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s e k a r b Hand s n i p r i a H & of rallying ld r o w e h t o t in t h your insig

Issue 187 • 17 June 2011

Dramatic finish at Toyota’s ‘home’ rally Start Ramp Service Park Parc Ferme

Luca Rossetti set to star in IRC Geko Ypres Rally Ten questions to Matthew Wilson Tropy-Raid LADOGA review

I have so many great memories from earlier events in Greece, so I’m happy we are back here this year and, of course, I am aiming for the podium!” - Petter Solberg, p14

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Contents Issue 187 • 17 June 2011 04 START RAMP 04 Start Ramp - News Shorts

06 SERVICE PARK 06 07 08 09

Toyota appeals provisional results of TDG Rally Ten questions to Matthew Wilson Team Total takes on technical Gauteng Rally Changes to route of Toyota 1000 Desert Race

10 PARC FERME 10 SARC Toyota Dealer Gauteng Rally review 12 Trophy-Raid LADOGA review 14 WRC Rally Greece preview


Photojournalist Eva Kovkova

Contributors Liga Stirna, Tor Andre Borresen, Patrick Vermaak, RallyBuzz, Motorpics, Newspress. All content copyrighted property of HANDBRAKES & HAIRPINS, 2007-11. 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.

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Ferodo Racing Brake Pads just keep on winning!

Congratulations to the overall winners of all 4 SA rallies held thus far in 2011, all of them relied on Ferodo Racing brake pads.

Supplied in Southern Africa by ATS Motorsport Telephone +27 11 6708400 E-mail – Website:

Start Ramp

Team News Videos

Event News Breaking News

‘Mr 100 Per Cent” returns to the IRC for Ypres Rally 2011

Ford issues design challenge

Words: Staff Writer Picture: IRC Series

Words: Staff Writer

Double European champion Luca Rossetti will return to the Intercontinental Rally Challenge on next week’s Geko Ypres Rally in Belgium. Rossetti, who became known as ‘Mr 100 Per Cent’ after claiming four wins from four starts in the IRC between 2007 and 2008, will drive an Abarth Grande Punto Super 2000 on the allasphalt event, which runs from 23-25 June. The first of those victories came in Ypres in 2007 when the Italian clinched a momentous debut win at the wheel of a Peugeot 207 S2000. “It’s a tough race, but it also was one of the most important and unforgettable of my career, the victory of 2007 will always be in my heart,” said the Italian star. “The location of this rally is beautiful, many fans follow the race and I will be at the start to honour a rally that is one of the most important in the world. I am aware that it will not be easy to get a positive result because

the opponents are strong. But I trust in the qualities of my Abarth Grande Punto and in the professionalism of my team. I hope to do a good performance.” Rossetti, whose last appearance in the IRC was on Rallye Sanremo in September 2010, will be co-driven by regular navigator Matteo Chiarcossi. H&H

Gecko extends sponsorship of IRC’s Ypres Rally to 2014 Words: Staff Writer Picture: IRC Series The Ypres Rally, which forms round five of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge next week, has been handed a big boost after title sponsor Geko Woonwereld extended its support of the asphalt event until 2014. Geko, a Belgian-based furniture and home accessories company, became title sponsor of the rally in 2009 on the back of a long-term involvement in the sport through its support of various drivers. It also sponsors Melissa Debackere, who will contest this year’s Ypres Rally in a Peugeot 207 Super 2000 and is a regular in the Belgian national championship. Wim Soenens of Geko Woonwereld said: “We teamed with the Ypres Rally two years ago as we

believe the passion and team play of rallying perfectly align with what we as a company stand for. Linking with the rally has brought us name recognition and commercial returns and that is one of the main reasons why we want to continue our sponsorship of the Geko Ypres Rally.” Ypres Rally manager Alain Penasse said: “I am very happy to see that one of our loyal sponsors is renewing his commitment. This strengthens us in our beliefs that rallying offers a valuable commercial platform for sponsors, and at the same time confirms that the dedication of my team is greatly respected by a sponsor like Geko.” This year’s Geko Ypres Rally runs from 23-25 June. H&H

Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team fans are being invited to choose unique roof artwork for works cars competing on next month’s Rally Finland. The team is asking Facebook followers to vote for three designs that will grace the Fiesta RS WRCs driven by Jari-Matti Latvala, Mikko Hirvonen and Khalid Al Qassimi. “Up until now the Ford Abu Dhabi Team Fiesta RS WRCs have simply featured the Ford logo,” said Will May, Motorsport Marketing Manager for Ford of Europe. “So we’re inviting our Facebook followers to vote for one of several designs we’ve developed under one theme – which is ‘the food that fuels you’. “We asked Jari-Matti, Mikko and Khalid what is the first thing they have to eat or drink in the morning, the fuel that gets them up and running. JariMatti nominated coffee because he says he cannot function without coffee first thing! Mikko picked porridge because he loves to make it for his children when he’s not competing and Khalid chose his local mountain honey because it tastes delicious!” The team has commissioned three designs for each driver which can be viewed now. The designs with the most “likes” will be applied to the Fiesta RS WRCs they drive in Finland only. Facebook followers have until the end of June to choose their favourite. The winning designs are guaranteed massive exposure. Rally Finland is one of the most popular events on the calendar and Ford’s Finnish duo enjoy huge support on this, their home round. Last year Jari-Matti Latvala triumphed in Finland in a Focus RS WRC. Team-mate Hirvonen topped the podium there in another Focus RS WRC in 2009. This year’s Rally Finland runs from July 28-30, 2011. To vote for your favourite roof design, or to sign up to the team’s Facebook page on H&H

THE LATEST NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF RALLYING features European rally championships, British rallying, RallyCar events, international rally results and videos, as well as S2000 and WRC news.

Service Park

Interviews Features

Toyota appeals provisional results of Toyota Dealer Gauteng Rally Words: Staff Writer Picture: Evan Rothman The Toyota Dealer Gauteng Rally, fourth round of the South African Rally Championship, ended in controversy at the RallyStar Motorsport Academy near Bapsfontein on Saturday afternoon after the actual results on the road were affected by time penalties imposed by the Motorsport South Africa (MSA) stewards on some competitors for rules infringements. Both Castrol Team Toyota entries were among those penalised and Toyota has appealed these decisions. The results of the two-day event remain provisional until these appeals have been ďŹ nalised. The actual results on the road

before the penalties were imposed were: 01) M. Cronje/R. Houghton Ford Fiesta - 01h 36m 55,9s 02) J. Gemmell/D. Sturrock Castrol Toyota Auris + 58,9s 03) C. Wilken/G. Godrich Ford Fiesta + 01m 30,3s 04) E. Kuun/G. Hodgson VW Polo + 01m 36,8s 05) H. Fekken/P. Arries VW Polo + 02m 27,6s 06) H. Lategan/J. Van der Merwe Peugeot 207 + 03m 13,4s 07) L. Poulter/E. Coetzee Castrol Toyota Auris + 03m 42,6s 08) V. du Plessis/G. Snyman Peugeot 207 + 04m 29,0s 09) N. Ryan/A. Du Toit VW Polo + 04m 48,2s 10) J. Van Niekerk/S. Vacy-Lyle VW Polo + 04m 57,9s H&H

ProďŹ les Technical

Issue 187 • 17 June 2011 • Page 07

Ten questions to Matthew Wilson Words: Picture: Eva Kovkova M-Sport Stobart Ford driver Matthew Wilson is confident heading into the rest of the world championship season, said Here he answers ten questions: Q: Describe yourself in one word? MW: “Hmm...the key to these things is not to think too much about the answers, isn’t it? okay, I’m going for fun.” Q: Can you cook an omelette? MW: “Yes, but not very well. If I’m doing dinner, it’s never going to be exactly a gastronomic experience.” Q: What internet site do you go on most? MW: “Don’t worry - it’s a clean one. To be fair, I do go on a lot, just to catch up on the news. Not to mention the other weird stuff they have on there, like this.”

Q: What was your favourite toy as a kid? MW: “Lego, definitely. I always loved making things and that hasn’t stopped now.” Q: Who would you least like to be sitting next to on a long-haul flight? MW: “Good question. I reckon Howard Davies, who has been part of Ford’s weather crew: he’s a lovely guy but a big boy who can talk for Wales - and you need a bit of space to stretch out on these flights!” Q: What’s the worst place you’ve ever been to? MW: “Probably Breckenridge when I went skiing in America. It’s in Colorado and like something out of Psycho.” Q: How well did you do at school? MW: “I suppose I was average. I did okay and passed everything but I had other things going on at the same time that were more interesting. I could have probably done a lot better.

Q: What’s the most irritating thing about your co-driver? MW: “Scott’s pretty laid-back so there’s nothing too irritating about him. But he does have a habit of falling asleep pretty much anywhere, which is probably how he’s ended up with the nickname of ‘half man, half mattress’. At least he manages to stay awake during the stages...” Q: What do you like to do on a Saturday night off? MW: “This is going to sound tragic, but to be honest I just tend to stay in now that the season’s started. It’s so busy these days that it’s great to have the chance to spend a Saturday evening at home when you can.” Q: What’s your favourite stage? MW: “I love all the stages in New Zealand - they’re a driver’s paradise - and also Loch Ard in Scotland: an absolutely awesome stage, which is very quick and flowing.” H&H

Issue 187 • 17 June 2011 • Page 08

Team Total takes on technical Gauteng Rally Words: Staff Writer Picture: Evan Rothman Rally enthusiasts were treated to a spectacular exhibition of driving skill this weekend. Gravel speed tests in and around Brakpan and Bapsfontein, Gauteng, played host to Round Four of the South African Rally Championship. The Toyota Dealer Gauteng Rally, comprising 14 special stages and nearly 160 competitive kilometres, tested the mettle of both crews and machinery. Mark Cronje and Robin Houghton (Team SASOL Ford Fiesta S2000) powered to their first victory of the season with a winning margin of 01min 30.3sec. Charl Wilken/Greg Godrich (Basil Read/bizhub Ford Fiesta S2000) finished second overall with Enzo Kuun/Guy Hodgson (BP Volkswagen Polo Vivo S2000) completing the podium on Saturday evening. Overall results for this event were provisional on Saturday night as rally stewards, organisers and representatives were locked in meetings to hear protests and appeals regarding the event’s results. The outcome of the

event is, however, not in doubt and Cronje/Houghton will have a number of weeks to savour this victory before preparations for the following event on the calendar on 15 - 16 July. The demanding nature of the rally saw Team Total, South Africa’s largest privateer outfit, leave the event with a mixed bag of results. Mohammed Moosa and Grant Martin (Team Total Toyota RunX S2000) brought their battle-weary machine across to the finish 12th overall, after a hard-fought weekend’s rallying. This pairing gained in speed and confidence throughout the event, posting increasingly faster stage times. In fact, Moosa and Martin set top five stages times over the closing two stages of the event. Class S2000 compatriots Jean –Pierre Damseaux and Carolyn Swan, who ended Day One in 12th position, jumped to tenth overall in the second day’s opening stage. Building on this pace, Damseaux/Swan gained on their rivals but saw their rally end after stage ten. Damseaux was forced to retire the Team Total Toyota RunX S2000 after suffering gearbox problems that left the

car stranded. The all-female Team Total crew of Stefanie Hugo/Angela Shields restarted Day Two under SA SupeRally rules after their Toyota RunX S1600 abruptly stopped in SS4 on Day One. Attacking on Saturday’s opening stage, Hugo/Shields immediately gained on their Class S1600 rivals and bravely brought their car to the finish after setting a string of impressively quick stage times. Their fellow competitors were once more shown the podium potential of this duo. Without a doubt, the Mr Consistency title at this event goes to Craig Trott (Team Total Toyota RunX S1600). Co-driven by Robbie Coetzee, the pairing took to Day One’s stages with caution and followed up his consistent yet assert driving with stage times that were impressive. Trott/Coetzee finished fourth in Class and 17th overall. Follow Team Total on Facebook at and on Twitter at H&H

Issue 187 • 17 June 2011 • Page 09

Changes to route for Toyota 1000 Desert Race Words: Staff Writer Picture: Motorpics The route for the Toyota 1000 Desert Race in Botswana from June 24 to 26 has been fine-tuned and will again provide competitors with a massive challenge. The race is round four of the ABSA Off-Road Championship and represents the halfway mark in the series. Again organised by the Four Wheel Drive Club of Southern Africa it could have a massive effect on championship challenges throughout the various classes in the Production and Special Vehicle categories. Some intense battles have developed in both categories and the only marathon event on the Absa series calendar could make or break some championship hopefuls. The event is notorious for a sting in the tale, and in recent years has produced triumph and heartbreak over the last 100km. Race headquarters and the designated service area will be situated at the village of Kumakwane, about 25

kilometres North West of Gaborone. Facilities at the site have been upgraded, and Kumakwane will act as race headquarters for the next two years. “We have fine tuned the route and a number of changes have been made inside a similar framework to last year,” said route director Andre Strauss. “Good rains in some areas have also forced us into changes and, as usual, it is going to be a tough challenge that utilises the best terrain Botswana has to offer.” The Donaldson Prologue to determine start positions for the race is similar to last year but has been shortened and includes bush terrain, river crossings and thick sand. The prologue will cover a distance of 58 kilometres with the route running north-west from Kumakwane towards Molepolole and back to the start via Gakgatla. This year’s day one route is much the same as last year’s day two, but with some alterations that include sections not used for many years. There are also some completely new sections

and distance has been added to make up the 250km loop as it heads towards Molepolole. Good news for competitors is that on day two the 210 kilometre northeast loop, has been opened up and is not as tight as was the case for the 2010 race. This loop will also be run twice and because of heavy rain certain sections of last year’s route have been eliminated, and competitors will now head north of Kapong Road on about 50 kilometres of new terrain. The Donaldson Prologue will start at 12h00 on 24 June and the race at 08h00 on 25 June. Prologue and day one survivors will face another 08h00 start on the final day of an event that over the years has become the single biggest sporting and social occasion in Botswana. The Toyota 1000 Desert Race is now run in conjunction with “The Mantshwabisi” motorcycle and quad race on 23 - 24 June with the new marathon event run over 750km. H&H

Parc Ferme

Event Reports Results

Cronje/Houghton win drama-filled Gauteng Rally Words: Evan Rothman Pictures: IRC Series The fourth round of the South African Rally Championship, the Toyota Dealer Gauteng Rally, which ended at the RallyStar Motorsport Academy near Bapsfontein on Saturday afternoon, was very much like a good curry. It had all the ingredients that make up a spicy and appetising offering, even to the sting in the tail – in fact, several stings. After two days and some 160km of high speed special stage rallying in the Carnival City and Bapsfontein areas, it was the privateer class S2000 Team SASOL Ford of Mark Cronje and Robin Houghton that took a convincing victory after leading throughout the event and taking the honours in six of the 14 stages. Privateers Charl Wilken and Greg Godrich (Basil Read/bizhub Ford Fiesta S2000) completed a remarkable comeback after finishing Friday’s five stages in seventh position to claim a surprise second place, 01min

30,3sec behind Cronje/Houghton. They dominated the day’s proceedings, winning six of the nine stages to go with the single stage win they had on Friday. Wilken/Godrich in fact crossed the finish line at the final control at RallyStar in third place, 31.4sec behind the factory Castrol Toyota Auris of Johnny Gemmell and Scotland’s Drew Sturrock. Gemmell had pushed the S2000 Toyota to the limit in a storming second-day drive that saw him recover from sixth at the end of the first day to finish 58.9sec behind the winners. Officials subsequently handed out time penalties to a number of drivers for cutting corners, including Gemmell, and the Toyota crew was demoted to fifth place after collecting a two-minute penalty. The penalties have been appealed and the final results of the rally will depend on the outcome of the appeals. Promoted from fourth to the final spot on the podium after the penalties were applied was the first of the four-strong factory BP Volkswagen Polo S2000 team, defending national

champions Enzo Kuun and Guy Hodgson in an S2000 Polo Vivo. They finished 01min 36.8sec behind the winners and 50.8sec ahead of VW teammates and former champions Hergen Fekken/Pierre Arries. Sixth place went to the privateer Pirtek Peugeot 207 S2000 of Hein Lategan/Johan van der Merwe in their best result of the season. While a recipe of tasty ingredients like gravel roads, hairpin bends, jumps, water crossings, mud and slippery grass grabbed the attention of the competing crews and entertained the hundreds of enthusiastic fans that lined the route, Saturday’s dramatic events unfolded. S2000 debutant and reigning S1600 champion Leeroy Poulter/Elvene Coetzee were well positioned to finish in second place after starting the day third overall with two stage wins on Friday. A problem with the Toyota’s brakes saw them lose valuable time on SS11 after they had taken over second place from the factory VW Polo of Giniel de Villiers/ Ralph Pitchford on SS9. The delay dropped them to seventh and, despite rolling the Toyota

Issue 187 • 17 June 2011 • Page 11

on the final super special stage at RallyStar, they finished seventh only to be demoted to tenth as a result of the corner-cutting penalties. Promoted to seventh was the Grandmark International VW Polo S2000 of Nicholas Ryan/Armand du Toit, who finished 04min 48.2sec behind the winning Ford. Eighth was the second Pirtek Peugeot of Visser du Plessis/ Gerhard Snyman, who rounded off a season’s best combined performance for the team in their new French rally cars. Privateers Japie van Niekerk/ Simon Vacy-Lyle (New Africa Developments VW Polo S2000) were awarded ninth place after the penalty shootout, 04min 57.9sec behind the winners. Two of the factory BP Volkswagens failed to finish after both had made a good start. Multiple former champion Jan Habig and Robert Paisley went out on SS3 on Friday after losing a wheel and damaging the suspension. Red Bull Mobile’s Giniel de Villiers/Ralph Pitchford, competing in their first season of rallying together, were having their best outing of the year to date and were second at the end of Day One. They held this position in the

face of stiff competition until SS9 on Saturday, when they started dropping back with a misfiring engine and then gear selection problems. They finally retired on the very last stage with broken engine mountings after landing heavily over a jump. Another significant nonfinisher was the S2000 Green Fuel Ford Fiesta of championship leaders Conrad Rautenbach and co-driver Nicolas Klinger. After completing day one in a disappointing 10th place overall, the Zimbabwean/French combination went out on Saturday’s SS11 with terminal engine problems. Another Ford Fiesta, the Sasol Ford of former world junior rally championship contender Jon Williams and Cobus Vrey, crashed out of the rally in dramatic fashion on SS12 after completing Day One in eighth place. Class A7 honours went to Rocky Reyneke and Christo Ackerman in a VW Polo, who were the only finishers. Provisional results for the Junior overall classification (combined classes S1600 and S1400) saw Guy Botterill/ Schalk van Heerden score a maiden win in a class S1600 Yato Tools/LiquiMoly Toyota RunX ahead of the S1600

Silverton Engineering Toyota Auris of Tjaart Conradie/Kes Naidoo and the S1600 Team RSi Toyota Corolla of Hans Himmel and Tommy du Toit. The all-woman crew of Megan Verlaque and Lirene du Plessis (BP VW Polo) were declared provisional winners of the S1400 class ahead of the Q8 Oils VW Polo of Henk Lategan and Pierre Jordaan and the React Ford Fiesta of Ashley Haigh Smith and James Aldridge. The next round of the championship is the Volkswagen Rally on 15 - 16 July. H&H OVERALL CLASSIFICATION 01) M. Cronje/R. Houghton Ford Fiesta S2000 - 01h 36m 55.9s 02) C. Wilken/G. Godrich Ford Fiesta S2000 + 01m 30.3s 03) E. Kuun/G. Hodgson Volkswagen Polo Vivo S2000 + 01m 36.9s 04) H. Fekken/P. Arries Volkswagen Polo Vivo S2000 + 02m 27.7s 05) J. Gemmell/D. Sturrock Toyota Auris S2000 + 02m 59.0s 06) H. Lategan/J. Van der Merwe Peugeot 207 S2000 + 02m 13.5s 07) N. Ryan/A. Du Toit Volkswagen Polo S2000 + 03m 43.8s 08) V. Du Plessis/G. Snyman Peugeot 207 S2000 + 03m 44.6s 09) J. Van Niekerk/S. Vacy-Lyle Volkswagen Polo S2000 + 03m 53.5s 10) L. Poulter/E. Coetzee Toyota Auris S2000 + 04m 38.2s

Issue 187 • 17 June 2011 • Page 12

Trophy-Raid LADOGA: Russia’s Toughest Challenge Words: Eva Kovkova Picture: Eva Kovkova Russia is undeniably a motorsport powerhouse. Showcasing the country’s passion for the sport, and the region’s, is the TrophyRaid LADOGA. This year was the 15th running of this international off-road race likened to the Camel Trophy. The route, run over eight days of competition, is the longest, toughest and most punishing of its kind in the world, with 1,200km of stages, 17 countries represented by 250 competitors in eight classes in the unique 24-hour daylight. Handbrakes & Hairpins’ photojournalist Eva Kovkova brings this report from St. Petersburg, Russia. The Trophy-Raid LADOGA is a unique adventure, an expedition deep into the Russian forests and near the most beautiful lake, which gave its name to this race.

Crews from as far as Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Poland, Germany, England, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Italy, Australia, Holland, Czech Republic, Slovenia, and even the USA took part in this challenge, and it is important to note that clubs and teams are entering this event, with individual crews only entering as the brave. Perhaps a sign of this event’s prestige and appeal is this: the greatest distance traveled to reach by road the event was from a team from Vladivostok (9657km to St. Petersburg) and another from Blagoveshchensk (8352km to St.Petersburg). The crews in this race all have different experience and preparation levels, with the event hosting 11 vehicle categories. What makes this race unique, and a logistical masterpiece, is that each category boasts its own route: some fight for seconds while others are engaged in “cultural navigation” (GeoCaching). All results are recorded

electronically system via GPS to control time and distance. Perhaps never in 15 years of its existence, LADOGA was so hot. In honor of the anniversary the nature made for all the participants gift in a form of 8 sunny days. Although in this case, a gift has turned out not quite fit: the majority of special stages have dried up, and fords shallow, sometimes to a very unseemly level. As a result, even the most difficult sections of the route were not accounted for the majority of athletes too much trouble. Significant adjustments made the strongest hurricane that has passed last summer on the Karelian isthmus. By felling killed several iconic stages, and the swamp under the formidable title “invincible” became this year commonplace unavailable. The motto of this legendary race is: “You made it!” We made it, and it was great. See you next year! H&H

Issue 187 • 17 June 2011 • Page 13

OVERALL CLASSIFICATION Winners of Ladoga Team Spirit event: WINCH ENGINEERING off-road team TR2 Category: 1) A. Ponomarev/A. Khalabudenko 2) K. Derazhinsky/V. Nikolaev-Kulzhinsky 3) A. Potachev/S. Shurupov TR3 Category: 1) R. Briskindov/S. Volkov 2) V. Terentiev/A. Alexandrov 3) M. Klyuiko/I. Pentinen PROTO Category: 1) K. Sihvonen/M. Sihvonen 2) S. Halzev/D. Bykov 3) P. Pylkko/A. Niko

Adventures Category: 1) V. Sadkevich/A. Korneev 2) E. Morozov/A. Rasulov 3) P. Korolev/A. Afanasiev

ATV - Adventures Category: 1) A. Nikiforov/S. Petrov 2) R. Rauza/J. Strautins 3) S. Shelenkov/E. Aliev

Adventures - Open Category: 1) I. Krutelin/D. Kozlov 2) S. Kirillovsky/T. Kirillovskaya 3) D. Buyanov/S. Pukhov

ATV - SSV Category: 1) A. Rodionov/D. Tamarkov 2) P. Utkin/A. Utkin 3) A. Dubakin/A. Slepushkin

ATV - Open Category: 1) O. Mareev/A. Mironchik 2) I. Martyanova/V.Shmelkov 3) M. Konsovsky/Y. Konsovskaya

Grand Tourism Category: 1) V. Kremyansky/N. Kremyanskaya 2) K. Kartinkin/V. Kartinkin 3) D. Dmitriev/A. Shafranovsky

ATV - Original Category: 1) A. Tuzov/A. Roshektaev 2) A. Zolotarev/D. Zolotarev 3) E. Korotov/I. Zapivalov

Discovery Category: 1) K. Martyanov/A. Martyanova/V. Bogachev 2) E. Artyukhin/A. Chudenkov 3) R. Kamartdinov/O. Kamartdinova

Issue 187 • 17 June 2011 • Page 14

Wet and slippery Greek roads await WRC Words: Evan Rothman Picture: Tony Welam/PSWRT Stages don’t come more challenging than those filled with rocks, sharp stones, slippery corners and highspeed twists thrown into the mix. For this weekend’s WRC Rally Greece, Handbrakes & Hairpins will follow the Petter Solberg World Rally Team to highlight this event’s tough nature in a more involving manner. It is the seventh round of the World Rally Championship (WRC) that approaches this weekend, and with Petter Solberg currently lying fifth in the Drivers’ Championship, the Petter Solberg World Rally Team have made their way to the WRC Acropolis Rally of Greece, based in the seaside town of Loutraki only 90km west of Athens. The site of the Acropolis in Athens hosted the ceremonial start on Thursday evening. Friday’s stages are based around Kemena Vourla, where, after completing Elatia, the longest stage of the rally, there will be a 15min Remote Service where only tyre changes and basic repairs are allowed to be made, only the spares carried in the rally car. Following this Service the crew will tackle another four stages to complete Day One’s route.

Saturday and Sunday (Days Two and Three of the event) will be based back around Loutraki with three repeated stages on Saturday and a 17.71km night stage. Sunday will see the competitors head to stages north of Loutraki where there will be two runs through New Pissia stage and two runs through 19.42km Aghii Theodori stage, the start of which will then play host to the 4km Power Stage on Sunday afternoon. The Power Stage will be broadcast live on TV and offers additional Championship points for the fastest three drivers. The rally surface is hard gravel with high ground temperatures and rocky, dusty roads. A challenging rally for both the car and crew, Rally Acropolis ambient temperatures make conditions even more difficult, with no airconditioning in the car for Petter Solberg and Chris Patterson. “Greece will be another tough event,” says Petter Solberg. “But I’m confident that both the car and the driver are up for it! The stages in Greece are really hard on the car, and with only a Remote Service on Friday you have to avoid hitting trouble. Tyre wear will also be a big issue during the weekend. I have so many great memories from earlier events in Greece, so I’m happy we are back here this year and of

course, I am aiming for the podium!” Acropolis Rally of Greece gets underway with the first stage on Friday 17 June at 09h08 local time. H&H WRC Rally Greece Itinerary: Friday 17 June 09h08 - SS1 (Thiva 1) - 23,60km 11h01 - SS2 (Elatia) - 39,10km Remote Service Kamena Vourla 13h39 - SS3 (Eleftherohori) - 18,10km 14h28 - SS4 (Rengini) - 11,88km 16h15 - SS5 (Thiva 2) - 23,60km 17h48 - SS6 (Mavrolimni) - 25,05km Saturday 18 June 11h02 - SS7 (Mycenae 1) - 17,41km 12h05 - SS8 (Ghymno 1) - 26,28km 13h20 - SS9 (Kefalari 1) - 18,40km Service Loutraki 16h20 - SS10 (Mycenae 2) - 17,41km 17h23 - SS11 (Ghymno 2) - 26,28km 18h38 - SS12 (Kefalari 2) - 18,40km Service Loutraki 21h33 - SS13 (Nea Politia) - 17,71km Sunday 19 June 09h03 - SS14 (Aghii 1) - 19,42km 09h34 - SS15 (New Pissia 1) - 11,37km 12h05 - SS16 (Aghii 2) - 19,42km 12h36 - SS17 (New Pissia 2) - 11,37km 14h11 - SS18 (Power Stage) - 4,00km


Start RampStartRamp Parc FermeParcFerme Service ParkServicePark Issue 187 • 17 June 2011Issue187•17June2011