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s e k a r b d Han s n i p r i a H & ld of rallying r o w e h t o t in t h ig your ins

Cover

Silk Way Rally 2010: Daredevil drivers!

Issue 151 • 23 - 29 Sept 2010 http://handbrakeshairpins.wordpress.com

Features

Breen aims for win in BRC, P7 Erika Detota wins in IRNY, P6 Block releases new video, P8

News

Events

News from the Swartland Rally SRC and BRC event SSARC, AARC P10 news IIRC, R P14

WRC and IRC W ne news updates


Contents / Issue 151 Editorial Information

04

News

Editor Evan Rothman Photojournalist Eva Kovkova Contributors RallyBuzz, Motorpics.

06

Features

06 07 08

Detota wins IRNY 2WD class Breen aims for win in Yorkshire Block releases new GYMKHANA video

10

Events

10 12 14 15 16 17

Swartland Rally REVIEW Silk Way Rally REVIEW, pt 2 IRC Rallye Sanremo PREVIEW SRC C. McRae Forest Stages PREVIEW Toyota Desert 1000 Race PREVIEW BRC Int’l Rally Yorkshire PREVIEW

All content copyrighted property of HANDBRAKES & HAIRPINS, 200710. This publication is fully protected by copyright and nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the editor. While reasonable precautions have been taken to ensure the accuracy of information from sources and given to readers, the editor cannot accept responsibility for any inconvenience or damage that may arise therefrom.

Contact

Welcome to H&H!

E-mail us evan.hhmag@gmail.com Call us +27 83 452 6892 Surf us http://wp.me/pkXc To receive your FREE weekly HANDBRAKES & HAIRPINS eMagazine, or if you’d like to share this with a friend please send your e-mail address to evan.hhmag@gmail.com. HANDBRAKES & HAIRPINS is not a SPAM e-mail: email addresses are added to the mailing list voluntarily.

Welcome to issue 151 of HANDBRAKES & HAIRPINS, your FREE weekly insight into the world of rallying. Many thanks for all the well wishes and congratulations on our 150th issue last week. Without your support and interest, H&H wouldn’t be the tremendous success it is today. As always, I hope you enjoy this week’s exciting edition. Yours in Rallying, Evan Rothman

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News

>>MORE NEWS For even more news, with daily updates, visit http://wp.me/pkXc

HANDBRAKES & HAIRPINS

Team & Event News WRC IRC South African Rallying DAILY ONLINE UPDATES For your convenience, here are the news items in this easy-toclick menu page: WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP http://www.wrc.com EUROPEAN AND INTERCONTINENTAL RALLY CHALLENGE SERIES IRC Rally Sanremo Preview: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1S8 Panizzi joins PROTON: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1S5 Meeke eager for Sanremo: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1Rw Anticipation grows for Sanremo: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1Rt Waldegard for Moroccan adventure: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1SB Panizzi and Proton excited: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1SZ Campana aiming for win: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1SS

Rundle upbeat for Desert Race: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1SX Disappointment for Motorite: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1SU Wilken to the fore in Cape: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1SN BP Volkswagen team claim 1-2-3: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1Sq Gemmell keeps championship alive: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1St E. Rothman’s Swartland Rally pics: http://ow.ly/2GwoO and http://ow.ly/2GwpR INTERNATIONAL RALLYING AND OFF-ROAD RACING Al Qassimi considers Golden Stage: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1Ry USA AND RALLYCAR RALLY NEWS AND EVENTS http://www.rallybuzz.com http://handbrakeshairpins.wordpress.com

BRITISH AND IRISH RALLYING Six chances for BRC glory: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1Sb Cunningham in sports drive to Clare: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1RN BRC Juniors jostle for position: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1Rr 2011 BRC calendar announced: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1Rm Blomqvist and Wilks star for the RBF: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1SJ BRC Challenge down to wire: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1T2 BRC Teams tussle: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1SQ AFRICAN AND SOUTH AFRICAN RALLYING AND OFFROAD RACING Rallying with Ashley Haigh-Smith: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1RQ 29th running of 1000 Desert Race: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1RB Vos chases four wins in a row: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1Sh Success for Team Total in Cape: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1SE Variawa seeking hat-trick: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1SH Toyota set for desert: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1T4

<< WATCH Petter Solberg through SS14 Panzerplatte in WRC Rally Germany (VIDEO): http://wp.me/ ppkXc-1DJ

<< Francois Duval suffers heavy crash out of WRC Rally Germany in SS14 (VIDEO): http:// wp.me/ppkXc-1Ct

THE LATEST NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF RALLYING

RallyBuzz.com features European rally championships, British rallying, RallyCar events, international rally results and videos, as well as S2000 and WRC news.

www.RallyBuzz.com


NEWS

Features

Issue 151 • 23 - 29 Sept 2010

Events << WATCH Henri Toivonen muscle his Rothman’s Porsche 911 Rally car through Rallye Costa Smeralda. http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=gnO5ZYjqxhw

<< Interview with and on-board with Billy Coleman at the 1985 Circuit of Ireland Rally. http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=b2BH3sIqevo

<< A Porsche 911 GT3 is meant to be driven like this, and not sitting in a garage collecting dust... http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=Z82mvtUIv-o

HANDBRAKES & HAIRPINS NOW AVAILABLE IN SEVEN LANGUAGES! The power and universal appeal of both the Internet and rallying around the world has prompted me to offer H&H’s website in seven different languages. Simply visit the website, scroll down to find you favoured language (represented by a country’s flag) and select. It is that easy!

Rally cartoon launched: RUSTY RIMS by Evan Rothman

With the recent news that MINI and Prodrive had signed with WRCs bosses to enter the World Rally Championship for 20111, the hnt for suitable drivers began minutes after the announcement was made. Marcus Gronholm, Kris Meeke, Kevin Abbring jr, P-G. Andersson and even Petter Solberg’s name has been mentioned in the press. With Kris Meeke at the forefront of this supposed race for the seat, RUSTY RIMS was created. View and read this cartoon on H&H’s website at: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1Ky

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With the ever-increasing number of events and news items being published on a daily basis, HANDBRAKES & HAIRPINS has published relevant news items to its website and Facebook Page, and we also feature breath-taking videos from YouTube!


Features

Interviews Exclusive columnists In-depth articles

DETOTA NABS 2WD WIN AT INT’L RALLY NEW YORK extremely dusty conditions. Rally New York takes place on the dirt roads in the Catskill mountain region of New York Driver Erika Detota with navigator State, which were tight, technical, rocky and coach Jason Smith took and unlike most years dust-filled. The their first class win last weekend dust was hanging in valleys even with 3-minute windows between competitors. at the International Rally New “I hope this experience helps prepare York (IRNY), the final Atlantic round of the United States Rally us for the conditions in Arizona” says Championship (USRC). Smith. “It is all about learning, so This victory puts the team it’s awesome that while prioritizing finishing rallies, we have excelled in the ahead in the points standings going championship” into the final Championship round in Prescott, Arizona next month, where This is Detota’s first season racing; her growth from rally to rally they are hoping for the 2WD season win. has been amazing to follow. She was “[IRNY] is my home event, and I know the roads well from working the rally awarded “Most Improved Driver” for the season by the organizers and co-driving the event last year,” said Detota before the “...her growth of the New York Rally Championship. race began. from rally to The team is reThe rally was not without its challenges, rally has been prepping the car and readying for their first however, overcoming amazing to ever West Coast event. underperforming brakes, a The Prescott Rally is broken axle, flat tyre and follow.” a high elevation desert a blown fuse. The team also had their first experience racing in mountain race starting a few hours from Words: Erika Detota Pictures: Lars Grange and Neil McDaid

the famous Grand Canyon. With huge drop-offs, amazing elevation change, and desert sand surface it will be a challenging event for the 2WD team from the East Coast. The team wants to thank their sponsors and supporters for all their help, including: Broken Motorsports for helping to maintain and build our car as well as providing much needed crew support; Robert Cella for his generous investment in the team; Big Boulder Park; RallyArmor; Team O’Neil; and, Keep A Breast Foundation for their H&H continued support.


News

FEATURES

Issue 151 • 23 - 29 Sept 2010

Events

<< Craig Breen is flying in his Ford Fiesta S2000. http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=fzn7ISJTEKQ

<< On-board with Craig Breen in the Mayo Stages Rally. http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=3afQgQ8nznk

<< On-board Craig Breen on the Galway Int’l Rally. http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=GX3Gcb2Kfi4

BREENS AIMS TO END SEASON ON A HIGH IN YORKSHIRE Ford Fiesta S2000 driver Craig Breen as he prepares for the final round of the season. “We are down to the final event in the BRC and the Irish Tarmac The 19th place overall in the Finnish Championship draws to a close only a forests as well as qualification for the Pirelli Star Driver Global Shootout (to week later, so a good performance is be held shortly) served as appetisers for also required there. Then my focus will Craig Breen as he climb the top step of switch to the Pirelli Global Shootout as the season comes to a climax. I need to the podium in Antrim after claiming his be on the top of my game”. first rally victory on the recent Northern Ireland International Rally. Now, as the International Rally Yorkshire Dulux Trade MSA (also known as the British Championship “I’ve now tasted Trackrod Rally) brings the curtain down on draws to a close, success; winning the Waterford-based the 2010 British Rally on the Ulster was driver wants to end Championship season and will be a fitting the season on a high. fantastic.” finally with nearly “I’ve now tasted success: winning on the Ulster 149.4km of classic North Yorkshire was fantastic, but I want to keep the stages. run going and win on the gravel surface Scarborough is the new location for Rally Yorkshire’s HQ, service area, of the Trackrod,” said the Kick Energy Words: Staff Writer Pictures: www.rallyprint.com

start and finish. The start, finish and service area will be on the spectacular seafront Marine Drive. There will be a Shakedown Stage on Thursday, with the recce, scrutineering and documentation held on Friday. The rally will start from the town’s harbour on Friday evening with an all-new night stage in Langdale and a re-start early Saturday morning, with the event finishing later that evening. Rally Yorkshire is the only event allowed to utilise the famous, fast flowing stages in the Dalby complex and, as all other stages are nearby, spectators are promised a full and demanding day’s rallying. H&H


Issue 151 • 23 - 29 Sept 2010

News

<< Here is Part 1 of Gymkhana 3... http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=EYUSlnXcYeU

<< Here is Part 2 of Gymkhana 3... http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=4TshFWSsrn8

FEATURES

Events

<< Here is Part 3 of Gymkhana 3... http://www.youtube. com/watch?v=3BMi4g9w M3c&feature=related

BLOCK AND FIESTA IN VIDEO Words: Staff Writer Pictures: WorldRallyPics Ford’s hot-selling Fiesta is the star in the next chapter of rally driver Ken Block’s Gymkhana video series, which debuted this week on YouTube. Ken Block’s Gymkhana THREE Part 2; Ultimate Playground: L’Autodrome, is the latest instalment in the series of Block’s popular online videos. It was filmed at the Autodrome de Montlhéry facility in France and shows the modified Fiesta doing stunts that only Block can deliver. “When Ford partnered with Ken Block for the Fiesta and WRC rally programmes, the opportunity to participate in projects like Gymkhana THREE was an attractive part of the overall package,” said Jamie Allison, Director Ford North America Motorsports. “Ken and the Monster World Rally Team have brought the spotlight to Fiesta throughout the rally season and at X Games, but now with the release of Gymkhana THREE, millions more around the world will be able to see how fun it is to drive a Fiesta,” he said. For Monster World Rally Team driver and DC co-founder Block, the opportunity to push the limits of his car control while manoeuvring around a series of cones and slaloms, and undertaking 180-degree, 360-degree and figure-of-eight turns, all while utilising extreme acceleration, braking and drifting, is the definition of fun. The Autodrome facility was selected for being able to provide a professional race track, as well as prebuilt obstacles that allow for unique stunts, most notably the steep 51degree banking of the high-speed oval. Gymkhana THREE is also the first in the series to have stunts performed in the rain. “The great thing about

Gymkhana is that it is amazingly fun to much wider and more squared off for an do,” said Block. “It’s taking some of the aggressive look. best parts of rally racing and removing The Gymkhana THREE Fiesta a bit of the stress started as a production that is involved with 2011 Fiesta before going “...180-degree, competing, allowing through a conversion 360-degree and me to just go out and by Olsbergs MSE, the play in an amazing car. figure-of-eight same group that runs Having done two videos Block’s Rally America turns, all while before I knew exactly programme. what I wanted from the utilising extreme The production Fiesta car as we built it and I is an excellent platform acceleration, can say that the Fiesta for the Gymkhana car. is the best Gymkhana The nimble ride and braking and car yet.” ultra-high-strength boron drifting, is the The steel body are ideal Gymkhana THREE definition of fun.” for the demands of the Fiesta, designed by Gymkhana course. A DC, is emblazoned with similar livery to testament to the Fiesta platform is that Block’s Monster World Rally Team Rally it has been designated as the base car America Fiesta and his Focus RS WRC. for Ford’s all new-challenger for the 2011 However, the ‘drip pattern’ livery is FIA World Rally Championship. larger and more pronounced. In his first year with Ford, The carbon fibre hydraulic Block has maintained a high profile. He e-brake handle has been changed is currently starring in his second TV to a custom-made metal piece, with commercial in the United States, this Block’s Huck Gee skull logo and No. 43 time with NASCAR legend Richard Petty engraved into it. Block’s trademark ‘43’ and driver A.J. Allmendinger, which is displayed in the side rear windows. highlights Ford’s national promotion ‘43 Built by Olsbergs Motorsport Fiestas’ (www.43fiestas.com). The 10Evolution (MSE), the 1100kg Gymkhana week campaign brings together some of THREE Fiesta sports a purpose-built Ford’s biggest motorsport personalities Olsbergs engine capable of up to in the US into a national broadcast and 850bhp, but restricted to 650bhp to digital campaign designed to promote give Block the torque band needed to the 2011 Ford Fiesta. control the car. Equipped with Olsbergs “If Ken is involved in a MSE Maktrak (magnesium) six-speed programme, his legions of fans paddle-shift sequential transmission, it passionately follow whatever he is is capable of 895Nm of torque at 4000 doing,” said Scott Denby, Ford Racing rpm and needs a mere 1.9 seconds to go business manager in the United States. from 0 to 100km. “There aren’t many personalities in The car’s body has been altered pop culture that can generate tens of with an aggressive new front bumper millions of views on YouTube, let alone design inspired by road racing cars. It personalities in motorsports. Whether has a carbon splitter, which improves through Gymkhana THREE, 43 Fiestas aerodynamics, unlike the rally car’s or rally, Ken’s ability to connect with bumper, which is built for gravel stage his audience is unparalleled and Ford is durability. The wheel arches are also proud to have Ken on our team.” H&H


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Events

Interviews Exclusive columnists In-depth articles

VOLKSWAGEN DOMINANT AT SWARTLAND RALLY 2010 Words: Evan Rothman Pictures: Evan Rothman The headline of this event report doesn’t do justice to the thrills and spills from the weekend’s action. This the seventh round of the 2010 Sasol South African Rally Championship was played out in the Malmesbury, Moreesburg and Milnerton regions in the Western Cape on Friday and Saturday over nine high-speed stages. Championship leader Enzo Kuun/Guy Hodgson (BP Ultimate Volkswagen Polo S2000) once again proved too quick and determined for their rivals, romping home to an easy 40.3sec win. Kuun now only needs four points from the final round of the season to claim his second Drivers’ title, while his co-drive Hodgson has already sealed the Co-Drivers’ crown. The podium was an allVolkswagen affair, with their secondever one-two-three result. It was Jan Habig/Douglas Judd in second with Hergen Fekken/Pierre Arries in third. The

Volkswagen parade was not deterred by the pace of the Ford Fiesta S2000 of Charl Wilken/Greg Godrich on Day One, and on the opening test of Day Two they had already moved ahead of the resurgent Ford crew. Zimbabwean crew Conrad Rautenbach/Peter Marsh (Ford Fiesta S2000) had a slow start to the event finishing Day One in tenth position after the initial three asphalt stages. However, after the first stage of Saturday, on the gravel, Rautenbach had powered his way into second place overall. Unfortunately, SS5 saw the demise of Rautenbach’s charge for the lead when his pace was slowed due to persistent power steering pump problems, but young WRC driver was able to post competitive times despite his car’s gremlins. With the wrong gear ratios in place for the fast asphalt stages at the Killarmey Race Track, they were slower than their rivals but their determination and bravery made for exciting spectating. Finishing fourth overall also meant they were the first privateer home, and now lead the Privateers’

Championship by nine points from JeanPierre Damseaux/Carolyn Swan (Team Total Toyota RunX S2000), who finished fifth overall after a strong points drive from Damseaux. For Day Two, Damseaux/ Swan were locked in a fierce battle with Wilken/Godrich as the Ford crew dropped down the leaderboard due to their road sweeping duties on the gravel stages. Adding to their woes, Wilken’s bonnet flipped open on the open section to the final two stages and his smashed windscreen hampered his otherwise awesome on-tar pace. His fifth position overall was also lostm as he lost 13sec in the penultimate stage alone, thereby dropping him to sixth. The Pirtek Toyota Auris S2000 crews of Hein Lategan/Johan van der Merwe and Visser du Plessis/Gerhard Snyman had a rally to forget. Lategan’s Auris S2000 lost power steering on SS4 and then broke a shock absorber in SS5, and also slid wide in a corner in SS6 and then stalled while returning to the road, dropping them valuable time in the process. When the Pretoria-based crew


News • • • • • • • •

Features

EVENTS

Issue 151 • 23 - 29 Sept 2010

Rallying with Ashley Haigh-Smith: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1RQ Success for Team Total in Cape: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1SE Disappointment for Motorite: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1SU Wilken to the fore in Cape: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1SN BP Volkswagen team claim 1-2-3: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1Sq Gemmell keeps championship hopes alive: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1St Evan Rothman’s Day One Swartland Rally pics: http://ow.ly/2GwoO Evan Rothman’s Day Two Swartland Rally pics: http://ow.ly/2GwpR

OVERALL CLASSIFICATION 01) E. Kuun/G. Hodgson Volkswagen Polo S2000 - 01h 31m 47.6s 02) J. Habig/D. Judd Volkswagen Polo S2000 + 40.3s 03) H. Fekken/P. Arries Volkswagen Polo S2000 + 46.4s 04) C. Rautenbach/P. Marsh Ford Fiesta S2000 + 01m 07.3s 05) J-P. Damseaux/C. Swan Toyota RunX S2000 + 02m 02.2s 06) C. Wilken/G. Godrich Ford Fiesta S2000 + 02m 10.0s 07) H. Lategan/J. Van der Merwe Toyota Auris S2000 + 03m 25.7s 08) J. Gemmell/D. Sturrock Toyota Auris S2000 + 04m 12.7s 09) L. Poulter/R. Paisley Toyota Auris S2000 + 04m 16.6s 10) N. Ryan/A. Du Toit Volkswagen Polo S2000 + 04m 36.3

did have things go well in their Auris, they showed the pace they exuded at the Volkswagen Rally earlier this year and will most certainly be a crew in with a shout for the Privateers’ Championship in 2011. Team-mates Du Plessis/Snyman were forced out of the event on Day Two’s SS5 with gearbox problems. The factory-backed Castrol Team Toyota also suffered bad luck this weekend. Championship challengers Johnny Gemmell/Drew Sturrock (Toyota Auris S2000) hit a rock in SS1 to bend their car’s steerign arm. Gemmell quickly stopped on the side of the road, removed the bent arm, and panelbeated it with a rock. They arrived at the Service Park late, thus costing them a further 10sec with a time penalty. Lady Luck was not with this crew on Day Two either, as a misfire through SS4 cost the pair 29sec and was followed up by a slow puncture in SS5 that saw him drop to 13th overall. A concerted drive in the afternoon’s gravel stages saw him move up to eighth where he finished the

event.

Debut S2000 driver and teammate, Leeroy Poulter and co-driver Robert Paisley made an indelible mark in their first S2000 showing. Poulter has already clinched the Class A6 Championship title for 2010, and looks set to impress in Class S2000 in 2011 if he is able to come to terms with the faster machine. Rounding out the top ten was Nicholas Ryan/Armand du Toit (RCF/ Jonnesway Volkswagen Polo S2000). Class N4 saw only one finisher this weekend in the taxing Swartland Rally 2010 and that was local entry of Mike Nathan/Etienne Lourens (Mitsubisbi Lancer Evo IX), who ended the event in a creditable 13th overall. Class A7 saw no finishers, as both Gugu Zulu/Cindi Harding (BP Ultimate Volkswagen Polo A) and Gavin Cronje/Van Aardt Schoeman (Easylife Kitchens Faerie Glen Volkswagen Polo A7) retire all before Day One was completed. Class A6 once again proved

as thrilling as Class S2000. It was the Team Total Toyota RunX A6 of Craig Trott/Robbie Coetzee who claimed Class honours after 2010 Class A5 Champions Ashley Haigh-Smith/Hilton Auffray (React Marketing Toyota Corolla A6) retired from their home event in SS5. It was another fine performance from Megan and Oliver Verlaque (Toyota RunX N3) as they powered to an unchallenged third victory this season in Class N3. With only two points now behind Robson Maganezi/Shaun Visser (Linking Africa Ford Fiesta ST), the Verlaques have outperformed their direct rivals Abduraghman Amlay/Yusuf Ganief (Toyota RunX N3) and a win in the final round of the Championship next month will bring them their maiden Class N3 Championship title in their debut rallying season. The final round of the 2010 Sasol South African Rally Championship is the Toyota Dealer Rally - Gauteng taking place on 15 and 16 October. It should promise to be highly thrilling and H&H is therefore not to be missed!


Issue 151 • 23 - 29 Sept 2010

News

<< WATCH Leg Three of the Silk Way Rally 2010. http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=1t1bwueb2ts

<< WATCH Leg Four of the Silk Way Rally 2010. http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=Iw2piRv6nqw

Features

EVENTS

<< WATCH Leg Five of the Silk Way Rally 2010. http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=jClvaPLVOpQ

SAINZ AND KABIROV TAME SILK WAY RALLY FOR 2010 Words: Evan Rothman Pictures: Eva Kovkova Stage 6 - Astrakhan to Elista Liaison: 104km; Special Stage: 394km; Liaison: 2km This stage win was claimed by Nasser Al Attiyah, his first of the 2010 Silk Way Rally. Charging through the Kalmoukia Desert to Elista, he was looking to reel in the more than 15min deficit to leader Carlos Sainz, but he managed only 03min in this stage. Sainz managed his lead to perfection on this tricky day, as the cres all had to battle through a sandstorm in the desert. The Spaniard now has a lead of 12min 48sec over his compatriots and has only 363 competitive kilometres to face over two days. Mathias Kahle (in fourth place in his buggy) is the best of the non-Volkswagen factory entries, and achieved a remarkable stage time to close to Al Attiyah, albeit 01h 30min. Eduard Nikolaev claimed the stage win in the Trucks Category, besting his heroes Kabirov and Chagin. Nikolaev has showed the factory truck team bosses his pace and his consistency, and hopefully this 26-year-old will soon be seen in race-winning machinery for the Dakar Series 2011. Kabirov and Chagin both lost time while lost in the desert, allowing the yung star to attack for the stage win. The overall trucks category is still

held by Kabirov and with Chagin second some 10min behind and then 43min to Nicolaev in third. Stage 7 - Elista to Maykop Liaison: 2km; Special Stage: 347km; Liaison: 442km The Silk Way Rally 2010 is fast drawing to a close, but this the seventh stage is a mighty 347km marathon. Here it was the determined and dedicated Al Attiyah who won the stage, but his effort was not enough to trouble the lead held by Sainz. Hoping to reel in Sainz, Al Attiyah pushed his Race Touareg 2 to its limits, but he was simply not able to make an impression on this high-speedstage. A faultless run from Sainz put paid to Al Attiyah’s hopes of snatching victory in the closing moments of the 2010 Silk Way Rally. His stage win, his fifth in the history of the Silk Way Rally, equals that of his team-mates De Villiers and Sainz. With just a short special stage remaining for crews to tackle on Stage 8 to Sochi, Sainz’ 11min 16sec lead is enough for him to claim victory. Mark Miller, third in the overall classification, looks set to remain in this position to claim a neat Volkswagen 1-2-3 podium result. Miller’s nearest rival is a little over 4hr adrift... Sadly, the battle for fourth place has been lost, as Mironenko finished the stage with no problems while Kahle’s

buggy suffered transmission woes. He was forced to be towed to the stage finish by his team-mates. In the truck race, Chagin set the fastest stage time as he powered to the finish in Maykop. His stage time was 16min 45sec quicker than Ales Loprais, 16min 50sec faster than Kabirov and 20min 29sec over Nikolaev. Chagin showed his rivals why his is known as the “Tsar.” Chagin remains 23min 07sec behind Kabirov in the overall standings, with Nikolaev in third spot. Before taking on the final stage of the rally, competitors were visited by Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. He met with race directors and then stopped off at the Kamaz bivouac to meet six-times Dakar winner Chagin and then with Sainz. “I’m very proud that our country welcomes such an important international rally that attracts the best brands and drivers”, said Mr Putin. Stage 8 - Maykop to Sochi Krasnaya Polyana Liaison: 230km; Special Stage: 16km; Liaison: 129km Sochi warmly welcomed the surviving 2010 Silk Way Rally competitors after a short 16km Special Stage before ending on the shores of the beautoful Black Sea. With an astonishing 24 water crossings in this stage, Sainz negotiated them all with care to not cause damage


News

Features

EVENTS

Issue 151 • 23 - 29 Sept 2010

<< WATCH Leg Six of the Silk Way Rally 2010. http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=dLkjq1UbAt8

<< WATCH Leg Seven of the Silk Way Rally 2010. http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=PRXY7JHSv5M

<< WATCH Leg Eight of the Silk Way Rally 2010. http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=Hlckt477TG4

OVERALL CLASSIFICATION CARS CATEGORY: 01) C. Sainz/L. Cruz Volkswagen Race Touareg 3 - 19h 42m 02s 02) N. Al Attiyah/T. Gottschalk Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 + 08m 27s 03) M. Miller/R. Pitchford Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 + 40m 22s TRUCKS CATEGORY: 01) Nikolaev/Mizyukaev/Rybakov Kamaz - 22h 56m 41s 02) Chagin/Savostin/Shaysultanov Kamaz + 22m 08s 03) Kabirov/Belyaev/Mokeev Kamaz + 28m 01s

to his Race Touareg 3. Calm and focused, the Spaniard crossed the finish line to claim the overall win of the 2010 Silk Way Rally, while team-mate Al Attiyah put on a fantastic spectacle of driving prowess for the thousands of spectators to relish. However, Sainz remains the master of the Silk Way Rally, having won it twice now. After De Villier’s early retirement from the rally, Sainz was not too troubled by Al Attiyah and was able to concentrate on recording a fine finish. Sainz’s co-driver Lucas Cruz, proved the winning recipe, as his navigation was perfect. The difference between the top two Race Touaregs was not horsepower

but navigation. The battle for the “best of the rest” title was heated: Gadasin was even stressing the Volkswagens, but he crashed out in Stage 4. Kahle, in his special buggy, took charge of the privateers and did so strongly, but his car’s transmission failed on Stage 7. Alexander Mironenko consistently and quietly plugged away at posting competitive stage times throughout the event, but in the final stretch of the rally his Nissan’s engine decided to call it a day. He managed to reach the finish by being towed by his service truck, but he was time-barred. He received a 2hr time penalty, adn this dropped him to seventh

overall and gifted Kahle fourth. The best Russian Car Category driver was Binyamin Dzhepaev (UAZ Pickup), while the only French crew to reach the finish in the Cars were Frederic Chavigny/Jean Brucy (Dessoude Nissan). In the Trucks Category, Kamaz locked out the podium with Kabirov in third, Chagin in second and rookie Nikolaev on the top step. The Kamaz trucks, like the Volkswagen counterparts in the Car Category, proved unbeatable. This is an omen for the Dakar Rally in four months. Especially with Nikolaev at the wheel of one of these monsters! H&H


Issue 151 • 23 - 29 Sept 2010 << This video clip features pure engine sound. It is a great video clip showcasing the best from the IRC Barum Czech Rally Zlin 2010. http://wp.me/ppkXc-1I2

News << The highly-talented Thierry Neuville crashed out of the IRC Barum Czech Rally Zlin, and added to his run of nonfinishes for 2010. http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=Fm18aZD8Ujo

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EVENTS

<< While in the lead of the recent Rally Zlin, Bryan Bouffier crashed his Peugeot 207 S2000. http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=601xVvocR08

ITALY: MEEKE VS HANNINENE Words: Staff Writer Pictures: IRC Series A record-breaking entry of 30 S2000 cars from Abarth, Skoda, Peugeot, PROTON and M-Sport will contest the last all-asphalt event of the 2010 Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) season in Sanremo this week as the battle for the prestigious drivers’ title reaches a crucial point on the testing mountain roads of Italy’s Imperia province. The event, which is running for a 52nd time this year, is one of the most famous on the international rallying calendar and also the most demanding, thanks to its blend of night stages run over narrow and undulating passes. The competitive action is contained within a 23-hour window, which traditionally puts a huge strain on car and crew. Indeed, competitors get little opportunity to savour the delights of the glamorous Italian Riviera town, with its restaurants, bars and casino such is the intensity of competition. After leaving the permanent service park located in the grounds of the town’s old railway station overlooking the Mediterranean Sea on Friday afternoon, drivers tackle two stages, Coldirodi and Bignone, before returning to service in Sanremo. The Coldirodi and Bignone runs are then repeated, albeit split by the Apricale stage. Following a regroup and service halt in Sanremo, crews face the daunting Ronde stage, a 44km monster, which combines the three stages that form the second loop and gets underway after dark at 22h09 local time. A short overnight halt later and competition resumes with the final five stages split by service in Sanremo. The tests are not for the faint-hearted either with just the 1.73km Bajardo stage less than 22km in length. The stages feature fast and flowing sections, frequent changes of rhythm and blind and open corners with rapid climbs and descents commonplace. The ability to find the optimum ‘racing’ line and maintain a high level of speed are essential for recording competitive

stage times. The road surface is predominantly smooth, albeit with some sections of broken asphalt. The tests on Day Two are known for providing better grip than on Day One, particularly following recent resurfacing work on part of the route. As with all mountain-based rallies, the weather is changeable and unpredictable and that can make tyre choice a lottery. In 2006, when Sanremo hosted the last of four IRC pilot events, torrential rain forced organisers to cancel the opening leg. Conversely, last year’s rally was held in bright sunshine. However, even if there is no rain, the sections under tree cover can be notoriously slippery due to the sap being dragged out of the trees. The undulating nature of the roads places a great strain on the cars with the engine, transmission and brakes all being subjected to a heavy pounding. As well as counting as Round 10 of the 12 round IRC, Rallye Sanremo forms part of the prestigious and highlycompetitive Italian Rally Championship. Rallye Sanremo marks the fourth time this year that the Colin McRae IRC Flat Out Trophy will be presented. The award is handed to the most spectacular driver who best embodies the spirit of the rallying legend on rounds of the IRC. Its recipient is chosen by a panel consisting of IRC’s Motorsport Development Manager Jean-Pierre Nicolas, Gilbert Roy, the Director of Editorial and Programme Development at Eurosport Events, and Jim McRae, Colin’s father. Juho Hanninen and Jan Kopecky may well be team-mates at Skoda Motorsport but the Fabia-mounted drivers are locked in a close title battle. Hanninen, from Finland, is in the driving seat following Kopecky’s crash on the previous round, last month’s Barum Czech Rally Zlin, which means that Kopecky must win in Italy to maintain his bid for top championship honours. Hanninen, 29, has upped his pace on asphalt significantly in 2010, but Kopecky still has the edge when it comes to driving on sealed-surfaces and starts as one of the favourites for victory. As well as contesting the IRC this year,

the Czech has been tackling the Italian championship, thereby giving him a greater knowledge of the terrain but also the fearsome competition the local drivers will provide. Most notable of these is veteran Paolo Andreucci, who finished second on June’s Rally d’Italia-Sardegna in his Peugeot 207 S2000 and was a winner in Sanremo in 2006. He heads a rejuvenated Peugeot assault, which includes Kris Meeke, the IRC champion and last year’s Sanremo winner, Frenchman Bryan Bouffier, Belgian talent Thierry Neuville and Portugal’s Bruno Magalhaes, who returns to the IRC after skipping the last round. The Abarth line-up of Giandomenico Basso and Luca Rossetti is packed with experience and potency. The pair, both IRC event winners in the past, will have the wide-track suspension Grande Punto at their disposal and are set to shine. When it comes to experience few drivers in the field possess as much knowledge of the Ligurian roads as Gilles Panizzi, who returns to frontline rallying in a works PROTON Satria Neo. The 44-year-old from France has won in Sanremo on three occasions and will be hoping his renowned pace and expertise on asphalt will provide a change of fortune for the Malaysian firm, not to mention a huge buzz for the thousands of fans lining the route. Capable Northern Irishman Niall McShea will continue in the second car. Like Panizzi, Freddy Loix also has extensive knowledge of the Sanremo stages and will be anxious to maintain his staggering 100 percent winning record in the third factory Fabia on what is likely to be his fourth and final outing of the IRC season. Some of the names to watch out for in the IRC 2WD Cup include Honda Civic drivers Sandro Sottile and Laszlo Vizin, former class champion Marco Cavigioli and M-Sport Ford Fiesta R2 runner Harry Hunt, who claimed IRC two-wheel drive glory during the visit to H&H Sardinia in June.


News

Features

EVENTS

Issue 151 • 23 - 29 Sept 2010

<< WATCH the thrills and spills from the 2010 Hankook Merrick Stages Rally from Scotland. http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=2z4i5o10oXI

<< SRC has posted this video of in-car footage from various crews in the Hankook Merrick Stages Rally 2010. http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=AZbXwDolhww

<< Here is footage of David Bogie from the Hankook Merrick Stages Rally 2010. http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=SVjQ3zNKSpA

“MCRAE” PROMISES THRILLING RALLY FINALE Words: Staff Writer David Bogie and co-driver Kevin Rae may have claimed the overall Scottish title for a second year, but there is still plenty at stake on Saturday’s final round of the Hankook MSA Scottish Rally Championship. As well as confirming second and third in the series, the Colin McRae Forest Stages will see the conclusion of a number of prized categories including Group N, the Scottish Junior Championship, and the Red Bull Junior Challenge. Now the pressure is off following victory on the Hankook Merrick Stages, Bogie aims to enjoy his outing in the Perthshire forests at the wheel of his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX. The 23-year-old achieved his inaugural SRC victory on the event three years ago - just weeks after the death of his friend and mentor Colin McRae. “This event means a great deal to me. Colin was a big influence and was very helpful and supportive at the start of my own career,” said the Dumfries driver. The Castle Douglas crew of Jock Armstrong and navigator Kirsty Riddick gave it their all on the “Merrick” in an effort to repeat their 2009 success. They eventually lost out by five seconds to the defending champions, after a day of relentless pace and drama. With the best six scores out of eight deciding final positions, Armstrong will fire up his Subaru Impreza for the rally start in Aberfeldy knowing that a strong top-ten finish should secure him second in the championship and the GpN crown. If there are any slip ups, then talented young Lanarkshire competitor Alick Kerr, for one, is waiting to pounce. Co-driven by Neil Shanks, the 22-year-old turned in another blistering drive on the “Merrick” in his Subaru Impreza to finish third in the points and maintain second spot in the overall standings. That was despite driving the last stage with the car stuck in third gear. “Despite various mechanical problems, we have managed to hold our own against some very tough competition this season”, said Kerr: “We now have the opportunity to finish as runners-up in the championship, depending on how others fare.” Mike Faulkner and Peter Foy will also be eyeing a podium spot on the

“McRae” after a maximum championship points haul twelve months ago. The experienced Evo VI crew have had a frustrating season, but can always be relied upon to push hard. The Argyll crew of Shaun Sinclair and Chris Hamill were back on the pace on the “Merrick” in their GpN Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, following the resolution of season-long fuel pump problems, while Cumbria’s Paul Benn and Richard Cooke chalked up a fastest stage time in their Ford Focus WRC 01. Wayne Sisson, with David MacFadyen of Inverness on the notes, will be hoping to end his inaugural SRC season with a strong clean run at the wheel of his Evo IX. “It seems luck hasn’t been on our side this year”, said the Lancastrian rally preparation expert: “It was summed up on the Merrick, where we lost a minute behind a punctured car, and then 30 seconds with our own puncture. But we’ll be pushing hard on the McRae.” The top-ten seeds among the 4WD competitors are rounded off by Andy Horne and Jim Howie in their DAM 4100GTi. Following a consistent run through much of the season, the pair have had a couple of difficult recent rounds. An early puncture and wheel damage ended their challenge last time out. Double Scottish champion Jimmy Girvan makes a return to the Hankook series alongside co-driver Mike Ramsay in a newly-built Subaru Impreza N15. The Highland duo will use the event as a shakedown for next month’s Rally of Scotland, and then plan to mount a full SRC campaign in 2011. Escort Mk2 maestro Calum Mackenzie leads the strong 2WD drive contingent - partnered by experienced navigator Neil Ewing. The Inverurie driver finished a superb fifth overall on last year’s McRae Stages, but feels a repeat performance might be hard to achieve. “I’m not so confident this year, as I’ve not been doing as much rallying, and the last couple of events have shown a bit of rustiness, with silly spins and overshoots”, said Mackenzie: “But it’s a good event, and Drummond Hill and Craigvinean in particular are great fun.” Steve Bannister is missing from the start list - he has opted to do the Rally of Yorkshire - but Mackenzie can be

sure of strong competition for top Escort honours from Malcolm Buchanan and Ian Nicoll, as well as Borderers Mike Horne and Robbie Mitchell. Fort Augustus driver Reay Mackay will also field an Escort Mk2, partnered by Gus Kennedy from Fort William. Those fighting for honours in the 1600 category include Honda Civic pilots Colin R.Smith, Grant Inglis, Euan Duncan and Graeme Schoneville; Alasdair S.Graham in his Vauxhall Corsa, and Lachlan Cowan, who won the class on the “Merrick” in his Peugeot 106. One of the most intriguing battles on the day will be the contest for the Scottish Junior Championship. Dumfries competitor Peter Stewart currently leads the category in his Ford Fiesta ST - and needs a top three finish to wrap up the title. However, both Steven Smith from East Kilbride and teenage talent Garry Pearson from Duns - winner of the 205 Ecosse Challenge on the Merrick - will also be in the hunt for overall honours. Perth Racecourse will be the focus of attention on Friday night - the eve of the rally - when there will be several attractions, including an autotest demonstration, and the popular Colin McRae Dirt Game simulator. Two of Colin McRae’s cars - a Nova and an Escort - will be on display inside the Nelson Stand, and the event will also see the launch of the “Flat Out Club,” under the auspices of the Colin McRae Vision charity. Further details can be found at H&H www.coltnesscarclub.com.


Issue 151 • 23 - 29 Sept 2010 • • • • • •

News

Features

EVENTS

Toyota Team Castrol set for duel in the desert: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1T4 29th running of 1000 Desert Race: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1RB Vos chases four wins in a row: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1Sh Variawa seeking hat-trick in Desert Race: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1SH Toyota set for desert: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1T4 Rundle upbeat for Desert Race: http://wp.me/ppkXc-1SX

THE BOTSWANA CHALLENGE Words: Staff Writer Pictures: Motorpics PRODUCTION VEHICLE CATEGORY Reigning South African champion Duncan Vos chases motorsport history as the Production Vehicle Championship enters a critical phase at the Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race, Round Six of the Absa Off-Road Racing Championship, in Botswana this weekend. Vos will be looking to score an unprecedented fourth victory in a row in the desert classic that this year celebrates its 29th running. Wins from 2007 to 2009 all came for Nissan with three different co-drivers in eight-time winner Richard Leeke, Louis Weichelt and Ralph Pitchford. This year Vos will be paired with another co-driver in Rob Howie, and will be competing in a factory Team Castrol Toyota Hilux. Fresh from a first win this year for the Castrol Toyota squad, Vos/Howie will be full of confidence for the only marathon event on the Absa championship calendar. While Vos chases personal glory there is a championship to be won and lost, and the Botswana outing could be critical in this respect. Only 33 points separate the first six crews in the overall championship with 18 points the difference between current leaders Chris Visser/Japie Badenhorst (RFS Toyota Hilux), Vos/Howie and Hannes Grobler/ Hennie ter Stege (RFS BMW). Visser/Badenhorst are the only double winners this season with the other wins going to former champions Neil Woolridge/Kenny Skjoldhammer (Team Ford Ranger TDCi), Terence Marsh/Buks Carolin (Regent Racing Nissan Navara) and Vos/Howie. All four crews will obviously be among the favourites, but it is shaping up as the most open Desert Race in years. A late entry from former winner and SA Champion Alfie Cox and co-driver Jurgen Schroder in a Nissan Navara built for the Dakar will be running here this weekend in a pre-Dakar test and should pose a threat to the establishment. Class D will be without current

championship leaders Dewald van Breda and Johann du Toit in the Northam Toyota Hilux. That shifts the spotlight to Deon Venter/Ian Palmer in the new 4×4 Mega World Toyota Hilux, and Louis Weichelt/Johann Smalberger in the new N1 4×4 Toyota Land Cruiser. Two Northern Regions championship crews in Jack and Sarel Oosthuizen, in a Land Rover, and Johan Steyn and Paul Jonker, in a Toyota Hilux, make the step up to national competition and will be closely watched. Arnold Mabille and Reginald Molomo, in a Nissan Hardbody, add a touch of local colour to the entry. With an interesting championship fight developing between current leaders Lance Woolridge/Ward Huxtable (Team Ford Ranger) and Pikkie Labuschagne/Rikus Erasmus (4×4 Mega World Toyota Hilux) the battle in Class E will also be closely followed. Teenager Woolridge will be having his first taste of the Desert Race and will draw heavily on input from father Neil and the experienced Huxtable. SPECIAL VEHICLE CATEGORY Shameer Variawa/Siegfried Rousseau will be on a mission this weekend. Apart from bagging a hat-trick of wins, the Team Total Porter crew will also be looking at defending a tenuous six point lead at the top of the Special Vehicle championship. The anomalies in offroad scoring between the Overall and Class Championships have already seen Variawa/Rousseau relegated to second place in the Class A stakes by Kallie and Quinton Sullwald in the Elegant Fuel BAT. Also still very much in the overall championship picture are Class P leaders Johan van Staden/James Rossouw (Atlas Copco BAT), and Herman and Wichard Sullwald (Sullwald Racing SVR). Only 14 points separate the top four crews and the Botswana outing could turn into a make or break race. The Sullwald family, after a one-two on the 4x4 Mega World 400, will be high on confidence, while Variawa/Rousseau will be aware of the consequences of a third non-finish this year. It adds up to a fascinating duel up

front made even more interesting by the demands made on crews and machinery by the only marathon event on the Absa championship calendar. There is also no shortage of potential challengers. Reigning drivers’ champion Evan Hutchison/Darryl Curtis are due a good result in the Motorite BAT, while 2006 winner Nick Harper/ Kevin Hume in the Atlas Copco BAT relishes this type of race. A dodgy reliability record is against Colin Matthews/Alan Smith (Century Racing CR3), and flyers like Jimmy Zahos/Stefan Coetzee, in the Cobalt Racing Porter, will need to carefully pace themselves on an event that is seldom won on Day One. Nardus and Louis Alberts (Wrapsa BAT) would look to be good outside bets, but consistency has been a problem this season. Bevan Bertholdt/Danie Stassen (lab88 BAT) fall into the same category as the Cobalt Racing pair, and tactics could play a leading role in their progress or lack thereof. At the other end of the scale Naeem Moosajee/ Rayhaan Bodhanya (Maxxis/TyreRack Porter) will also relish the two-day format as will Keith du Toit/Ashley Thorn in the White Star Racing BAT. Two other previous overall winners in Richard Schilling and Richard Carolin will also be hoping to relive former glories. Schilling will be out with Keith Solomon who sits in for Chris Davies in an Aceco, while Carolin again teams up with Nic Goslar in the Men’s Health International Zarco. On the Class B front veteran Bes Bezuidenhout and daughter-in-law Lindie (Adenco BAT) have taken a clear lead in the championship. They will be looking for a third win on the trot with the main opposition coming from Keith and Andrew Makenete (Zarco) and a pair of veteran drivers in Giel Nel and Coetzee Labuscagne. Nel and Jaco Jonck are likely to compete over the rest of the season in a Zarco Truggy, while Labuscagne will team up with daughter Sandra. There is certainly no lack of experience in this H&H category!


News

Features

EVENTS << RallyBRC has uploaded this brilliant video of the International Rally NI (Ulster). http://www.youtube. com/watch?v=BzB6z5j_ QOE

Issue 151 • 23 - 29 Sept 2010 << Waylanderwrc has posted two entertaining videos on the Ulster Rally 2010. This is their Day One highlights clip. http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=MvErBfVFVNI

<< Waylanderwrc has posted two entertaining videos on the Ulster Rally 2010. This is their Day Two highlights clip. http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=uKe3tdUEsm4

CRONIN OR GREER: TOP BATTLES FOR YORKSHIRE Words: Staff Writer Pictures: Jakob Ebrey Photography The final round of the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship will see a six way fight for the 2010 title, with five nations represented in an all out bid for supremacy in the forests of Rally Yorkshire. It is true that reigning champion Keith Cronin and co-driver Barry McNulty need only to finish inside the top six to guarantee back-to-back drivers’ titles for the Irishman and top eight to seal a first British title for his Northern Irish co-driver. But with the Dulux Trade MSA British Teams Rally Championship at stake too, the Irish pair must try their utmost to help Pirelli TEG Sport retain the prestigious MSA award. While Cronin may be favourite for the title, it is by no means settled, since the last round of the 2010 season carries a 50% points bonus, any one of six of the current top seven in the table could still mathematically win if Cronin falters. His position means that it is unlikely to see any heroics from last year’s event winner, so it is almost guaranteed that the rest of the field will sense the chance of victory while Cronin adopts an ultra cautious approach. Topping the drivers’ tables since the end of the second round back in April has been Jonny Greer, but after co-driver changes, McNulty heads the co-drivers, a level head all he requires to help secure his place in the BRC history books. Greer is one of only five drivers of the 41 registered to have scored on all the rounds of the championship so far, an impressive statistic that carries an unwanted penalty. As it will be the best five scores from the six events that count at the end of the season, the young Ulsterman must drop his worst event tally after Rally Yorkshire. But it does mean that with a solid finish he is guaranteed of a top three position in the 2010 Dulux Trade MSA British Rally

Championship, his previous best fifth in both 2008 and 2009. From different sides of the border Craig Breen and Alastair Fisher have more in common than Irish roots. Respectively co-driven by Gareth Roberts and Rory Kennedy, neither can now secure the BRC title following seasonlong bad luck. But after a maiden win in Ulster Breen will compete in Yorkshire to prove his, and his awesome Fiesta S2000’s, ability on gravel, while Fisher’s two podiums this year put the youngster in a prime spot for his own maiden victory. Jason Pritchard’s co-driver Robbie Durant is in a strong position too, currently second to McNulty, while Pritchard’s debut four wheel drive season has gone extremely well, currently sandwiched in third place between two British Rally Champions. A podium place on Rally Isle of Man is the season highlight so far, the 22 year old another with a score from each of the five events and a passion to improve in his Subaru. The fact the 1996 British Rally Champion Gwyndaf Evans languishes in fourth place in the tables is no reflection on the 51 year old’s commitment this year. A mechanical problem on the opening round on his home gravel aside, the ‘Welsh Wizard’ admits that this season has been the most competitive he has experienced for many a year. This must go some way in justifying two uncharacteristic crashes in as many events, JR Motorsports driver Evans having to push harder than ever to keep pace with the youngsters. Two non-scores mean that he must rely on others retiring to add his name to the trophy after a fourteen year gap. 2008 Pirelli Star Driver Adam Gould has had a difficult season financially, unable to secure a single big sponsor to assist in running Mark Higgins’ old Subaru this year. But he and Craig Drew have struggled through, even starting the season on the podium in March, a feat they have not managed to repeat despite some fantastic stage

times in the old specification car. Their focus on this event must surely be to assist team mate Cronin to help Pirelli TEG Sport retain the Teams’ title. Amazingly Gwyndaf’s son Elfyn is sixth in the overall championship tables, but having finished every round he has the same problem as Greer and Pritchard, needing to drop a score. This means that he cannot take the title regardless of others potential misfortunes. The word amazing should not be considered in the context of his position being a surprise though, since he and Andrew Edwards have deserved their excellent results. Swapping to a new specification Fiesta part way through the season was a good move for the Welsh duo, but with perfect twenties across the board in the Fiesta SportTrophy, they could probably have won the series in the old car, such is the youngster’s domination of the one make series. The final crew with an outside chance of Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship victory is that of brother and sister team Daniel Sigurðarson and Ásta Sigurðardóttir. The multiple Icelandic champion will complete his first full season in the BRC at the wheel of a Mitsubishi, working to help secure the Teams title for JR Motorsports and eager to end the year with a podium place. International Rally Yorkshire gets underway with an autograph session and ceremonial start on the south end of the town’s Marine Drive from 6pm on Friday. A single seventeen mile stage awaits the crews in the Dalby Forest complex, before a service and overnight halt back at Marine Drive. Saturday sees two loops of Dalby stages split by a another service in Scarborough, before the eventual Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Champion is crowned at the Marine Drive finish at 6.15pm. For more information on the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship visit http://www.rallybrc. H&H co.uk.

H&H-151  

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