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s e k a r b d Han s n i p r i a H & he world your insight into t

er 2009 b m e v o N 5 10 e u Iss

of rallying


Gugu Zulu wins title again!

inside this week:


All eyes on Magalies 400


Gronholm in WRC in 2010?

Contents / Issue 105 Welcome to H&H! News • • • •

MINI to enter WRC in 2010? Basso crowned ERC Champion for 2009 Kovalainen eyes rallies for 2010 Al-Attiyah to compete in IRC next year

Welcome to issue 105 of HANDBRAKES & HAIRPINS, your FREE weekly insight into the world of rallying! As always, I hope you enjoy this week’s exciting edition! Yours in Rallying, Evan Rothman

Features • Essentials: Stuff • Zulu wins second National Class title • Gronholmaims for WRC in 2010

Event Reports • RFS Magalies 400 • FSTi Rally Great Britain • ROC 2009 Race of Champions

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MINI and Prodrive are planning a return to world rallying

Franz Witmann completes successful test in Peugeot 207 S2000

Mini’s new Crossover model is expected to be delivered to Prodrive’s Banbury workshops before the end of the year, a source revealed to Motorsport News.

Interwetten Racing celebrates a successful testing assignment, for the first time with a Peugeot S2000, at Rallye Waldviertel. Franz Wittmann/Bernhard Ettel finish after 12 special stages in excellent second overall place, only 10,7 seconds behind the winner, thereby reaching two special stage best-times. Thus the professed goal to learn a lot and to get used to the S2000 car was fully realised.

It is understood that Prodrive will take charge of Mini’s return to rallying, with BMW expected to make a formal announcement in April about plans to contest the WRC from 2011 onwards. The source stated to MN that Prodrive had completed the preliminary design work on the car. A spokesperson for Prodrive said: “ We’ve made no secret of the fact we want to get back into the WRC. We are in discussions with manufacturers but confidentiality agreements mean we can’t say who they are. “We’ve got a team of engineers who haven’t been sitting still and have been looking at the generic design concepts which can be applied to different manufacturers,” added the spokesperson. - Credit: Motorsport News;

Giandomenico Basso clinches European Rally Championship title Three years after winning their first European title, Italian pilot Giandomenico Basso co-driven by Mitia Dotta again achieved the highest score in the ERC and won in the overall championship classification. This year, the battle went to very last event of the season, the Rally International du Valais held in Switzerland. The Abarth factory crew Basso-Dotta, who had very strong second half of the season, won the first two legs of Swiss event in the ERC classification and collected the appropriate sum of bonus points which were enough to take the overall victory. Second overall in the ERC 2009 is, after a good season, Polish driver Michal Solowow, with another Italian, Corrado Fontana claiming third in the final standings. FINAL ERC Rallye du Valais CLASSIFICATION: 01) G. Hotz/P. Ravasi (Peugeot 207 S2000) - 02h 53m 29,8s 02) G. Basso/M. Dotta (Fiat Punto Abarth S2000) + 53,7s 03) M. Sołowow/M. Baran (Peugeot 207 S2000) + 05m 27,7s 04) F. Gonon/S. Arlettaz (Subaru Impreza WRX STI N12) + 06m 34,5s 05) B. Bouffier/N. Gilsoul (Citroen C2 R2 Max) + 11m 20,8s 06) A. Bettega/S. Scattolin (Renault Clio R3) +11m 42,7s 07) T. Neuville/N. Klinger (Citroen C2 R2 Max) + 13m 39,1s 08) J-P. Radoux/J-N. Gregoire (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX) + 14m 19,5s 09) J. de Winkel/R. van Hoek (Renault Clio R3) + 15m 38,0s 10) P. Rossoz/L. Rossoz (Renault Clio R3 Access) + 20m 05,8s

- Credit:

Franz Wittmann/ Bernhard Ettel gave a very fine performance at their first testing assignment at the 29th Rallye Waldviertel in the Horn area. After the first day the Interwetten duo had been in second overall place, 27,4 seconds behind the lead. But on leg two the going got better and better and they reached best-times on the two 35 kilometres long stages in St. Lenohard, thereby minimising the gap on winner Raimund Baumschlager to 10,7 seconds. Franz Wittmann, in the Waldviertel for the first time in a Peugeot 207 S2000 from ROMO Motorsport of German Ronald Loschhorn, was more than just satisfied at the finish in Horn: “There is a huge difference between the car I drove in this year’s IRC and this S2000 vehicle. It is simply a different world to which I still have to get somewhat used to. It was important to gather as many kilometres as possible in the Waldviertel - I got more assured with each one. And I also got used to the unfamiliar gearshift. I am therefore more than just satisfied with second place. And I am happy that it was possible for me to make this a hot ride for the reigning champion despite the cold temperatures.” - Credit:

David Higgins withdraws from IRC Rally of Scotland to race in China David Higgins has been forced to withdraw his application for the coveted BFGoodrich drive on Rally of Scotland, due to commitments in China. Although he cannot win the title because he is not from China, David has taken a record breaking amount of wins in the championship over the last few years to bring huge success to the WY Rally Team he drives for in the teams’ championship. “It is disappointing to have to withdraw from the selection, because we won a round of the IRC held in China a few years ago so it would be fantastic to get the opportunity to do that on home turf,” said Higgins. “But the Chinese championship must remain our priority. Although our next rally is the weekend before Scotland, I have now agreed to stay in China to test an Evo X afterwards, so Scotland is out of the question.” The news comes as Higgins confirms that he has signed a

THE LATEST NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF RALLYING Featuring European rally championships, British rally championships, Rally America events, international rally results and videos, as well as S2000 and WRC news.

contract to stay with the WY Rally Team in China to contest the 2010 series with them. “The competition out in China is fantastic,” said Higgins. “We have won a lot of events over the last few years, but none of those wins have come easy, the competition just keeps getting better, and that’s the type of championship we want to stay involved with.” The next round of the Chinese Rally Championship is Rally China on 14-15 November, which is also a counting round of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship. - Credit:

Another Formula One driver eyes entering rallying in 2010 F1 driver Heikki Kovalainen has given yet another major hint that Sunday will be his last Grand Prix at the wheel of a McLaren. The Finn has confirmed he is set to make his debut in a professional rally this winter -- an activity forbidden by contract as he drove in Formula One for the British team in 2008 and 2009.

The two-day event begins on the 7th November and will see stiff competition for Duval. Fellow Belgian and former Mitsubishi works driver Freddy Loix will also be competing in the Peugeot 207 Super 2000, with Patrick Snijers in a Subaru WRCar and Pieter Tsjoen in a Ford Focus WRC. Therefore, it will be no walk in the park for Duval but based on the competitiveness of the Lancer WRC05 so far this year, MML Sport is confident that he can adapt quickly. Commenting on the news, MML Sports Managing Director John Easton said; “We are delighted that Francois will be driving the MML Sports Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05 on the Condroz Rally. Francois’ speed and skill are without question and we are looking forward to seeing him prove how competitive we know the car is and do well on the final round of the Belgian championship. “This will be the first time that the Lancer WRCar has run in Belgian and once again, it will be up against younger World Rally Cars. However, as we have seen in Holland with Mark [van Eldik] and Hungary, a Lancer WRC with a good driver, such as Francois, is a very potent combination and I’m looking forward to next weekend.”

Kovalainen, 28, told the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper that he was jealous to see his countryman Kimi Raikkonen allowed to participate in rallies while employed by Ferrari.

The event sees crews tackle ten stages on Saturday, totalling 165Km on a particularly long day of rallying. The first car is away at 08.00 and is not expected back into service at the end of the day until 22.00, meaning at least three stages in full darkness. Sunday is a far easier day, comprising six stages of 104Km in total. - Credit:

“In my next contract I will make sure that as well as Formula One I am allowed to drive rallies,” he said in Abu Dhabi. Kovalainen, strongly linked with a move to Toyota next year, said he has not decided which rally to contest this winter, but a frontrunner is Finland’s Arctic Lapland Rally.

World Motor Sport Council modifies JWRC sporting regulations for 2010

It is scheduled to take place in late January, after his McLaren contract runs out. Raikkonen contested the rally last winter and Kovalainen attended as a spectator. - Credit: GMM and

Francois Duval will drive MML Sports Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05 in Condroz Former works rally driver and rally winner Francois Duval will drive an MML Sports Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05 World Rally Car on next weekend’s Condroz Rally. The Belgian driver will contest the final round of the national championship in the Lancer, one of the few World Rally Cars he has not driven in his career. Although Duval has never driven the Mitsubishi, he is apparently looking forward to trying it, having seen the success the car has brought to drivers around Europe in the last two years. Run by MML Sports, the company formed from Ralliart Europe, which ran the Mitsubishi works rally team, the WRC05 has been developed and improved in recent months and the results are becoming clear.

The latest World Motor Sport Council meeting on October 21 has finally approved a modification to the Junior World Rally Championship sporting regulations, which will consequently allow the Honda Civic R3 to be eligible for the 2010 JWRC. The Civic R3 has not been eligible so far because of restrictions governing the maximum length of a car (maximum allowed 4150 mm, Civic length 4270 mm). Up to now, only 120mm have denied young drivers the chance to participate in the most prestigious of all the junior championships. Now, the decision of the WMSC finally gives the Civic R3 the opportunity to fight for the title in a category where it has already proven to be ultra-competitive. In 2008 Guy Wilks won the two-wheel drive category of Rally Finland, at the wheel of a Civic run by JAS Motorsport. He finished in front of all the Super 1600 cars that were leading the JWRC at the time, demonstrating the Civic’s extraordinary performance on one of the toughest and quickest rounds of the championship. In 2009 Urmo Aava from Estonia looked set to emulate Wilks’ achievement in Finland at the wheel of a privately run Civic. He was dominating the two-wheel drive category of the event, setting 18 fastest stage times out of a possible 22. Unfortunately Aava suffered damage from a rock pulled onto the racing line by one of the other competitors late in the rally, which prevented him from winning. Nonetheless, the point had

been made. The challenge of the JWRC is now open to the JAS engineered Civic, which will benefit from further technical developments in 2010, including significant engine upgrades and a semiautomatic gearbox control -- making it a prime contender for the JWRC title. - Credit:

Sweden’s Ingvar Carlsson passes away after short illness Swedish rally legend Ingvar Carlsson has died recently after a short illness at the age of 62. Carlsson began his career in a Volvo PV544 circa 1968 and came to the attention of the BMW Swedish importer where he campaigned a 2002 Ti. He drove a works Datsun 260Z on the 1974 Rally de Portugal and then for Fiat he tackled the RAC that year in an Abarth 124 followed by a fifth place finish on his home event, the 1975 Swedish Rally, where he beat teammate Markku Alen. The Swede continued to drive for BMW until Mercedes offered him a seat in 1980 for a limited programme with the ill-fated 450SLC. He returned to BMW, after the Mercedes project was canned, where he contested his first 1000 Lakes Rally in 1983. For 1984 Carlsson signed with Mazda where he would drive and develop the RWD Group B RX-7 along with the Group A 323. When Group A regulations were introduced as the world championship’s main category in 1987 Carlsson found himself in a competitive seat with the Mazda 323 4WD. Carlsson won two world championship events in 1989 on the Swedish and New Zealand rallies. Unfortunately the 323 was never fully developed and Carlsson was unable to extract anymore victories with the car and ended his WRC career in 1991. RIP Ingvar. - Credit:

Rally America’s Director unleashes 2010 Ford Mustang at Ojibwe Rally The last thing you’d expect to see zooming through Bemidji, Minn. at the Ojibwe Forests Rally is a 2010 Ford Mustang, or any Mustang for that matter. J.B. Niday, managing director of Rally America, had not yet experienced a 2010 Mustang at any of his Rally America competitions, but that was about to change. Niday unselfishly chose to unleash his inner Mustang with Ford’s “‘10 Unleashed” campaign through his two good friends Mike Hurst, technical director for Rally America, and Mark Utecht, one of Rally America’s top two wheel drive competitors. There are no ovals, pace cars or rain delays in Rally racing. The sport features real cars racing against the clock on closed-off sections of real roads that are usually unpaved

and unforgiving. Gravel logging roads, mountain passes, well groomed forest roads are what make up the tracks for rally drivers. Events can last several days and cover hundreds of miles through rain, snow and day or night. A rally car is the ultimate real world sports car: one that is capable of high speed and incredible handling on any road surface and in every weather condition. Niday organized a head-to-head rally in a 2010 Ford Mustang on four stages of the Ojibwe Forests Rally course – winner takes all. Shortly after Niday announced the “‘10 Unleashed” challenge, he asked Utecht what he thought about the competition. He was quick to answer, “I think I’m going to beat him [Hurst’s] flat out.” Hurst and Utecht are friends off the track and deadly on it. Their “friendly” conversation of recent years has been about who is behind the wheel of the ’86 Mustang that Hurst reluctantly sold to Utecht several years ago and this challenge would settle their Mustang rally feud once and for all. Hurst last drove his cherished ’86 Mustang in a rally in February of 2004, Utecht has proved he knows how to drive a Mustang in the woods by winning the Rally America Group 5 class in his region ever since he bought the ’86 Mustang from Hurst. “Big rooster tails, throwing the Mustang through the corners -- that’s old school rally and that’s what we saw during the ‘10 Unleashed Mustang Rally,” said Niday. “That’s what the winner will keep doing with his new Mustang and that’s what I want people to look forward to when watching a Rally America event.” No major performance modifications were necessary for the Mustang compete in the rally. The major modifications were made to the interior of the vehicle adding a roll cage racing seats and rally computer. The only two modifications made to the exterior were the off-road racing tires and rally car signature HID Light Bar. “What better place to settle the Mustang rally feud than through the ‘10 Unleashed campaign,” said Steve Ling, car group marketing manager for Ford Motor Company. “Not only was it great to see Mike and Mark settle their score in the rally-prepped 2010 Mustang, but it was also exciting to see the Mustang take on a world where it typically doesn’t belong.” To find out who earned lifetime bragging rights and also took home use of the 2010 Mustang for a year, check out the video chronicling Mustang Rally at - Credit:

Rally America series celebrates its champions with awards ceremony Travis Pastrana scored his fourth-consecutive driver’s title after another incredible season on the 2009 Rally America circuit for Subaru Rally Team USA. The action-sports veteran took the Jon Woolf Cup with six outright wins in nine starts and also earned the X Games 15 Rally Car Racing silver medal. Christian Edstrom, who returned

to Pastrana’s side in 2009 after a year-long hiatus, took the Grant Whittaker Cup as the top co-driver. The championship runner-up was Andi Mancin, who also debuted in the X Games Rally Car Race this summer in Los Angeles. After establishing a reputation as a competitive driver in his native Poland, 2009 saw Mancin run his first full season in the United States in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX. NOS Energy backed Andrew Comrie-Picard rounded out the top three and scored a top-five finish at X Games 15 in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX. The hotly contested new Super Production class saw fierce competition all season and came down to the final round when Colorado’s Jimmy Keeney took the Roy Donnison Super Production Cup by just one point over Ohio’s Pat Moro. Keeney’s wife Melissa Keeney was the winning Super Production class co-driver for 2009. The Keeneys also made their first appearance at X Games this summer, while Moro attended as the alternate, both in similarly prepared Subaru WRX STI rally cars. In two-wheel drive, series newcomer Dillon Van Way, from Louisiana, took a decisive victory after putting in a consistent performance all season in his Ford Focus to earn the Jon Woodner Cup. The teenaged Van Way’s season highlight was a dramatic demonstration of his real commitment to the tough sport of rally when he finished the Rally Colorado after a rollover. Colorado’s Keith Rudolph was the top two-wheel drive co-driver for 2009. The 2009 Jeff Moyle Memorial Rookie of the Year Award went to the National Guard-backed Mark Fox who took the step up from regional competition to contest every round of the Rally America national season. He and co-driver Jake Blattner finished the season ranked seventh overall. Two events, the Oregon Trail Rally and the Rally of the 100 Acre Wood, were jointly awarded top honors for the 2009 Rally of the Year. Awards were distributed Sunday at the Rally America National Championship Awards Banquet presented by BFGoodrich Tires in Houghton, MI. A simplified class structure, another exciting X Games and steadily increasing entries marked Rally America’s fifth season as the premier sanctioning body for rally sport in the United States. The national class structure was simplified to three classes in an effort to increase the sport’s appeal for fans and competitors alike. The change was a success with the new Super Production class for lightly modified, production-based vehicles bringing out intense competition at every round. Subaru Rally Team USA even added a third driver to their roster, signing BMX superstar Dave Mirra to contest the class. He joined Open class drivers Travis Pastrana and Ken Block on the factory team. As expected, the fourth X Games Rally Car Race provided a season highlight for fans. Although not a points event for Rally America competitors, the high profile contest features select top series competitors, plus top racers invited for their credentials in the racing community at-large. Former Indy 500

winner Kenny Brack took the gold in an Olsbergs Motorsport Evolution Ford Fiesta, in the manufacturer’s first appearance in the contest. Pastrana earned silver for Subaru and Tanner Foust took Ford’s second medal, the bronze. Series entries were on the rise as the economic tide began to turn at the mid-point in the 2009 season. Entries were up an average of two per cent over 2008, with New England Forest Rally boasting a 50 entry field in 2009 -- up an astounding 67 per cent thanks to a series of inventive marketing initiatives this year. As further demonstration to its commitment to the growth and success of rally competition, Rally America has recently announced positive changes to its championship calendar and its expansion into the exciting sport of European-style rally cross. Also in 2010, Rally America officials will once again be involved ESPN’s Summer X Games competition, the leading action sports event broadcast live on ABC and ESPN. The 2010 Rally America season begins in January at Sno*Drift, January 29 – 30, in Atlanta, Michigan. - Credit:

Irish scoops top honours at the MSA British Rally Championship Awards This past Saturday’s MSA British Rally Championship awards night was dominated by the Island of Ireland, topped of course by the crowning of the 2009 Champions, Keith Cronin and Greg Shinnors. The young County Cork driver and his experienced co-driver took top billing at the formal ceremony near Warrington and the pair’s presentation of the overall trophy and Privateers Cup was greeted by a standing ovation by the 220 attendees. In addition to the overall, class and BRC Challenge awards, Northern Irish youngster Alastair Fisher won the BRC’s Outstanding Performance Award, Championship manager Mark Taylor explaining the reason for the popular choice. Living just over an hour away in Carryduff, Jonny Greer was delighted to add his name to the Northern Irish success, as he took not only the International Rally Drivers’ Club Most Improved trophy, but a cheque for £500, presented by former World Rally Champion Nicky Grist, who also hosted the IRDC table at the black tie awards ceremony. It was not just drivers and co-drivers from across the Irish Sea who took to the stage either. The Ulster International Rally, which had moved its base and stages from 2008, proved popular with organisers and competitors alike, scooping the British Rally Championship Rally of the Year award. There was room for some other countries though, Australia’s Molly Taylor visiting the stage three times and taking the Greenlight Television Award. Director Richard Nichols made the presentation for a great first season which so nearly saw the British Ladies Rally Champion take the Swift Sport Cup too. - Credit:

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Gugu Zulu, driving a BP Ultimate Volkswagen Citi Golf A5, won his second national championship rally class title at the season-ending Toyota Dealer Rally Gauteng held last weekend. TEXT: Peter Burroghes Communications; IMAGES: Motorpics The 31-year-old professional racing driver from Paulshof in Gauteng emerged the winner of the class A5 championship for the second time in three years after finishing second in his class with co-driver Carl Peskin on Saturday. He had started the season finale with a four-point lead over factory Volkswagen team-mate Andre Cleenwerck and needing only three more points for a fourth place finish to secure the title. At the end of day one, on Friday, after Zulu and Peskin had lost 10 minutes with throttle body problems – effectively ruling them out of the championship win – they found themselves in fifth place in the class standings, 9 min 38 sec behind their team-mates in first place. Driving with the determination and self-belief that brought him his first championship, Zulu won five of Saturday’s first seven stages and closed the gap to Cleenwerck. Then disaster struck his team-mate in the form of a failed air sensor as he tackled the rally’s final stage, losing him four minutes and dropping him to third in class. Zulu first burst on to the motor racing scene as a 22-year-old in 2000 without the usual background of motocross or karting experience. His first taste of the sport was as a participant in the inaugural Vodacom-backed Isondo Development sports car series called Sports 2000. He won 16 out of 18 races and the title at his first attempt. He graduated to senior circuit racing as team-mate to the legendary Sarel van der Merwe in the WesBank V8 championship, driving a Ford Mustang in 2001 and a Chevrolet Camaro in 2002. He joined the factory Volkswagen rally team in 2003 and competed in class A5 with Carl Peskin as his co-driver in a Citi Golf. In between winning their two class A5 titles in 2007 and 2009, the pair campaigned a factory VW Polo in class A7 in 2008.

ICON: MARCUS GRONHOLM Making a return?


Making his 2010 World Rally Championship intentions public recently, former double WRC Champion Marcus Gronholm is expected to compete in selected WRC events in 2010, WRITES EVAN ROTHMAN. According to sources, the Finnish rally star has been in talks with Petter Solberg about contesting the Swedish Rally in the Norwegian’s self-run team and has also stated that he is aiming to participate in other WRC events later in the year too. In an interview with Motorsport News, Gronholm stated: “I have spoken to Petter but it’s mainly about contesting Sweden for the moment and we need to bring some money. It will be interesting to do some more but we will have to see what happens after Sweden. Sweden is my favourite rally when there is good snow and cold conditions and going back to the north will help for next year. If I do go back I would have to win the Sagen stage because that is the name of the restaurant I own and it will be good marketing.” Petter Solberg commented: “He must come with a budget. It would be good fun to have him in the team but he wouldn’t do the whole championship,” said the Norwegian. “Marcus can still be quick because if you’re good, you’re good. But I haven’t even thought about next year because without money I can forget everything and I only have half the budget right now.”

Having retired at the end of the 2007 WRC season, he left the sport while still at its pinnacle driving for the BP Ford World Rally Team. He and co-driver Timo Rautiainen are one of the sport’s most successful pairings, with a total of 30 WRC event wins to their name. Now 41 years old, Gronholm has attempted to re-enter WRC with Prodrive last year, but after Subaru pulled out of the WRC with it went his chances. An entry into the WRC for next season would bring even more excitement to the Championship as six-times World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb will then need to fend off a bevy of hungry drivers all looking to steal thetrophy away from the Frenchman. With motorsport experiencing a lack of funding, Gronholm will be up against the likes of Petter Solberg, Chris Atkinson, Sebastien Ogier, Evgeniy Novikov and the upstarts from the Junior World Rally Championship and Production World Rally Championship looking to make the step-up the world’s stage. It would be thrilling to see the Finn battling with Mikko Hirvonen Petter Solberg and Loeb once again for rally victories… Roll on WRC 2010!

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SAN0RRC: RFS MAGALIES 400 06 - 07 November 2009


Competitors looking forward to an end of season soft landing at the RFS Magalies 400, the final event of the Absa Off Road Championship on 06 and 07 November, are in for a disappointment. Run for the second time this year and again based at the Tarlton International Raceway near Krugersdorp, the route for the race will be diverse. The event will be made up of an 80 kilometre prologue to determine start positions and one loop of 190 kilometres which competitors will complete twice. “Although the route, by necessity, incorporates the majority of areas utilised last year new sections have been found,” said race director Adri Roets of Off Road South Africa (ORSA). “Among the new sections is the ‘randjies’ in the Moloney’s Eye area which is going to be interesting.

crowds. “There is a national and regional entry of more than 90 vehicles and with expected large crowds in mind the event is again spectator friendly,” said Roets. “There are nine spectator points along the Magaliesberg R24 and four off the R500 and all of them are within 40 kilometres of Tarlton. “Access to these areas will be free and we urge spectators along the route to be conscious of the environment – only leave your footprints behind.”

“The weather is unpredictable at this time of the year but overall the route is diverse and includes fast sections, technical sections and some seriously undulating areas. It is going to be a stern test and anyone looking for a tame finish to the season is in for a surprise.”

The ‘Top Speed Shootout’ will start at 12h00 on November 6 and will be followed by the prologue to determine start positions for the race. The race will start at 08h00 on November 7 with the start/finish and designated service area all located at Tarlton.

Roets added that as per last year there will be a ‘Top Speed Shootout’ on the Tarlton drag strip prior to the start of the prologue. This proved to be a popular innovation last year and with the event in easy reach of Gauteng, Tshwane and North West locations the RFS Magalies 400 is expected to draw big

Entrance to Tarlton will also be free and there is ample parking space. Catering and toilet facilities will also be available and free entry to the pits provides enthusiasts with ample opportunity to interact with competitors and service crews. - Credit:; Image by Motorpics

FSTi: RALLY GREAT BRITAIN 21 - 25 October 2009


The thrilling finale of the Fiesta SportTrophy International lived up to its billing as the race for the championship came right down to the wire at the final round of the FIA World Rally Championship, the Rally of Great Britain, in Cardiff with Irish teenager Craig Breen snatching the title from Germany’s Patrick Anglade thanks to a series of calculated stage wins. It was Anglade and co-driver Peter Loth who took victory in the rally along with a class win in their Ford Fiesta ST while Breen and co-driver Gareth Roberts could only manage third in their Fiesta R2, behind Turkey’s Emre Yurdakul and Lurak Erdener, who took the second class win for the new Fiesta R2 in as many rallies. Breen, however, showed his out-and-out pace by taking 12 stage wins that gave him a superior points total to that of his German rival after their four best scores from the season were added together. It is the first championship title for the Fiesta R2, which made it’s WRC debut on the previous event in Spain. While the main battle was for the overall title, drivers throughout the field had their own aims for the rally. Bader Al Jabri came out on top of his Team Abu Dhabi teammates as he took fourth place in Wales with co-driver Steve McAuley. Meanwhile Yurdkul’s Castrol Ford Team Turkiye teammate Burcu Cetinkaya and co-driver Cicek Guney rounded off the finishers in fifth place despite a series of problems. Atte Alanen, Majed Al Shamsi and Ahmed Al Mansoori all fell foul of the difficult Welsh road conditions retiring from the rally before the finish. The result means that Breen and Roberts have added a fourth title to an already remarkable hat trick of titles won this season with victory in the Kick Energy Fiesta SportTrophy UK and Fiesta SportTrophy Ireland, as well as the Irish National Junior Championship. Breen’s prize is an all-expenses-paid test in the latest specification Ford Focus RS WRC with Ford factory driver Mikko

Hirvonen. As in previous years, the series winner plus one ‘wildcard’ will be put forward to the FST International Shootout to compete against drivers from other FST championships around the world in order to win a year’s residential contract to work at M-Sport. FINAL FSTi Rally GB CLASSIFICATION: 01) P. Anglade (Germany) - 04h 07min 47,9s 02) E. Yurdakul (Turkey) + 03min 06,1s 03) C. Breen (Ireland) + 05min 15,5s 04) B. Al Jabfi (United Arab Emirates) + 10min 25,2s 05) B. Cetinkaya (Turkey) + 26min 17,7s

FSTi Rally GB winner Patrick Anglade said: “There was so much rain out there today that the conditions were really bad. On SS15 we just couldn’t see anything at all so now I am so happy that we have made it to the finish. Overall we had a better result than Craig [Breen], but he got more stage wins, which were enough to give him the title. That’s rallying.” Handbrakes & Hairpins’ has been closely following Burcu Cetinkaya throughout this season. A series of problems prevented the Turkish female driver from finishing higher up the field, but she completed the rally despite her difficulties. A mistake in the notes caused a small ‘off’ on SS3, but she recovered well and continued to battle the wet conditions. She was given a 20 second penalty for arriving late at a time control on Saturday. On SS13, a puncture lost her some time and had the knock-on effect of losing her brakes. She struggled on to the final service with no brakes, sliding off the road on the final stage, but recovering to take fifth position. - Credit: FSTi Media

ROC: CHAMPIONS MEET IN CHINA 02 - 04 November 2009


The 2009 Race of Champions, held in Beijing, China, proved as thrilling as was promised. With motorsport’s biggest star competing against one another in the Race of Champions and then competitors paired up in teams of nationality for the Race of Nations WRITES EVAN ROTHMAN.

Held at the Bird’s Nest, Beijing’s 2008 Olympic stadium, a fullhouse crowd was treated to exciting motorsport.

third consecutive year, beating Michael Schumacher in a nailbiting final.

Rallying was proudly represented by no less than five of the best: former double WRC Champion Marcus Gronholm, Mikko Hirvonen, 2009 Rally America Champion Travis Pastrana, Rally America’s Tanner Foust and 2008 Dakar Rally winner from South Africa Giniel de Villiers.

Race of Champions CLASSIFICATION: Winner of Group A: J. Button (GBR) Winner of Group B: M. Ekstrom (SWE) Winner of Group C: S. Vettel (GER) Winner of Group D: M. Schumacher (GER)

The Race of Nations contest took place on Tuesday, and saw the likes of Michael Schumacher and his German teammate Sebastien Vettel claim their third consecutive ROC Nations Cup title. The pair beat autosport Team GB (pairing of new F1 World Champion Jenson Button and three-time World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx) in the final. Gronholm and Hirvonen (Team Finland) powered to Round Four of their Group battle, but were beaten by Team Germany. Team USA (Tanner Foust and Travis Pastrana) were also knocked out in the group stages, but proved worthy rivals for Team Denmark’s Tom Christensen and Mattias Ekstrom. Giniel de Villiers (competing as half of Team All Stars with David Coulthard) was knocked out in the first round.

Knock-Out: Quarter-finals: J. Button defeats A. Priaulx M. Ekstrom defeats T. Kristensen S. Vettel defeats D. Coulthard M. Schumacher defeats M. Hirvonen

Wednesday’s Race of Champions proved even more exciting and thrilling, with Matthias Ekstrom winning the title for the

Semi-finals: M. Ekstrom defeats J. Button M. Schumacher defeats S. Vettel Finals: M. Ekstrom defeats M. Schumacher in two rounds to win the 2009 Race of Champions title. - Credit: Images by


HANDBRAKES & HAIRPINS: Your insight into the world of rallying!

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