pirelli, the WRC
Academy kick-starts with a 25 km Super Special this evening where the crews will
be looking to put all of Hirvonens advice into practice.
12-05-24 Akropolisrallyt, nästa
tuffa utmaning för landslagsföraren Fredrik Åhlin
I helgen väntar en tuff och utmanande deltävling i WRC Academy på
den svenske landslagsföraren i rally, Fredrik Åhlin och hans kartläsare
Morten Abrahamsen. Akropolisrallyt anses vara en av de allra tuffaste VM-tävlingarna
i kalendern. Det är kombinationen av det extremt varma vädret och de
gropiga, steniga och hårda vägarna som gör rallyt extra utmanande.
- Vi får räkna med en temperatur långt över 30 grader
utanför bilen, och en temperatur runt 60 grader inne i bilen berättar
Fredrik. Som att köra bil och läsa karta inne i en bastu. Detta
ackompanjeras av rejält med stensprut i hjulhusen, och till råga på
allt damm, damm och åter damm. Det kommer att bli tuffa och svettiga
sträckor säger Fredrik.
- Extrema förhållanden orsakar ofta överraskningar, så
vi ska inte glömma de extremt tuffa vägarna heller fortsätter
Fredrik. Sylvassa stenar som sticker upp ur den hårda och knöliga
vägbanan. Här gäller det att välja rätt spår mellan
stenpiggarna. Hemligheten är nog en intelligent blandning mellan hastighet
och försiktighet tror Fredrik.
Inför Akropolisrallyt var tanken att Fredrik och Morten skulle värma
upp med att köra SSR South Swedish Rally. De skulle köra tävlingen
i en likadan Ford Fiesta R2 som de tävlar med i WRC Academy. Allt gick bra
till en början och duon låg i ledning i sin klass tills topplockspackning
efter några sträckor gav upp.
- Det var tråkigt att det gick som det gick, men kul så länge
det varade säger Fredrik. Samma sak hände också landslagskompisen
Pontus Tidemand i SSR. Han fick bryta med dubbelpunktering efter att ha legat
i ledning i sin klass. Nu är vi båda på plats här i Grekland
och ska försöka försvara de svenska färgerna hela vägen
in till mål berättar Fredrik.
Kuststaden Loutraki, som ligger 80 km väster om Aten, är centralort
för rallyt. Fredrik och Morten anlände till orten tidigare i veckan
och har nu kört rekognosering på rallysträckorna.
- Till och med reccen var tuff mot oss och mot bilen säger Fredrik.
Men det var bra, nu fick vi en försmak av hur det kommer att vara i
bilen under tävlingen varmt, dammigt, svettigt och blött
säger Fredrik innan han går iväg för att ta sig en välbehövlig
Den ceremoniella starten sker i Zappion Aten på torsdag eftermiddag, och
målgång för WRC Academy är på lördag eftermiddag.
12-05-23 Training sees FIA WRC
Academy Crews well prepared for the challenges ahead
The FIA WRC Academy crews will be well prepared for the challenges that lay in
wait on the 58th Acropolis Rally this week as they complete a comprehensive training
programme incorporating a mix of practical, theoretical, social and cultural activities.
Famed as the roughest event on the World Rally Championship (WRC) calendar, the
crews had the opportunity to relax at the Loutraki Thermal Spa before the recce
started followed by a lesson in bush mechanics from one of Ford World
Rally Teams most experienced technicians.
Formerly known as the legendary city of Thermae, the rally base in Loutraki is
home to the healing waters which, according to Greek mythology, were bathed in
by Artemis and Apollo. Today, the thermal springs have been transformed into a
modern spa resort in which the ancient approach to therapy, relaxation and rejuvenation
At the invitation of the Mayor of Loutraki, the WRC Academy crews were given the
opportunity to experience the healing waters for themselves as they relaxed ahead
of the rally. Only one competitor, Ashley Haigh-Smith, was brave enough to take
a cold dip in the plunge pool after the sauna, but all where able to unwind and
catch up with their colleagues. This activity provided an ideal opportunity for
the young stars to focus their minds for what is set to be one of the most challenging
events in their careers to date.
In a new approach from the theoretical training of the WRC Academys inaugural
season, this years series will see the crews partake in more practical,
hands-on training as M-Sport endeavours to provide the stars of tomorrow with
a broad range of knowledge and techniques needed to become a future world champion.
As such, this week also saw the WRC Academy crews complete a training session
in bush mechanics from Ford World Rally Team technician, Darren Daz
Having worked with rally cars in private teams since 1989, Mason started working
with the Ford World Rally Team in 1996 as part of the recce team seconded from
Gordon Spooner Engineering. In 2001, he moved to work with M-Sport and has been
a key part of the team, providing pre-event recce support and as a senior technician
to some of the sports most iconic names. With experience of over 200 WRC events,
Mason has worked with the likes of Carlos Sainz, Colin McRae, Marcus Grönholm,
Mikko Hirvonen, Markko Märtin, Fran?ois Duval, Toni Gardemeister, Juha Kankkunen,
Petter Solberg and now Jari-Matti Latvala.
Bush mechanics is essentially the art of fixing an ailing rally car
using only the tools to hand on the stage or road section, a discipline in which
the legendary Colin McRae was an expert. Whilst driving for the Subaru World Rally
Team, McRae famously repaired a bent rear suspension link with the help of a locally
sourced rock in Argentina removing the suspension arm from the car and
dropping the rock from a height in an attempt to straighten the link before re-fitting
it to the car. The Scots ingenuity prevented retirement and helped him make
it back to service where the technicians were able to replace the damaged part.
More recently, M-Sport Ford World Rally Teams Evgeny Novikov claimed a record-breaking
second place at the 2012 Vodafone Rally de Portugal having repaired a broken throttle
pedal with cable-ties and tank tape from the cockpit of his Ford Fiesta RS WRC
a feat which ultimately enabled the Russian to make it to the finish where
he became the youngest ever driver to stand on a WRC podium.
The most important points covered in the session included instruction on assessing
the level of damage that may have been caused, the time that may be lost, how
safe the temporary repair is deemed to be and whether or not it would be realistic
to continue. Considering the abrasive nature of the Acropolis Rally, the WRC Academys
practical training may prove invaluable to the crews as they look to secure a
strong result this weekend.
Speaking on the importance of bush mechanics, Ford World Rally Team
technician, Darren Mason, said:
The aim of the bush mechanics training session was to give the
WRC Academy crews a general insight into some of the ways in which a rally car
can be temporarily repaired using basic materials which can be carried
in the car or found in the bush out on the stages to a state
where the car can continue to reach the end of the stage or service where it can
be repaired properly.
The Acropolis Rally will present the crews with the most difficult conditions
the WRC has to offer and the combination of heat with the abrasive terrain will
test them to the limit. Thinking outside the lines a little and being inventive
can sometimes be all it takes to get out of trouble. Every situation will be different,
but a few simple ideas can go a long way: be it securing major components in place
with straps, keeping water in a cooling system by engineering temporary radiator
repairs or sealing a crack in the oil sump with a bar of soap.
All of the WRC Academy crews attended the session and showed genuine interest
and enthusiasm. Hopefully, if they are unfortunate enough to find themselves in
a tricky situation, some of what they have learnt could prove vital and keep them
on the road.
Following the training, WRC Academy competitor, Fredrik Åhlin said:
The training was really good and has actually already come in useful for
us as we broke a spring platform on the damper of our recce car yesterday! Thanks
to the training, we were able to locate the problem and stabilise it using an
exhaust clamp which lasted us the whole recce.
For sure, the training will be a big help on the rally too. This is an event
where you will be lucky to get to the finish with no problems and the skills we
learnt will no doubt make it easier to make it back to service for a full repair
should we encounter any problems.
Continuing their training, the WRC Academy crews will attend a Q&A session
with Citroën Total World Rally Teams Mikko Hirvonen this evening (Wednesday)
where they will have an opportunity to learn from the 2011 WRC runner-ups
experiences having contested the Greek stages on nine previous occasions.
Supported by Ford Racing in Europe and with control tyres from Pirelli, the WRC
Academy kicks off with a 25km Super Special on Thursday evening before embarking
on the opening loop of stages on Friday and Saturday.
12-05-23 Pontus Tidemand siktar
att ta sig runt i tuff VM-deltävling i Grekland
Imorgon Torsdag startar Rally Grecce, mer känt som Akropolis-rallyt som är
den andra deltävlingen av sex i årets Junior-VM i rally (WRC Academy).
På plats finns Junior-landslagsföraren Pontus Tidemand tillsammans
med kartläsaren Stig Rune Skjaermoen.
Rally Greece startar med en inledande 25 km lång sträcka på torsdagskvällen
och sedan skall de elva Junior-VM ekipagen köra ytterligare 12 stycken specialsträckor
under fredagen och lördagen.
- Det är riktigt tuffa vägar här nere i Grekland. Det är mycket
sten i kanterna och det gäller att tänka sig för så man inte
får punkteringar eller slår sönder bilen, berättar Pontus
som började rekognoseringen av tävlingen i måndags.
Efter en tredjeplats i första deltävlingen i Portugal så är
Pontus bästa rookie i årets serie än så länge och denna
placering hoppas Pontus kunna behålla efter helgen.
- Första målet är ta sig runt och att komma i mål och samla
värdefulla poäng men självklart skulle det sitta fint med en pallplacering
igen. Nästa deltävling efter Grekland är Finland och där är
det mer som hemma och inte så mycket yttre omständigheter som kan ställa
till det, så där kan man köra för vinst medans tävlingen
nu i helgen handlar mest om att överleva, avslutar Pontus
Fakta Junior-VM i rally (WRC Academy):
6 deltävlingar (Portugal, Grekland, Finland, Tyskland, Frankrike och Spanien)
Fem av sex deltävlingar räknas för slutresultatet.
Alla kör likadana Ford Fiesta R2 (2WD) som sköts av Ford´s officiella
Pontus Tidemand är 21 år och har kontrakt med talangutvecklingsbolaget
EVEN rally som står bakom satsningen på WRC Academy för Pontus.
Stig-Rune Skjaermoen, 25 år och boende i Elverum, Norge. Har åkt över
100 tävlingar som kartläsare och varit med i toppen av Norska Mästerskapet
i rally som förare.
Rallying with the Gods
Ciao a tutti!
'A quick introduction I'm Bruno De Pianto, Team Manager of WRC Team MINI
Portugal and Im going to keep you up to speed with the team's adventures
during Acropolis Rally of Greece, sixth round of the 2012 FIA World Rally Championship.
'Weve had a couple of hectic weeks since we got back from Argentina. First,
we took part in MINI United last weekend at the legendary Circuit Paul Ricard
in the south of France. Thousands of MINIs of every shape and colour you can imagine
gathered from all over the world for a weekend of pure fun with MINI family and
friends! It was great we were representing MINI's involvement in the WRC
and we had an awesome time!
'Then it was straight back to the Motorsport Italia workshop and all systems go
preparing for Greece and working hard to be 100% ready for one of the toughest
challenges on the WRC calendar. The rally offers rough gravel roads, high temperatures,
many, many stones and some of the most iconic stages in the whole of the WRC.
As always well be out in force at the Acropolis Rally with our two crews
Armindo Araújo and Miguel Ramalho and Paulo Nobre with Edu Paula. Both
crews know the rally from previous years and were focused on getting the
best result possible.
'Greece feels like my second home, because I worked on the Greek Rally Championship
for six years from 2004 to 2009 for our sister team Ralliart Italia
managing Greek driver Aris Vovos. We used to do eight to 10 rallies per year in
Greece so I got to know the country quite well. It's an amazing place - great
weather, great food, nice beaches and a fantastic history.
'There are two places in Greece I like most. One is Porto Carras in the north
of Greece where the ELPA Rally used to be there's a casino, it's
on the sea and there's a fantastic golf course where I used to play golf with
my driver. The other place I really like is Olympia, it's unbelievable that that
very place is where the Olympic Games were held for the first time - thousands
of years ago and where the Olympic torch is still lit before each modern
games. It's incredible being so close to a part of history. I have good memories
from that place, I went there in 2002 for my first rally in Greece and have competed
there about 10 times since. That's exactly where this photo was taken during my
first time competing on a rally in Greece. Quite incredibly, you can see my friend
and WRC Team MINI Portugal mechanic Roby also working on the car in photo
which just shows how far back some of the relationships in the team stretch!
'After working in Greece for four years, in late 2007 Armindo joined us to compete
in the PWRC. I did one more season in the Greek Championship and then my focus
turned solely to the WRC. With Ralliart Italia first and since last year also
with Motorsport Italia and the MINIs. It gets really busy at times but I love
the sport and I really enjoy traveling around the world doing my job!
'Ive just arrived in Greece, along with some of my team where its
quite unusually pouring with rain! We collected some MINIs to use during our stay
from the local MINI dealer in Athens and then travelled to Loutraki where the
rally is based. Today we will start to prepare the service park, then tomorrow
we begin preparations for the Acropolis Rally with a pre-event test with both
'I'll keep you up-to-date with WRC Team MINI Portugals adventures throughout
12-05-18 FIA WRC Academy crews
set to tackle legendary Acropolis
The FIA WRC Academy crews will embark on one of the biggest challenges in their
careers next week as they tackle the infamous Acropolis Rally. Famed as one of
the toughest events on the WRC calendar, this years competitors will have
to utilise all of their training as they look to conquer the ultimate test of
both man and machine.
Supported by Ford Racing in Europe and with control tyres from Pirelli, this will
be the WRC Academys first venture to the Greek event, which will provide
the setting for the youngsters most challenging test to date. The identical
Ford Fiesta R2s that make up the WRC Academy field have been strengthened to cope
with restricted cooling in the slow corners of the twisting mountain tracks and
withstand severe punishment from the rocks and underlying bedrock that litter
As one of the longest-standing rallies in the World Rally Championship (WRC),
the 59th Acropolis Rally may prove less torturous than the five-day events of
the past, but with temperatures reaching highs of over 30C and the earlier scheduling
rendering the roads more abrasive than last year, the WRC Academy crews will have
to adapt a blend of strength, reliability, speed and intelligence as they look
to secure a strong result.
Crews will contest the 25km Super Special on Thursday evening before tackling
the opening loops on Friday and Saturday. Despite contesting no repeat stages,
this years WRC Academy contenders will have the opportunity to drive some
of the most classic stages in Greece with runs over Bauxites and Drossohori
as well as new challenges on the final day of competition through the beautiful
Leading the WRC Academy following his victory at the Vodafone Rally de Portugal
last month, Alastair Fisher (23) will be looking to maintain his lead. The Northern
Irishman has been working with Sport Northern Ireland to ensure that he is in
the best physical shape for the demands ahead making best use of the programmes
heat chamber to test his fitness. As well as securing third place in the Fiesta
SportTrophy UK series on the Pirelli International Rally earlier this month, Fisher
has completed two extensive tests to ensure maximum seat-time before he rejoins
regular co-driver Daniel Barritt for their debut on the Greek stages.
The Acropolis Rally marks a real mile-stone for the brother and sister pairing
of Brendan Reeves (23) and Rhianon Smyth. Competing together since 2002, the second
round of the WRC Academy will mark the duos 50th event together 14
of which have been outside of their native Australia. Since securing second place
in Portugal, Reeves and Smyth contested the Targa Tasmania Rally a five-day
endurance event on home soil in which they were running third in their modified
Mazda RX8 SP before a mechanical problem forced them to retire. Reeves is currently
training in Austria with the FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy and
will be looking to put all of his training and experience to good use as he makes
his Greek debut next week.
Following a fantastic debut in the Ford Fiesta R2 last month, WRC Academy rookie
Pontus Tidemand (21) returns to the one-make series eager to build upon his third
place in the standings. The Swede has had a host of seat-time since the previous
event. After taking class victory at Rally Sørland in Norway, Tidemand
drove the zero-car on a local Swedish event, tested a Fabia S2000 and also completed
a two-day test with fellow Swede Ingemar Svenssons Ford Fiesta RS WRC. Next
up, the 21-year-old will contest the third round of the Swedish Rally Championship
alongside WRC Academy co-driver Stig Rune Skjærmoen before looking to emulate
his recent Scandinavian successes on the international stage in Greece.
Also keen to replicate his good form from the previous round in Portugal, Timo
Van Der Marel (22) will be looking for another strong result. The KNAF supported
driver contested the 2012 Rallye Sulingerland earlier this month alongside co-driving
girlfriend and former WRC Academy contender, Rebecca Smart. The pairing finished
14th overall and second in the Nissan Cup to lead the 350Z Challenge in their
Nissan 350Z. Van Der Marel is also attending the fourth workshop of the FIA Institute
Young Driver Excellence Academy where he will complete a number of practical seminars
on physical fitness and driving style sessions which will prove valuable
as he rejoins Erwin Berkhof for the Acropolis Rally next week.
After claiming three stage wins in Portugal, the Scandinavian pairing of Fredrik
Åhlin (21) and Morten Erik Abrahamsen will also return to competition in
Greece. Since the season opener, Åhlin has been working for Audi as a driving
instructor in Denmark. The 21-year old teaches an advanced driving course for
the manufacturer and put his own skills to the test with some hot-laps in an Audi
R8. The Swede will be back behind the wheel as he contests the South Swedish Rally
this weekend where he and Abrahamsen aim to finalise preparations for their debut
assault on the Acropolis Rally.
Also returning to the WRC Academy in Greece, Jose Suárez (21) will be reunited
with regular co-driver, Candido Carrera. Since Portugal, the asphalt specialist
contested Rally Auxerrois a gravel round in the French Championship
to perfect his ever-improving driving style on loose-surface events. Despite being
forced to retire from the rally with mechanical problems, the extra seat-time
and recce will see the Spaniard well placed as he looks for a strong result on
the gravel stages of the classic Greek event where he welcomes new sponsor, ACSM
Currently leading the British Rally Championship (BRC) in his Ford Fiesta R2,
Elfyn Evans (23) will be looking to replicate his home success on the international
stage. The Welshman has secured victory on every round of the Fiesta SportTrophy
UK series this year, as well as a string of top-five finishes in the BRC to lead
the championship ahead of a host of more powerful R3 specification cars. Evans
consistency and mechanical sympathy, combined with his obvious pace, is set to
prove an advantage as he makes his debut on the Acropolis Rally. In a change from
the previous event in Portugal, Evans will be joined by the 2007 and 2008 BRC
Champion, Phil Pugh. Having contested the J-WRC alongside Guy Wilks from 2004
2006, Pugh brings a wealth of experience from international events in both
the WRC and Intercontinental Rally Championship.
After debuting in the WRC Academy on his home event in Portugal, João Silva
(24) will return to the one-make series with a new co-driver Hugo Magalhães.
It has been a busy month for the Portuguese pairing as they work on building their
relationship ahead of the second round of the season. Having run together as the
zero-car on the third round of the Portuguese Championship, the pairing have also
been training hard to make sure they are in top shape for the demanding event.
This week also saw the duo conclude a test with the Ford Fiesta R2. Having completed
70 kms, the twosome learnt a lot about the car and are confident of finding a
good set-up in Greece.
Also returning to the WRC Academy, John MacCrone (23) will be looking to put the
disappointment of Portugal behind him where he was forced to Rally 2 following
damage to his Ford Fiesta R2 on the opening day of competition. The Scotsman contested
the second round of the Scottish Tarmac Rally Championship at Ingliston earlier
this month. Despite being forced to retire from the event with a mechanical issue,
MacCrone secured three fastest stage times in his Ford Fiesta R2 to out-perform
a number of more powerful specification cars. Making their debut at the Acropolis
Rally, MacCrone and fellow Scot Stuart Loudon will also welcome a new sponsor
to their squad Glengorm Castle on the Isle of Mull.
Also keen to put the disappointment of Portugal behind him, Chris Duplessis (24)
makes a welcome come-back to the one-make series after being forced to retire
from the previous round with accident damage to the rear of his Ford Fiesta R2
on the final stage. Returning to the States, the charismatic American has spent
two weeks working and training at the DirtFish Rally School in Washington. Working
on perfecting his pacenotes with the skills learnt from Ford World Rally Teams
Chris Patterson last month, Duplessis and regular co-driver Karl Atkinson will
put their training into practice as they debut on the Acropolis Rally next week
an event where detailed pacenotes can make all the difference.
Finally, making his official debut in the WRC Academy, South African Ashley Haigh-Smith
(19) brings the number of represented continents to four. As the youngest driver
in the series, the 19-year-old is currently competing in the South African Rally
Championship in a Ford Fiesta R2 and had been comfortably leading his class on
the previous round at the Sasol Rally until collecting three punctures and ultimately
being forced to retire from the event. Haigh-Smith has also been the driving force
behind an exciting project in his native South Africa which offers an extended
driving experience with the youngster and donates 20 per cent of the proceeds
to charity. Accompanied by accomplished co-driver Craig Parry who is currently
leading the BRC co-driver standings Haigh-Smith will be looking for a good
result on his Greek debut.
Series leader, Alastair Fisher said:
This will be my first time competing on the Acropolis Rally. Theres
a lot of anticipation as we all know the reputation it has as one of the toughest
events on the calendar, but I am really looking forward to the challenge.
It is one of those events where anything can happen. It is important to
have a good recce and you need to keep your head down, keep the concentration
and stay out of trouble.
Ive been working hard on my fitness with Sport Northern Ireland which
should see me well placed for the physical demands. Ive completed a number
of fitness tests with them and also been lucky enough to have use of their heat
chamber as well as working on my own fitness in the gym.
Making his debut as a registered WRC Academy driver, Ashley Haigh-Smith said:
The WRC Academy is the place to be if you want to learn and eventually progress
into top-level rallying. The competition [in the feeder series] is just as tough
as it is amongst the P1 drivers and, with an equal playing field for everyone,
it is just the driver and the navigator who make the difference which gives us
the perfect opportunity to show what we can do behind the wheel.
Im feeling good ahead of Greece. For sure it will be a tough opening
event for us, but I am looking forward to the challenge and we have been working
hard to ensure a strong result. In South Africa we dont conduct a recce
as you would in the WRC, so I have spent the past two days working on my recce
and pacenote skills up in the mountains.
The roads in South Africa are pretty rough, so hopefully that will give
us a slight advantage. But we have nothing to prove on the first event. For us,
it will be about trying to find some consistency and getting our pace up to that
of those who have had the benefit of an extra event.
12-05-18 Tactical battle awaits
M-Sport´s young guns in Greece
M-Sport Ford World Rally Teams Evgeny Novikov and Ott Tänak will be
looking to make an impact as the World Rally Championship embarks on the toughest
round of the season at the 59th Acropolis Rally next week.
First run in 1953, the Greek event is one of the longest-standing in the world
series. Famed as one of the toughest events in the calendar, M-Sports young
guns will have to put all of their experience into practice as they contend with
a mix of rough, twisting tracks through the regions mountain stages, blistering
heat and dust making visibility a challenge.
As the ultimate test of man and machine, this classic event renders driver fitness
crucial and demands a mechanical blend of strength, reliability and speed. With
air temperatures reaching highs of over 30C, the conditions place high demands
on the engine and gearbox with little cooling through the technically slow mountain
The events fearsome reputation is exemplified by the rocks and underlying
bedrock that litter the stages and M-Sports rising stars will have a tactical
battle ahead of them as they set their sights on another strong points haul.
Nevertheless, with the event holding the record for the highest number of rally
victors with more than 20 drivers making it to the top step of the podium
the duo will be keen to impress once again as they aim to translate their
speed into another good result for the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team.
Novikov and co-driver Denis Giraudet have had an impressive start to their 2012
campaign and are currently laying a credible fifth in the championship standings.
Despite a disappointing start to the previous round in Argentina, the young Russian
proved he had the pace to challenge the top-three with blistering speed over the
final day to set three second and one third fastest stage times.
This will be Novikovs fourth venture to the Greek stages and the Russian
will run with the Chelsea FC logo on his Ford Fiesta RS WRC. Given the Russian
affiliation with the English Premiership team, the association aims to illustrate
ALM Rallys support for the club as they face Bayern Munich FC in the final
of the UEFA Champions League this coming weekend.
Elsewhere, in spite of their obvious speed, it has been a difficult start to the
season for Tänak and regular co-driver Kuldar Sikk. Despite claiming three
stage victories, the Estonians season has been blighted by misfortunes and
the 24-year-old will be eager to prove his potential next week.
As well as supporting the FIA Action for Road Safety campaign, the Acropolis Rally
will see Tänak sport the Worldwide Ford Rally Fans logo on the
rear of his Ford Fiesta RS WRC Ford and M-Sports tribute to a whole
host of social media groups which have been set up in support of the brand over
the past year.
Evgeny Novikov said:
The Acropolis Rally is one of my favourite rallies. It is really challenging
and you have to be on the maximum with speed and concentration. The roads are
really rough and can be quite hard on the car so you have to know when you can
push and when you cant.
I have competed here three times before, but the earlier date this year
means that the roads may be much rougher than they have been in the past. We will
have to wait and see what to expect.
This will be my first time back in the car since Argentina as we will have
no pre-event testing, but for sure we will be looking to do our best for another
Ott Tänak said:
This is a really nice event. I competed in Greece last year and most of
the roads are ok, but some of them can be really rough and you have to be careful
and make sure your pacenotes are really detailed. With the earlier date for this
years event, it is hard to know exactly what to expect but I am looking
forward to getting back in the car.
The last few events have not been too good for us and this event will be
all about making it to the end and getting some good points on the board. Im
constantly working on my training, and hopefully this event will see me regain
my pace and my confidence behind the wheel.
12-05-18 Ford goes for gold in
Greece as Latvala returns from injury
As the Olympic flame journeys from Greece to Britain for the London games, Ford
World Rally Team heads in the opposite direction for one of the FIA World Rally
Championships classic fixtures. The team will go for gold in the gruelling
Acropolis Rally of Greece (24 -27 May), traditionally a happy hunting ground for
Ford, which has won there 13 times since the series began in 1973.
The squad is boosted by the return of lead drivers Jari-Matt Latvala and Miikka
Anttila. Latvala missed the previous round in Argentina with a broken left collarbone,
but proved his fitness at a two-day test in Portugal last week. They will join
Petter Solberg and Chris Patterson in Ford Fiesta RS World Rally Cars for the
four-day dirt event, which is significantly longer than the 2011 rally.
Seven of those wins came in the last 11 encounters of the most demanding round
of the championship for man and machine. Air temperatures in the gravel speed
tests around the Gulf of Corinth, west of Athens, will be close to 30ºC,
with cockpit temperatures well above that. Driver fitness is crucial and regular
fluid intake is vital to stave off dehydration and ensure peak performance.
Mechanically, success in Greece demands a blend of strength, reliability and speed.
The undulating gravel tracks have a fearsome reputation and cars must withstand
severe punishment from rocks which litter the surface, as well as unyielding bedrock
which forms the base of the roads. The Fiesta RS WRCs will carry additional underbody
protection to guard against damage.
The heat also places high demands on engines and gearboxes. The relatively slow
mountain speed tests, punctuated by hairpins, offer little cooling from the flow
of air, while a combination of the heat and abrasive road surface requires strong
durability from Michelins tyres.
Latvala has good experience of the Acropolis, dating back to 2003 when as an 18-year-old
he finished 10th on his World Rally Car debut. He has seven starts to his name,
with a best finish of third in 2009. The 27-year-old Finn covered 440km on his
return to the wheel in testing and reported no discomfort from his collarbone
I was surprised how good it felt, he said. I wore padding under
the HANS device to spread the pressure across my chest and shoulders and it worked
perfectly. We planned a shorter first day, but with no problems I drove a full
schedule on the second day on a rougher road, and I felt no pain in my collarbone
or shoulder. My recovery schedule has been tight but Im confident I wont
have to worry about the injury.
We worked on the suspension and made a step forward, with the car feeling
better in bedrock conditions. After so long out of the car I felt so happy and
relieved that my skills were still there!
It will be a hard rally and Saturdays leg will be especially difficult.
Its longer than last year, with two passes over a new 21km stage, and it
will be tough for the tyres in the heat. It will be important to manage the tyres
well because tyre wear could be the most important aspect. You can drive at 95
per cent in those conditions, but to drive at 100 per cent all the time would
be risky, added Latvala.
Solberg has a strong record in Greece. He scored his first career podium there
in 2001, won in 2004 and has five podium finishes from 11 starts.
Its the roughest round of the season, but well see if it proves
to be the toughest, he said. There are many big rocks in Greece and
thats what makes the rally so tricky. I learned a lot about rough road driving
when Kenyas Safari Rally was part of the championship, and thats useful
for Greece. You have to be smart with your driving in this type of event.
The rough roads and heat are also hard for the tyres. But Michelins
tyres have been strong this year so Im confident theyll be good here
also. I had some bad luck on the last two rounds, but still scored good championship
points after driving at 110 per cent to climb back up the order. Hopefully I can
have a clean run and keep the points coming, added the 37-year-old Norwegian.
* Michelins Latitude Cross gravel tyres will be used by the Ford drivers
and 48 of these will be available in hard compound. New-for-2012 regulations mean
drivers will also have 10 soft compound tyres available if conditions are wet
and muddy. However, only 48 units can be used in total during qualifying and the
rally itself. Teams are not allowed to hand-carve additional cuts into the tyres
and each car can carry two spare wheels.
* Seven privately-entered Fiesta RS WRCs are entered. Ott Tänak / Kuldar
Sikk and Evgeny Novikov / Denis Giraudet are nominated by M-Sport Ford World Rally
Team. Mads Østberg / Jonas Andersson is entered by Adapta World Rally Team,
while Brazil World Rally Team will again be present with Daniel Oliveira / Carlos
Magalhães. Martin Prokop / Zdenek Hruza will crew the Czech Ford National
Team car and the Fiesta RS WRC entries are completed by the Autotek entry of Spyros
Pavlides / Nicolas Klinger and Ukraines Oleksii Tamrazov / Oleksandr Gorbik.
* The rally marks the second round of the Ford-supported FIA WRC Academy. Eleven
crews will drive Fiesta R2 rally cars over a shortened route before a Saturday
lunchtime finish. Northern Irelands Alastair Fisher and Daniel Barritt lead
the series after the opening round in Portugal.
* The cars of Latvala and Solberg will sport the Worldwide Ford Rally Fans logo
in Greece and next months Rally New Zealand. In recognition of the support
its members have pledged to Ford World Rally Team in recent months, the social
media-founded organisations motif will appear on the rear of both cars,
as well as on several other Fiestas.
A fourth day of competition and a new-look opening leg bringing the return of
classic roads are the main changes for the 2012 edition. Loutraki, at the head
of the Corinth Canal, remains the rally base with the main service park on the
edge of the town. After Thursdays start ceremony close to the spectacular
Acropolis in central Athens, competitors tackle a single stage on the return route
to Loutraki. Friday journeys north around the Gulf of Corinth to tackle stages
near Itea that have not been used since 2009. It is the longest day, with almost
170km of competition and just two short service breaks in Itea. Saturdays
route journeys west across the Corinth Canal for stages in the Peloponnese peninsula
and Sundays final leg is identical to last year and based east of Loutraki.
Competitors tackle 22 stages covering 409.47km, 60km more than last year, in a
route of 1661.39km.
ACROPOLIS RALLY OF GREECE ROUND 6 FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 24 - 27 May 2012
Thursday 24 May: Qualifying and Day 1: Loutraki - Loutraki
QS Aghii Theodori 6.20km 10.33
Start A Loutraki 14.00
Start B Zappion, Athens 17.00
SS1 Kineta 25.24km 18.28
Serv A Loutraki (flexi 45 mins) 19.13
Finish Loutraki 19.58
Friday 25 May: Day 1 (cont): Loutraki - Loutraki
Serv B Loutraki (15 mins) 06.00
SS2 Aghia Marina 13.80km 06.53
SS3 Thiva 1 23.60km 08.31
SS4 Elikonas 1 19.89km 10.20
RSZ 1 Itea (15 mins) 11.53
SS5 Bauxites 1 23.17km 12.25
SS6 Drossohori 22.00km 13.19
RSZ 2 Itea (15 mins) 14.50
SS7 Bauxites 2 23.17km 15.22
SS8 Elikonas 2 19.89km 17.05
SS9 Thiva 2 23.60km 18.50
Serv C Loutraki (flexi 45 mins) 21.05
Finish Loutraki 21.50
Saturday 26 May: Day 2: Loutraki - Loutraki
Serv D Loutraki (15 mins) 07.30
SS10 Klenia Mycenae 1 17.41km 08.38
SS11 Ghymno 1 17.61km 09.45
SS12 Kefalari 1 18.40km 10.40
SS13 Ziria 1 21.36km 12.06
Serv E Loutraki (30 mins) 13.54
SS14 Klenia Mycenae 2 17.41km 15.17
SS15 Ghymno 2 17.61km 16.24
SS16 Kefalari 2 18.40km 17.19
SS17 Ziria 2 21.36km 18.45
Serv F Loutraki (flexi 45 mins) 20.20
Finish Loutraki 21.05
Sunday 27 May: Day 3: Loutraki - Loutraki
Serv G Loutraki (15 mins) 08.30
SS18 Aghii Theodori 1 19.42km 09.14
SS19 New Pissia 1 11.37km 09.45
Serv H Loutraki (30 mins) 10.58
SS20 Aghii Theodori 2 19.42km 11.57
SS21 New Pissia 2 11.37km 12.28
SS22 New Loutraki 3.97km 14.11
Serv I Loutraki (10 mins) 15.08
Finish Casino Loutraki 15.30
Rally total 409.47km
12-04-30 Stor besvikelse i Argentina
för Ramona och Miriam
Det blev en stor besvikelse under Rally Argentina för Ramona och Miriam.
Redan under första etappen tvingades de bryta rallyt på grund av trasig
oljekylare. Vi gjorde en miss i noterna som gjorde att vi kom för snabbt
in i en kurva, och åkte över ett hinder som stod i vägkanten.
Odramatiskt och vi kunde fortsätta, men när oljelampan började
lysa slog vi av motorn på en gång. Det visade sig oturligt nog att
oljekylaren som sitter höger fram hade slagits sönder, säger
Ramona och Miriam och fortsätter, Ord kan inte beskriva hur besvikna
vi är. Detta är ett bevis på hur utslagsgivande rally är
och hur pass små marginaler det handlar om. Det kändes otroligt bra
innan rallyt. Vi hade förberett oss på bästa vis och kände
oss lugna men samtidigt riktigt laddade. När oljelampan tändes kändes
det bara som att dra ner rullgardinen, detta är verkligen det tråkigaste
vi varit med om på en rallytävling.
På den 55 km långa shakedownsträckan fick tjejerna ett kvitto
på att de var med och slogs. Av de 17 startande i Gr.N var de 6:e snabbast,
och enbart två sekunder efter segraren Benito Guerra från Mexico.
Inställningarna på bilen kändes riktigt bra och vi såg
verkligen fram emot en tuff fight, säger Ramona. Och det visade sig
även bli ett mycket tufft rally, precis som förutspått. Mindre
än hälften av ekipagen kom i mål; 27 av 69 stycken.
- Vi gör det bästa av detta. Vi har gett oss ut och åkt
tävlingssträckorna efter tävlingen för att kontrollera noter
och se i vilket skick vägarna är. Nästa år ska vi tillbaks,
det bara är så. Nu laddar vi om inför Nya Zeeland istället,
säsongen har bara börjat! säger Ramona och Miriam.
12-04-30 Thank you Argentina and
your wonderful fans!
'Hola everybody, it's 'Palmeirinha' again!
'Today at Rally Argentina I drove the longest Special Stage of my entire rally
career, the 65.74km Matadero - Ambul stage. Of course I've driven longer stages
in cross country but in a rally it was the fist time. The stage was really fast
and I got so tired by the end of it, but - gosh - it was incredibly beautiful.
I really hope it continues to be part of the itinerary of Rally Argentina in the
future because it's a really great stage.
'After that there were two small Special Stages - Mina Clavero and El Condor -
and for me those are the most iconic stages of Rally Argentina, when I think of
Rally Argentina I think of those stages. They are really twisty and narrow tests
with a lot of rocks, quite tough for my MINI 'Porquinho Verde'! We completed them
really well in the morning and we arrived in the Service Park at lunchtime really
happy and motivated to finish the rally. This was a great boost of confidence
after all the problems Edu and I had in Sweden, Mexico and Portugal.
'However, in the afternoon loop the car didn't survive many many hits. It wasn't
one specific hit or one specific stone that the car couldn't survive but a combination
of many. Then parts started to brake on the MINI and eventually the suspension
broke and finally the wheel came off on SS17. It was game over, we had to stop!
'Where we stopped there was an Argentine family who made us coffee and tea and
gave us some food. Everybody else left the Special Stage after it was finished,
there were many many people - it was incredible how many spectators came to watch
the rally - but even after everybody else left the kind family stayed, they started
a fire and gave us more drinks. They were very very kind. Normally Brazilians
think that because of the the rivalry in soccer, Argentinians will treat them
very badly but wow these people were so kind with us because we all loved rally!
'Unfortunately our team mates Armindão and Miguelito retired on the same
stage as us, It was a real shame as they were getting consistently good times
but they suffered constantly on the stages despite their incredible control of
the MINI. They stopped two kilometers after us with a broken steering arm and
while they were waiting for the recovery vehicle, Armindo fell asleep in his MINI
and the fans took a lot of pictures of him sleeping in the car and they came to
show us and the family. It was quite funny!
'This is the fourth rally in a row I haven't finished. Of course that's not good
for our motivation but I need to realize that rally isn't easy and that is why
it means so much when you succeed. If you can't handle it you have to change sport
and play chess! Now it's a new page for a new rally. Rally Argentina wasn't the
first bad rally of my career and it won't be the last. My head is now on the Acropolis
Rally, an event that I know a little bit because I competed there last year -
I'm really hoping for a better result there!
'Now I'm looking forward to go to my house in Brazil to recharge my battery but
I know that in a few days my rally 'bug' will be reignited and I'll be ready for
'I really hope you've enjoyed this ride on board with me and the WRC Team MINI
Portugal. We'll be back for more action from 24 to 27th May at the Acropolis Rally
in Grecce, stay tuned!
'Thank you very much for all your support throughout this weekend!
Paulo 'Palmeirinha' Nobre
12-04-30 Fords 150 WRC points
finishes by numbers
Ford created history today by becoming the first manufacturer to score 150 consecutive
points finishes in the FIA World Rally Championship. Sixth place for Petter Solberg
and Chris Patterson at Rally Argentina brought up the landmark achievement.
Here are some of the key numbers behind Fords record:
1 The first rally in the scoring run was the 2002 Rallye Monte-Carlo when Carlos
Sainz and Luis Moya finished third and Colin McRae and Nicky Grist were fourth.
Both were driving Ford Focus RS World Rally cars.
6 Victories at Rally Sweden, the most successful event.
8 Ford Fiesta RS World Rally Cars finished in the top 10 at the 2011 Rally GB.
12 Drivers who contributed to Fords record. They are Mikko Hirvonen (84
points finishes), Jari-Matti Latvala (48), Marcus Grönholm (29), Markko Märtin
(28), François Duval (19), Toni Gardemeister (13), Roman Kresta (10), Carlos
Sainz (9), Colin McRae (9), Petter Solberg (4), Janne Tuohino (2), Henning Solberg
14 Consecutive podiums for the official Ford team between 2006 Rally dItalia
Sardegna and 2007 Rally Mexico, and again from 2007 Rally Argentina to 2008 Rally
18 Countries in which Ford has won.
23 Countries in which Ford has scored points.
27 The percentage of rallies Ford has won during the 150 events.
40 Ford wins.
50 The 50th consecutive finish came at the 2005 Cyprus Rally when Toni Gardemeister
and Jakke Honkanen finished fifth, one place ahead of Roman Kresta and Jan Moný.
75 Rally New Zealand in 2006 marked not only the 75th consecutive finish, but
it was also the rally in which Ford clinched the manufacturers world title.
96 Podiums achieved.
100 The centenary was reached at the 2008 Rally of Turkey when Ford claimed a
1-2 finish. Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen won and Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka
Anttila were second.
1983 Points scored in the manufacturers championship.
12-04-30 Ford creates history with
landmark result at Rally Argentina
Ford today claimed its 150th consecutive points finish in the FIA World Rally
Championship. Sixth place for Petter Solberg and Chris Patterson at Rally Argentina
enabled Ford to become the first manufacturer to reach the milestone figure in
the championships 39-year history.
The record-breaking run began in the opening round of the 2002 series in Monte
Carlo. At least one of the teams nominated drivers has finished in a points-scoring
position in every round since.
Ford and rally partner M-Sport celebrated the achievement at the finish ceremony
of this fifth round of the 2012 championship in Carlos Paz this afternoon. Ford
Racing senior manager Gerard Quinn and Ford World Rally Team director Malcolm
Wilson joined Solberg and Patterson in front of their Fiesta RS World Rally Car
as they took the applause of the huge crowds.
This record is the product of a remarkable blend of speed and reliability.
Weve shown over a decade of WRC rallies that we can score consistently.
Celebrating 150 consecutive points finishes here today gives us the confidence
to go on to mount a challenge for the manufacturers title during the remaining
eight rounds of the season, said Quinn.
However, there was also disappointment for the team when Dani Sordo and Carlos
del Barrio retired their Fiesta RS WRC from third place with a suspected alternator
problem just 4km from the end of the 502km rally. Sordo, replacing the injured
Jari-Matti Latvala in a one-off appearance, delivered a superb performance to
lie inside the top three from the start after only a single days testing.
Rally Argentina was the longest WRC round for almost a decade. Heavy rain before
the start made the gravel roads in Cordoba province, 700km north-west of Buenos
Aires, extremely slippery. With the rules allowing only a limited allocation of
Michelins wet weather soft compound tyres, drivers were forced to complete
much of the event using compromise hard compound rubber or worn soft tyres.
Solberg took the lead on Thursday nights opening speed test and extended
his advantage to more than 20 seconds on Friday morning. However, the 37-year-old
Norwegian suffered heartbreak when his cars sump guard hit some bedrock
and bent the left steering arm. When the arm later broke, his car was pitched
off the road into a rock and retirement.
He restarted with a 15 minute time penalty in 11th place. But a determined drive
propelled him to sixth, winning nine of the last 10 special stages and claiming
all six in todays final leg. He also won the final Power Stage, claiming
three bonus points to retain second in the drivers championship.
After what happened on Friday, I have to be happy with sixth, said
Solberg. To win all six tests and the Power Stage today was perfect. Im
proud of what we achieved yesterday and today. Friday was the toughest day Ive
had for a long time, but the result shows why you should never give up, no matter
what the situation.
The stages were enjoyable and the car felt good, so I was able to push hard
today. The disappointing thing is that I could have won. This could have been
my first victory for a long time, but well continue to work hard and I know
it will come soon, he added.
Sordos fine performance ended just after the start of the final 4.15km Copina
test when a suspected alternator problem brought his car to a halt.
At the finish of the penultimate stage there were alarms flashing in the
car indicating a battery problem, said Sordo. We started the final
stage but less than 1km into the test the car stopped. Its a disappointing
way to finish, but the weekend was a good experience.
I was happy with my performance. Finishing was our goal so not to do so
was sad, but it was good working with the team. Id like to thank Ford and
M-Sport for giving me the opportunity to drive the Fiesta RS WRC. I loved the
car and really enjoyed my four days of Rally Argentina, he added.
Team director Wilson said: Petter produced a great recovery which culminated
in him winning the Power Stage. After everything that happened, to leave Argentina
with Petter still second in the championship is good. Dani did a perfect job and
it was desperately sad for him to retire so close to the finish. The fact that
the voltage in the car was so low indicates it was an alternator problem.
News from other Ford teams
Mads Østberg and Jonas Andersson climbed to third in the Adapta World Rally
Team car after Sordos retirement, while Czech duo Martin Prokop and Zdenek
Hruza moved up to a career-best fourth. After first day retirements, M-Sport Ford
World Rally Teams Evgeny Novikov and Denis Giraudet and team-mates Ott Tänak
and Kuldar Sikk restarted under Rally 2 rules. They focused on learning the roads
and perfecting their pace notes and were rewarded with eighth and 10th respectively.
Brazil World Rally Teams Daniel Oliveira and Carlos Maghaläes did not
restart today after damage resulting from a broken driveshaft yesterday.
Round six takes competitors back to Europe for the Acropolis Rally of Greece,
which is based in Loutraki on 24 - 27 May.
1. S Loeb/D Elena FRA Citroen DS3 5hr 34min 38.8sec
2. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen FIN Citroen DS3 5hr 34min 54.0sec
3. M Østberg/J Andersson NOR Ford Fiesta RS 5hr 37min 49.2sec
4. M Prokop/Z Hruza CZE Ford Fiesta RS 5hr 44min 24.1sec
5. T Neuville/N Gilsoul BEL Citroen DS3 5hr 45min 56.4sec
6. P Solberg/C Patterson NOR Ford Fiesta RS 5hr 46min 41.0sec
7. S Ogier/J Ingrassia FRA Skoda Fabia S2000 5hr 47min 04.1sec
8. E Novikov/D Giraudet RUS Ford Fiesta RS 5hr 55min 49.0sec
9. N Al Attiyah/G Bernacchini QAT Citroen DS3 6hr 03min 01.4sec
10 O Tänak/K Sikk EST Ford Fiesta RS 6hr 11min 58.3sec
1. S Loeb 91pts
2. P Solberg 73pts
3. M Hirvonen 70pts
4. M Østberg 68pts
5. E Novikov 43pts
6. J-M Latvala 28pts
1. Citroen Total WRT 151pts
2. Ford WRT 106pts
3. M-Sport Ford WRT 81pts
4. Qatar WRT 37pts
5. Citroen Junior WRT 30pts
6. Adapta WRT 27pts
Stage 14: 1. P Solberg 38min 16.0sec; 2. Neuville + 23.7; 3. Novikov + 37.0; 4.
Prokop + 46.3; 5. Sordo + 47.6; 6. Østberg + 47.8.
Overall: 1. Loeb 4hr 36min 56.6sec; 2. Hirvonen + 6.0; 3. Sordo + 1:34.7; 4. Østberg
+ 2:54.1; 5. Prokop + 9:09.0; 6. Neuville + 11:11.9; 9. P Solberg + 13:09.0.
Stage 15: 1. P Solberg 15min 38.1sec; 2. Novikov + 10.7; 3. Neuville + 16.8; 4.
Hirvonen + 18.6; 5. Prokop + 21.6; 6. Sordo + 23.9.
Overall: 1. Loeb 4hr 52min 59.1sec; 2. Hirvonen + 0.2; 3. Sordo + 1:34.2; 4. Østberg
+ 2:55.3; 5. Prokop + 9:06.2; 6. Neuville + 11:04.3; 8. P Solberg + 12:44.6.
Stage 16: 1. P Solberg 13min 17.5sec; 2. Novikov + 18.5; 3. Loeb + 19.1; 4. Hirvonen
+ 20.2; 5. Neuville + 22.8; 6. Sordo + 23.0.
Overall: 1. Loeb 5hr 06min 35.7sec; 2. Hirvonen + 1.3; 3. Sordo + 1:38.1; 4. Østberg
+ 3:01.6; 5. Prokop + 9:14.1; 6. Neuville + 11:08.0; 8. P Solberg + 12:25.5.
Stage 17: 1. P Solberg 15min 29.3sec; 2. Novikov + 1.7; 3. Neuville + 10.1; 4.
Sordo + 10.9; 5. Al Attiyah + 16.4; 6. Loeb + 16.5.
Overall: 1. Loeb 5hr 22min 21.5sec; 2. Hirvonen + 5.6; 3. Sordo + 1:32.5; 4. Østberg
+ 3:02.8; 5. Prokop + 9:25.9; 6. Neuville + 11:01.6; 8. P Solberg + 12:09.0.
Stage 18: 1. P Solberg 9min 37.6sec; 2. Loeb + 5.1; 3. Østberg + 10.4;
4. Sordo + 13.8; 5. Neuville + 14.1; 6. Novikov + 14.6.
Overall: 1. Loeb 5hr 32min 04.2sec; 2. Hirvonen + 15.8; 3. Sordo + 1:41.2; 4.
Østberg + 3:08.1; 5. Prokop + 9:38.4; 6. Neuville + 11:10.6; 7. P Solberg
Stage 19: 1. P Solberg 2min 32.9sec; 2. Hirvonen + 1.1; 3. Al Attiyah + 1.5; 4.
Loeb + 1.7; 5. Novikov + 3.2; 6. Østberg + 4.0.
Overall: 1. Loeb 5hr 34min 38.8sec; 2. Hirvonen + 15.2; 3. Østberg + 3:10.4;
4. Prokop + 9:45.3; 5. Neuville + 11:17.6; 6. P Solberg + 12:02.2.
12-04-29 Don't Cry For Me Argentina
- We'll Fight Another Day!
'Ohhh goshhh! Another tough day! But no problem Edu and I wont be defeated.
Well find our good luck again!
'Day Two started very early again and we took our little green pig
from parc ferme before 7am, then after first service we drove almost 100km to
start the first Super Special of the day! Today we were third on the road behind
the Russian Novikov and in front the Chilean Salazar (also in a MINI!) The opening
Special Stage wasnt long, only 20km, but there was a lot of
mud that recce hadnt prepared us for and even a few corners that were not
in our pace notes. This sometimes makes the Super Special seem like a bit of a
lottery. On one of these corners, I was scared I was going to go off the road
and have no idea when or how to stop! But I tried to be calm and tried to use
the accelerator to take the corner sideways. Unfortunately we spun, but better
that than to leave the road! Anyway, it was a very tricky stage, but be managed
to get through it without any big problems and there were two very nice ladies
at the end of the stage giving out Red Bulls, one of them with such an amazing
smile that it made my day!
'The second Special Stage of the day was the same distance as the first. Some
parts were very narrow and twisty with even more mud.... But, hey who ever said
Rally Argentina was easy? And the good news was we made it through this
stage too without any problems!!
'The third stage was very long, 40km, and threw all sorts of surprises at us...
The beginning is twisty, with some stones that seem to appear out of nowhere.
There are some fast parts after that with tight corners, which demand focus. In
the middle the stage it becomes a goat way, it's very, very narrow
and twisty. During the recce Edu and I actually thought wed taken the wrong
road, because it was impossible that this could really be part of an official
stage. Can you imagine it?
But we loved it and the last part of the stage was as fast as anything!!! To be
honest to go there "pe no porrão" (a Brazilian expression that
means 'pedal to the metal') the driver would need to have three balls! Like most
people I only have the two so I couldnt push or drive the stage as it should
be driven. Even so, it was very nice and I could feel the adrenaline pumping through
We were so happy to finish the first loop of the day and bring our MINI back to
lunchtime service safely. However, rallying, like in soccer, is a box of surprises...
Just as we were about to leave the service park the mechanics found a problem
in the engine's cooler system that was losing pressure. Anyway we registered at
time control three minutes late because of that but at least they fixed the problem!
'The real problem came on the same very long road section from the morning, which
we started the afternoon loop with. Just as we were about to get to the time control
for the fourth stage, the water temperature alarm went off and we couldnt
open the bonnet to check everything over so we decided not to start the afternoon
stages. It was very disappointing, but thats rally! When I stop being able
to live without the pace and excitement (both good and bad) then its time
to change sport!
'We waited for our mechanics for a long time, because they were stuck in traffic,
but we had MANY friends around, so we passed some time with them. A lot, but really
A LOT of crazy rally fans passed us or were waiting there to take photos and talk
to us! It was nice to have the opportunity to pay them some attention. It was
just a shame that this was only possible, because we wouldnt be racing anymore
'Another good part of the day was that our team mates Armindão and Miguelito
completed another day without any big problems and they are doing a very good
rally! They are a top driver / co-driver, twice world champions and they do not
come to rallies to play. They put themselves under a lot of pressure to achieve.
Its their first time in Argentina and its one of the most difficult
rallies on the calendar. So in my opinion their results so far are very good.
'Please cross your fingers that we arent disturbed by any bad luck tomorrow!
12-04-29 Sordo retains third after
day of consolidation in Rally Argentina
Ford World Rally Team drivers Dani Sordo and Carlos del Barrio maintained their
podium position during todays second leg of Rally Argentina. A consistent
pace in their Ford Fiesta RS World Rally Car kept the Spanish duo in third place
with one day remaining in this fifth round of the FIA World Rally Championship.
Team-mates Petter Solberg and Chris Patterson recovered to ninth after restarting
under Rally 2 regulations following their retirement yesterday. They moved up
from 11th overnight, hitting top gear in their Fiesta RS WRC this afternoon when
they won all three speed tests.
After the attrition of yesterdays opening leg, today was a much quieter
affair. Drivers headed south from the rally base of Carlos Paz, 700km north-west
of Buenos Aires, for two loops of gravel special stages in the Calamuchita Valley.
The day ended with a second pass over the short test in Carlos Paz which kick-started
the rally on Thursday. The seven stages covered 166.54km.
Dry but cool conditions this morning persuaded Sordo to opt for Michelins
soft compound tyres. He later switched to a mix of soft and hard compound rubber,
before choosing hard tyres for the entire afternoon loop.
Sordo, replacing the injured Jari-Matti Latvala in a one-off outing for the team,
held a firm grip on third and took no risks this morning as he consolidated the
podium place. The afternoon followed the same pattern, as the 28-year-old retained
his focus on securing a strong points finish.
He was second fastest in the opening stage of the afternoon and the final test
to end the day 1min 19.2sec ahead of his closest rival.
I made no mistakes but I wasnt so happy with my times this morning,
admitted Sordo. I didnt have full confidence in my pace notes, but
they were better in the second pass. I had a front left puncture in the middle
stage this afternoon and I only had one spare wheel. I couldnt afford another
puncture so I was more careful in the last stage.
The roads were fun with jumps, fast corners and water splashes. I could
have driven flat out, but even then it would be unlikely that I would close the
gap to the drivers ahead. My goal is to keep this position. It would be better
to finish third rather than take risks and go off the road, added Sordo.
Solbergs sole target was to climb as far into the points as possible. The
37-year-old Norwegian adopted a fast, but safe, pace and was never outside the
top three times. Two seconds and a third this morning enabled him to close on
those ahead and his hat-trick of victories this afternoon promoted Solberg up
This afternoon was perfect, said Solberg. The stages were fantastic
and the Fiesta was so fast. My focus is to score as many points as I can so I
didnt take any risks. I would like to have more kilometres to chase the
people ahead, but I only have one day remaining so I will do my best.
I wasnt as fast this morning but my start position meant I had to
sweep the road and that was a key factor. I still set good times, but I hoped
for more. My only mistake came in the second stage when I spun at low speed. The
notes for the last stage were made in fog during the recce, and they werent
perfect in todays brighter conditions, added Solberg.
Ford World Rally Team director Malcolm Wilson said he could not have expected
more from Sordo. Hes done a great job for the team considering the
limited time hes spent in the car. He cant catch the drivers ahead,
so hes aiming for a solid finish. He was frustrated with his pace but they
were difficult stages. Petter fought back well. He had a disadvantage with his
road position this morning, but the stages were cleaner for the second pass and
he put in a strong performance, said Wilson.
News from other Ford teams
Mads Østberg and Jonas Andersson remain fourth in the Adapta World Rally
Team car, after a problem-free day, while Czech duo Martin Prokop and Zdenek Hruza
climbed to fifth, following Nasser Al Attiyahs retirement. M-Sport Ford
World Rally Teams Ott Tänak and Kuldar Sikk and team-mates Evgeny Novikov
and Denis Giraudet focused on learning the roads and perfecting their pace notes
after yesterdays retirements. Novikov climbed to 11th with Tänak in
17th. Brazil World Rally Teams Daniel Oliveira and Carlos Maghaläes
had steering problems this morning before a broken driveshaft this afternoon sidelined
them for the day.
The final day includes some of the most iconic roads of the season and the longest
special stage of the championship. After leaving Carlos Paz at 06.52, drivers
head into the Traslasierra mountains via the monster 65.74km test from Matadero
to Ambul, an amalgamation of four stages last used in 1996. Drivers then head
into the classic Giulio Cesare and El Condor tests, before the final Power Stage
across the picturesque hanging bridges near Copina. They face six stages covering
132.19km before the finish in Carlos Paz at 16.44.
Leaderboard after Day 2
1. S Loeb/D Elena FRA Citroen DS3 3hr 57min 40.8sec
2. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen FIN Citroen DS3 3hr 57min 48.0sec
3. D Sordo/C del Barrio ESP Ford Fiesta RS 3hr 59min 27.7sec
4. M Østberg/J Andersson NOR Ford Fiesta RS 4hr 00min 46.9sec
5. M Prokop/Z Hruza CZE Ford Fiesta RS 4hr 07min 03.3sec
6. A Mikkelsen/O Floene NOR Skoda Fabia S2000 4hr 08min 12.5sec
7. S Ogier/J Ingrassia FRA Skoda Fabia S2000 4hr 08min 07.5sec
8. T Neuville/N Gilsoul BEL Citroen DS3 4hr 09min 28.8sec
9. P Solberg/C Patterson NOR Ford Fiesta RS 4hr 11min 49.6sec
10 A Araujo/M Ramalho PRT Mini John Cooper 4hr 11min 58.5sec
Stage 7: 1. Loeb 12min 41.3sec; 2. P Solberg + 1.5; 3. Hirvonen + 3.8; 4. Tänak
+ 10.7; 5. Neuville + 11.5; 6. Sordo + 13.0.
Overall: 1. Loeb 2hr 33min 11.9sec; 2. Hirvonen + 3.9; 3. Sordo + 46.1; 4. Østberg
+ 1:33.3; 5. Al Attiyah + 5:39.3; 6. Prokop + 6:48.9; 11. P Solberg + 14:25.7.
Stage 8: 1. Hirvonen 10min 40.5sec; 2. P Solberg + 0.5; 3. Loeb + 1.5; 4. Tänak
+ 15.7; 5. Sordo + 17.4; 6. Østberg + 17.5.
Overall: 1. Loeb 2hr 43min 53.9sec; 2. Hirvonen + 2.4; 3. Sordo + 1:02.0; 4. Østberg
+ 1:49.3; 5. Al Attiyah + 5:58.4; 6. Prokop + 7:20.9; 11. P Solberg + 14:24.7.
Stage 9: 1. Hirvonen 22min 48.1sec; 2. Loeb + 0.3; 3. P Solberg + 10.0; 4. Tänak
+ 21.8; 5. Novikov + 27.6; 6. Sordo + 29.0.
Overall: 1. Loeb 3hr 06min 42.3sec; 2. Hirvonen + 2.1; 3. Sordo + 1:30.7; 4. Østberg
+ 2:26.6; 5. Al Attiyah + 7:58.1; 6. Prokop + 8:07.5; 11. P Solberg + 14:34.4.
Stage 10: 1. P Solberg 12min 32.3sec; 2. Sordo + 6.2; 3. Loeb + 7.9; 4. Neuville
+ 9.2; 5. Hirvonen + 10.8; 6. Østberg + 11.3.
Overall: 1. Loeb 3hr 19min 22.5sec; 2. Hirvonen + 5.0; 3. Sordo + 1:29.0; 4. Østberg
+ 2:30.0; 5. Prokop + 8:21.0; 6. Mikkelsen + 9:02.6; 11. P Solberg + 14:26.5.
Stage 11: 1. P Solberg 10min 30.4sec; 2. Loeb + 3.0; 3. Hirvonen + 5.7; 4. Sordo
+ 11.5; 5. Østberg + 14.4; 6. Tänak + 18.4.
Overall: 1. Loeb 3hr 29min 55.9sec; 2. Hirvonen + 7.7; 3. Sordo + 1:37.5; 4. Østberg
+ 2:41.4; 5. Prokop + 8:47.0; 6. Mikkelsen + 9:34.5; 10. P Solberg + 14:23.5.
Stage 12: 1. P Solberg 22min 36.2sec; 2. Neuville + 11.3; 3. Loeb + 13.6; 4. Hirvonen
+ 13.7; 5. Sordo + 24.4; 6. Tänak + 27.2.
Overall: 1. Loeb 3hr 52min 45.7sec; 2. Hirvonen + 7.8; 3. Sordo + 1:48.3; 4. Østberg
+ 2:55.5; 5. Prokop + 9:16.0; 6. Ogier + 10:20.1; 10. P Solberg + 14:09.9.
Stage 13: 1. Neuville 4min 49.4sec; 2. Sordo + 4.3; 3. P Solberg + 4.6; 4. Hirvonen
+ 5.1; 5. Loeb + 5.7; 6. Tänak + 7.7.
Overall: 1. Loeb 3hr 57min 40.8sec; 2. Hirvonen + 7.2; 3. Sordo + 1:46.9; 4. Østberg
+ 3:06.1; 5. Prokop + 9:22.5; 6. Ogier + 10:26.7; 9. P Solberg + 14:08.8.
12-04-28 Fighting Spirit Palmeiras-Style
'Hola everybody, Paulo here!
'Rally Argentina started last night with a Super Special Stage! The start of the
stage had been delayed when we arrived, which gave us time to watch the top drivers
competing. Oh my goodness! It's almost like they do another sport to me. Hahaha!
'They are so fast and so skilled, they are completely in tune with their cars.
It's amazing to see or better put, to admire! I always find the speed of
my team mate Armindo incredible. It doesn't matter to me if he's winning the rally
or not, if you could see his performance from where I sit, the pace he shows in
his MINI is fantastic.
'Next it was our turn and I have to confess I was very nervous. I dont know
if it was due to the trauma of retiring before the rally even started in Portugal
or if it was because of the series of bad results Ive had recently, which
dented my confidence in my driving ability. The Palmeirinha that everyone saw
in Wales at the end of last year and Monte Carlo at the start of the season was
lost and I needed to try and get it back!
'Unfortunately, taking part in a rally without confidence is like going to a party
without any interesting women. Its better not to go (hahaha), so somehow
I needed to find my mojo again.
'So, there I was at the Super Special Stage last night and when I turned on the
anti-lag system with only five seconds to go until I was due to start I suddenly
realised that Id forgotten to switch on the MINIs extra lights. No
matter how good the light was on the Super Special, the extra lights make a positive
impact in some places
But to explain a little bit, the MINIs lights
dont switch on like those on a normal car. Instead, a computer that sits
between my co-driver Edu and I with a lot of buttons but really a lot -
controls them. It reminds me of my Porquinho Verde aeroplane! :-) Once I had found
the right button, Edu counted down 5
1, GO! And we started
the Super Special.
'Corner-by-corner I started to relax and everything went exactly as we wanted.
We drove at our pace and found our rhythm. We didnt want to take unnecessary
'With just over five hours sleep, we started Day One proper very early. At 6am,
we entered parc ferme to take our lovely MINI to first service. We spent a long
time on the road to SS2, the first stage of the day, and then were delayed at
refuelling. The most interesting part of this experience was having the opportunity
to see all the drivers and co-drivers interacting with each other. Normally everybody
is so busy working with their teams that they dont have time to get to know
each other. Today, we did have the chance to spend a little time together though
and I realised that Im in the middle of the best world you can imagine with
guys that before I only saw on television, in magazines and on the internet. And
there they were all together and some of them are even my friends! This is really
crazy for a guy like me who never thought he would find himself in rallies, but
always only thought about playing soccer.
'We started SS2 and followed our strategy of not taking any risks to try and continue
to increase our confidence and feel happy inside the car again. Everything went
OK, but we had one big scare on a particularly tricky corner. It rained a lot
yesterday, which had left a lot of mud on the stage and for a moment I lost control
of the car and thought I was going to lose the road too. I imagined the worst,
but in that split second I had the nerve to keep on full throttle and put the
car sideways. We spun 180 degrees and ended up facing in the wrong direction,
but we were alright! We quickly turned the car round the right way and continued
on to the end of the stage without any problems.
'SS3, the second Special Stage of the day, was the longest at over 50km in length.
I already knew the stage from other rallies Id competed in here, including
my WRC debut in in 2006 and some South American regional rallies. However, back
then the stage was divided into two. Now the tough uphill part was directly joined
to the equally challenging, fast downhill section.
- 'I have to confess that for me to do this Special Stage was very tiring and
after avoiding many stones that cars which had passed before us had forced into
the middle of the road, we clipped one stone in a corner 4km before the finish
of the stage which hadnt been there on the recce. In reality, the impact
broke our front right suspension. However, at the time we thought that we simply
had a flat tyre, stopped to change it and then realised that all the tyres were
in good condition. We continued on, but a shock absorber had broken and burst
through the bonnet and we quickly realised that it was Game Over for Day One.
This was a real shame, because we were really doing our best to follow our strategy.
What more could we do?
- 'BUT we are Brazilians and Palmeiras fans, so
we never give up!!!!
'Tomorrow we will be back with our MINI in tip-top condition and more news!'
12-04-28 Sordo learns quickly to
hold third for Ford in Rally Argentina
Dani Sordo and Carlos del Barrio delivered an outstanding debut drive for Ford
World Rally Team today to hold third after the opening leg of Rally Argentina.
The Spanish duo, drafted into the line-up for the injured Jari-Matti Latvala,
never put a foot wrong after just a days testing in a Fiesta RS World Rally
Car to head Fords challenge in this fifth round of the FIA World Rally Championship.
Team-mates Petter Solberg and Chris Patterson led for the opening half of the
marathon 204km leg. However, having built a 20sec advantage in their Fiesta RS
World Rally Car, they retired after an impact with a rock damaged a steering arm.
They will restart under Rally 2 regulations tomorrow.
The key word for this longest world rally for almost a decade is endurance, and
the leg quickly turned into one of attrition. Many top drivers hit trouble during
the six speed tests, which included two passes over the rocky 51.88km special
stage from Ascochinga to Agua de Oro, north of the rally base in Carlos Paz. After
an hours delay this morning, drivers spent more than 15 hours in competition.
Solberg and Sordo gave Ford a one-two overnight advantage after last nights
short curtain-raising test on the edge of Carlos Paz, 700km north-west of Buenos
Aires. Solberg was second in this mornings opening stage and won the daunting
Ascochinga test to build a 20.1sec lead. Sordo took no risks as he began to learn
the Fiesta RS WRC and settled into third.
As Solberg hit trouble in the afternoons opening stage, Sordo remained a
model of consistency and was second fastest in the second pass through Ascochinga.
Having used Michelins soft compound tyres all day in the cool temperatures,
the 28-year-old Spaniard elected to switch to the harder compound for the final
shorter test, to preserve his allocation of soft rubber for tomorrow. He dropped
20sec to end the day 33.1sec from the lead.
- I enjoyed my first experience in the Fiesta, said Sordo. The
more kilometres I drive in the car, the more comfortable I feel. Im learning
all the time. This isnt the easiest rally in which to learn a new car and
I could drive faster, but that means taking more risks, and that increases the
risk of going off the road. Im pleased with my consistency and Ill
continue driving the way I have been.
- In places conditions were slippery and in others there was good grip.
Tonight we decided to use the harder compound tyres to save the softer rubber
for tomorrow, when it could be wet. We knew we would lose time as the traction
wasnt as good with the hard compound, but we hope to benefit later in the
rally, he added.
Solberg will restart in 11th position with a 15 minute penalty for failing to
complete the final three stages. The 37-year-old Norwegian outlined the chain
of incidents which led to his retirement.
- I was driving in the ruts when the sump guard under the car touched some
exposed bedrock and the impact bent the left steering arm, he explained.
I continued at normal pace for another 10km until the arm snapped in mid-air
at a sixth gear crest about 6km from the finish. The car went off the road when
it landed and the front right hit a rock.
Solberg and Patterson replaced the broken arm with a spare unit carried in the
car. However, when they restarted they discovered the right steering arm broke
in the second impact and they had to stop.
- Obviously Im disappointed. I had a 20sec lead, although I didnt
feel that was a comfortable margin in a rally as long as this. I fought back to
third in a similar situation at the last round in Portugal, so my aim now is to
climb back up the order as far as I can over the next two days, added Solberg.
Ford World Rally Team director Malcolm Wilson praised Sordos debut drive.
Dani drove sensibly. When conditions were tricky he eased off, and when
he felt confident and comfortable, he showed good pace. With Petters retirement
we lost a great opportunity to win, which is a disappointment. Because the rally
is so long, he has the chance to fight back and score good points. If Dani can
maintain the pressure on the leaders then this rally can still have some twists
and turns, he said.
News from other Ford teams
Mads Østberg and Jonas Andersson are fourth in the Adapta World Rally Team
car, despite an intercom problem this afternoon which meant Østberg had
difficulty hearing the pace notes. Martin Prokop and Zdenek Hruza are sixth, the
Czech duo reporting no major problems. M-Sport Ford World Rally Teams Ott
Tänak and Kuldar Sikk replaced a steering arm on their Fiesta RS WRC in stage
three, but their good work was in vain as they spun off the road and retired on
the next test. Team-mates Evgeny Novikov and Denis Giraudet damaged the left rear
suspension of their car after hitting a rock in stage two and on the following
test a bolt broke in the suspension, forcing them into retirement. Brazil World
Rally Teams Daniel Oliveira and Carlos Maghaläes retired on last nights
opening stage after hitting a bank and damaging their cars front right suspension.
They returned under Rally 2 rules today and climbed to 14th.
The second leg journeys south to the Calamuchita Valley. After leaving Carlos
Paz at 06.42, drivers face two identical loops of three stages there, split by
a return to the rally base for service midway through the day. The leg ends with
a second pass over the short test on the edge of Carlos Paz which began the rally
last night. Drivers tackle seven stages covering 166.54km before the final overnight
halt at 20.58.
Leaderboard after Day 1
1. S Loeb/D Elena FRA Citroen DS3 2hr 20min 30.6sec
2. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen FIN Citroen DS3 2hr 20min 30.7sec
3. D Sordo/C del Barrio ESP Ford Fiesta RS 2hr 21min 03.7sec
4. M Østberg/J Andersson NOR Ford Fiesta RS 2hr 21min 49.0sec
5. N Al Attiyah/G Bernacchini QAT Citroen DS3 2hr 25min 47.5sec
6. M Prokop/Z Hruza CZE Ford Fiesta RS 2hr 26min 54.8sec
7. A Mikkelsen/O Floene NOR Skoda Fabia S2000 2hr 27min 06.6sec
8. S Ogier/J Ingrassia FRA Skoda Fabia S2000 2hr 27min 29.4sec
9. A Araujo/M Ramalho PRT Mini John Cooper 2hr 28min 45.1sec
10 T Neuville/N Gilsoul BEL Citroen DS3 2hr 30min 43.8sec
Stage 1: 1. P Solberg 4min 54.9sec; 2. Sordo + 3.6; 3. Østberg + 4.8; 4=
Tänak, Novikov + 5.2; 6. Neuville + 5.6.
Stage 2: 1. Loeb 23min 12.5sec; 2. P Solberg + 1.9; 3. Hirvonen + 5.2; 4. Sordo
+ 12.8; 5. Østberg + 20.1; 6. Neuville + 20.6.
Overall: 1. P Solberg 28min 09.3sec; 2. Loeb + 8.3; 3. Sordo + 14.5; 4. Hirvonen
+ 16.6; 5. Østberg + 23.0; 6. Neuville + 24.3.
Stage 3: 1. P Solberg 37min 50.7sec; 2. Hirvonen + 3.5; 3. Sordo + 10.1; 4. Neuville
+ 13.7; 5. Loeb + 26.5; 6. Østberg + 28.1.
Overall: 1. P Solberg 1hr 06min 00.0sec; 2. Hirvonen + 20.1; 3. Sordo + 24.6;
4. Loeb + 34.8; 5. Neuville + 38.0; 6. Østberg + 51.1.
Stage 4: 1. Loeb 22min 56.3sec; 2. Hirvonen + 2.4; 3. Østberg + 10.3; 4.
Neuville + 11.0; 5. Sordo + 15.6; 6. Al Attiyah + 54.7.
Overall: 1. Hirvonen 1hr 29min 18.8sec; 2. Loeb + 12.3; 3. Sordo + 17.7; 4. Neuville
+ 26.5; 5. Østberg + 38.9; 6. Mikkelsen + 3:39.3.
Stage 5: 1. Loeb 37min 21.8sec; 2. Sordo + 7.7; 3. Hirvonen + 13.4; 4. Østberg
+ 29.7; 5. Al Attiyah + 36.3; 6. Prokop + 1:22.0.
Overall: 1. Loeb 2hr 06min 52.9sec; 2. Hirvonen + 1.1; 3. Sordo + 13.1; 4. Østberg
+ 56.3; 5. Al Attiyah + 4:55.6; 6. Mikkelsen + 5:43.9.
Stage 6: 1. Hirvonen 13min 36.7sec; 2. Loeb + 1.0; 3. Sordo + 21.0; 4. Al Attiyah
+ 22.3; 5. Østberg + 23.1; 6. Prokop + 41.0.
Overall: 1. Loeb 2hr 20min 30.6sec; 2. Hirvonen + 0.1; 3. Sordo + 33.1; 4. Østberg
+ 1:18.4; 5. Al Attiyah + 5:16.9; 6. Prokop + 6:24.2.
12-04-25 Patrik och Maria fortsätter
Maria Andersson tar över rollen som codriver åt Patrik Sandell. Det
var tänkt som ett tillfälligt inhopp under Rally Portugal, då
hon klev in i högerstolen på Sandells WRC-MINI när ordinarie kartläsaren
Staffan Parmander fick förhinder. Men nu meddelar Sweden World Rally Team
att den tillfälliga lösningen blir permanent.
Enligt Patrik Sandell finns det flera anledningar till att man nu väljer
att permanenta samarbetet med Maria. En viktig del är att Parmanders roll
som kartläsare åt honom till stor del nu är klar.
Staffan har sedan länge fungerat som Patriks mentor. Till säsongen 2011
klev han dessutom in som codriver för att från insidan av bilen kunna
bidra med fler viktiga pusselbitar i Patriks utveckling.
- Jag är verkligen tacksam för att Staffan tackade ja till att åka
med mig. Jag känner att han med sin enorma rutin har hjälpt mig att
utvecklas väldigt mycket, säger Patrik Sandell.
Staffans roll som codriver var dock aldrig tänkt som en långsiktig
lösning. Och när samarbetet med Maria visade sig fungera bra fattades
beslutet att det var rätt tillfälle att göra ett permanent byte.
Även för Maria landade det nya samarbetet precis rätt.
- Det blev inte så många rallyn förra året och jag började
känna ett riktigt sug. Och då ringde Patrik och frågade om jag
ville åka med honom i Portugal, så det var ju inget svårt beslut,
berättar Maria Andersson.
- Sen vet man ju aldrig hur det kommer att funka med en chaufför första
gången. Men det klickade direkt och vi trivs ihop som personer. Förutom
att han är en duktig förare så är han en väldigt motiverande
och lätt person att ha att göra med, så jag är jätteglad
att det blir en fortsättning, säger Maria.
Staffan Parmander kommer istället att koncentrera sig på sitt arbete
inom Sweden World Rally Team, som han själv var med och grundade, och på
sin fortsatta roll som mentor åt Patrik och Maria.
Närmast på tävlingsschemat står Rally Croatia, den 24-26
maj, då Patrik och Maria kommer till start i en MINI super 2000.
12-04-21 Soccer, rally and the
fantastic fans in Argentina
Introducing your host for the event...Mr. Paulo Nobre
'Fala galera, it's Paulo Nobre here, or "Palmeirinha", as many people
from Brazilian rallying, call me!
So in an exciting twist, I'm going to be your reporter during Rally Argentina,
giving you some news from on and off the stages. I'll be writing columns throughout
the event to give you the chance to see the rally through my eyes. Follow me and
the team for our fantastic journey on of one of the most challenging rallies of
the season. I hope you'll enjoy it!!
'To be honest, it feels like a long time since the last time we really competed.
Rally Portugal was terrible for Edu and me. We rolled our rally car on the Qualifying
Stage and couldn't start the event. It was a real shame, because we enjoyed the
recce a lot and we know that the fans are amazing in Portugal. Everyone knows
that for me the support of the public is always a big confidence boost.
'After a short holiday in Lisbon, I came back to São Paulo, my home town
and one of the biggest cities in the world with more than 11 million inhabitants.
The traffic is crazy here and there are so many big buildings that we nicknamed
it 'Floresta de Pedra' (the stone forest)!
What do I love most about São Paulo? That's easy - São Paulo is
the hometown of Palmeiras, "my" football club. For me it's more than
just a club, it's my religion, my way of life! That's why I'm so proud to have
Palmeiras with me on my MINI and my gear. It gives me a lot of confidence and
believe me, that's what I need most these days!
'Like all drivers, I am a human being, and to be really honest, after accidents
every day in Mexico and failing even to start Rally de Portugal, my mojo's a bit
dented heading into Argentina! This is a pity, because Argentina is one of the
most difficult and challenging rallies of the season, with very tough special
stages that even cut across country sometimes (a key difference between the Argentine
and Brazilian stages). The event is also very well-organised and one of the rallies
with the largest number of fans waiting for us on the stages as we come through!
'I actually made my WRC debut here in 2006. It's amazing to drive a rally in Argentina
(even for a Brazilian!) There isn't the same rivalry between Argentines and Brazilians
in rallying as there is in soccer, so all the spectators here are always very
welcoming and kind to us! I have many friends from Argentinian rallying and I
respect them all, because they are very good at the sport! If Brazil is the country
of soccer, for me Argentina is the country of rally!!!!
'Unfortunately I haven't had too much time to prepare for Rally Argentina, because
I work full-time outside the rallies at home in Brazil and April is a very busy
month business-wise here when we have to declare our income to the government
for the previous year. But now I'm ready to focus totally on the event!
'For every rally I pack my bag with just the essentials - I don't like to bring
much stuff on-event, only the stuff necessary to race (overalls, helmet etc),
my Palmeirinha team clothing and of course a Palmeiras flag! It's all settled
now, myself, Edu, Pilli (my friend and cameraman) and Cirillo (another friend
but this time a mechanic) are ready to take off for Villa Carlos Paz where we'll
join the team for another MINI adventure!
12-04-20 Stamina the key for Ford
quartet at arduous Argentine fiesta
Ford World Rally Team faces the longest FIA World Rally Championship encounter
for almost 10 years in South America next week. More than 500km of rough road
competition lie in wait at Rally Argentina (26 - 29 April), making this fifth
round of the season the longest since Kenyas legendary Safari Rally in 2002.
The emphasis will be on endurance with each of the three legs including a marathon
speed test. Petter Solberg and Chris Patterson and team-mates Dani Sordo and Carlos
del Barrio face two passes over a 52km special stage in the first leg. The going
becomes even tougher in the final day with a 65.74km test across the Los Gigantes
mountains, the longest of the season.
The increased distance brings the return of classic roads that will be new to
the current generation of WRC drivers, having not been used since 1994.
More than a million people line the roadsides in Cordoba province, nearly 700km
north-west of Buenos Aires. The event never fails to excite in a country where
the tango mirrors the passion for life, and the atmosphere crackles alongside
the gravel roads in the pampas as one of Argentinas biggest fiesta occasions
bursts into life.
The scenery is stunning, too, as each leg visits a different valley. Huge expanses
of open plain in the Punilla Valley, north of the rally base in Carlos Paz, contrast
with the gentle countryside to the south around the delightfully-named Santa Rosa
de Calamuchita. Then the final day climbs into the Traslasierra mountains where
rocky ribbons of road wind through a dramatic moonlike landscape.
The roads are predominantly soft and sandy during the opening two days, with plenty
of river crossings, but the surface becomes more abrasive during the final leg
west of Carlos Paz.
Solberg has delivered consistently strong results at the wheel of a Ford Fiesta
RS World Rally Car during the opening four rounds which have carried him into
second into the drivers standings, just four points from the lead.
I enjoy this rally but I think it could be quite different this year,
said Solberg, for whom this will be his 180th WRC start. Its 120km
longer than in 2011 and that may alter the way in which some drivers approach
it. Its not a sprint, its an endurance rally. Theres no need
to get too excited too early and attack from the start, so I can wait a little,
judge the pace and push later on when I need to.
Its a difficult rally. The final days stages are at high altitude
and conditions can be bad up there. Fog and even ice are not unusual. But I love
it, partly because of the atmosphere. The stages are packed with people and even
the liaison sections on the public roads have huge crowds. Theyre so enthusiastic,
added 37-year-old Solberg, who has three podiums to his name here.
Sordo steps into the Ford squad for a one-off outing to replace the injured Jari-Matti
Latvala. His experience of a Fiesta RS WRC is limited to a days testing
on Wednesday close to the teams Dovenby Hall base in Britain. Sordo finished
second last year, his best result from five starts, and as a Spaniard, the 28-year-old
will be a favourite of the Latin American fans.
Im excited to be driving for Ford in Argentina because when you are
a rally driver all you want to do is compete, said Sordo. Although
Ive not had a lot of time behind the wheel of the Fiesta RS WRC, I quickly
felt comfortable in the car during testing. The engineers provided a base set-up
that worked for me and Ill approach practice in Argentina with those settings.
Its like a home event for me because I speak the same language and
in previous years the support from the fans was fantastic. This is only a one-off
drive for Ford, but I want to do the best for the team and prove they made the
right decision in selecting me. Im not setting any targets, apart from a
points finish, and Ill judge my pace by how I feel once the rally gets under
way, he added.
* Michelins Latitude Cross gravel tyres will be used by the Ford drivers
and 40 of these will be available in hard compound. New-for-2012 regulations mean
drivers will also have 10 soft compound tyres available if conditions are wet
and muddy. However, only 40 units can be used in total during qualifying and the
rally itself. Teams are not allowed to hand-carve additional cuts into the tyres
and each car can carry two spare wheels.
* Five privately-entered Fiesta RS WRCs are entered. Ott Tänak / Kuldar Sikk
and Evgeny Novikov / Denis Giraudet are nominated by M-Sport Ford World Rally
Team. Rally de Portugal winners Mads Østberg / Jonas Andersson are entered
by Adapta World Rally Team, while Brazil World Rally Team returns after its debut
there with Daniel Oliveira / Carlos Magalhães at the wheel. The Fiesta
RS WRC numbers are completed by Martin Prokop / Zdenek Hruza in a Czech Ford National
The rally is again based around the lakeside service park in Carlos Paz but only
a handful of stages are the same as last year. One of these is the floodlit super
special stage on the edge of the town that launches the rally on Thursday evening
and is repeated on Saturday night. The first full day on Friday is the longest,
with almost 200km of competition north of Carlos Paz in the Punilla Valley. The
second leg journeys south to the Calamuchita Valley before the final day in the
rugged Traslasierra mountains. It includes the classic El Condor and Giulio Cesare
stages as well as the 65.74km test from Matadero to Ambul, an amalgamation of
four stages last used in 1996. The final test, which crosses the picturesque hanging
bridges near Copina, forms the Power Stage, with bonus points on offer to the
fastest three drivers. Competitors tackle 19 stages in total, covering 502.73km
in a route of 1770.92km.
RALLY ARGENTINA ROUND 5 FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 26 - 29 April 2012
Thursday 26 April: Qualifying / Day 1
QS Villa Garcia - Cabalango 4.59km 10.58
Start Carlos Paz 19.43
SS1 Parque Tematico Carlos Paz 6.04km 20.08
Finish Carlos Paz 20.28
Friday 27 April: Day 1 (continued) Carlos Paz - Carlos Paz
Serv A Carlos Paz (15 mins) 05.45
SS2 La Pampa - La Pampa I 37.51km 07.28
SS3 Ascochinga - Agua de Oro I 51.88km 08.21
Serv B Carlos Paz (30 mins) 10.48
SS4 La Pampa - La Pampa II 37.51km 12.46
SS5 Ascochinga - Agua de Oro II 51.88km 13.39
Serv C Carlos Paz (30 mins) 16.06
SS6 Cosquin - Villa Allende 19.18km 17.23
Serv D Carlos Paz (flexi 45 mins) 19.06
Finish Carlos Paz 19.51
Saturday 28 April: Day 2 Carlos Paz - Carlos Paz
Serv E Carlos Paz (15 mins) 06.42
SS7 San Agustin - Santa Rosa I 20.18km 08.30
SS8 Amboy - Santa Monica I 20.33km 09.18
SS9 Intiyaco - Golpe de Agua I 39.74km 10.31
Serv F Carlos Paz (30 mins) 12.41
SS10 San Agustin - Santa Rosa II 20.18km 14.44
SS11 Amboy - Santa Monica II 20.33km 15.32
SS12 Intiyaco - Golpe de Agua II 39.74km 16.45
Serv G Carlos Paz (30 mins) 18.55
SS13 Parque Tematico Carlos Paz 6.04km 19.50
Serv H Carlos Paz (flexi 45 mins) 20.13
Finish Carlos Paz 20.58
Sunday 29 April: Day 3 Carlos Paz - Carlos Paz
Serv I Carlos Paz (15 mins) 06.52
SS14 Matadero - Ambul 65.74km 08.00
SS15 Mina Clavero - Giulio Cesare I 17.41km 09.51
SS16 El Condor - Copina 16.32km 10.32
Serv J Carlos Paz (30 mins) 11.42
SS17 Mina Clavero - Giulio Cesare II 17.41km 14.07
SS18 El Condor - Casilla Negra 11.16km 14.48
SS19 Copina 4.15km 15.21
Serv K Carlos Paz (10 mins) 16.24
Finish Carlos Paz 16.44
Rally total 502.73km
12-04-19 Ramona Inför Rally
Idag åker Ramona Karlsson och Miriam Walfridsson till Argentina, tillsammans
med teamet. Imorgon fredag landar de i Cordoba, och faller allt på plats
med reservdelar, upphämning av bil från sjöcontainern m.m., kommer
ett test att köras på söndag. På måndag startar reccen
och pågår till och med onsdag. Torsdag kväll Argentinsk tid startar
rallyt, och pågår till och med söndag eftermiddag. Argentina
har fyra timmars tidsförskjutning svensk tid ligger alltså fyra
kan ni följa live-resultat från rallyt, och ramonarallying.com kommer
att dagligen uppdateras med rapporter från rallyt.
- Hoppas ni följer oss och håller tummarna! Känslan inför
rallyt är riktigt bra, vi känner oss betydligt mer förberedda både
mentalt och praktiskt. Efter att ha tagit oss i mål i vårt första
VM-rally, har vi samlat på oss mycket värdefull rutin och vet mer vad
som väntar oss i Argentina. Vi känner oss lugna, men samtidigt väldigt
taggade och ser verkligen fram emot att stå i startgropen igen! säger
Ramona och Miriam.
12-04-18 Ford taps Sordo to replace
injured Latvala at Rally Argentina
Ford World Rally Team has finalised an agreement for Dani Sordo and Carlos del
Barrio to drive for the squad in next weeks Rally Argentina.
The Spanish duo will replace regular drivers Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila
in a Ford Fiesta RS World Rally Car. Latvala was forced to withdraw from the fifth
round of the FIA World Rally Championship after breaking his left collarbone in
a cross-country ski-ing accident while training in northern Finland last week.
- Were naturally disappointed that Jari-Matti will miss the rally,
but ensuring a full recovery as quickly as possible is the most important thing
for him and the team, said Ford World Rally Team director Malcolm Wilson.
- Were fortunate to have a driver of Danis calibre to join us.
His experience at Rally Argentina was a key factor in the decision, having started
the rally five times and finishing second in 2009. The agreement is for one rally
only, and I would like to thank the management of Danis current team, who
were extremely gracious in helping us in such challenging circumstances,
Sordo and del Barrio will join regular pairing Petter Solberg and Chris Patterson
for the four-day Rally Argentina, which will be based in Carlos Paz on 26 - 29
12-04-18 Historisk Rallybrud-comeback
På ramonarallying.com kan ni nu se filmen från Ramona och Miriams
möte med rallylegenden Ewy Rosqvist. Filmat och producerat avBroadcast House.
I år är det 50 år sedan rallyföraren Ewy Rosqvist och hennes
kartläsare Ursula Wirht det prestigefyllda rallyt Gran Premio
i Argentina. Filmen Rallybrudar var inspirerad av Ewys och Ursulas
framfart på 60-talet, och de blonda svenska tjejernas seger väckte
stor uppmärksamhet världen över. Kvinnliga rallyförare var
än mer ovanligt på den tiden, och deras prestation var en stor sensation.
Ingen kvinna någonsin tidigare hade varken kört eller vunnit rallyt.
Nu, 50 år senare, är det dags för nästa generations rallybrudar
att åka till Argentina, då rallyföraren Ramona Karlsson och hennes
co-driver Miriam Walfridsson kör Rally-VM i Argentina med start och målgång
26:e respektive 29:e april. Ramona och Miriam är det enda helkvinnliga teamet
i Rally-VM och gör i år en stor satsning i klassen PWRC i sin Mitsubishi
Ramona och Miriam träffade den nu 84-åriga och mycket pigga Ewy Rosqvist
i hennes lägenhet i Stockholm, där hon delade med sig av minnen från
Argentina och jämförde rally med hur det var då och nu.
Det var otroligt inspirerande och roligt att få träffa
Ewy, jag har länge sett upp till henne och det var helt fantastiskt att få
höra hennes berättelser, säger Ramona, och fortsätter:
Det skiljer sig mycket när man jämför rally nu och då.
Nuförtiden är det helt andra bilar, som både är med preparerade
maskinellt och säkerhetsmässigt. Ewy och Ursula körde en standardbetonad
Mercedez utan störtbåge, och deras personliga utrustning
var hjälm och klänning.
På torsdag flyger Ramona och Miriam till Argentina. Med samma flygbolag,
och samma flygrutt som Ewy och Ursula, följer de deras fotspår. 62
ekipage är anmälda, varav 18 i Ramona och Miriams klass, Gr.N. 11 av
ekipagen tävlar om VM-poäng. Ramonas och Miriams målsättning
är inställd på topp 5 i VM. Detta är vår
första VM-säsong, och Rally Argentina är ett mycket tufft, långt
och utslagsgivande rally. Att ta sig i mål är första målsättningen,
och gör vi det bland de fem snabbaste ska vi vara mycket nöjda
säger Ramona och Miriam.
12-03-29 Jost Capito ny chef för
Jost Capito blir från och med 1 maj 2012 ny chef för Volkswagen Motorsport.
Han tar över efter Kris Nissen som kommer att stödja Capito under övergångsfasen
och därefter bistå Volkswagen-koncernen i en rådgivande roll.
Jost Capito kommer närmast från Ford Motor Company USA. Han har årtionden
av erfarenhet inom motorsport, bland annat har han varit inblandad i Formel 1
och har också varit kartläsare och vinnare i lastbilsklassen i Dakar-rallyt.
Jost Capito, 53 år från Tyskland, är utbildad civilingenjör.
Han startade sin karriär 1984 som utvecklingsingenjör för BMW:s
prestandamotorer. Capito började hos Porsche 1989 och var först chef
för Porsche Carrera Cup-organisationen och senare samordnare för alla
racingmästerskap med märket Porsche.
Han har också haft chefspositioner vid Sauber Petronas Engineering från
1996 till 2001 och var från 1998 Chief Operating Officer för Formel
1-teamet Sauber Red Bull. Capito gick vidare till Ford i slutet av 2001 där
han den sista tiden var ansvarig för Fords globala verksamhet för prestandafordon
Kris Nissen, 51, har varit chef för Volkswagen Motorsport sedan 2003 och
har under dessa år vunnit viktiga motorsportssegrar för Volkswagen.
Ulrich Hackenberg, Volkswagen-koncernens utvecklingschef, tackar Nissen för
Kris Nissen har tagit Volkswagen Motorsport långt framåt och
har lett teamet under den mest framgångsrika fasen hittills i vår
historia. Han bidrog till Volkswagens dubbelseger i 2009 års Dakar-rally
och hjälpte till att skriva motorsporthistoria med trippelsegrar i Dakar-rallyt
både 2010 och 2011.
Från och med 2013 kommer Volkswagen Motorsport att delta i rally-VM, WRC,
med den helt nyutvecklade rallybilen Polo R WRC.
12-03-24 Ford and Solberg grab
Fafe glory in perfect Portuguese warm-up
Ford World Rally Teams Petter Solberg and Chris Patterson chalked up their
first victory for the squad today with a stunning performance to triumph in the
Fafe Rally Sprint, a warm-up event for next weekends Rally de Portugal.
Their win could hardly have been closer, as Solbergs Ford Fiesta RS World
Rally Car edged out world champion Sébastien Loeb by just two hundredths
of a second.
Formerly a popular part of the Rally de Portugal route, the 6.34km Fafe gravel
speed test east of Porto was resurrected for the first time since it last echoed
to the sound of FIA World Rally Championship cars in 2001, after which the rally
moved south to its current Algarve base.
Although a non-championship event, the Fafe Rally Sprint attracted 30 entries,
among them the Fiesta RS World Rally Cars of Solberg and team-mates Jari-Matti
Latvala / Miikka Anttila. An estimated 100,000 fans lined the special stage, and
they did not go away disappointed.
Although Latvala proved comfortably fastest on the first of three runs through
the demanding stage, Solbergs second pass was swifter still, earning the
popular Norwegian the right to drive the teams sole Fiesta RS WRC on the
third and final test. Whilst disappointed not to make it through himself, Latvala
admitted he thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
- I loved the character of the stage, said the 26-year-old Finn. Id
only ever seen it on video before, and there were some difficult jumps that made
it really spectacular. I dont think Ive ever seen so many people on
a stage, and you could really sense their enthusiasm. Its a true classic,
and I had a lot of fun out there. Of course, I would have liked to be the one
doing the last run, but I guess I did two days of testing last week and Petter
only one, so this was his payback!
To add a touch of local flavour, Solbergs two Portuguese mechanics attached
a national flag to the roof of the 37-year-olds Fiesta RS WRC for the winner-takes-all
run. Following a characteristically effervescent drive, the 2003 world champion
flashed across the finish line just ahead of Loeb.
- What an unbelievable stage, said Solberg. There were some
really big and difficult jumps, but they only made it even more exciting. We want
to take our sport close to the fans, and that is exactly what we did here. This
was a team effort and a team victory, for me and for Jari-Matti and for all the
guys who did such a good job again with the car. It feels great to win.
- I put on a big attack. There were a lot of people generating a lot of
passion, and it was fantastic to be back here again. Fafe is truly a rallying
place. Im very happy, and I hope we can continue this way in the rally.
Weve taken the first step, and now Jari-Matti and I need to beat everybody
else next week, too, he added.
Rally de Portugal will get underway on Thursday in Lisbon, before competitors
head south to Faro via three evening stages in the Alentejo region. They then
face three days of challenging gravel speed tests in the Serra do Caldeirão
hills above the Algarve, covering a total of 434.77km across 22 stages.
12-03-19 Rallyföraren Mattias
Adielsson till WRC tävlingen i Portugal
När Portugals deltävling i Rally-VM avgörs helgen den 29 mars till
1 april finns Mattias Adielsson, Göteborg, och Christoffer Bäck, Hedemora,
på plats i Portugal. Mattias och Christoffer ska innan tävlingen köra
rekognoseringen. Att delta i rekognoseringen innebär att de tillsammans med
övriga deltagare i VM-tävlingen åker tävlingens sträckor
och skriver sina egna noter.
- Det här kommer att bli ett äventyr, säger Mattias Adielsson.
Resan till Portugal ingår i Mattias och Christoffers långsiktiga plan
för att ta sig till WRC. Mattias och Christoffer blev tidigare i år
uttagna till Svenska Bilsportsförbundets Junior Elitsatsning (JES), så
att ge sig ut i världen för att få mer utbildning blev då
ett naturligt steg. De har fått stor hjälp i planeringen av förbundskaptenen
Anders Dawidsson på Svenska Bilsportsförbundet . Dawidsson kommer också
att finnas med som stöd i Portugal.
- Det finns så mycket att tänka på och planera inför en
start i en VM tävling. Vi får nu möjligheten att göra all
planering fram till start i tävlingen. Det är mycket lärorikt och
kommer att stärka oss i vår framtida satsning, avslutar Mattias Adielsson.
12-03-16 Första testet tillsammans
för Patrik och Maria
Samspelet mellan MINI-föraren Patrik Sandell och hans nya codriver Maria
Andersson verkar gå enligt planerna. Svenskarna befinner sig i England där
de under fredagen genomfört en första test tillsammans.
Maria Andersson är till vardags sportchef på Svenska bilsportförbundet,
men också en av landets mest meriterade kartläsare, efter flera säsonger
tillsammans med Patrik Flodin.
Tidigare i veckan avslöjades att hon kommer att hoppa in i högerstolen
bredvid Patrik Sandell under Rally Portugal om några veckor, då ordinarie
codrivern Staffan Parmander fått förhinder.
Trots att Patrik och Maria känner varandra sedan många år är
det första gången de kör tillsammans. Men att döma av fredagens
test i England tillsammans med Prodrive kommer det inte innebära några
- Samarbetet har fungerat klockrent, och vi hann med mycket också. Vid debriefingen
efter Svenska rallyt listade vi ett antal saker som vi ville testa inför
Portugal. Vi betade av hela den listan idag, säger Patrik Sandell.
Men det fanns en liten detalj som ställde till det lite i början av
- Patrik hade svårt att höra mig ordentligt först, så jag
fick helt enkelt ta i lite och höja rösten. Men det var nog den enda
anpassningen vi behövde göra faktiskt, säger Maria Andersson.
Om en vecka beger sig Patrik och Maria till Portugal för ännu ett test
under fredagen, följt av en rallysprint på lördagen - WRC Fafe
Rally Sprint där större delen av WRC-eliten kommer att finnas
med på startlinjen.
Vodafone Rally de Portugal går sedan av stapeln veckan därpå,
29 mars 1 april.
12-03-13 Pontus Tidemand kör
WRC Academy 2012
I sista sekund så blev det klart att den 21-åriga värmländska
rallytalangen Pontus Tidemand kommer att köra WRC Academy 2012. WRC Academy
som är Junior-VM i rally har premiär i Portugal om tre veckor .
Efter att Pontus har vunnit båda SM-deltävlingarna som körts under
vintersäsongen totalt och imponerat med en tredjeplats i SWRC-klassen i Rally
Sweden så blev det klart sent på måndagseftermiddagen att Pontus
kommer köra WRC Academy 2012.
Det är tack vare de fina resultaten under året och genom ett samarbete
med det norska talangutvecklingsbolaget EVEN rally som Pontus får möjligheten
att köra 2012-års Junior-VM i rally.
- Ja, det är snabba vändningar inom motorsporten. Det dök upp en
möjlighet att vi kunde få till en satsning på WRC Academy under
slutet av förra veckan. Jag är självklart mycket glad och tacksam
för stödet jag har från EVEN Rally som gör denna satsning
möjlig, berättar Pontus.
Svenska Landslagsföraren Pontus Tidemand tillsammans med kartläsaren
Stig-Rune Skjaermoen är en av 13 stycken förare som är anmälda
till premiären i Rally Portugal. Alla anmälda förare i WRC Academy
ställer upp i likadana Ford Fiesta R2 som tillhandahålls av Ford´s
officiella fabriksteam M-Sport.
Årets serie har sex deltävlingar och premiären är redan sista
helgen i mars, då Rally Portugal avgörs. Serien fortsätter sedan
med Akropolis-rallyt i juni sedan vidare till Finland, Tyskland, Frankrike och
slutligen Spanien i november då finalen avgörs. Av de sex tävlingarna
så avgörs tre stycken på grus och två på asfalt,
medans finalen avgörs på båda underlagen.
- Det kommer bli jättekul och ser verkligen fram emot första deltävlingen.
Det kommer bli ett otroligt lärorikt år, då jag kommer få
mycket erfarenhet av VM tävlingar och att få köra på asfalt,
12-03-13 Sandell till Portugal
med ny kartläsare
Det blir byte i högerstolen när Patrik Sandell åker till Rally
Portugal om ett par veckor. Staffan Parmander, som är Sandells ordinarie
codriver, har fått förhinder och tvingas avstå rallyt. Istället
kliver Maria Andersson in i WRC-MINI:n bredvid Patrik.
Staffan Parmander är sedan flera år involverad i projektet World Rally
Resort i sin hemby Kall. En satsning som kräver svenskens närvaro samtidigt
som Rally Portugal körs, varför han helt enkelt tvingas avstå
Jag har verkligen känt mig ung på nytt nu när jag kört
med Patrik det senaste året. Så det är tråkigt att tvingas
kliva åt sidan i Portugal, men just nu är jag tvungen, säger Staffan
Patrik och Staffan tävlar tillsammans för nystartade Sweden World Rally
Team, med Staffan själv som en av grundarna. Räddare i nöden för
dem blir nu en annan av landets mer erfarna kartläsare, Maria Andersson,
som bland annat läst noter åt Patrik Flodin under flera år.
Jag är väldigt glad att vi hittade den här lösningen
med Maria. Jag har fullt förtroende för henne med tanke på all
den erfarenhet hon har från Rally-VM sedan tidigare, fortsätter Parmander.
Även Patrik Sandell låter lugn när han pratar om sin nya partner.
Vi har känt varandra i många år, ända sedan hon började
köra med Flodin, så på det personliga planet vet jag att det
kommer att fungera, säger Sandell.
Hon har dessutom mer erfarenhet från Portugal än vad jag har.
Hon har kört där två gånger och jag bara två, tillägger
Nu handlar det för Patrik och Marias del om att få så mycket
tid som möjligt tillsammans i bilen. Redan fredag flyger de till England
för ett kortare test tillsammans med Prodrive, som ansvarar för svenskarnas
Fredagen därpå bär det av till Portugal för ännu ett
test, följt av en rallysprint på lördagen - WRC Fafe Rally Sprint
med större delen av WRC-eliten på startlinjen.
Vi får tre dagar tillsammans i bilen innan det är dags för
recce i Portugal. Det är mer än vad jag och Staffan fick inför
Svenska rallyt senast, så jag är säker på att när vi
väl kommer till start så kommer det att funka kanon, avslutar Patrik
12-03-12 Elsewhere end of day quotes
Rally Mexico day 3
Mads Østberg, Adapta Motorsport World Rally Team (4th) said:
- This was a tricky event for sure. It has been a bit up and down for us.
We came here to fight for fifth and hopefully challenge some of the factory drivers.
Ok, we have challenged them on some stages but not overall
- But I think it has been a good event. We almost managed to stay out of
trouble, but then when we did get into trouble [with a puncture on SS22] we had
it in the worst possible place!
- But ok, we managed to get through and secure a good position and also
with a Power Stage point at the end I am very pleased with that.
- I am looking forward to doing some testing with the car ahead of Portugal
because we have been trying a lot of different things this weekend. We will try
some new strategies and a few things with the set-up of the car. I think we can
still improve the car a lot and for sure I can improve as well so hopefully we
can fight for a podium in Portugal.
Ken Block, Monster World Rally Team (9th) said:
- Im glad to be finished with a total of three punctures over three
days! Today the long stage went really well actually, until I had a little mistake
in my notes. It wasnt even that bad of a mistake. It was just dont
cut on a very tight corner and I went wide to make sure I didnt hit
whatever I had warned myself about on the inside. But as I stayed out, the road
kind of dropped away into a bank and we skidded on the lose stuff and got two
- But I was able to finish ninth overall which is great. Ok three guys out
today and really unfortunate that Jari-Matti [Latvala] was one of them.
- Im stoked with the overall result in the top-ten, but it is not
that way that I would have wanted it to be. We are just going to come back and
work harder next time.
Ricardo Triviño (10th) said:
- I am so happy! This was a fantastic result for me. This was my first time
in the WRC and to finish in the top-ten with one point on my home event is fabulous!
Chris Atkinson, Monster World Rally Team (DNF) said:
- The rally has been ok but unfortunately we had a couple of problems. We
had the brake problem yesterday and broke the suspension because of that and then
today we had the suspension lose its oil. So to have two problems like that is
really frustrating because we could have had a good result here.
- It is good to be back in the WRC [World Rally Championship], but it is
always disappointing not to get a result. We set a few good times a third
fastest and a second fastest and we were doing some decent times on the
long stages. So the speed was there, we just have to get some more time in the
car and have a bit more luck.
- I hope we can do some more events with the Monster [World Rally Team]
boys later in the year the team is awesome.
12-03-12 Tänak takes Guanjuatto
After a mammoth distance of 407.87 competitive kilometres, M-Sport Ford World
Rally Teams Ott Tänak rounded off what has been a sensational first
assault on Rally Guanajuato Mexico in the Ford Fiesta RS WRC with fifth place
overall. Elsewhere however, there was disappointment for Evgeny Novikov as an
off put the Russian out of the rally; failing to score a World Rally Championship
(WRC) point for the first time this year.
Displaying maturity and composure beyond his 24 years, Tänak and co-driver
Kuldar Sikk impressed throughout the weekend. Despite incurring a 10 second penalty,
spin, stalled engine and a puncture costing the Estonian over a minute, Tänak
held his own against the top drivers, continually setting the fifth fastest time
and excelling over the Super Specials with one third and two fourth place finishes.
Struggling with the set-up of their Ford Fiesta RS WRC and having to perfect brand
new pace notes for the event, Novikov and experienced co-driver Denis Giraudet
did well to keep in touch with the front runners over the course of the weekend.
Unfortunately for the Russian, an off on the final stage of Day 2 (SS20, Comanjilla
2) saw him damage the right-rear wheel of his Fiesta. Incurring a five minute
penalty, Novikov was forced to Rally 2 on the final day of competition.
Embarking on the concluding stages, M-Sports young guns tackled another
Super Special around Leons Autodromo (SS21) before one of the longest and
most challenging stages on the WRC calendar the daunting 54.30 km of Guanajuatito
(SS22). Competitors then contested two final runs through Mexicos mountainous
landscape: the fast, flowing roads of Derramadero (SS23) before competing for
Power Stage points over the final test.
Requiring total concentration and commitment, the 54.30 km test separates the
men from the boys. Setting the fifth fastest time behind the wheel of his Ford
Fiesta RS WRC just 14.1 seconds adrift of last years Dakar winner,
Nassar Al Attiyah Tänak proved he has what it takes to compete against
the worlds best drivers on some the most challenging stages the world series
has to offer.
Following the retirement of factory Ford driver, Jari-Matti Latvala, on the notoriously
challenging stage, Tänak saw himself propelled into fifth place. Moreover,
a puncture for Mads Østberg meant that the Estonian found himself in contention
for fourth heading into the final two tests just 10.1 seconds adrift of
last months podium finisher.
Setting the fourth fastest time on SS23 (Derramadero) 0.3 seconds up on
Mikko Hirvonen Tänak continued to impress, consolidating his fifth
place with only the final Power Stage left to run. Finishing Rally Mexico in style,
Tänak set the fourth fastest time over the final test a painstaking
67 thousandths of a second adrift off Østberg and his first Power Stage
Tänak now lies eighth in the Championship standings with 14 points, two adrift
of Dani Sordo in seventh.
Returning under Rally 2 for the final day of competition Novikov and Giraudet
planned to use the remaining stages to perfect their pace notes ahead of next
years event. Regrettably, the pairing fell prey to Guanajuatito (SS22),
crashing heavily and rolling his Ford Fiesta RS WRC onto its roof 35 km into the
Despite failing to score on this event, Novikovs impressive start to the
season sees him hold sixth in the Championship standings with 21 points
just five adrift of factory Ford driver, Latvala.
Tänaks strong result saw the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team extend their
lead of the Mini WRC Team in the Manufacturers Championship.
Ott Tänak (5th) said:
- The rally has been ok. We got what we wanted to achieve here made
it through and got the experience. Our mission was to get at least sixth position
and we managed fifth so that was really good for us. I am sorry for Jari-Matti
[Latvala] as he was doing really well, but that is just the way it is sometimes.
- On the Power Stage we were just 67 thousandths [of a second] away from
Mads [Østberg] and our first Power Stage point so that was a little disappointing,
but at least we know who will be buying the drinks tonight!
Evgeny Novikov (DNF) said:
- This afternoon was really tough. We rolled the car onto the roof on the
second stage [of the day, SS23] but it is not easy to say exactly what happened
it all happened so quickly. I have looked at some of the in car footage
but still it is difficult to see. It is very disappointing for me as I was on
track for some more strong points, but these things happen.
- The first stage [SS21] was good and we were working on perfecting the
pace notes for next year. I am very disappointed but we are still sixth in the
[Drivers] Championship. Now I have to look ahead to Portugal where hopefully
we can be back on the pace and where we need to be.
12-03-12 VM-poäng i tuff VM-debut
Det blev en sjätteplats i PWRC-klassen och åtta VM-poäng för
Ramona Karlsson och Miriam Walfridsson i parets VM-debut i Mexikos VM-rally. En
tuff resa över tre och en halv dag avslutades på söndagen och
det var händelserikt in i det sista. Det blev till slut en sjätteplats
och åtta VM-poäng efter att man drabbats av ytterligare tekniska problem
under dagen samt en punktering när man låg trea på rallyts längsta
- Målsättningen för sista dagen blev snabbt att ta oss i mål
och säkra VM-poäng, säger Ramona. Det här har varit ett mycket
händelserikt och lärorik rally. Självklart är det surt med
de tekniska problem vi har haft men vi måste komma ihåg att vi nu
har gjort vår VM-debut och det i mästerskapets tuffaste rally. Vi plockar
mer och mer tid i takt med att vi får mer rutin och när allting fungerar
har vi redan visat att vi hänger med de snabbaste i VM. Det här känns
jättekul och är lovande för framtiden.
Målet för den sista dagen var att ta in på närmsta konkurrenten
Salgado 80 sekunder före och knipa femteplatsen. Det började bra, söndagens
första sträcka var en superspecial där Ramona och Salgado ställdes
mot varandra. Ramona kunde ta ledningen men efter halva sträckan fick man
nya problem med en växelvajer. Ramona och Miriam tvingades göra en snabb
reparation inför rallyts längsta sträcka på 55 km och kunde
i sista sekund starta sträckan. Efter tredje splitten låg man trea
totalt och tog in rejält på Salgado i sammandraget men efter c:a 15
km slog man i en sten och drabbades av en dubbelpunktering. Utan service resten
av rallyt la paret om målsättningen till att ta bilen i mål och
- Det var med hög puls vi fick ut på den längsta sträckan
i rallyt efter att tvingats reparera växelvajern provisoriskt innan start,
berättar Ramona. Vi kunde ändå ta in mycket tid på Salgado
men efter punkteringen som också gjorde att vi skadade styrstaget la vi
om fokus på att ta oss i mål. Nu har vi gjort vår VM-debut och
när allting har fungerat har vi hängt med de snabbaste. Miriam har varit
stentuff och kämpat sig igenom och nu ska vi fira att vi gått i mål
och överlevt vår VM-debut. Vi ser redan fram emot nästa rally!
12-03-11 Araújo and WRC
Team MINI Portugal make their mark in Mexico
Armindo Araújo (PRT) and his co-driver Miguel Ramalho successfully navigated
their Michelin-shod MINI John Cooper Works WRC through the demanding stages of
Rally Guanajuato México this weekend representing the Motorsport Italia-run
WRC Team MINI Portugal to get their best result to date. After three fierce days
of competition the Portuguese pairing finished the event seventh overall, bringing
home six drivers points in their and MINIs first overseas
outing in the FIA World Rally Championship. Araújos team mate Paulo
Nobre (BRA) once again fulfilled his reputation as the fans hero despite
having to retire on SS23.
After a Top 10 finish at Rallye Monte-Carlo and a clean pass through every stage
at Rally Sweden last month, Araújo was keen to show his speed this weekend
and aimed to match his Monte result on MINIs first long haul
event. However, Rally México proved to be tougher than expected from the
very beginning. Mapping problems jinxed Araújo's Thursday Qualifying Stage,
leaving him first on the roads on Day One. Having to clean the roads for the competition
made things difficult but never to be defeated the talented Portuguese
driver gave everything he had out on the Mexican gravel on Day One, earning himself
a well-deserved spot in the Top 10. The cherry on the cake of an already positive
day, Araújo set respectively fourth and third overall times in the two
runs through Fridays Super Special Stage.
No longer taxed with the task of road sweeping, Araújos aim for Saturdays
stages was focusing on finding his rhythm and the best possible set-up for his
MINI JCW. A spin on SS14 - costing him only a few seconds - and 'moment' on SS20
when he had to avoid a big rock in the middle of the road, were the only lows
in an otherwise trouble-free day. With his confidence back and other drivers falling
foul of the tricky conditions, the Portuguese driver was promoted up the field
to finish the day in a confortable eighth place overall. With only four stages
to go including the massive 54.3 Guanajuatito stage Araújo
started the last day of Rally México completely focused and eventually
finished in seventh place after the unexpected retirement of Jari-Matti Latvala
With no previous experience of Rally México, but determined to make the
most of the weekend and fail his fans down, Nobre took a steady approach to the
event until disaster struck on SS5, the fourth stage of Day One proper, when he
rolled his MINI JCW and was forced to retire for the day. With both Nobre and
his co-driver Edu Paula unhurt, and thanks to the hard work of the Motorsport
Italia boys back in service, the Brazilian duo was able to re-join the event on
Saturday under Rally 2 regulations. The San Paulan returned eager to please his
fans but unfortunately it wasnt meant to be - on SS14 he lost the road and
one of his MINIs wheels. Despite having been under the weather throughout
the weekend, Nobre resolutely restarted on Day Three, refusing point blank to
miss the final stages of the rally or let down the glorious Mexican spectators.
The Brazilians last day at Rally México started on a high, as he
had the honor of going head-to-head with 8-time World Rally Champion Sébastien
Loeb on the opening Super Special Stage, marking a new career highlight. However,
Paulos outing at Rally México ended 3km into SS23, after he went
off road causing too much damage to his MINI JCW WRC to continue.
Armindo Araújo: "I'm so happy to have finished in seventh here in
Mexico! It's my best result to date in the WRC and now I can look forward to Rally
de Portugal and try and do even better in three weeks time. After Mexico where
the fans have been truly incredible, I can't wait to compete in front of my home
Bruno De Pianto, WRC Team MINI Portugal Team Manager: "We're very excited
to have finished the event in seventh overall with our No. 1 driver Armindo Araújo.
He did a great job all weekend and he's done us all very proud! His MINI worked
perfectly and now we are all waiting to see what he - and we - can do at Rally
de Portugal. As a team manager, it's a pleasure to work with a driver like Armindo.
So far this season, he's taken on three events in-a-row that he's never competed
on before in a MINI - on Tarmac, snow and gravel. He's not only successfully completed
every single stage, but overcome a problem like having to drive through the Qualifying
Stage here without putting in a competitive time, be first out on the tough Mexican
gravel and still moved up through the field to finish seventh!"
Final overall classification Rally Guanajuato México
S. Loeb/ D. Elena FRA Citroën DS3 4:15:32.7
M. Hirvonen/ J. Lehtinen FIN Citroën DS3 +42.4
P. Solberg/ C. Patterson NOR Ford Fiesta RS +2:11.4
M.Østberg/ J. Andersson NOR Ford Fiesta RS +4:51.5
O. Tanak/ K. Sikk EST Ford Fiesta RS +5:02.6
N. Al-Attyiah/ G. Bernacchini QAT Citroën DS3 +6:41.4
A. Araújo/ M. Ramalho PRT MINI JCW WRC +12:46.9
S. Ogier/ J. Ingrassia FRA koda F. S2000 +14:57.8
K. Block/ A. Gelsomino USA Ford Fiesta RS +22:26.8
R. Trivino/ A. Haro MEX Ford Fiesta RS +23:30.7
2012 FIA Drivers' Championship Standings
S.Loeb 66/M. Hirvonen 50 /P. Solberg 47/ M. Ostberg 28/ J-M Latvala 26/ E. Novikov
21/ D.Sordo 18/ / O. Tanak 14/ F. Delecour 8/ N. Al-Attyiah 8/ A. Araújo
7/ P. Campana 6/ H. Solberg 6/
12-03-11 Händelserik lördag
Ramona Karlsson och Miriam Walfridsson är fortsättningsvis sexa totalt
i PWRC-klassen efter ännu en händelserik dag i Mexikos VM-rally. De
inledde andra hela dagen med att återigen klättra upp på en fjärdeplats
totalt efter specialsträcka 15 men växellådsproblem gjorde att
de tvingades bryta och inte kunde fullfölja dagens sista sträckor. De
kommer nu att starta om rallyt igen på söndagen efter att teamet fixat
Tyvärr fick vi problem med växelföraren efter att vi klättrat
i totalen men vi har ett superteam som kan fixa det så vi kan starta om
imorgon igen, säger Ramona.
Duon har hängt med bra på sträckorna men rallyt är tufft
och många har haft problem under de första dagarna. Ramona säger
att de samlar på sig mycket nyttig erfarenhet från sträckorna.
På de partier som inte går uppe i bergen är vi med bra
tidsmässigt och kör topp-3 tider, men när vi kommer upp i bergen
tappar vi en del tid. Vägarna är väldigt annorlunda mot vad vi
är vana vid och det är mycket små marginaler. De snabbaste i klassen
har kört här många gånger och den erfarenheten är mycket
viktig. Vi lär oss väldigt mycket och det är kul att se att på
de partier som har en karaktär vi är vana vid är vi med och slåss
Duon kommer nu att starta om igen på söndagen, rallyt sista dag, och
samla på sig mer erfarenhet från de fyra sista specialsträckorna.
Bilen går fantastiskt bra och hela teamet gör ett superjobb
så vi ser fram emot att samla på oss mer erfarenhet från de
sista sträckorna. Mycket kan fortfarande hända, förhoppningsvis
kan vi även klättra i totalen. Miriam mår också mycket bättre
efter att hon fått dropp under natten och vi är redo att kämpa
på under den sista dagen, avslutar Ramona.
efter specialsträcka 20 och totalt efter dag 2.
12-03-10 Heartache for Novikov
as Tänak masters Mexican endurance
Embarking on the toughest day of competition at the ninth Rally Guanajuato Mexico,
M-Sport Ford World Rally Teams Evgeny Novikov and Ott Tänak endured
a massive 183.30 km and 13 hours of competitive stages. Continuing a composed
display of maturity on the difficult stages, Tänak held his own to secure
sixth place heading into the final day of competition.
Elsewhere however, there was heartache for Novikov as the Russian clipped the
rear of his Ford Fiesta RS WRC on the final stage of the day rendering him in,
an unusual for 2012, 11th place.
The fast, flowing roads of SS13 (Ibarilla 1) are synonymous with the Mexican event
and drivers have to work hard to find the right line and avoid the treacherous
rocks which litter the side of the road.
Despite not being 100 per cent comfortable behind the wheel of their Ford Fiesta
RS WRC, Novikov and co-driver Denis Giraudet set the eighth fastest time over
the 29.9 km test to maintain their seventh place and keep former Rally Mexico
podium finisher, Chris Atkinson, at bay. Regardless of his continued unease with
the set-up of his Fiesta, the Russian kept pace with the top drivers over SS14
to set the seventh fastest time and increase his lead over Atkinson to 41.1 seconds.
Finding a better rhythm over the afternoon loop, Novikov avoided the pitfalls
and punctures which blighted so many others on SS15 (Ibarilla 2). Setting the
fourth fastest time a full six seconds clear of yesterdays podium sitter,
Mads Østberg, the Muscovite closed the gap to team mate Tänak to just
The afternoons final set of stages saw the M-Sport crews tackle two passes
through Comanjilla the last five kilometres of which will form the Power
Stage tomorrow interspersed with an elongated Super Special; SS18 and SS19
having been combined to form one 4.42 km test around the Autodromo in León.
Another top-ten time from Novikov on SS17 saw the Russian consolidate his seventh
place with over a minute in hand over Nassar Al-Attiyah in eighth. After thrilling
the crowds on the Super Special, the Russian embarked on the second pass over
Comanjilla (SS20). Unfortunately, the Russian hit a bank with his right-rear wheel
on the second corner. After losing the wheel and damaging the rear of his Ford
Fiesta RS WRC further into the stage, Novikov will restart under Rally 2 tomorrow.
Continuing their impressive campaign in Mexico, Tänak and co-driver Kuldar
Sikk had a strong run over the morning loop. Having rolled his MM Motorsport run
Ford Fiesta S2000 on Ibarilla last year, Tänak took a cautious approach towards
the end of SS14. Despite his caution, the youngster held his own against the top
drivers, setting the fifth fastest time in the process. A spin and a stalled engine
on SS14 (Otates 1) lost the Estonian over 15 seconds, but Tänak still clinched
the sixth fastest time just 19.6 seconds adrift of Petter Solbergs trouble-free
run in the factory Ford Fiesta RS WRC.
The second pass over Ibarilla (SS15) was less fruitful for Tänak as a puncture
saw him lose almost a minute to the front runners. Deciding to continue but losing
the rubber mid-way through the stage, Tänaks lead over team mate Novikov
tumbled from 58.4 seconds to just 4.2 seconds. Unfazed by his problems on the
previous stage, the Estonians maturity shone through as he secured another
impressive time on the second pass over Otates (SS16).
Taking it steady over Comanjills 1 (SS17) and gaining experience of tomorrows
Power Stage, Tänak set the sixth fastest time to extend his lead over Novikov
to over 20 seconds. Entertaining the crowds around the elongated Super Special
at Leóns Autodromo, the Estonian went head to head with Solberg
setting the fourth fastest time and vowing that one day he would get the better
of the factory Ford driver before ending the day with another strong time over
the final stage.
Ott Tänak (6th) said:
- The last stages were quite ok. Mostly we were just checking our pace against
Evgenys [Novikov] splits. I think the first stage after service went really
well when we took about eight seconds out of him so that was good.
It was a lot of fun going up against Petter [Solberg] on the Super Special.
We tried, but I think we might have tried too much because on the first corner
we went wide and lost some time. The gap after the first and second loop was the
same so I lost the time on the first one. But that is just the way it is, and
next time Ill do better.
- On the last stage we saw that Evgeny had a problem so we slowed right
down as we dont have any need to push. We have a pretty big gap behind us
now so tomorrow we will work on perfecting the pacenotes for next year.
12-03-11 Elsewhere, end of day
quetes, Rally Mexico day 2
Mads Østberg, Adapta Motorsport World Rally Team (5th) said:
- This afternoon has been quite ok. Still we are working with the car but
now we are just driving to secure the fifth place. We have plenty of time so it
is just about getting to the end.
- We had really good fun fighting with Jari-Matti [Latvala] in the Super
Special. It was just a shame that we could not beat him but it was close!
- We will try some new things in the morning but we wont do anything
I cant change back because it [SS22, Guanajuatito] is a very long stage
and you need to be comfortable with the car to keep the concentration.
- We have a pretty big gap behind us now so we can use tomorrow to learn
more about this event. It is quite special and you need a unique set-up and style
to do well so the more we can learn for next year the better.
Ken Block, Monster World Rally Team (10th) said:
- This afternoon has been a lot more fun. I really enjoy that stage [Comanjilla]
it is a lot more flat out and flowing really good fun. The twisty
stuff like the long stuff this morning, I like it to a certain extent but when
it is that long it can be real tricky.
I have been making some minor adjustments to the car throughout the day
to help on the longer sections, but it takes a lot of commitment to compete against
these guys. If you are to really throw the car into the corners and lean on the
tyres and expect some grip, you have got to be fully committed.
- "But yeah, Ive been working on that, and on the braking and on the
suspension a little so hopefully that should give me a little more confidence
going into tomorrow.
- It is just a constant learning process. The problem for me is that everyone
continued to develop with this car. That is why I keep calling myself a tourist!
I just cant compete and develop at that same level as these guys.
12-03-10 Elsewhere, Midday Quates
Rally Mexido Day 2
Mads Østberg, Adapta Motorsport World Rally Team (5th) said:
- This afternoon was quite ok. We did some changes to the car in service
and it worked quite well on the first stage. We kept the set-up for the long run
but it didnt work so well there. It worked ok on the fast stuff, but in
the very narrow and twisty stuff we had a lot of oversteer and I just lost a lot
of time really.
But ok, we are learning a lot about the set-up and about the car on this
rally so we are getting a lot of good experience.
Ken Block, Monster World Rally Team (12th) said:
- This afternoon was good. I lost the brakes and the tyres got really soft
towards the end of the last one, but that last long stage is a real workout!
- The conditions are good. It is a lot nicer to drive swept roads because
this morning we were the sweepers so it was nice to have some grip. But my times
havent improved all that much so Im not pushing hard. Im too
far away from the guys ahead of me. So yeah, we will just keep going and see what
Ricardo Triviño (14th) said:
- The second pass was much better than this morning. Also the next stages
I know very well so hopefully we will see our times improve even more.
- The conditions were pretty tricky. The stages are so long that the tyres
were completely worn by the end. There was so little grip and it was a real challenge
Chris Atkinson, Monster World Rally Team
After losing the brakes throughout SS16, Atkinson lost them completely after the
flying finish and hit a bank. The Australian will Rally 2 tomorrow.
12-03-10 M-Sport Ford WRT Midday
Quotes Rally Mexico Day 2
Ott Tänak (6th) said:
- We had a front-left puncture at the beginning of the first stage. I felt
the puncture, but we still had the rubber on so it was possible to drive and it
was not too bad. But then the rubber came off for the last 10 kilometres and it
was really bad. But we had lost so much time already that it did not make sense
to stop and change it and lose even more time.
- On the second stage we tried a bit harder because Evgeny [Novikov] was
getting really close to us and we set a good time so that was ok. The main reason
we came here was to get experience of the new stages and that is the main objective
for this afternoon. We are not going to take too many risks, just drive at our
own pace and learn the stages.
Evgeny Novikov (7th) said:
- This afternoon was ok, but everything is still the same. There is much
better grip which is a bit easier for me, but nothing special. Im trying
to drive the stages to the maximum, but we are still losing some time so we will
have to see.
- Of course I will keep trying to do my best and we will keep pushing in
the next stages maximum attack.
12-03-10 Elsewhere, mid morning
quetes, Rally MExico day 2
Mads Østberg, Adapta Motorsport World Rally Team (4th) said:
- We had two very long stages so it was quite a tricky morning. I enjoyed
the second stage more than the first one, but if you find the right rhythm, for
sure the characteristics of the first one would be really good fun to drive.
- Unfortunately though, nothing really worked for us on the first stage.
We had a hole in the car yesterday which brought a lot of dust into the car so
with the low sun on the first stage it was really difficult to see the stage properly.
- We want to improve our times over the next pass. We will make a few small
changes to the car and try to fine-tune everything. We are getting there but there
are still some things to improve on the car and I also have to make some changes
to my driving style.
- But we are learning. Sometimes it is going in the right direction and
then we are quicker, but other times it is not that simple. But that is just the
way it is.
Chris Atkinson, Monster World Rally Team (8th) said:
- We had no major problems this morning but on the loose sections we were
really struggling for grip. It was difficult getting the corner speeds right and
we need to work on the medium speed corners for the second pass.
- We played it fairly safe in the first stage and recorded an ok time. But
on the second one we had a pretty average time. Well try a few things in
service to try and control the car a little better going into the corners and
then hopefully we'll get a bit more confidence there.
Ken Block, Monster World Rally Team (12th) said:
- This morning we actually ran my favourite and my least favourite stage,
so that was pretty interesting! I think we did a good job considering our position
on the road but for sure it wasnt perfect and we were a little ragged in
places with a few little moments.
- Well try a few things out in service and then hopefully we can get
back out there and entertain the fans with some quicker times.
Ricardo Triviño (14th) said:
- This morning the stages have been very good but in the second stage the
tyres lost grip after about 20 kilometres. Apart from that it was pretty good.
- This afternoon we will try to attack the stages a little bit more, but
also try and preserve the tyres for the longer stage better than we did this morning.
Ford WRT, Mid morning Quetes Rally MExico day 2
Ott Tänak (6th) said:
This morning was quite ok. We tried to push a little on the beginning of
the first stage, but I made a mistake on the end of that stage last year so we
were a bit more careful towards the end. Then on the last stage, we had a spin
in the middle of the stage which stalled the engine. The engine was so hot by
that point that it didnt re-start straight away and I think we lost maybe
10 or 20 seconds. After that, our rhythm was not as good as it had been, but that
is just the way it is.
- The main thing was to check our speed against Evgeny [Novikov] and that
was all ok. We are still learning this rally so Im pretty happy with the
times. We have a fairly big gap behind us now so we can try some small things
in service, but nothing major.
Evgeny Novikov (7th) said:
- To be honest this morning was not so good for me. The results are not
what I am looking for but we are trying to push and to do our best. We are trying
to drive on the limit, but the times are still not as good as I would like.
- We wont do any major changes in service, just try our best and hopefully
we will find the rhythm and be able to set some more competitive times this afternoon.
12-03-10 Ramona och Miriam sexa
totalt efter bromsproblem
Ramona och Miriam inledde som lovat och började klättra i tabellen när
den första heldagen i Mexikos VM-rally inleddes på fredagen. De passerade
italienaren Linaro i sammandraget upp till en fjärdeplats. Men på den
sjunde specialsträckan försvann bromsarna en kilometer från målgång
och paret tappade mycket tid.
Som tur är hände det på ett lämpligt ställe,
vi vågar inte ens tänka på vad som hade hänt om bromsarna
hade försvunnit några hundra meter längre fram där vägen
var smalare och hade rejäla stup, säger Ramona. Det visade sig att en
bromsledning gick sönder, teamet kan fixa det och vi kommer att starta om
under superrallyreglerna på lördag.
Bromsfelet innebär att Ramona och Miriam fick tidstillägg på de
kommande sträckorna och har nu halkat ner till en sjätteplats totalt.
Två hårda dagar återstår dock och duon laddar nu om för
Vägarna i Mexiko är tuffa med en mycket speciell vägkaraktär
jämfört med vad vi är vana vid men vi kommer in i det mer och mer.
Miriam har åkt på en magbakterie men vägrar ge upp och hon har
fått läkarhjälp och är nu fit for fight! Rallyt har bara
börjat och nu laddar vi om, det återstår två tuffa dagar
och allt kan hända, avslutar Ramona.
På rally-VM:s officiella hemsida, www.wrc.com, kan ni följa rallyt
via livetiming och rallyradio under dagen. Rallyt startar igen 06:54 lokal tid,
13:54 svensk tid.
Resultat PWRC totalt efter dag 1:
1: B. Guerra 1:32.02
2: M. Kosciuzko + 32,6
3: N. Fuchs + 41,5
4: G. Linari + 6:39.3
5: R. Salgado + 9:01.5
6: R. Karlsson + 20:48.8
12-03-10 Elsewhere, end of day
Quetes, Rally Mexico Day 1
Mads Østberg, Adapta Motorsport World Rally Team (3rd) said:
- I think this afternoon has been quite ok. We have tried to push but I
am still not one hundred per cent happy with the car. We just have to try and
make some changes and see if we go in the right direction. The car is drivable,
but its not perfect and we still have some places where we can improve.
- Im still getting used to the gravel and still learning the rally.
Its only our second time here so I think were doing ok and hopefully
we can push a little bit more tomorrow.
Chris Atkinson, Monster World Rally Team (8th) said:
- We had no problems all afternoon but were still not where we need
to be. We tried to push a bit harder this afternoon but the times didnt
really come so well try some different set-ups in service and hopefully
tomorrow we can go a lot faster.
Ken Block, Monster World Rally Team (15th) said:
- This afternoon has been a little bit frustrating. We tried a couple of
different driving styles to see if it is any quicker, but I cant necessarily
figure out what Im doing wrong and right.
- The stages went well, although I had the tracker come out from underneath
my feet and it was bouncing around in the foot well and getting under the pedals.
We just hit a rock and it popped all the zip-ties off so that was a bit frustrating
for a couple of kilometres.
- Other than that it was just trying to have a good clean run this afternoon
because this morning was so frustrating. Tomorrow, its flat out.
Ricardo Triviño (13th) said:
- This afternoon has been much better than this morning. The feeling with
the car was a lot better and there was much more grip than we saw earlier.
- Tomorrow the stages are much better suited to my driving style. I know
the stages pretty well and I really like driving Ibarrilla and Comanjilla
theyre very good, really good fun to drive!
- The car is perfect so hopefully tomorrow we can go out there with more
attack and make up some places.
12-03-10 M-Sport Rising Starts
impress despite misfourtunes
The ninth Rally Guanajuato Mexico got underway with a spectacular Special Stage
through the cobbled streets and historic mining shafts of the stunning world heritage
city of Guanajuato last night. With huge crowds lining the DC Shoes Street Stage,
M-Sport Ford World Rally Team drivers Ott Tänak and Evgeny Novikov thrilled
spectators over the 1.05km stage.
An impressive effort from Tänak and co-driver Kuldar Sikk saw the Estonian
duo set the sixth fastest time to equal that of Ford factory driver, Jari-Matti
Latvala. Elsewhere however, there was early disappointment for Novikov and experienced
navigator Denis Giraudet as an issue with the intercom rendered the pairing 12th
Based to the north and east of Guanajuato, the first full day of competition saw
the M-Sport crews get their first taste of gravel in this the 2012 edition of
the World Rally Championship (WRC). Tackling two new stages and overcoming the
demands of continuous changes in grip, M-Sports rising stars rose to the
challenge with Novikov securing seventh overall and Tänak sixth at the end
of Day 1.
Eager to climb the leaderboard, Novikov had a strong run over the first full day
of competition. Getting to grips with his Ford Fiesta RS WRC over the morning
loop, the young Russian set the seventh fastest time on SS2, climbing four positions
to secure eighth overall. Producing competitive times over the following tests,
Novikov set another seventh fastest time on SS4, 6.4 seconds clear of previous
Rally Mexico podium finisher, Chris Atkinson. Despite issues with his gear shifts
missing the shift light on his dashboard for much of the morning
the Muscovite set the fifth fastest time on the final 23.69 km test to claim fifth
Following Thierry Neuvilles retirement after service on SS6, Novikov was
propelled into fifth position seven places up on where he had started in
the morning and just 12.7 seconds adrift of team mate Tänak. Despite setting
the fifth fastest time on Las Minas 2 (SS7), Novikov lost out to a charging Latvala
in the factory Ford Fiesta RS WRC. With SS9 cancelled, the final stage before
service saw the crews tackle the 1.23 km Monster Street Stage within which the
Russian maintained his seventh position overall.
After the final service, only two Super Specials remained. With the packed Autodromo
in León illuminated with fork lightning and heavy rain, Novikov set the
12th and 10th fastest times and will start Day 2 eighth on the road.
Despite running early on the road in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC, Tänak mastered
the slippery conditions over the morning loop. Setting the sixth fastest time
on the first 22.12 km stage, the Estonian maintained his overall position just
1.1 seconds adrift of last months Rally Sweden podium finisher Mads Østberg.
Tänaks consistency continued over the following tests as the youngster
set the sixth fastest time on four consecutive stages. Despite suffering from
aggressive brakes, the final test of the morning saw Tänak set the fourth
fastest time as he climbed to fifth in the overall standings, just 17.4 seconds
adrift and closing on Neuville in fourth.
Following the Belgians retirement on SS6, the M-Sport driver was propelled
into fourth place, just 25.7 seconds adrift of the podium. Despite setting competitive
splits throughout SS7, the Estonian lost out to a blisteringly quick Latvala in
the overall standings. Gaining experience with each competitive kilometre, the
youngster set another fifth fastest time on the second pass over Los Mexicanos
(SS8) to keep a recovering Petter Solberg at bay. In the absence of SS9, the Monster
Street Stage followed with Tänak impressing once again with another fifth
fastest time. Unfortunately for the Estonian, a late check-in saw him incur a
10-second penalty to put Solberg ahead going into Day 2.
With just the final two Super Special stages left to run, Tänak set the third
and fourth fastest times on the rain-soaked track to bring the gap to Solberg
down to just 1.3 seconds and will thus start Day 2 ninth on the road.
Ott Tänak (6th) said:
- This afternoon was ok. We had no dramas. The conditions werent too
bad and there were far fewer rocks out there than there had been this morning.
The surface is quite hard so it wasnt too bad. In some places its
really clean and you have quite good grip, but in others it was still a bit dusty
and slippery which is what makes it a bit tricky.
- I think for tomorrow we will just stick with pretty much the same set-up
as we have now. Well try to keep the pace and stay in front of Evgeny [Novikov].
Its all good experience for me.
Evgeny Novikov (7th) said:
- This afternoon was a lot better than this morning but still not so good
and Im not 100 per cent satisfied with the result. But we are trying to
do something about it; we will try a few things out in service and just see what
the result is at the finish there are still two days to go so you never
- Tomorrow, of course, it will be the same approach maximum attack.
We will just try to do our best and see what happens.
12-03-09 Elsewhere, Midday Quates
Rally Mexico day 1
Mads Østberg, Adapta Motorsport World Rally Team (3rd) said:
- Its been quite a good morning. We had quite a good rhythm but somehow
we are losing a lot of time on the uphill sections, which we dont completely
understand. But we gain a lot of time back on the straight and on the downhill
so well just have to try and push a little bit harder on the uphill sections
this afternoon to see if there is anything we can do.
- Its very frustrating, especially when you are fighting with someone
and you see that you are up on the splits and then from one split to another you
lose five seconds just because its uphill so its a little bit disappointing.
- But its still been a good morning for us. I think we have done a
good job. The road position means were cleaning a little bit but not massively.
- Its really slippery out there though. You can see that because there
is no one line, there are lines everywhere, and it seems like everyone is struggling
to find traction. Its not like in Sweden where you can follow a clean line,
its in all directions! But the grip level is always changing and its
not a small change; its always a massive change and its so difficult
as a driver to judge that especially when you come at it at such high speeds.
- The cobbles also are so difficult to drive on. Its not gravel and
its not asphalt and its so difficult to find the rhythm. They are
so hard on the tyres as well and after that stage our tyres were almost completely
- But third place is not a bad place to be!
Chris Atkinson, Monster World Rally Team (9th) said:
- Before the puncture, this morning had been going pretty well. The first
stage was good considering our road position and we were around the same speed
as Tänak and Østberg. Considering its our first time in the
car, first time on these tyres, and its been a while since I was in Mexico
I was pretty happy with that.
- The plan was to stay with those guys and push a bit harder this afternoon
and try and get in front of them but unfortunately the puncture pushed us back
a bit. Well try and fight back, but its a long way to go.
- Its just bad luck. We came over a blind crest and were in the middle
of the road so theres not much you can do about that try and miss
it and swerve off the road or just hit it and maybe get a puncture. Thats
just the way it is these days.
- This morning I was learning the car, taking it pretty easy and then the
plan was to try and push the speed this afternoon. Now Ive just got to get
some good times in and hopefully move up the running order for a better starting
Ricardo Triviño (16th) said:
- The first stage was good, but by the end of the stage we had no tyres.
The cobbles are so hard on tyres and you have to be really careful there. The
other stages were better and in the slower corners I could feel much more traction
in the front of the car.
- The atmosphere is fantastic and I cant wait to get back out there
again! This afternoon well just go out there, drive our best, and try and
make up some positions.
Ken Block, Monster World Rally Team (18th) said:
- Yeah, we had a pretty eventful morning! Obviously being so far up on the
road I was doing a lot of sweeping and for how well I was driving I was kind of
bummed that the times werent a little better. But going out to the first
stage this morning the gearbox wouldnt go into neutral so we had to deal
with that a little bit. Ok, its not that big of a deal but its pretty
- Eventually the gearbox started working again, so that was fine. But then
on the last stage, the tyres were just so far gone that every corner felt like
ice so I misjudged the braking on a tight-right corner and I ended up going off
with the left-rear, getting a puncture and breaking the driveshaft.
- Then we pulled over because Chris [Atkinson] was behind us and I didnt
want to hold him up. But little did we know he had a puncture himself so we ended
up sitting there for a lot longer than we would have wanted.
- Its good to be back driving and the times were consistent for the
position I was in, but then that last stage was just very frustrating.
- I just need to focus and do what I need to do on the rest of the stages
12-03-09 M-Sport Ford WRT, Midday
Quates Rally Mexico day 1
Ott Tänak (5th) said:
- This morning has been ok but the stages have been quite slippery, especially
the first one as the asphalt section was really difficult to drive. We also had
a problem with the brakes overheating so maybe Ive been driving a little
too aggressively. It got a little better in the later stages, but it was still
very difficult to find the right line. Well change a few small things in
service and see how we go this afternoon.
Evgeny Novikov (6th) said:
- This morning has been ok but for the moment I cant seem to find
the key to this rally. Im trying to push the maximum and I feel like Im
on the limit but the times are not so good.
- One problem may be that I dont have the red light on my dashboard
which tells me when I have to switch gear so maybe I am shifting less well than
- But well see. The plan for this afternoon is to go out there with
maximum attack and hopefully we will get into the rhythm of the rally soon!
12-03-09 Ramona och Miriam femma
efter första dagen
Mexikos VM-rally är inlett, på torsdagskvällen kördes en
publiksträcka på asfalt och Ramona Karlsson och Miriam Walfridsson
var femte snabbast.
Nu är vi äntligen igång, hälsar Ramona. Femma totalt
efter första sträckan i Guanajuato är helt ok. På fredag
börjar rallyt på riktigt och då siktar vi på att plocka
Det har varit ett stort intresse för rallyt hela veckan och det märktes
inte minst på den första specialsträckan som var fullpackad med
Det var helt galet med publik och en helt hysterisk stämning. Vi har
aldrig varit med om en sådan publik tidigare och det är helt fantastiskt.
Nu laddar vi om för fredagen, avslutar Ramona.
På wrc.com finns också rallyradio som sänder från rallyts
samtliga sträckor. Rallyt fortsätter igen fredag eftermiddag svensk
tid, fredag morgon lokal tid.
Resultat efter SS1:
1: N. Fuchs 57,4
2: B. Guerra + 1,1
3: M. Kosciuzko + 1,8
4: R. Salgado + 3,8
5: R. Karlsson + 4,9
6: G. Linari + 7,5
12-03-08 Ramona och Miriam laddade
Ramona Karlsson och Miriam Walfridsson har avslutat två dagars rekognosering
inför duons VM-start torsdag kväll och Ramona är förväntansfull
efter att ha nu kört igenom sträckorna.
De här vägarna har verkligen allt. Det finns inga marginaler
och det kommer att bli ett tufft rally. Det är varmt och det gäller
att verkligen fokusera men det här kommer att bli riktigt kul, säger
Rallyt startar på torsdag kväll lokal tid och därefter väntar
ytterligare tre dagars körning. VM-äventyret har redan börjat bra
och det är ett laddat rallypar som ser fram emot VM-starten.
Vi fick ett helt underbart välkomnande av Mitsubishi i Leon, hundratals
människor hade samlats för att heja på oss. Man kan inte bli annat
än laddad, vi är riktigt taggade och kan knappt vänta på
att få komma igång med rallyt!
Närmast väntar shakedown och presskonferens för Ramona och Miriam
innan den första specialsträckan som startar 18.15 lokal tid. Rallyt
avslutas på söndag 14.15 lokal tid.
12-03-06 Första Mexikotestet
avklarat för Ramona och Miriam
Ramona Karlsson och Miriam Walfridsson är nu på plats i Mexiko. Första
testet inför VM-debuten är avklarat och rallyduon har fått en
första smak av vägarna i Mexiko.
Det känns bra att vi sitter i bilen igen och vi sa båda två
att det är en speciell känsla att vara igång efter en lång
vinter, säger Ramona.
VM-äventyret började dessvärre inte helt problemfritt. Tanken med
dagens test var att testa teamets nya DMACK-däck men de fastnade i tullen
och man tvingades istället att låna in däck från Ralliart
Italien. Det var inte de enda problemen på vägen mot VM-debuten i Mexiko.
Ett stort tack till Raliart Italien som kunde låna oss däck
efter att våra däck fastnade i tullen. Som tur är kommer våra
DMACK-däck fram senare ikväll. Det har varit lite strul med resan hit
med allt från mekaniker som inte kom vidare från Mexiko City till
att Miriams overall blev stulen på flygplatsen men vi tar det som ett dåligt
genrep inför en bra premiär och nu är vi alla på plats.
Måndagens test var ett officiellt test för alla Grupp N-åkare
och nu väntar två dagars rekognosering inför starten på
torsdag kväll, en rekognosering där Ramona och Miriam ska sätta
noterna för rallyt.
Vi har märkt att det gäller att vara mycket noggrann i arbete
med noterna, förklarar Ramona. Det finns mycket klurigheter i vägkanterna
med allt från sten till stup men vi planerar inte att vara där ute
och härja. Vi har fått en bra första känsla efter testet
för vad vi har att vänta oss och det är som förväntat.
Det är skönt att äntligen vara igång och nu har vi gått
in i rallymode!
Rallyt startar officiellt på torsdag kväll.
12-03-02 Så kan ni följa
Ramona och Miriams VM-premiär
Ramona och Miriam tillsammans med sina mekaniker och motoringenjör, sitter
just nu på flyget på väg till Mexico. De hälsar att de är
taggade till tänderna inför sin VM-premiär i Rally Mexico, och
ser verkligen fram emot tävlingen.
Givetvis kommer vi att hålla er uppdaterade under deras VM-premiär.
På ramonarallying.com kommer vår pressansvarige Ola Lennström
att rapportera från måndagens test, inför rallyt, samt en rapport
från varje tävlingsdag. Det är 7 timmars tidsförskjutning
mellan Sverige och Mexico, och vi kommer att vara i mål under etapperna
under sen natt (svensk tid). Fredag 9/3 kl. 03.00 (Svensk tid) startar rallyt,
och målgång är ca kl. 22 söndagen 11/3 (Svensk tid).
kan ni se Live-resultat från PWRC, och övrigt resultat från rallyt,
senaste nytt, rallyradio m.m. finner ni på
På torsdag 8/3 ca kl. 06.20, kan ni (om tekniken håller) lyssna på
en live-intervju med Ramona och Miriam i TV4 Nyhetsmorgon.
Nu håller vi tummarna för Rally Mexicos enda helsvenska ekipage!
12-02-26 Fredrik Åhlin klar
för WRC Academy 2012
Den svenske landslagsföraren Fredrik Åhlin är nu klar för
årets Junior VM i rally - WRC Academy 2012. Tillsammans med sin kartläsare
Morten Abrahamsen kommer Fredrik att köra hela serien med start i Portugal
den 29 mars.
Fredrik vann uttagningstävlingen Pirelli Star Driver 2011 och kvalificerade
sig då till en friplats i WRC Academy. Med sin Ford Fiesta R2 krigade sig
Fredrik fram till en slutlig 10:e plats i Junior VM-serien förra året.
- För mig existerar inte ordet otur, men det var en del stolpe ut förra
året, och det gjorde att vi tyvärr inte kunde vara med i toppstriden
om juniortiteln säger Fredrik. Men i år blir det andra
bullar. Nu har vi kört en säsong och lärt oss massor av det så
det finns goda förutsättningar till att ta stora kliv uppåt i
resultatlistan för i år spår Fredrik.
Inför årets VM-säsong har Fredrik även jobbat tillsammans
med en mental coach för att verkligen kunna fokusera och kanalisera sin vilja
i rätt riktning. Det är lätt att överladda och det gäller
att tänka positivt och hitta de rätta verktygen för att lyckas
då man skall prestera och leverera på den här höga nivån
WRC Academy kommer även i år att vara en supportklass till den tunga
klassen WRC, och Juniormästerskapet kommer att avgöras under
sex deltävlingar med slutlig målgång i Spanien i november. Förutom
dessa sex deltävlingar kommer Fredrik och Mårten även att köra
några nationella rallyn för att hålla ångan uppe mellan
- Det här är ju det roligaste som finns på detta jordeliv
avslutar Fredrik och ger sig iväg för ytterligare ett träningspass
12-02-20 Sandell klar för
Patrik Sandell är klar för att köra Rally Portugal, för Sweden
World Rally Team tillsammans med Prodrive och MINI. Det blir därmed Sandells
andra WRC-start, efter den framgångsrika debuten i Svenska rallyt häromveckan.
Jag har kört tävlingen två gånger förut, så
jag har lite koll på vägarna och vet vad som väntar mig. Men det
känns ändå lite speciellt att veta att jag kommer att sitta i
en WRC-bil den här gången, säger Patrik Sandell.
Sandell och hans coddriver Staffan Parmander tävlar för nystartade Sweden
World Rally Team. Svenskarna tävlar i en Mini John Cooper Works WRC, driven
av engelska Prodrive, och precis som i Svenska rallyt kommer de att bli teamkollegor
med spanjoren Daniel Sordo.
Vi har resonerat tillsammans med Prodrive och kommit fram till att Portugal
är ett perfekt nästa steg för oss i den WRC-satsning vi gör.
Det är också viktigt för Patrik att få komma tillbaka in
i tävlingsbilen så snart som möjligt, medan han har tempot uppe
från Svenska rallyt, säger Jan Pettersson som är teamchef för
Sweden World Rally Team.
Rally Portugal körs 29 mars till 1 april. Tävlingen börjar redan
på torsdagen med en superspecial inne i Lissabon, följt av tre mörkersträckor
senare under kvällen. Därefter beger sig bilarna ner till Faro på
Algarve-kusten i södra Portugal, som sedan är huvudort för tävlingen
under fredag, lördag och söndag.
12-01-26 Ramona och Miriam i historisk
Ramona Karlsson och Miriam Walfridsson storsatsar inför 2012. Med det egna
teamet Ramona Rallying är de klara för full VM-säsong i PWRC. Det
blir sex VM-rallyn med start i Mexico i mars.
- För mig har det alltid varit en dröm att tävla i VM, det är
det finaste man kan göra och det känns nästan lite overkligt att
vi nu står inför det, säger Ramona Karlsson. Vi har varit långt
ifrån det tidigare men efter hårt arbete och med stort stöd från
partners som Höganäs, Sandå, Mitsubishi med flera är det
nu äntligen verklighet, säger Ramona
Ramona är inte bara förare utan också teamchef för det egna
teamet som blir det enda svenska teamet som kör full VM-säsong. Hon
är dessutom den första svenska kvinna som kör rally-VM. Ramona
är inställd på att det blir tufft men menar att man har goda chanser.
- Det blir vårt första år i VM så det är för
kaxigt att påstå att vi ska kliva upp i toppen direkt. Men vi vet
att SM är tufft och kan man hävda sig där står man sig väl
även internationellt vilket våra inhopp i Polen och Tyskland ifjol
visade. Vi har också med oss ett fantastiskt team med chefmekaniker Mikael
Gustafsson i spetsen som backar upp oss till 100%. Det är självklart
att vi är med för att köra om topplaceringar, det måste man
alltid sikta på. Ingenting är omöjligt, konstaterar hon.
Det här blir också den första svenska kvinnliga VM-satsningen.
Med sig i satsningen har Ramona nämligen kartläsaren Miriam Walfridsson
som har arbetat med Ramona de senaste åren. Ett självklart val för
- Jag och Miriam har kört ihop nu i fem år och vårt samarbete
är perfekt. Det finns ingen annan jag skulle vilja ha med mig i högerstolen.
Miriam är ung men trots det väldigt rutinerad och hon har liksom mig
en riktig vinnarskalle. Det kommer vi att behöva i år mer än någonsin!
Ramona Rallying kommer att köra sex rallyn i VM-klassen PWRC i en Mitsubishi
Evo 10. Tävlingskalendern består av Rally Mexico, Argentina, Nya Zeeland,
Tyskland, Italien och Spanien.
Tävlingskalender, Ramona Rallying, PWRC 2012:
Rally Mexico 8-11 mars
Rally Argentina 27-29 april
Rally Nya Zeeland 22-24 juni
Rally Tyskland 24-26 augusti
Rally Italien 18-21 oktober
Rally Spanien 8-11 november
12-01-20 Rally-VM i SVT
redan på söndag!
Rally-VM är tillbaka i Sveriges Television. Redan nu på söndag
sänds höjdpunkterna från premiären i Monte Carlo-rallyt med
ett timslångt program med start kl 23.00 i SVT1.
SVT kommer att sända från mästerskapets samtliga 13 tävlingar.
Störst blir satsningen från Rally Sweden 9-12 februari då det
bland annat blir premiär för rally i populära Vinterstudion.
Rally-VM har tidigare visats i Sveriges Television. Nu är mästerskapet
Det är bra för oss och vår sport att VM återigen
sänds i SVT. Intresset för rally är stort i Sverige och genom SVT
har alla möjlighet att följa tävlingarna i mästerskapet, säger
Glenn Olsson, vd för Svenska Rallyt AB.
Rally-VM inleddes i onsdags med Monte Carlo-rallyt. På söndag är
det målgång och kl 23.00 samma kväll sänds ett sammandrag
från tävlingen i STV1.
Nästa deltävling i mästerskapet är Rally Sweden, som avgörs
9-12 februari. I det svenska VM-rallyt inleder Patrik Sandell sin WRC-satsning
och till start i huvudklassen kommer även banracingmästaren från
STCC, Richard Göransson.
SVT kommer att hårdbevaka Rally Sweden med dagliga sändningar. Som
en del i den satsningen ingår även rapporter i Vinterstudion både
lördag och söndag.
Johan Ejeborg, projektledare för sändningarna ser fram emot nysatsningen.
Det känns otroligt roligt för oss att kunna erbjuda vår
publik rally-VM som ytterligare ett starkt mästerskap i SVT:s motorutbud,
Kommentator under samtliga sändningar blir Stefan Klemetz och till sin hjälp
får han expertkommentatorn och rallyprofilen Jonas Kruse.
Fakta Rally Sweden 2012
Rally Sweden är en av 13 deltävlingar i rally-VM, WRC. Tävlingen
har 45 miljoner TV-tittare från 195 länder och lockar årligen
220 000 besökare. 2012 avgörs Rally Sweden 9-12 februari. Start och
mål sker i Karlstad och den centrala serviceplatsen ligger i Hagfors. I
år kommer ett flertal sträckor även att avgöras på
norsk mark i trakterna kring Kongsvinger.
12-01-09 Patrik Sandell klar för
Rally-VM med MINI
Sverige var länge ett aktat namn i rallyvärlden. Björn Waldegård
blev 1979 den första individuella världsmästaren i rally. Fem år
senare var det åter dags för en svensk att kliva upp på tronen
då Stig Blomqvist körde hem VM-titeln. Rally var glödhett och
räknades till en av de stora folksporterna i Sverige. Pengarna flödade
och återväxten blomstrade. Men sedan hände något.
Samtidigt som sporten växte allt mer internationellt fick de svenska talangerna
allt svårare att nå ända fram. Begåvningarna fanns, men
de fick aldrig chansen. Förrän nu.
Sweden World Rally Team är en långsiktig elitsatsning med målet
att hjälpa svenska rallyförare upp i världstoppen. Bakom satsningen
står några av landets största rallyprofiler genom tiderna: Björn
Waldegård, Stig Blomqvist, Thomas Rådström, Jan Pettersson, Leif
Asterhag och Staffan Parmander. Tillsammans har de hundratals VM-starter, delsegrar
och VM-titlar på meritlistan.
Teamet kommer att fokusera på en förare åt gången, som
man sedan följer under tre år. Den förste föraren som teamet
väljer att satsa på är den tidigare juniorvärldsmästaren
Det här är en helt fantastisk möjlighet. Att alla mina idoler
sedan jag var liten går samman för att stötta mig känns rätt
otroligt. Jag tror att det här är pusselbiten som behövs för
att jag ska kunna ta sista steget in i den absoluta hetluften i rally-VM, säger
Profilerna har gått samman och öppnat sina kontakt- och nätverk
för att möjliggöra projektet. Med sin enorma kunskap och rutin
från världens alla hörn kommer de även att fungera som mentorer
till den utvalde föraren.
Björn Waldegård berättar om varför valet föll på
Vi har många stora förartalanger i Sverige, men valet föll
på Patrik för att vi bedömt honom vara den som är närmast
en fabriksstyrning i WRC idag. Han har ett helhetstänk i sitt sätt att
jobba med partners, media och allt runtomkring, samtidigt som han besitter en
otrolig förartalang, säger Björn Waldegård.
Den i gänget som bäst känner till Sandells förmågor
är Staffan Parmander. Med sina 35 år i rallysporten och mer än
100 VM-starter är han en av de mest erfarna Co-drivers vi har. Sedan ett
år tillbaka är han dessutom Sandells egen kartläsare.
Jag har följt Patriks utveckling i många år och har länge
sett honom som en möjlig WRC-kandidat. Efter att nu suttit i bilen ett antal
tävlingar vet jag att vi satsar på rätt person. Han har imponerat
stort på mig och har allt som den nya generationen WRC-förare behöver
för att nå toppen, säger Parmander.
Under uppstartsåret 2012 har teamet valt att satsa på utvalda tävlingar.
Premiären blir hemma i Svenska rallyt i början av februari. De övriga
tävlingarna kommer att avslöjas löpande under året.
Sandell kommer att få köra en fabrikspreppad Mini John Cooper Works
WRC, driven av engelska Prodrive. Det är alltså en riktigt konkurrenskraftig
bil han kommer till start i med andra ord.
Richard Taylor, Team Director på Prodrive:
Patrik har upprepade gånger visat att han är en förare
på toppnivå och jag ser fram emot att få se honom i en Prodrive
MINI. Det är extra kul att hans första tävling med oss blir i Sverige,
där vi verkligen tror att han har stora chanser att sluta högt upp i
sammandraget, säger Richard Taylor.
Att få köra Svenska rallyt i högsta klassen och tävla
mot Loeb, Solberg, Hirvonen med flera ska bli hur kul som helst. Jag känner
mig mogen att ta steget och jag ska verkligen ge dem en match. Jag ska inte göra
någon besviken, avslutar Patrik Sandell.
Personerna bakom Sweden World Rally Team:
Björn Waldegård 100+ VM-starter, 19 VM-segrar och 35 pallplatser. VM-guld
Stig Blomqvist 63 VM-starter, 11 VM-segrar och 33 pallplatser. VM-guld 1984.
Thomas Rådström 40 VM-starter, 4 pallplatser och seger i Svenska Rallyt
Staffan Parmander 100+ VM-starter, 5 VM-segrar, Vinnare av Märkes-VM 96 och
Jan Pettersson 9 VM-starter, grundare av Toyota Team Sweden.
Leif Asterhag 5 VM-starter och teamchef för Toyota Team Sweden.
World Rally Championship tävlingskalender 2012:
Rallye Monte-Carlo 17 - 22 Jan 12
Rally Sweden 09 - 12 Feb 12
Rally Mexico 08 - 11 Mar 12
Rally Portugal 29 Mar - 01 Apr 12
Rally Argentina 27 - 29 Apr 12
Acropolis Rally 25 - 27 May 12
Rally of New Zealand 22 - 24 Jun 12
Rally Finland 02 - 05 Aug 12
Rallye Deutschland 24 - 26 Aug 12
Rally of Great Britain 13 - 16 Sep 12
Rallye de France - Alsace 04 - 07 Oct 12
Rally d'Italia 18 - 21 Oct 12
Rally de España 08 - 11 Nov 12