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E e n E i z a R g Fa M
M ERCED ES E63
Merc’s Mighty Marvel
Porsche Cayenne Diesel // New Kia Sorento // SsangYong Defines CUV // Merc’s E63 AMG // more... big motorsport edition : W Rc 0 - LOeb 4 // team sasol shine in cape // prodrive turns 25
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Issue 5 - A P RIL 2009
REGULARS 10 WET PAINT
KIA Sorento SsangYong C200
12 LEGENDS 14 NEW DAWN 16 SPORT KIND THANKS TO CONTRIBUTORS: Motorpics HANDBRAKES & HAIRPINS Newspress Subscribe to ProMotor for FREE: Register your e-mail address at www.promotor.co.za or sms “Promotor” and your e-mail address to 34599 (sms costs R2).
FEATURES 04 PORSCHE CAYENNE Now with Diesel Power! The Cayenne is still all Porsche!
ProMotor your FREE environmentally friendly motoring magazine
M ERCED ES E63
Merc’s Mighty Marvel
06 Goodwood Festival
THE biggest motorsport festival will this year feature even more F1 cars and exotica!
08 MERC E 63 AMG
Whoa, this is muscle. Muscle to be the best of the super saloons? Read on...
Porsche Cayenne Diesel // New Kia Sorento // SsangYong Defines CUV // Merc’s E63 AMG // more... big motorsport edition : W Rc 0 - LOeb 4 // team sasol shine in cape // prodrive turns 25
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Issue 5 - A P RIL 2009
Editors Evan Rothman email@example.com 083 452 6892 Anton Wannenburg firstname.lastname@example.org 082 929 6120
FEATURE 04:Porsche Cayenne Diesel/06:Goodwood Festival of Speed/ 08:Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG/
PORSCHE ADDS DIESEL POWER TO CAYENNE! ProMotor Issue 05 - Page 04
FEATURE Porsche too has joined the diesel brigade. Yes, the iconic and legendary sports car makers have developed a diesel model to extend its range of engines for the four-door, all-wheel drive Cayenne SUV, WRITES EVAN ROTHMAN. This decision was no easy one to make, but it was pushed forward as a response to changed legal regulations in European markets that resulted in tax incentives for vehicles with diesel engines. Also adding more weight to Porsche’s diesel decision was its stake in the Volkswagen Group (which is the world’s largest manufacturer of modern diesel engines for passenger cars) that opened up a new opportunity for Porsche to utilise the sporty compressionignition technology. Equipped with a 3,0-litre V6 turbodiesel motor that develops 176kW of power (supplied by Audi), the Cayenne diesel achieves a combined fuel consumption figure of only 9,3 litres/100km and 244g/km CO2. As with all Porsche vehicles, performance is top drawer. Thanks to spontaneous throttle response and high torque characteristics of this diesel powerplant, delivers the required performance levels expected of a Porsche. This is due to the eye-popping 550Nm of torque available on tap that also complements the sports-oriented chassis and provides the driver a high degree of control. The Porsche Executive Board is confident that it will maintain the long term market success of the Cayenne series with the lowconsumption V6 turbo diesel. In the last financial year 2007/08, 45,478 units of this series were sold worldwide - more than ever before in a financial year. Introducing a low-consumption diesel engine to its line-up is just the latest step by the German sports car makers to reduce its vehicles’ fuel consumption. In 2007, Porsche equipped its Cayenne series with engines featuring petrol direct injection (thereby reducing fuel consumption by up to 15 percent). And in 2008 the company equipped the 911 series with the same direct injection petrol engine advancements. To boot, a Cayenne hybrid is also undergoing testing, and is expected to be launched onto the market at the end of this decade.
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A FESTIVAL TO CELEBRATE SPEED ATTRACTS MOTORSPORT STARS!
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FEATURE The organiser of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the Earl of March, has announced many of the key attractions showgoers will witness at this year show on 3 - 5 July, WRITES EVAN ROTHMAN. Former motorsport stars were at the press conference to assist the Earl of March outline his plans for 2009. These motorsport icons included former F1 legends Damon Hill, Jacky Ickx and Jochen Mass, and rally drivers Rauno Aaltonen and Russell Brookes were also in attendance. Richard Attwood and Anthony Reid (Le Mans driver As always with the Goodwood Festival of Speed, a “stop press” announcement was delivered once more this year. Goodwood has confirmed that they will be helping to make current F1 Champion Lewis Hamilton’s dream come true. He will drive the 1988 McLaren-Honda MP4/4 turbo that was last driven by his hero, Ayrton Senna. For this year, the organisers have selected Lewis Hamilton’s charity as their official charity for 2009. The Lewis Hamilton Foundation (LHF) is a nonprofit organisation focused on improving the lives and opportunities of children and young people who have a dream and are living in ill health or poverty around the world. An original 1959 Mini was on show at Goodwood House too to promote this classic car’s 50th anniversary, which Goodwood will be celebrating
in style at both the Festival of Speed and Revival. A dozen mini-skirt clad models posed with the Mini, and then in the best 1960s tradition, squeezed inside the car to see how many miniskirts you can cram into a Mini. The answer is 12, incidentally! Top model Jodie Kidd also posed with a beautiful Gangloff-bodied 1937 Type 57C and a French poodle to help illustrate Goodwood’s planned celebrations for the important centenary of Bugatti, which will form a class of the Cartier ‘Style et Luxe’ concours d’elegance. The actual Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival events will feature many more attractions as well, details of which will be released in the near future. Goodwood Festival of Speed and Revival founder, Lord March says: ‘It will be just fantastic to have so many great cars and drivers here at Goodwood to celebrate our events for 2009. I look forward with much anticipation to seeing some of the great drivers and machines in action.’ Toyota will provide crowd-thrilling speed, sound and spectacle at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, led by its 2008 Formula 1 contender, the Toyota TF108. Toyota has brought one of its grand prix racers to Goodwood every year since 2002 and this year will maintain its tradition of demonstrating high-speed action on the 1,16-mile hill course and giving spectators the chance of seeing the car close-up in the paddock.
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MERC’S MIGHTY MARVEL!
Released in time to cure our winter blues, AMG and Mercedes-Benz have launched the new E 63 AMG powerhouse. This dynamic sports saloon with “day-to-day suitability” is highly acclaimed by motoring enthusiasts the world over for its outstanding performance, thrilling handling characteristics and boasts a technology transfer from the mighty SL 63 AMG roadster, WRITES EVAN ROTHMAN. Not be mistaken for a regular E-Class model, the E 63 AMG features a completely new AMG Ride Control sports suspension (with electronically controlled damping and a new front axle) and has a distinctive interior and exterior design. ProMotor Issue 05 - Page 08
FEATURE driving experience”, according to Mercedes-Benz. I say that is all very well and good, but how fast does it accelerate? The answer is awe-inspiring: 0-100km/h in just 4,5 seconds! The fast-revving, naturally aspirated engine has a displacement of 6 208cc, and has a V8 soundtrack second to none. Mercedes-Benz’s performance E-Class model does not compromise ride quality in any way. The AMG Ride Control sports suspension copes equally well with the agile manoeuvres of the racetrack and more comfortable, sedate driving. New steel spring struts are used on the front axle, while the rear suspension features AMG-specific air springs. The advantages of this are that the front spring struts ensure more sensitive responses while the rear air struts with their automatic level control system keeps the vehicle at a constant height irrespective of the load. A new and electronically-controlled damping system automatically varies the damping characteristics according to the driving situation, and thereby reduces the roll angle of the body. This results in instant adjustment to provide the best possible ride comfort together with the greatest possible agility. The driver is able to select between three suspension modes: Comfort, Sport and Sport plus. The E 63 AMG also features a newly developed front axle with a 56mm wider track, a tubular stabiliser, new control arms, new wheel bearings, new elastokinematics and new wheel location for more negative camber. The rear axle also sports a more negative camber, optimised elastokinematics and a new sub frame mounting for greater stability at the physical limits. A speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion steering has also been developed for this new E 63 AMG. It is a whopping 22 percent more direct than in the standard production models, with a more stiff steering column and reconfigured characteristic mapping of the speed-sensitive servo assistance to ensure better steering precision and improved road contact. The three-stage ESP enables the driver to select individual settings. The ESP key in the AMG Drive Unit allows for selection between “ESP On”, “ESP Sport” and “ESP Off”. Good fun! Stopping power has also been uprated considerably: 360mm internally ventilated and perforated disc brakes all-round are fitted to the E 63 AMG. This car is fitted with 18-inch AMG light alloy wheels with a width of nine and 9,5 inches and a mixed tyre size of 255/40 R 18 at the front and 285/35 R 19 at the rear.
It is under that sleek bonnet that many petrolheads look to for their thrills: and, who can argue with an AMG 6,3-litre V8 engine that delivers a cracking 525hp and 630Nm of torque. To further boost this speed saloon’s performance credentials, it is equipped with th elatest AMG SpeedShift MCT 7-speed sports transmission. Here, a gearshift takes only 100 milliseconds! It dispenses with a conventional torque converter and uses a compact, wet start-up clutch. This transmission is also programmable: it has four individual driving modes, a throttle-blipping and “Race Start” functions, with the result being a “direct connection to the power train [that] allows an extremely emotional and highly dynamic
If the large 6.3 AMG badges escaped your eyes to distinguish this model from its E-Class stablemates, then here are few pointers to look out for: an AMG front apron with large air intakes; AMG-specific daytime driving lights; tinted headlights, AMG side skirts; and, an AMG rear apron with a black diffuser insert. If you’re still not sure of which E-Class model is driving in front you, then look out for the intimidatinglooking AMG sports exhaust system that peeks out from the rear end with its chrome-plated twin tailpipes… This car is taking the fight directly to its German rivals, as well as to that British firm. The E-Class just got that bit more exciting!
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WET PAINT 10: KIA Sorento/11: SsangYong C200/ WORDS: EVAN ROTHMAN The Seoul Motor Show was the scene of KIA’s unveiling for its all-new Sorento last week. The new generation Sorento is longer, lower and features sleeker styling and a futuristic touch to this CUV (Crossover Utility Vehicle), to make its more modern and sporty. At 4,7-metres long, the new Sorento design language now moves the vehicle into a new level of sophistication. KIA’s new Sorento is part of the Korean motor manufacturer’s drive to expanc its worldwide market coverage: it will be offered with total of four engines with different engines being available in various regions of the world in order to best suit local requirements and CO2 emissions regulations. The original Sorento was a “landmark” vehicle, truly taking the KIA brand international. It was introduced in 2002 around the world, and is now shifting the Sorento model range ever more into the limelight. “The dynamic design of new Sorento adopts simple, linear lines to create a powerful, yet polished appearance. Sporty and striking, the new Sorento represents a new breed of vehicle,” commented Peter Schreyer, Chief Design Officer of Kia Motors Corporation. A new family grille is sported on the bold front end of the new Sorento, and it blends into the new four-light, black bezel wrap-around headlamps.
Its side profile highlights a rising upper belt-line and a sharper C-pillar design. Designers have endowed the Sorento rear end with a simpler style to give the CUV larger taillights to enhance its sporty appearance. The Sorento has been developed on an all-new unitary (monocoque) body shell with up to seven occupants. Engineers and designers concentrated on eight key areas for this Sorento: to offer classleading performance, increased fuel economy, reduced emissions, improved on-road handling, more fun-to-drive responsiveness, greater cabin space and comfort, enhanced overall safety and the introduction of new technologies. KIA’s Sorento, since 2002, has attracted thousands of customers to the brand, and this is showcased in the model’s global sales of almost 900 000 units! “With the new Sorento, we have created an all-new, seven-seater CUV that will soon be recognized as an ‘exciting all-rounder’ with a much broader customer appeal,” commented Hyoung-Keun Lee, Senior Executive Vice President & COO of the International Business Division. “Despite the current economic uncertainties, we are confident that the new Sorento will significantly increase Kia’s share of the CUV market, achieving annual global sales of 140,000 units from 2010.”
New Sorento Seoul of the show!
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Compact Urban Vehicle SsangYong defines it!
SsangYong has previewed its new C200 model at the Seoul Motor Show this week. With two versions on display, the C200 drew wide praise for its forward-thinking design and technology. It is scheduled for production later this year. According to the manufacturer, the C200 is smaller and lighter than current SsangYong models, and it will offer fuel economic driving and environmentally-friendly C02 emissions. Dubbed a compact urban vehicle (CUV), the C200 Eco uses diesel hybrid power and the Aero version has a choice of a high torque 2.0 diesel or
turbocharged 1.8 litre petrol engines. SsangYong expects class-leading fuel economy and CO2 emissions reduced by 50 per cent in the Eco. Show cars have a six-speed auto transmission, but manual versions will also be available. Styled by Giugiaroâ€™s ItalDesign in Italy, the C200 has a 2.65m wheelbase with an overall length of 4.4m. The car will undergo Euro NCAP crash testing before coming to market. SsangYong also showed a diesel hybrid version of itâ€™s Kyron model at the Seoul Show. ProMotor Issue 05 - Page 11
LEGENDS 12: James Hunt/
WORDS: EVAN ROTHMAN
Rebel without a cause
Charismatic and charming, James Hunt was living the dream life of many men. His easy-going personality endeared him to many Formula One fans, and brought a whole new audience to F1 in the 1970s. The photograph above highlights Hunt in the prime of his F1 career: celebrating a race win with a beautiful woman, a cigarette and a beer! Hunt’s motorsport career began in touring car racing, progressing into Formula Three where he joined the Hesketh Racing Team. He entered F1 in 1973 driving a March 731, and scored a number of Championship and non-Championship wins for the Hesketh Racing Team. His speed attracted the attention of the McLaren team, and he signed with them at the end of 1975. In his first year with McLaren, Hunt won the F1 Drivers’ World Championship crown. He remained at McLaren for a further two years and decided to join the Walter Wolf Racing team in 1979 after the McLaren team’s lack of pace in 1978. After the 1979 Monaco Grand Prix, Hunt dramatically and suddenly announced his immediate retirement ProMotor Issue 05 - Page 12
from F1. He lost his nerve to race, after the death of his close friend Ronnie Peterson. He was deeply affected by that accident, and many believe that was the turning point in his F1 career. In his six years in F1, he scored 10 wins, 23 podiums and one F1 Drivers’ World Championship title. Of the 92 race starts, 14 were from pole position. Hunt’s lifestyle was as controversial as some of the events on track: he was associated with a bevy of beautiful women; he preferred to turn up for formal functions in bare feet and jeans; he was a casual user of marijuana; and he lived an informal life near the beach in Marbella, Spain. He was regularly seen attending nightclubs and discos, and was generally the life and soul of the party. James Hunt died from a heart attack at the age of 45 in 1993. He will be long remembered for his driving style, his off-track antics and his outspoken and highly-entertaining remarks while working as an F1 commentator alongside Murray Walker.
“a beautiful woman, a cigarette and a beer” - James Hunt wins another!
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NEW DAWN 14: Vauxhall Ampera/
Vauxhall’s Ampera impresses! Recently unveiled to the world was GM’s latest concept car that showcases the company’s forward-thinking strategies. The GM design team has crafted an efficient electric car that builds on Vauxhall (and thereby, Opel’s) award-winning design. Remember, the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia was recently crowned European Car of the Year… Named the Ampera, it offers futuristic equipment features and classleading passenger space, all wrapped in a windProMotor Issue 05 - Page 14
cheating exterior design. “The Vauxhall Ampera shows all the opportunities advanced propulsion technologies offer for car design,” said Phil Zak, Director, Exterior Design at GM Europe. “We had to maximise the aerodynamic efficiency but still offer ultimate everyday driving comfort. All of that is presented in an upscale, sporty look that builds on Vauxhall’s theme of sculptural forms and expressive lines.”
The exterior of the car has a dynamic and almost aggressively low stance, which is most evident when seen from the front or rear. Novel design highlights are its boomerang-style taillights and headlights, as well as the black-coloured side sills that accentuate the lines of the side profile. More importantly, is that it is a car I would happily park on my drive! In terms of aerodynamics, it plays an important role in maximising this car’s driving range. GM engineers and designers worked together to optimise the airflow around the front end and outside the mirrors. Significant attention was also given to the rear of the car, with a specially-designed spoiler and clean separation
features. Lightweight materials were added in the form of clear polycarbonate covers to the front grille and disc inserts on the 17-inch, fivespoke sport alloy wheels. These helped to reduce aerodynamic drag in critical airflow areas. “On the Ampera we’ve continued to challenge the norm and have searched for new and exciting colour and material combinations,” said John Puskar, Director, Interior Design for GM Europe. “To support the car’s innovative character we’ve worked with experimental trims and paints that you will see more of in future Vauxhall models.”
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SPORT 16:F1 Malaysia GP/18:A1GP news/19:Audi LMS news/20:Prodrive 25th anniversary/22:SANRC Toyota Dealer Rally/26:WRC Rally Portugal/
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Another podium for Toyota in Malaysia! Panasonic Toyota Racing claimed its second consecutive podium finish during an incredible rain-affected Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit. Timo Glock scored the second podium finish of his career while Jarno Trulli, who had been fighting for the lead throughout, also took strong points as reward for a battling race in difficult conditions. An exciting start saw Jarno’s fighting spirit as he reclaimed second place while Timo, on the outside at the first corner, dropped to eighth. Jarno pushed hard to keep first place within sight, while Timo was caught in a tight battle for the top six. Having started on the option tyre, both drivers continued with that compound at their first pit stops, with Jarno briefly leading. But then, on lap 20, the rain came and both were forced to pit on lap 22 with track conditions extremely difficult. Jarno was given wet tyres while Timo took intermediates. As the fastest man on track, Timo made up a host of positions as Jarno va! liantly fought for the podium. Heavy rain and changing track conditions made strategy extremely difficult. Jarno made a further two trips to the pits first for intermediate then wet tyres while Timo switched to wets as the rain increased. Conditions were so bad the race was red flagged and after waiting to see if conditions improved, the race was declared and half points awarded. Jarno Trulli “I am happy for the team. I feel a bit unlucky this weekend - I missed pole position by a tenth and it could have been an even better result for me. It was a good race and it was certainly eventful. I was pushing at the front and fighting with Rosberg for the lead. Actually I was struggling a bit with
traction but it was very close. Then the rain came and the team chose to go with heavy wets, which was the more conventional strategy. I was the quickest car on the heavy wets but that was not enough because the tyres went after two laps. Timo was on the intermediates at that stage and that worked out better for him. I was a bit unlucky but strategy is always easier in hindsight and I don’t want to blame anyone. It is a pity to just miss out on the podium but it is another very good result for the entire team.” Timo Glock “It is fantastic to be back on the podium and I am really happy for the whole team. It was a really tricky race. I started third and was eighth at the end of the first lap. I struggled a bit behind the guys in front of me in dry conditions but I made the right call on the intermediate tyres; I said let’s just take the risk and go for it. It was a long time before the rain really came down and I was not sure what everyone else was doing. They were struggling on the wets but I was really quick and I made up a lot of positions. When the rain came down I had to go to heavy wets because my tyres were destroyed. I was going well on them and it was unlucky that they declared the results based on the order at the penultimate lap because I could have had second. When the red flags came out I was second but I’m still happy with the result.” Tadashi Yamashina - Team Principal “I am very proud of the team’s efforts today because it is fantastic to get another podium and it shows how competitive we are this season. It was an extremely challenging race for the team but everyone did their best and was professional even in those difficult conditions. It is disappointing for the fans that the race could not continue as scheduled due to the weather but there was nothing that could be done. We have shown again today that we are really fighting at the front this season and I am obviously hoping we can continue this very good performance in the Chinese Grand Prix as well.” - SUPPLIED.
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Morgado earns second rookie drive in A1GP
Cristiano Morgado makes his second appearance as rookie driver for A1 Team South Africa, alongside regular race driver Adrian Zaugg in the sixth round of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport in Portugal this weekend (10 - 12 April). The 29-year-old from Durban, who is a former national kart champion and won the Rotax Max kart world championship in 2003, will be at the wheel in Friday’s rookie session at the brand new Autódromo Internacional do Algarve circuit. “Cristiano is being rewarded with his second opportunity as rookie driver in Portugal on the back of his dominant wins in the recent Formula Volkswagen round at Kyalami, which reinforced his standing relative to any other contenders and we’re really pleased to give him another shot,” said Mike Carroll who is the general manager of A1 Team South Africa. Adrian Zaugg: “I feel well prepared for the races and am looking forward to getting back in the car after such a long break. I haven’t driven this track before. There are a few drivers who have, including Nicolas Prost (France) and Neel Jani (Switzerland), who tested there with their LMP1 team for Le Mans, and also Felipe Albuquerque (Portugal). We need to score a lot of points in the final three rounds to climb back into the top 10 at least!” Autodromo Internacional do Algarve is situated near the city of Portimao and is one of the ProMotor Issue 05 - Page 18
most modern and multi-functional race circuit complexes in the world. A1GP Algarve will utilise the full 4,69 km circuit, which is clockwise and has 17 turns. Saturday’s qualifying will be broadcast live on SABC3 from 15h00 to 17h00 and Sunday’s sprint and feature races will be broadcast from 15h00 to 17h30 (the recorded sprint race will be screened from 15h00 while the feature race will be live from 16h00). Also news this week from the world of A1GP, is that the FIA has approved the A1GP’s decision to hold A1GP Mexico City, Mexico on the weekend of 22 - 24 May 2009, thus making it the eighth and final round of the Season Four. This popular event, which has been included on the A1GP calendar since Season Two, has never before been the series decider. After receiving the news A1GP CEO, Pete da Silva, said: “It is very important for the series to go back to Mexico City, especially as it won the award for being the best run event of Season Three. The fans have always given us a warm welcome, and it will be great to let them witness the finale of what has been a very exciting first season for the A1GP Powered by Ferrari cars.” The approval is subject to the completion of FIA stipulated track changes that will allow the granting of the necessary licence. This work is due to start soon. - SUPPLIED.
Bernhard and Dumas move to Audi Le Mans The Audi driver lineup for the 24 Hours of Le Mans is complete: by signing Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas. Audi managed to engage two absolute endurance specialists for the most important sports car race of the year. Driving a Porsche RS Spyder Bernhard and Dumas were the most successful driver pairing in the LMP2 class of the American Le Mans Series in the past three years. They clinched a total of nine overall victories for Porsche and, ultimately, won the LMP2 title twice in a row. “Without a doubt, Timo and Romain rank among the world’s best sports car drivers,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “We’ve come to know them in the American Le Mans Series as tough but fair rivals and are pleased that within the Group the opportunity now presents itself to have them race for us at Le Mans. We’re convinced that Timo and Romain will definitely strengthen our driver squad. With victories at the 12-hour race at Sebring, the 24-hour race at Daytona and at the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring under their belts they’ve already proven their skills as real endurance specialists.” Le Mans is not unknown territory for the two Porsche “factory” drivers either: Bernhard has thus far contested the French endurance classic three times and in 2002, at his Le Mans debut, celebrated victory in the GT class straight away. Dumas has started from the Le Mans grid as many as eight times – more recently twice in an LMP1 car entered by the Pescarolo team in which he finished third overall in 2007. “Winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans is any sports car driver’s dream, that’s why we are extremely happy about the opportunity to contest Le Mans for Audi,” says the both Porsche “factory” drivers. “Both of us are really excited and looking forward to the Audi R15 TDI.” The two will test AUDI AG’s new diesel racing sports car that won at its debut event, the 12-hour Race at Sebring (USA), as early as April. The combinations of the total of nine Audi drivers starting from the grid at Le Mans on June 13/14 will be decided in the next few weeks. With Timo Bernhard (Germany), Dindo Capello (Italy), Romain Dumas (France), Tom Kristensen (Denmark), Lucas Luhr (Germany), Allan McNish (Scotland), Alexandre Prémat (France), Mike Rockenfeller (Germany) and Marco Werner (Germany) Audi Sport Team Joest’s driver lineup is arguably as powerful as it can be. - SUPPLIED. ProMotor Issue 05 - Page 21
Prodrive turned 25 at WRC Rally Portugal! When Marcus Gronholm started the WRC Rally Portugal this past weekend, it was 25 years since Prodrive first competed at the 1984 Qatar Rally. Then, a Prodriveprepared Porsche 911 SC RS, driven by Saeed Al Hajri, won on its debut and went on to bring the Rothmans Porsche Rally Team the Middle East Rally Championship title. Qatar was the first of 129 rally wins for Prodrive, with victories coming with four different manufacturers in the Porsche 911, the MG 6R4, BMW M3 and for the last two decades with the Subaru Legacy and Impreza. Prodrive has competed in a round of the World Rally Championship (WRC) every year since 1984, taking its first win at the Tour de Corse in 1987 when Frenchman, Bernard Beguin, drove a Group A BMW M3 to victory. Since then, Prodrive has won three WRC manufacturers’ and three drivers’ titles, all with Subaru, and has helped turn the likes of Colin McRae, Richard Burns and Petter Solberg into world champions. In 1987 Prodrive started circuit racing with BMW in the British Touring Car Championship, winning titles in 1988, 1989 and 1990, before taking further titles with Alfa Romeo in 1994 and Ford in 2000. Since 2003, Prodrive has continued touring car racing, this time with the Ford Performance Racing team in the Australian V8 Supercar series. In recent years, Prodrive has also concentrated on sports car racing, firstly with a privatelybacked Ferrari 550 GTS Maranello, which took Le Mans GTS class honours in 2003, and most recently with Aston Martin Racing, with the DBR9 taking GT1 class titles in 2007 and 2008. This weekend the company debuts the new Aston Martin LMP1 car in Barcelona, at the first round of the Le Mans Series, and will head to Le Mans in June to challenge for outright victory in the 24 hour race. From its origins in a small business unit at Silverstone running the Porsche 911s, Prodrive today is a multinational business employing nearly 800 people in the UK, Australia, Thailand and China. While it roots are in motorsport, more than half the company’s £100 million turnover now comes from its activities in the mainstream automotive sector. Today it is working on programmes ranging from innovative electric and flywheel hybrid technology for future vehicles, to the design and assembly of high performance cars for Ford Australia. Its client base now includes businesses in the aerospace, marine and defence sectors. - Prodrive.
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s e k a r b d Han &Hairpins world of e th to in t h ig s in r u o y
HANDBRAKES & HAIRPINS. Your FREE source of all things rallying: the latest news from around the world; award-winning photography; insightful columnists; in-depth feature articles; and, all event previews and reviews. HANDBRAKES & HAIRPINS is a weekly e-magazine. Distributed via e-mail and available for download from several websites, this fast-growing publication is created as a .PDF document for easy distribution and high-quality resolution. Contact Evan Rothman at 083 452 6892 or via email@example.com for your FREE subscription.
Fekken wins in ‘Overberg Grand Prix’
The defending Sasol SA Rally Champions Hergen Fekken and Pierre Arries drove a blindingly quick final stage of the Toyota Dealer Rally to turn a one-second deficit into a seven-second winning margin to claim the narrowest of victories ahead of team mates Jan Habig and Douglas Judd on one of the fastest events on the calendar, dubbed the Overberg Grand Prix. The second round of the Sasol SA Rally Championship saw the lead change five times as battle raged around Caledon in the Overberg region of the Western Cape. Blisteringly hot conditions prevailed on Friday, with the mercury hitting 42 degrees and only slightly cooler conditions on Saturday to bring relief to the hard charging competitors. Fekken/Arries showed their intent from the first stage, pushing their class S2000 BP Volkswagen Polo to the fastest time over the first of three runs over the 25,1km long Roodebloem stage, but the champions had to play second fiddle to the championship’s first round winners Johnny Gemmell/Peter Marsh in the factory Castrol Toyota Auris S2000. Gemmell eked out a four-second gap over 2007 champions Jan Habig/Douglas Judd (BP Ultimate VW Polo S2000) at the end of Friday’s three gravel stages and maintained that gap after the 740 metre Brackenfell car park stage.
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The battle lines were drawn: Gemmell and Habig had Fekken lurking just another four seconds back, ready to pounce at the first opportunity. That opportunity arose in Saturday’s first stage, again at Roodebloem. Fekken blitzed Habig by 9 seconds and Gemmell by a massive 17 seconds; Gemmell, eighth on the road and running in thick dust, plummeted from the lead to third and Fekken was in front! What followed over the final four stages was a thrilling no holds barred contest between Fekken and Habig, with Gemmell desperately trying to make up lost time. Habig got into a three second lead after SS7 with two to go, but Fekken pulled that back by two seconds with one stage remaining. In the final stage, Fekken drove his car faster than he ever had before to whack Habig’s time by a relatively big margin of eight seconds. “I’ve finally found the Polo’s limits”, said an elated Fekken at the Strand finish. “I couldn’t have driven that car any quicker than I did. Everything worked well, every apex was inch perfect”. Fekken now shares the championship lead with Gemmell on 44 points after scoring a win and third place apiece, while the wily Habig has racked up 42 points with two second places on his scorecard with six rounds to go.
Gemmell was left to rue what could have been had there been a slight breeze. “There was absolutely no wind at all, and I had to slow quite a bit on a number of occasions or risk damaging the car and ourselves”, said Gemmell, who also had a shock absorber fail halfway through the final stage. Mark Cronje and Robert Paisley survived a big moment in SS3 to bring the second Castrol Toyota Auris S2000 home in fourth place overall. The young Toyota charger, after dropping the car off the road and out of a 56 second lead in Natal three weeks ago, sported a big red “L” learner driver sticker on the Auris’ rear window, courtesy of his technicians! Cronje achieved his aim of a safe finish without (too many) risks and banked 17 championship points. Enzo Kuun was fifth in the third BP Volkswagen Polo S2000 after a frustrating rally, having run just under 3km in Natal, and was a bit rusty. Kuun also lost a minute stuck behind Japie van Niekerk’s New Africa Developments Toyota after a shock absorber broke, and had to contend with power steering pump failure. Van Niekerk and co-driver Robin Houghton were locked in a fierce fight with the leading production car driven by Charl Wilken/Greg Godrich, who were tied for sixth overall after Friday’s four stages. In a final bid for 6th place, Van Niekerk launched a last stage attack just as Wilken’s Sasol/Konica Minolta Subaru Impreza N14 hit the overheat button, forcing the production car and class N4 champions to back down and settle for seventh place. Visser du Plessis/Gerhard Snyman (Pirtek Subaru Impreza N4) ended 8th overall with a sorry looking car after going through a couple of fences and otherwise taking a pounding over the dry and dusty stages. Theuns Joubert/Hennie Botes (Salom Group Volkswagen Polo S2000) changed the car’s gearbox on Friday night after first-gear problems. The replacement box was equipped with short ratios, not ideal for the very fast stages, peppered with long straights. A driveshaft failed, leaving the car in rear-wheel drive, which caused Joubert to spin as well, so ninth was a solid result for the Polokwane driver. Both S2000 Team Total Toyota RunXs were amongst the 13 non-finishers; Jean Pierre Damseaux/Andre Vermeulen retired with a blown engine in stage three and Fernando Rueda/Cobus Vrey followed suit in SS6 with a rare gearbox failure after a mysterious misfire kept the genial Spaniard at the wrong end of the top ten. Mike Nathan/Derek Jacobs (AWI Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX) ended tenth overall, third in class N4 and were lucky to be there as they were solidly beaten by the young Zimbabwean Chase Attwell/Brian Carrihill (Subaru Impreza). Attwell was excluded after the event, losing his maiden podium after
allegedly overtaking on solid white lines in an open section. Nathan had a big scare when he went off the road and slid uncomfortably close to a farm dam. Damage to the car from the fence was cosmetic so the Cape Town driver got under way again to record his best ever overall result. Stevan Wilken and Greg Gericke brought their Pannar Seeds/Triton Express Volkswagen Polo to another class A7 win, but they were pushed hard all the way by Evan Hutchinson/Elvene Coetzee’s Motorite Toyota RunX. Hutchinson should have won but incurred 15 minutes of service lateness and a 150 second penalty after repairing a broken CV boot and plugging various fluid leaks. Dave Compton/Pierre Jordaan (Sasol Toyota RunX) dominated class N3 and in a show of superb speed, beat the class A6 winners, Mohammed Moosa/Grant Martin (Team Total Toyota Auris). Compton suffered with ultra hot engine oil which kicked the engine’s VVT system into touch, robbing the car of vital kilowatts. Moosa had his share of niggles, including a wheel scraper that jammed a wheel solid and a fuel surge problem that brought the car to a complete stop. Craig Trott, the current A6 champion driver and co-driver Robbie Coetzee (Team Total Toyota RunX) ended second overall for the second successive event and take the championship lead after rivals Rodney Visagie/Carolyn Swan fell out late in the rally with transmission failure. Tjaart Coetzee, in his newly acquired ex-Hein Lategan Subaru, ended 15th overall with codriver Raymond Heenop. The class N3 runners up, Abduraghman Amlay/Yusuf Ganief brought their Toyota RunX home 16th overall ahead of Andy Haigh Smith/Steven White (A6 React Toyota Corolla). Gugu Zulu/Carl Peskin (BP Ultimate Volkswagen CitiGolf A5) had a driving lesson from team-mates Andre Cleenwerck/Des de Fortier in an identical CitiGolf. Cleenwerck, the class A5 champion, had a puncture in the final stage that gifted the class win to Zulu. The pair fought tooth and nail, trading seconds as they fought for the win in a spectacular show of small car driving. Vusi Mabanga/Shaun Visser (Team Total Toyota Yaris) drove a brilliant event to claim the final class podium place, their first in the Yaris. Ashley Haigh Smith/Hilton Auffrey (React Toyota Yaris) was just 16 seconds behind the similar Total car. Morne Janse van Rensburg/Dewald Hattingh (GC Diesel Volkswagen CitiGolf) was the final finisher in 23rd place. The next round of the Sasol SA Rally Championship is the Sasol Rally on 24 and 25 April. - SUPPLIED.
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Second in class in Cape for Pirtek Subaru
Visser du Plessis and Gerhard Snyman collected valuable championship points in the Western Cape on Saturday with eighth place overall and second in class N4 in the Toyota Dealer Rally, second round of the Sasol SA Rally Championship. After nine special stages covering some 170 km of mainly gravel and a short, tarmac super special in the parking area of the Brackenfell Hypermarket on Friday evening, the 2007 production car champion finished 1m 33s behind arch rival and defending champion Charl Wilken. Third in class and 10th overall was the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 of Mike Nathan and Derek Jacobs, a further 2m 38s in arrears. “I deciding to adopt a smoother driving style throughout the first day, but I was slower than usual and my co-driver told me he was bored!” said Du Plessis. “So we pushed harder on Saturday and were rewarded with fastest times in our class in the first two stages. We were first car on the road, which is never easy as you sweep the route for your rivals behind you. “We then lost 17 seconds as a result of a couple of overshoots on stage seven. I was a lot more committed and our pace was there. We put on a ProMotor Issue 05 - Page 24
good show for the spectators at the traditional Caledon water splash stage – I don’t think they saw anything like it all day and I can’t wait to see it on TV. “We had a big ‘off’ on stage eight (the day’s fourth of five stages) when we left the road at about 160 km/h and flew over a ditch, through a couple of fences and ended up about 80 metres off the gravel. Somehow we managed to avoid a big accident and we lost 18 seconds to Charl, but there was damage to the car, including bent wheels. After that incident we decided to take it easier and consolidate our second place in the production car category behind Charl, who was putting in another highly professional and polished performance. “Overall, I was pretty happy with the result and our performance. The Pirtek Subaru car is now on the pace and we’re improving with every outing. We just have to get the concentration, commitment and communication right and we’ll be in the winner’s circle.” The next round of the Sasol Rally Championship is the Sasol Rally in Mpumalanga on April 24 and 25. - SUPPLIED.
Success in Cape for Sasol Rally Team! The Sasol Rally Team left the Western Cape well satisfied after another two dominant performances by Charl Wilken and Greg Godrich in the Sasol/ Konica Minolta Subaru team as well as from Dave Compton/Pierre Jordaan in the class N3 Sasol Toyota RunX, giving both teams a 100% win rate after two rounds of the 2009 Sasol SA Rally Championship. Charl Wilken and Greg Godrich again dominated the Production Car category as well as Class N4, taking their Sasol/Konica Minolta Subaru Impreza N14 to the top of the timesheets from the very first stage until the last. Wilken and Godrich, the defending Production Car Champions, were as high as 6th overall on the first day but had to give best to the S2000 Toyota of Japie van Niekerk in the final stage as the car started to overheat. “We had a really good rally without any incidents whatsoever, until the temperature went off the dial. I made a decision to get to the finish and to do that, I had to freewheel quite a bit in the stage to let the engine cool down before speeding up. We dropped a lot of time in that stage but there’s no glory in beating a bigger class car when it comes to the championship”, said Wilken. Dave Compton went to the Western Cape facing his second start behind the wheel of the production car based class N3 Sasol Toyota RunX and planned to take it easy on the ultra-fast Overberg stages around Caledon. Team manager Rod Hering instructed Compton
to push hard and the former circuit racer obliged, running with the modified class A6 machinery, ending Friday’s action tied with the A6 leader. Compton went even quicker on Saturday and eventually beat the A6 winning Total Toyota Auris of Mohammed Moosa by 92 seconds. “We had quite a problem on Friday with the engine oil overheating, which in turn caused the VVTi to stop working and leaving us down on power” Compton explained. The overheating oil problem continued on Saturday and the pair hit a ditch that cracked the sump, which was repaired at service. The Sasol RunX survived a hard day to end 13th overall and 2¾ minutes ahead of their nearest class rivals Abduraghman Amlay/Yusuf Ganief in a similar Toyota RunX. Newcomer to the team, Riyad Jaffer and codriver Henry Dearlove had a short rally. On the long open section en route to Caledon, the class A5 Sasol Toyota Yaris started to experience high engine temperatures. In spite of this, the pair completed stage 1 just 20 seconds slower than the eventual class winner Gugu Zulu’s VW CitiGolf. Hering called a halt to proceedings at the end of stage one to preserve the motor ahead of the high-profile Sasol Rally on 24 and 25 April. “The Sasol Rally is obviously very important to us and with all the public holidays between now and then, it was the prudent call to make”, said Hering. - SUPPLIED. ProMotor Issue 05 - Page 25
WRC 0 - Loeb 4!
The fourth round of 12 in the 2009 World Rally Championship proved to be torturous to cars and drivers’ egos, as the loose and slippery gravel caught a number of big name stars out. WRC Rally Portugal was an event that favoured drivers with extraordinary levels of concentration, and it is unsurprisingly an event Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena dominated. Can Loeb be beaten in 2009, ASKS EVAN ROTHMAN? This latest victory by the five-times World Rally Champions Loeb and Elena means they are unbeaten in 2009, with four wins from four starts. And Loeb was up against two former WRC Champions too… Marcus Gronholm has been peeping into the WRC fringes for a few months now, and tested the Subaru Impreza WRC2008 and was rumoured to be considering making a return to motorsport with the Japanese manufacturer, until they decided to withdraw from the sport. Gronholm took to the first three stages of Day One as if he had never been away: her breath-taking speed and grace behind the steering wheel he is so admired for showed up many of his younger competitors. Petter Solberg, driving a four-year old version of the Citroen Xsara, was WRC Champ back in 2003. In his new-old car, P. Solberg has showcased his talent and determination to all his critics and fans, by consistently finishing the last three events as the “best of the rest”. Put him in a Citroen C4 WRC, and I sure he would be a regular visitor on the podium… Mikko Hirvonen drove a strong rally to finish 24,3 seconds behind Loeb come the end of the rally on Day Three. He led the event on Day One, but I ProMotor Issue 05 - Page 26
feel he never truly challenged Loeb for the win. In looking at the stage times, it is difficult to argue that Hirvonen hounding Loeb. Hirvonen should rather keep his eyes on the Spaniards Dani Sordo and Marc Marti (Citroen Total World Rally Team), I think. The WRC Rally Portugal was one of duels: Mads Ostberg versus Evgeniy Novikov Matthew Wilson versus Sebastien Ogier Petter Solberg versus Henning Solberg Mikko Hirvonen versus Dani Sordo versus Marcus Gronholm Where’s Sebastien Loeb in that list? I hear you all shouting. Hirvonen would like to think he was in a position to challenge Loeb this weekend, but he was not able to match Loeb in any of the stages. Don’t believe me? Here is my evidence: Mikko Hirvonen won three stages; Sebastien Loeb won 10… Need more convincing? Sebastien Loeb started Day One in the unenviable position of sweeping the roads, and lost 18 seconds to Hirvonen. The Finn then led the field on Day Two, but Loeb gained 44 seconds on Hirvonen to eke out an advantage of 26,8 seconds over the Ford driver. On Day Three Loeb once again served as road sweeper, but he only lost 2,5 seconds over four stages. Here is Loeb’s assessment of this situation: “We were in the same situation as we had been on Day 1. Even so, despite having to sweep a clearer line through the dust for Mikko [Hirvonen], we were a little bit faster than him. Yesterday [Day Two], when he was having to do all the roadsweeping, we were much quicker. If you take all that into account, it suggests that we had the edge in identical conditions. That’s a very
promising pointer for the next few rallies…” Day One of the rally was staged around the hills of Serra da Caldeirao, where competitors tackled identical loops of three stages covering 134 competitive km. Hirvonen and Sordo battled each other on the opening three stages of the morning, with the Spaniard moving ahead after the lunch-time break. An overshoot on a tight left hand corner (that caught Loeb out on SS1) cost Sordo the lead, and Sordo fought to regain his confidence the rest of the afternoon. By nightfall on Day One, Hirvonen held a lead of 15sec over Sordo, Loeb a further three seconds behind his team-mate. Gronholm looked threatening in fourth place at the end of Day One, just 7,9sec adrift of Loeb. Already the battle lines had been drawn: Ogier and Wilson were locked in a fight for sixth place, and were separated by only 10,6sec at this point. Hirvonen had the full weight of his team on his shoulders after SS4. Team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala, who’s birthday was starting out well, had a massive accident in SS4. Latvala entered a corner too quickly, hit a bank and then lost control of his car before it plummeted down a mountainside. His Ford Focus RS WRC rolled 20 times for 150m, and thankfully he and co-driver Miika Anttila escaped with no injuries. Disappointed by his young driver’s crash, Malcolm Wilson initially doubted Latvala’s position in the factory Ford team. Latvala has a fragile confidence, and needs the support of an understanding and patient team boss, I feel. On the internet and chat forums, people have been accusing the Finn of not being able to drive at WRC speeds, but I will defend Latvala here: a certain Scotsman entered the WRC in similar fashion, and crashed his rally cars almost every other weekend. But, his speed and skill was peerless. Latvala exudes the same talent that made Colin McRae the rally legend he is. Back to the rally. Day Two’s six stages consisted
of 145,1 competitive km. Here Loeb demonstrated his mastery by posting six fastest stage times from six stages: Hirvonen was unable to fight back. From a deficit of 18sec, Loeb pushed Hirvonen aside and jumped to a lead of 26,8sec. Interestingly, Sordo was shadowing Hirvonen the whole time, even though he was 29,6sec behind. Behind them other battles were now in full swing: Ostberg and Novikov were separated by 0,8sec at the end of Day Two; Wilson was 0,9sec ahead of Henning Solberg. In the meantime, Ogier and Gronholm had dropped out of the running, with Gronholm showing particular pace that should worry the likes of Hirvonen, Sordo and Petter Solberg if he should decide to compete in future WRC events. Day Three saw more dusty stages before a circuit of the Super Special Stage. Henning Solberg and Matthew Wilson challenged each other for fifth place, with the position eventually being claimed by the more experienced Henning Solberg. Wilson suffered brake problems on the penultimate stage, and it led to him unfortunately rolling his car out of the event. Sixth place was claimed by Mads Ostberg, seventh overall went to Federico Villagra (Munchi’s Ford World Rally Team) and eighth to Khalid Al Qassimi (BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team). The final two places of the top ten of the leaderboard were filled by Armindo Araujo (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO IX) and Martin Prokop (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO IX), with them snatching the first two places of the Production Car World Rally Championship order too. Interestingly, a new SuperSpecial hero has arisen this past weekend: Henning Solberg. He won the opening stage of the rally, SS1, which meant he also lead a WRC event for the first time in his career, and he also snatched the final SS18 fastest stage time by over a second too. The World Rally Championship now moves to the tough and challenging climes of the WRC Rally Argentina. This is a low-speed rally, with many obstacles for the drivers to overcome before they can reach the final flag. It is another gravel event, and I am sure it will be another Loeb Show!
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Portugal proved merciless for Conrad! Williams charms the WRC!
Former FIA African Rally Champion Conrad Rautenbach came within an ace of adding more World Rally Championship points to his 2009 tally on the Rally of Portugal, which ended today in Faro, before his Citroen C4 WRC burned out on the penultimate stage. The 24-year-old Zimbabwean was on the verge of moving into seventh position, his confidence rising after a troubled couple of days aboard the Citroen Junior Team C4, when he slid off the road near the end of the test. British driver Matthew Wilson crashed out at the same point. Conrad said: “It was a terrible way to end to the rally. Today had been better than Friday and Saturday. The car was working, the notes were working and I was enjoying the stages. My accident came at the end of a really long straight in the last serious stage. At the end of the straight, there was a tight right hander. I still haven’t worked out what happened, to be honest. “We slid wide in the corner and dropped a wheel down on the outside which tipped us into a roll. It was a slow roll and the car dropped straight back onto its wheels. Some of the spectators came to help us, but they’d just got Mathew [Wilson] out of the same ditch, so I think they were, understandably, a bit tired.” What wouldn’t have been a particularly bad accident turned nasty within seconds as Conrad tried to get the Citroen back up the bank. The dry grass which the C4 was sitting on caught fire on the red-hot exhaust and, given the lack of rain in the region in recent weeks, the fire spread very quickly. “I jumped out with the extinguisher and Dan [Barritt, codriver] and I stopped another three cars and got their extinguishers, but it just made absolutely no difference,” said Conrad. “The grass was burning under the car and you couldn’t get down there. Once it took hold, there was absolutely nothing we could do. After about 10 minutes, the fire engine arrived, but it took them half an hour to put the fire out completely – that’s when you realise how our extinguishers weren’t even touching the surface. “This is the first time I’ve ever had a car go on fire for me and you’ve got no idea how utterly helpless you feel until it happens. You just stand there watching this beautiful rally car that has taken thousands of hours to build and prepare going up in flames. It just doesn’t bear thinking about. The main thing is that Dan and I were okay, but it’s so frustrating that there was very little damage from the roll, but now the car is gutted. “Portugal was a bit of a disaster for all of the Citroen Junior Team. We need a break right now, we’ve had a very tough start to the season. Hopefully that break will come in Argentina on the next event. Having finished fourth there last year, I certainly have happy memories of the place.” - CREDIT: www. conradrautenbach.com, Petr Elias and www.RALLYBUZZ.com ProMotor Issue 05 - Page 28
The Pirelli Star Driver, South African Jon Williams debuted at the Portugal Rally over the weekend and did himself and his team proud. It was his first competitive race since becoming one of five drivers in the FIA Pirelli Star Driver programme. The programme was set up to find the next generation of rally driver talent from around the world and Jon impressed the judges sufficiently to gain a seat in a brand new Mitsubishi Evolution X car. “This is awesome. I’ve sold everything to get here: my house, my car, I’ve borrowed money to make the flights, but I’m here. I’ve got the chance. And that’s all I wanted. Now it’s up to me to make the most of it. You know, some of the guys are worrying about the step from a Lancer Evolution IX to an Evolution X. I’m worried because I’ve never even competed in an N4 car! I’ve never made proper pace notes; I’ve never competed with my co-driver before and I’ve never competed in a left-hand-drive car. “It’s going to be a steep learning curve in Portugal. But they’re just corners aren’t they? And you can get around all of those corners. And that’s what I’m going to do. I’ve got six chances to make my dream stick.” After a challenging first spectator stage in the Algarve Stadium, Jon was placed to the bottom of the leader board. Day 2 began with Jon putting pedal to the metal and immediately began chopping through the competition. Even a fuelling problem didn’t dampen the determined young Williams. Stage 2 saw him end in 49th place. This was a great improvement from the 68th position after the Super Special in the stadium. By the 5th stage he was up to 41st and had posted the 9th fastest stage time out of the PWRC competitors. By the close of the 2009 Vodafone Rally de Portugal Jon Williams was in 23rd place with an overall time of 4:32:50.8
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Published on Apr 9, 2009