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Your insight into the world of rally! Issue 292 • 6 Sept 2013

EDITORIAL INFORMATION

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INSIDE THIS WEEK 05 • Hollywood at Loheac, France 7 • Molly heads to Poland 9 • ERC Barum Czech Rally Zlin 12 • Hyundai tests Finland

Editor Evan Rothman Favourite rally car? Audi Quattro S2 Current favourite WRC driver? Mads Østberg Favourite WRC rally? WRC Rallye Deutschland Favourite rally? Total Rally, South Africa Tweets too much about rallying, loves nothing more than spectating on a forest rally, and has aspirations of being the world’s greatest rally journalist. He’s also oftentimes seen with a camera in one hand and his mobile phone in the other.

Photojournalist Eva Kovkova Favourite rally car? Citroën C4 WRC Current favourite WRC driver? Mads Østberg Favourite WRC rally? Vodafone Rally de Portugal Favourite rally? White Nights Rally, Lahdenpohja, Russia Likes to walk in the Swedish snow forests or on Portuguese dusty hills, likes to freeze, to get wet in the rain or to melt from the heat during photo hunts for flying cars and smiling faces. Also is known as a press ice bear working for South Africa :)

Handbrakes & Hairpins has created this rally-powered wallpaper for the Apple iPhone 5. To download, simply save the image to your Camera Roll, or click on this link to download: http://wp.me/apkXc-4xU.


As the World Rally Championship heads to the southern hemisphere for Rally Australia, Volkswagen Motorsport will be hoping to leave their disastrous ADAC Rally Deutschland luck behind them. The Trier tarmac did not favour the Germans. Will the gravel of the Aussie Outback? Picture: Eva Kovkova

OPENING SHOT


EVENT

HOLLYWOOD TALKS IN FINALS Words by H&H • Pictures by Petter Solberg RX Media The dust – quite literally – has settled on the seventh round of the European Rallycross Championship, where Petter ‘Hollywood’ Solberg finished second, beaten only by his fellow Norwegian Andreas Bakkerud. And among the people who Petter beat were ninetime World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb, who didn’t make it through to the final – and Citroen WRC star Kris Meeke, due to represent the French manufacturer on Rally Australia next week.

After storming through all the heats, Petter once more came so close to clinching his first win in rallycross, since signing up for the new-look European series at the start of the year. But although he didn’t quite make it, he still put on a great show for the crowd. And that’s why they call him ‘Hollywood’. We caught up with him to find out how it all went...

Hollywood: “I had a great start and I was actually leading the final, but I knew that both my rear tyres were badly worn: Loheac is quite an aggressive surface as it is basically mostly asphalt. So what happened was that the rear of the car started to step out too much and too soon. From then it was only a question of Bakkerud getting better grip and passing me.”

Q: Petter, you came so close to doing it in the final: what happened?

Q: So are you more pleased to finish second or disappointed not to win?


Hollywood: “Definitely more pleased to get this result in the bag! Couldn’t you tell that when I was jumping out of the car? Have a look at the photos below and you’ll get the idea… Seriously, everyone so deserves it. I can’t tell you how hard our guys have worked to get us to this point. As a team, it’s the most difficult thing we have ever done by quite some margin. It’s very hard to win in your first year, but we’ve come so close, after making our own car with absolutely zero past experience.” Q: When’s it going to happen? Hollywood: “Well, there are two rounds left to go this year and we’re going to be trying absolutely everything at both of them. I feel more and more confident in the car all

the time, because all that hard work is paying off. We’re going to get that win at some point soon. It’s only the little details that have to come together now.” Q: And it was a good weekend for Norway! Hollywood: “Yes, it’s funny how when we have all these big international stars here – it was really fun to compete against Sebastien Loeb – two guys from Norway end up getting the top spots! Congratulations to Andreas: he’s a great guy and he did a really good job. And I have to say the crowd were fantastic: it was a real pleasure to come here and do this in France. I think this weekend showed how competitive rallycross really is.”

Q: How do you think the sport of rallycross is doing internationally, now that ‘Hollywood’ has joined the party? Hollywood: “Look at the number of fans! That says it all. But I don’t think we’ve seen anything yet really. It’s going to be really interesting to see how the sport develops as it probably goes worldwide from next year. I’ve always been convinced that the potential is huge: it’s made for TV. And look at the sort of names investing here: IMG, Red Bull, Monster…it’s all unbelievably impressive.” The next (and penultimate) round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship takes place in Greinbach, Austria, from 14 – 15 September. H&H


NEWS

MOLLY AIMS TO SECURE LADIES TROPHY

Words by H&H • Picture by ERC Media

Australian rally driver Molly Taylor will contest Rally Poland next week, the ninth round of the European Rally Championship, rather than Rally Australia as she had originally planned. The decision was made by her management team, United Business, to strengthen her position now she is leading the inaugural European Ladies’ Trophy, as well as to increase her experience on a wide range of European events. In their most recent event, Barum Rally Zlin, the young Australian and her British co-driver Seb Marshall were safely in front of the other female crews, a result they reached at the end of a fast but cautious performance with a clear eye on the championship standings. Now their attention turns to the challenging

Rally Poland, now in its 70th year. It’s a gravel event held in Mikolajki, a town in the lake district of north-eastern Poland, from September 13-15. Taylor and Marshall will tackle the event in the Citroën DS3 R3, the car with which they have already contested five rounds of the 2013 European Championship. “I’m happy to be able to race in Poland because it is an opportunity to increase my experience and because I hear the rally is really fascinating. I’ll have some challenging opponents and I hear the local rally fans make every moment of the event very special,” Molly says. “On the other hand, obviously I am so sorry not to be in Rally Australia. It is my home event and in my heart I really wanted to be there, but after discussing it carefully with Seb and my manager Pier Liberali we decided to give up

Australia and to be in Poland. The goals we have for the European Rally Championship and the chance to win the inaugural Ladies Trophy have to come before sentiment. Again, we are facing a completely new rally. That doesn’t scare me. As usual, Seb and I will try to give it our best.” Taylor, now 25, moved to Italy early this year in order to work more effectively with United Business and BP Racing, which runs her car. She and Marshall signed with United Business last year to contest four events including rounds of the Intercontinental Rally Championship (IRC) and the World Rally Championship (WRC). That gave them valuable experience and exposure at a level above what they achieved in 2011 when they won a scholarship to compete in the WRC Academy development series. H&H


EVENT

FIFTH WIN FOR KOPECKY IN 2013 Words by H&H • Pictures by ERC


Dubbed “Super September” in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), a month with three rallies. It was Jan Kopecký and co-driver Pavel Dresler who started this thrilling month of highspeed action off on a high by winning the Barum Czech Rally Zlín in their Škoda Motorsport Fabia S2000. The home heroes dominated the asphalt showcase from start to finish, locking out the nine stage wins on Leg One before adopting a cautious approach on the rain-hit stages on Leg Two to claim their fifth victory from six starts in this year’s ERC. Václav Pech (MINI John Cooper Works S2000) took second with Jaromír Tarabus making it an all-Czech podium in third. And there will be more serious competition ahead when LOTOS 70th Rally Poland takes place from 13 - 15

September followed by the Croatia Rally from 26 - 28 September. Like Barum Czech Rally Zlín, fans are expected to flock to both events in their thousands with the Polish round marking Formula One race winner Robert Kubica’s return to the ERC. “I’m very happy to win my home round of the ERC and also for Škoda,” said Kopecký, who has extended his ERC title lead with his latest success. “The car was perfect all weekend but [on Sunday] it was just about getting to the finish in the difficult conditions because we had a big gap and it would have been stupid to have made a mistake.” Meanwhile, Jan Černý took ERC 2WD Championship honours in his Peugeot 208 R2 with Molly Taylor clinching the ERC Ladies’ Trophy spoils to move joint first with Ekaterina Stratieva in the standings. Rising Czech

talent Mirsolav Jakeš won the ERC Production Car Cup in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX, with the GPD Mit Metal Racing Team increasing its grip on the ERC for Teams title after drivers Jaroslav Orsák and Antonín Tlusťák both made the top ten overall. Elsewhere, Napoca Rally Academy continues to lead the ERC Production Car Cup for Teams as Germain Bonnefis shone for Team Renault Sport Technologies. ERC 2WD leader Zoltán Bessenyey helped Eurosol-Honda Civic Type R to another maximum haul of points in the ERC 2WD Championship for Teams to extend his Class lead by finishing third following a close battle with Raffael Sulzinger after Hermann Neubauer retired due to a mechanical failure. Italian Elwis Chentre finished second in his Fabia R2. Following the sun-baked opening leg, overnight


rain left Leg Two’s stages damp with mud being dragged onto the corners adding to the challenge facing the crews. Roman Kresta, competing on his last rally before retiring from competition, set the early pace on Leg Two by going fastest on the opening Maják stage to close to within 15.7sec of second-placed Pech. A puncture on the next run, however, cost him more than three minutes and any hope of a farewell podium despite his capture of four stage wins as he attempted to recover the time loss to fourth-placed Sepp Wiegand – impressing on a oneoff appearance for Škoda Motorsport – and team-mate Tarabus in third. Tarabus also lost time with a puncture on Sunday morning but described completing the podium as the “perfect” result. After being delayed by a puncture and broken powersteering on Leg One, Pavel Valoušek made history by becoming the first driver to win an ERC stage in a Ford Fiesta R5. The former Czech champion was using the new-

generation machine in competition for the first time on the back of limited pre-event running and got quicker as the rally progressed, going fastest again on the final run. However, it wasn’t enough to beat Orsák to seventh as he lost out by 0.5sec. Tomáš Kostka, in the second Fiesta R5, was less fortunate, retiring on Saturday with transmission failure. Robert Kořístka completed the top ten following a stirring drive, which the Czech said had exceeded his expectations. Germain Bonnefis took a strong 11th overall in his front-wheel-drive Renault Mégane RS. He would have been higher up the order but for lost time against the fourwheel-drive machinery in the wet conditions on Sunday morning. Subaru Impreza driver Toshi Arai restarted following his exit on Saturday and demonstrated plenty of pace in his Impreza R4 STI. LOTOS 70th Rally Poland is next with Bryan Bouffier, Craig Breen, Jan Kopecký and Robert Kubica

among the drivers expected to battle for victory. Final Overall Classification: 01) J. Kopecký/P. Dresler Škoda Fabia 2000 - 02h 15m 23.0s 02) V. Pech/P. Uhel MINI John Cooper Works S2000 + 01m 01.6s 03) J. Tarabus/D. Trunkát Škoda Fabia S2000 + 02m 32.7s 04) S. Wiegand/F. Christian Škoda Fabia S2000 + 03m 04.3s 05) R. Kresta/P. Gross Škoda Fabia S2000 + 03m 58.7s 06) M. Jakeš/I. Norek Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX + 06m 35.8s 07) J. Orsák/L. Kostka Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX R4 + 07m 52.1s 08) P. Valoušek/M. Škardová Ford Fiesta R5 + 07m 52.6s 09) A. Tlusťák/L. Vyoral Škoda Fabia S2000 + 08m 27.4s 10) R. Kořístka/M. Drozd Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX + 09m 37.2s

H&H


NEWS

HYUNDAI SPEEDS THROUGH FINLAND Words by H&H • Picture by Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

Hyundai Motorsport’s intensive testing schedule continued its relentless pace throughout August as the 2014-spec i20 WRC car made its tarmac debut in France, as well as a productive test on the highspeed gravel conditions in Finland. Test drivers Bryan Bouffier and Juho Hänninen were both in action over a total of ten days with both drivers sharing duties on tarmac before gravel specialist Hänninen assumed control on his home turf. The latest iteration of the i20 WRC car hit tarmac roads for the first time in the Vosges region of France from August 12 to 16 with the main objective of gathering experience and data on this terrain. “For our first time with the 2014-spec i20 WRC on tarmac, we adopted a deliberately broad test plan with the main goal of defining the base set-up for that surface,” explained Team Principal Michel Nandan. “Overall, it was a very positive tarmac debut.”

Bryan Bouffier added: “I think this test has given us a very good base from which we can develop further. I’m very pleased with the behaviour of the car in the fast sections and when the road is bumpy. Of course, we will continue working on some areas but overall I find the car very well balanced and easy to handle.” From the tarmac test, the team moved to Finland last week to tackle the fast gravel roads and the wellknown jumps, which characterise Rally Finland, one of the most technically demanding rallies of World Rally Championship. With local hero Juho Hänninen behind the wheel, the test featured an upgraded version of the 2014spec of the i20 WRC. “In Finland we used an evolution of the 2014spec car, different from the one which we used in France,” added Nandan. “We applied some changes to the shape of the body and during the test we worked on the aerodynamics of the car. The i20 WRC was fitted with a

new aerodynamics package and we focused our efforts in finding a good balance.” Juho Hänninen commented: “I was positively surprised with the handling of the i20 WRC after the first run. When you go to Finland for the first time you never know what to expect; sometimes, it can be really rough and there can be a lot of work required on the suspension. In this case, though, it was really easy from the first day and we were able to work making only minor adjustments. The car reacted very well to every change we made throughout the five days. I felt that I could trust the car immediately and the feeling got stronger day after day.” With test sessions planned almost every two weeks, Hyundai Motorsport now faces the busiest time of the development phase ahead of its entry into next year’s FIA World Rally Championship. H&H


CLOSING SHOT

Kris Meeke was sensational in WRC Neste Oil Rally Finland. In this past weekend’s RX Rallycross Loheac (France) racing, the Irishman shone once more in this series. This week, however, his attention returns to special stage rallying for WRC Rally Australia! Picture: Albatec Racing


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