Neste Rally Finland
Is the Battle Over? Issue 12, August 2013
sibiu Rally romania surviving the land of vlad The Inside view - Monthly News Wrap-up - The Road to Wales Rally GB
meeke jumped b ack onto the scene impressin g all the way Image: Bas Romeny
Ogier and ingras sia join the shor t list of non-scandinavia n winners in fin land Image: Bas Romeny
Why is it that n ovikov is such a fan favo urite...? Image: Bas Romeny
probably his dri
Image: Bas Romeny
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Rally-eMag August 2013 / Contents
Ogier can clinch it With five more rounds to go in the WRC Sebastien Ogier is already in position to claim the title. If he increases his lead by twenty two points in Germany the title is his. There is little doubt that the Frenchman will clinch the title this season, but if he manages to do so he will be the quickest world champion ever. Sebastien Loeb managed to claim the title with three rounds to go twice. If Ogier takes it in Germany there are still four rounds to go in which he can freely chase victories.
This Month Neste Rally Finland - Is the battle over?
The Inside View Sibiu Rally - Managing the team Romania Page 20
- Surving the land of Vlad Page 23
The fact that Ogier will very likely be champion is not a real surprise. Before switching to VW to do a year in the Skoda Fabia he was the one who was regularly pushing Loeb for victory. Even in the Fabia he managed to win a stage in Sardinia. His natural talent coupled with his intense desire to win makes him an almost unstoppable force. The question was of course how good the new Polo R WRC would be. Volkswagen left nothing to chance and tested the car and the team for a full season, so we all expected them to be ready. The dominance they displayed however was something not many predicted. There would have had to be some sort of issues any starting team encountered, right? Wrong. The Germans came saw and conquered. Nobody but the nearly retired Loeb managed to beat them.
There is hope for some competition though, with Neuville maturing very quickly and Ostberg is on the pace bare his bad luck. Kris Meeke is also banging on the door on the door again, setting things up nicely for some close rallies to end the season! Enjoy reading! Steven van Veenendaal Editor
Who made it? Publisher: Rally-eMag Words: Steven van Veenendaal, Harry van Veenendaal. Photography: Bas Romeny, Steven van Veenendaal.
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Logo design: Minse Blom
PR Photography from: Peugeot Sport, Hyundai Motorsport, Citroen Racing, FIA ERC.
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Distribution: Issuu.com Columnists: Anna Louise Rudd, Michael Jenkins.
Rally-eMag August 2013 / News
This month’s wrap up
Meeke takes Sordo spot in OZ
Hyundai tests i20 WRC on Gravel Newly signed test drivers Juho Hänninen, Bryan Bouffier and Chris Atkinson all got the chance to test the new Hyundai i20 WRC on gravel. With the launch of the car at the Monte Carlo Rally in January only five months remain to get ready.
Team boss Nandan is happy to have reached another milestone by kicking off the gravel testing of the car. The test tracks used at the test in France contained both rough and fast flowing roads, essential in preparation of the varied WRC.
Kris Meeke will partner Mikko Hirvonen in the Citroën Abu Dhabi World Rally Team at Rally Australia. After an encouraging Rally Finland Khaled Al-Qassimi already hinted at more outings for the Irishman. Meeke impressed many during his debut for the team as he was instantly on the pace on the difficult Finnish roads. Despite crashing out near the end Meeke had done enough to impress his team boss Yves Matton who found the decision to replace Sordo difficult nonetheless “It is difficult to take decisions like this, but sometimes you have to change something to reenergise the team and get back to winning ways.” Image: Citroën Racing Media
“We have had a lot of work to do in a short space of time, but I can sense we are working well as a unified team.” Nandan closed, emphasizing the need of well integrated team as well.
Images: Hyundai Motorsport
Neste Rally Finland / Overview
Neste Oil Rally Finland
Based in: Jyvaskyla Date: 01-03/08/2013 Number of stages: 23 Shortest stage: Killeri â€“ 2.06 km Longest stage: Ouninpohja â€“ 33.01 km Total stage distance: 332 km Surface: Gravel Image: Bas Romeny
Neste Rally Finland / Rally review
IS THE BATTLE OVER OR WILL THE FIGHT CONTINUE? A monthâ€™s rest made the WRC family eagerly anticipating some competitive action again. Would all the testing be enough to face the competition? And would the battle for the championship be over in the second half of the season or will the fight intensify? If Finland is anything to go by, we see signs for the intensifying fight. Though CitroĂŤn is still struggling, Ford seems to be back on track. Words: Harry van Veenendaal
Images: Bas Romeny
Neste Rally Finland / Rally review
After a speedy recovery from an injury suffered in a training incident, Julien Ingrassia was available in Finland to guide Ogier.
Nordic hegemony Finland still seems to be the highlight of the season. That goes for us at Rally-eMag but also for the drivers. Everyone wants to win in Finland. Formerly this used to be the Nordic playing ground. Carlos Sainz, however, has already taken away this historic right for a Scandinavian win, in 1990. In 1992 it was Didier Auriol who repeated that trick. Then Kankunnen (2), Mäkinen (5) and Grönholm (3) divided the wins, claiming back their right. In 2003 it was Markko Märtin who won, but being an Estonian, he can be considered to be a Nordic.
France poised to take over Grönholm won another 4 times, before in 2008, Loeb claimed his first victory. Hirvonen and Lat-
After a difficult first half of the season Mikko Hirvonen set out with one clear goal: win.
vala held on to their birth right in 2009 and 2010 but since then it was France in the person of Loeb who proved that Nordic hegemony is over. Would Ogier be able to prove that point? “This is the rally everyone wants to win,” he says making his intentions clear.
rally car in competition.
The other camps But at Ford they say the same. Especially Mads Østberg seemed to have had a firm talk with himself. “I feel good,” he smiles. “We had very good tests so I know the car is also good so I Ingrassia feel really confident for a good battle.” At CitOgier is helped in his quest for Finland victory roën things are still a bit awkward. This is Hirby the fact that beside him he can see the favonen’s rally but he doesn’t feel at ease at the miliar face of Julien Ingrassia again. After a very moment. The same goes for teammate Sordo. speedy recovery from his injuries, caused by a The élan of the team has to come from Al Qasfitness training accident, Ingrassia can assume simi replacement Chris Meeke. This new recruit his tasks as co-driver again. As a precaution he has completely different frame of mind. “I’m is wearing a kind of harness to prevent the still really happy I have been given the chance to fresh operation wound from being harmed by show what I’m worth.” the constant banging and swaying of a modern
Neste Rally Finland / Rally review
The first proceedings As a confidence booster Mikko Hirvonen wins the qualifying stage and not surprisingly choses last spot of the WRC drivers to start in the oncoming event. But Ogier although, sweeping the road for Hirvonen sets things straight on stage one already. On the completely changed Himos stage Ogier is fastest before Latvala, Hirvonen and Østberg. There are only 40 kilometres of stages on day one but there is a lot of things happening. It’s not going to be a walk over for Ogier. The first four stages with Ogier, Neuville and Hirvonen have three different winners. And at the end of this first day it’s Neuville who is sensationally topping the charts. Victims of day one In the very beginning all hopes for a good result
vanished for Juho Hanninen who went off the road in a downhill section and was lucky not get stuck. P-G Andersson lost some time by spinning his Fiesta RS twice and Jarkko Nikara was hampered by a loss of power in his Prodrive Mini. But the biggest victim was Jari Matti Latvala. A big rock caused the suspension to break and he had to retire for the day.
The reason for these pauses stays as clear as the mist on the windscreens. But meanwhile the battle for top spot rages on. Østberg takes first Rain place after the day’s first stage and swaps sevDay was quite wet causing quite a few problems eral times with Ogier, but in the end it is Ogier for the drivers, especially with failing wipers and who is fastest followed by Neuville and Østberg. insufficient ventilation inside the car causing Hirvonen by this time is out of contention by losmisted windows and consequently poor viewing time with a spin. Chris Meeke is doing well ing. Apart from that the organizers, ‘for safety by placing himself between regular Citroen drivreasons’ (?) formed groups of four competitors. ers Hirvonen and Sordo. After each group there was a pause before the start of the next group. Hirvonen was the first
Despite losing power in his Mini Jarkko Nikara still set some impressive times.
victim. When he reached the stage end as the first driver of group two his windscreen was also misted by the steam coming out of his ears. “This is silly,” he fumed. “All the ruts have filled with water after the passing of group one.”
Although Hirvonen got off to a good start he suffered in the heavy rain and fumed with anger at the finish of the final stage as the organisers forced him to run first of his group.
Neste Rally Finland / Rally review
Exciting finale The final day in Finland is a full day. Two loops of four stages including two passings of the mother of all stages: Ouninpohja. This stage was the one Ogier wanted to win: “It’s always been a dream of mine to win this stage in a World Rally Car and now I did it. It was truly amazing, I think I can even go a bit quicker for the second passing.” The smile on his face said more than words. And he kept his promise as the second time on the stage was a staggering 18 seconds faster than the first time. Neuville vs Østberg The real breath-taking battle was between teammates Neuville and Østberg. This duel was settled on the second Ouninpohja stage. Østberg had to take avoiding action to miss a rock on the road. He ended in the scenery for a moment and lost some time. Neuville saw the rock too but was a bit luckier. So for the second time in succession he was second. Is a win now within reach? “I feel good and so does the car but for a win Ogier must hit some trouble otherwise he is simply too fast.”
Conclusion Finland taught us that Volkswagen is still very much on top of it, but Ford is not leaving it to that. Both their youngsters Østberg and Neuville are very well up to the job. Novikov could be, but in Finland he again had one of his infamous offs. This time he lost the battle with a pile of logs that characteristically lining the Finnish roads. At Citroën team principal Matton was obviously disappointed, but main sponsor Khalid Al-Qassimi was a bit more positive: “Chris Meeke did an excellent job. He matched Mikko’s pace and was considerably faster than Dani. It was a pity he went off in the last part of the rally, but we have to consider putting him in a WRC again.” The battle for the championship might be over (We don’t see someone beating Ogier and Volkswagen in this form.) But the fight is till going on. So we expect an interesting second half of the season, starring Ogier and Latvala but also Neuville and Østberg and we hope Hirvonen. Perhaps Chris Meeke will get another chance but that would be bad news for Dani Sordo.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was the speed of Neuville. The young Belgian pushed Ogier and Ostberg all the way.
Once again the star of the show was Ogier who’s now in full control of the championship. He can claim the title at the next round in Germany. Happy faces at the Powerstage finish, for the first time though, no Finnish driver on the final podium in Jyvaskyla.
Neste Rally Finland / Final results 15/32
Final result 1. Ogier - Ingrassia 2. Neuville - Gilsoul 3. Østberg - Andersson 4. Hirvonen - Lehtinen 5. Sordo - del Barrio 6. Novikov - Minor 7. Ketomaa - Sallinen 8. Andersson - Axelsson 9. Kubica - Baran 10. Mikkelsen - Markkula
VW Polo R WRC Ford Fiesta RS WRC Ford Fiesta RS WRC Citroen DS3 WRC Citroen DS3 WRC Ford Fiesta RS WRC Ford Fiesta R5 Ford Fiësta RS WRC Citroën DS3 RRC VW Polo R WRC
3:31:01.2 +36.6 +57.6 +1:21.6 +6:08.5 +8:39.7 +11:19.2 +11:41.5 +12:48.1 +13:42.0
Neste Rally Finland / Standings Championship standings 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Sebastien Ogier Jari-Matti Latvala Thierry Neuville Mikko Hirvonen Dani Sordo Sebastien Loeb Mads Ostberg Evgeny Novikov Martin Prokop Nasser Al-Attiyah
VW Polo R WRC VW Polo R WRC Ford Fiesta WRC Citroën DS3 WRC Citroën DS3 WRC Citroën DS3 WRC Ford Fiesta WRC Ford Fiesta WRC Ford Fiesta WRC Ford Fiesta WRC
181 points 91 points 91 points 73 points 69 points 68 points 65 points 39 points 37 points 30 points
Manufacturer standings 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
Volkswagen Motorsport Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team Qatar World Rally Team Jipocar Czech National Team Abu Dhabi Citroën Total World Rally Team Volkswagen Motorsport 2 Lotos WRC Team
251 points 196 points 112 points 107 points 39 points 33 points 26 points 20 points
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Neste Rally Finland / Who’s hot? 18/32
Who’s hot? Kris Meeke Citroën DS3 WRC Abu Dhabi Citroën World Rally Team
If you checked your Twitter feed during Rally Finland you know why Kris Meeke was the hottest driver of the weekend. The frenzy of tweets created by his stunning return emphasized the desire of the British fans for a new local hero. After the McRae/Burns era no other Britt managed to be a consistent front runner but Meeke might just have what it takes to do just that. It has been a while since the Irishman got a chance to shine in the WRC. He was part of the Mini program that never really kicked off and was the first of that team to fall victim to the budget cuts. Deprived of the necessary funds to ‘buy’ a seat at one of the top teams Meeke was forced to sit and wait his turn. His chance came when Khaled Al-Qassimi had to miss Finland due to business obligations. Meeke seized to opportunity by easily outpacing teammate Sordo and running in the top 5 all rally long. Even his crash near the end of the second running of Ouninpohja couldn’t diminish the impact he had on the rally or on the hope in the hearts of the British fans.
Neste Rally Finland / Who’s not? 19/32
Who’s not? Dani Sordo Citroën DS3 WRC Citroën Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Considering his results Dani Sordo is not doing bad this season. The experienced Spaniard is currently fifth overall in the championship standings a mere four points behind team mate Hirvonen and ahead of both M-Sport regulars Ostberg and Novikov. He landed a podium on his debut for the team in Monte Carlo and clinched a season best second in Greece. At the last event in Finland Sordo finished fifth, the spot the most coveted Meeke had been in. His pace was some way off the leaders but his consistency brought him back up in the charts. His problem though is the dominance of Volkswagen and the mediocre performance of Citroën as a team. A bit spoiled after many years of Loeb dominance the French team finds itself in unknown territory chasing the pack. Results are needed and Sordo seems to be the victim. Meeke impressed in Finland and will take Sordo’s spot in Australia giving Sordo the ‘chance’ to prepare for the remainder of the season outside the spotlights. With three tarmac events coming up Sordo returns to his favourite surface. He is capable of scoring good results there, and he needs to do so to retain his seat.
Rally-eMag August 2013 / The Inside View
The Inside VieW By: Anna Louise Rudd Images: Bas Romeny
Anna Louise is the Press Officer of the Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team. she is the one who knows what’s going on with anyone in the team, from the drivers to the bosses, to the mechanics and the engineers. In her monthly column she gives you a peek behind the scenes of a world rally teaM. What a rally! Rally Finland never fails to impress, but this year was something special. The first time in over ten years that a Finn has been absent from the podium, and a very talented Belgian alongside an equally talented Norwegian in second and third place respectively. To see Mads [Østberg] regain his confidence by adding a second podium to his 2013 tally was very satisfying indeed. And as for Thierry [Neuville], I think he surprised even himself with his performance on what was only his second time in Finland. He and Nicolas [Gilsoul, co-driver] were nothing short of sensational and they thoroughly deserve to be tied for second place in the drivers’ championship. Now the championship turns to asphalt and one of my favourite events of the year – Rallye Deutschland. Based in the beautiful city ofTrier, the picturesque surroundings are steeped in history. The food is amazing, the people are friendly and the stages aren’t bad either!
In fact I would single out ‘Arena Panzerplatte’ as one of my favourite stages of the year. Like ‘Ouninpohja’ – albeit far removed in character – you need to be brave, confident and clever which really separates the men from the boys.
Speaking of boys turning into men, Germany could well be Thierry’s best event to date. A podium is well within his grasp and – if everything falls into place – we could even see him challenge for victory! Of course podiums and victories are nothing without all the hard work that the team puts
in behind the scenes, and you would be pushed to find someone who works harder than John ‘Milly’ Millington. As Team Manager, Milly (or ‘Milly Diamond’ as the co-drivers often refer to him over the team radio) is responsible for much of what you see in the service area.
Rally-eMag August 2013 / The Inside View 21/32
Team logistics – that’s everything from personnel to trucks and rally cars – primarily falls to him and his team.
Amongst other things, Iain is responsible for organising the team’s pre-event test. Liaising with George Black, he books the best test roads around as well Lesley Philip and Iain Tulas organising all the same lie form Milly’s expert team logistic paraphernalia you of logisticians and their would expect for a round work starts a full 12 months of the world rally champibefore an event. Lesley onship – the car, spares, has been with the team for personnel, everything. more than 10 years and in that time she has made In fact Malcolm was keen good relationships with to highlight the role of the some of the best hotels test team in facilitating the in the regions we visit. As team’s impressive perforsoon as one event is finmance in Finland. Ahead of ished, she’s on the phone Germany, Iain has helped to reserve the team’s acnegotiate an even more commodation and travel for extensive test so that the the following year. team heads to the first true asphalt event of the seaAs each event gets closer, son as fully prepared as the busier the logistics de- possible. partment gets. Four weeks in advance, entries are These three individuals are placed, nominations made so integral to the M-Sport and fuel ordered. Bulletins, team that there really is road books and maps are too much to mention! But distributed to crews and thanks to M-Sport’s logiskey members of staff; and tic department, the squad communication with each heads to Trier with their department is rife as Milly confidence high. Here’s and his team plan the lohoping we can replicate gistics for trucks, personour recent success with nel, recce cars, rally cars, another podium result. spares and even catering. If it wasn’t for a puncture Ostberg would have challenged Ogier all the way to the finish, if.... In the end there were two Fords on the podium. A Frenchman in a Volkswage claimed the top spot though.
ERC: Sibiu Rally Romania / Overview
Sibiu Rally Romania
Based in: Sibiu Date: 25-27/07/2013 Number of stages: 14 Shortest stage: Superspeciala – 3.50 km Longest stage: Gâtu Berbecului – 30.00 km Total stage distance: 216 km Surface: Gravel & Asphalt Image: FIA ERC
ERC: Sibiu Rally Romania / Rally review
Surviving the land of vlad The seventh round of the ERC took the crews to Transylvania in Romania. Long ago the place was ruled by the infamous â€˜Vlad the Impalerâ€™. Though the area is now more kindly known as the Garden of Romania, for the contestants of the Sibiu Raly, the rock littered roads mean it is still a struggle to survive.
Words: Steven van Veenendaal
Images: FIA ERC
ERC: Sibiu Rally Romania / Rally review
Jumping into the lead after stage one, Delecour pleased his local sponsors.
Halfway through the season Jan Kopecky holds a firm lead in the European Rally Championship. With Craig Breen, one of his main rivals absent on the entry list, Sibiu Rally Romania provides a great opportunity for the Czech to increase his lead even further. He faced stiff competition from the likes of Francois Delecour and Bryan Bouffier. The first is backed by Romania and as such was of course looking for a good result in this ‘semi-home rally’. The experienced Frenchman has already met Abraham about a year ago but has not lost any his tenacity and is always one of the crowd favourites. Bouffier on the other hand is on the brink of a big breakthrough in his career. Being signed as a test driver for the new Hyundai i20 WRC provides him with a great opportunity to secure one of the seats of the new factory team for the 2014 WRC.
Bouffier took an early lead but it was shortlived, his rally only lasted three stages.
Three out of three The Three Musketeers embarked on their rally on Friday afternoon for the opening seven stages. The 27KM Crint stage provided the bulk of the distance on the first two loops before the final two stages of the day that were held around ten pm in the dark. Determined to satisfy his sponsor, Delecour blasted through the opening stage to take the lead. His success was short lived though as Bouffier hit back on the first running of the Crint stage to take the stage win and the rally lead to go with it. After a bit of a slow start Kopecky won the third stage to become the third stage winner after three stages. French trouble Things would soon change in favor of Kopecky as on the fourth stage. First Bouffier hit trouble when he broke a suspension mount resulting in various mechanical failures forcing his retire-
ment. The undulating rounds around Sibiu had claimed their first victim. It wouldn’t be the last. On the same stage Francois Delecour suffered a water leak on his Peugeot causing his engine temperature to rise to uncomfortable heights. Rather than risking engine damage Delecour opted to slow down and nurse his car to the finish. Kopecky was hindered by a malfunctioning power steering system on the first stages but having resolved those issued he was free to push on into the lead. Going well over half a minute faster than Delecour and with Bouffier going out already, Kopecky took a comfortable lead into the night stages. The sixth stage was an all asphalt affair which Kopecky claimed as well. Things were looking to become a bit dull, but then Delecour struck back on the final stage of the day to take back ten seconds. Could a fight be on hand for day two?
ERC: Sibiu Rally Romania / Rally review
Utter domination Day two kicked of with the continuation of the fight between Kopecky and Delecour. It was a short lived fight though. Kopecky clinched the win on the first stage of the day but then Delecour suffered a broken shock absorber resulting in a puncture. He choose to preserve his second place , and the lead in the Romanian championship, rather than push for the win. As a result Kopecky had a clear run to victory, though he had to remain cautious as the rock-littered roads can throw trouble at you at any given moment. The trouble never came though and Kopecky finished the rally in style by winning all remaining stages of the second day. Kopecky was both happy and releaved to reach the finish “It was a really tough event: the hot weather was
not such a problem but there were a lot of rocks and loose stones on the stages and you had to use your head to decide when and where to push. I was enjoying a big battle with Bryan and François until they had problems but this is motorsport and this can happen.” Delecour battled on to finish in second ahead of Arai in third and first in group N. Arai had trouble of his own throughout the event. The dry roads meant that a lot of dust was thrown up by the cars and Arai inhaled a bit too much of the stuff. He was clearly affected by this and was bothered by a sore stomach all rally long. To preserve the valuable enegery left in his body, his co-driver Anthony McLoughlin took the wheel at some of in the road section. Their podium finish became all the more impressive.
On the second day there was no stopping Kopecky as he won all the stages and his fourth rally of the season in the process.
Representing your nation
The Sibiu Rally concluded with a remarkable podium. All three highest placed drivers piloted a car from their home country. Czech winner Kopecy drove a Skoda Fabia to lead Frenchman Delecour in his Peugeot 207 and the man from Japan, Toshi Arai in his Subaru Impreza.
Arai explaing his trouble to Manfred Stohl. His co-driver Anthony McLoughlin didn’t seem to mind driving the road sections too much.
ERC: Sibiu Rally Romania / Rally review
Ladies Trophy The battle of the ladies was a one-on-one affair between championship leader Ekaterina Stratieva in her Citroën C2 R2 and the Aussie Molly Taylor, also in Citroën albeit the C3 R3 version. Taylor suffered a puncture on stage 10 but by then already had the win al but secured because Stratieva rolled her C2 on the second stage and was before the fight had even really developed. Nonetheless the two brought some extra excitement to the event and boosted the female appreciation of the sport.
Prime Competitor One very interesting name on the entrylist was that of Victor Ponta, the Romanian Prime Minister. The leader of the reigning Social Democratic Party is a fervent rally enthusiast and co-driver. When he took office on 7 May 2012 he had to put a stop to his rally career. Ponta has co-driven for Edwin Keleti reaching to the top level of the sport when the two competed in the WRC Rally Catalunya d’Espana. His commitments as Prime Minister prevented him from taking to the stages but he found some time in his busy schedule to co-drive the 0-car for a day on the Sibiu Rally.
Francois Delecour and ERC General Coordinator Jean-Pierre Nicolas chatting with Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta.
When Ekaterina Stratieva rolled on SS2 all Molly Taylor had to do to win the Ladies To get the ladies involved in rallying, it doesn’t hurt to have a female star. Taylor was very Cup was finish. Easier said than done on the rough stages. She managed though. popular at the autograph signing session, especially among the girls.
ERC: Sibiu Rally Romania / Final Result 28/32
Final result 1. Kopecky - Dresler 2. Delecour - Savignoni 3. Arai - McLoughlin 4. Tempestini - Baggio 5. Botka - Mihalik 6. Porcisteanu - Dobre 7. Orsák - Kostka 8. Puskádi - Gódor 9. Tlusťák - Škaloud 10. Barbu - Baltador
Skoda Fabia S2000 2:18:07.8 Peugeot 207 S2000 +3:12.8 Subaru Impreza R4 STI +6:03.6 Skoda Fabia S2000 +7:33.1 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX +7:48.3 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X +8:39.8 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX +9:15.6 Skoda Fabia S2000 +9:59.4 Skoda Fabia S2000 +11:39.1 Citroën DS3 R3T +18:33.0
ERC: Sibiu Rally Romania / Final Result 29/32
Championship standings 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Jan Kopecky Criag Breen Bryan Bouffier Francois Delecour Jari Ketomaa Freddy Loix Andreas Aigne Luis Monzon Ricardo Moura Stephane Sarrazin
Skoda Fabia S2000 185 points Peugeot 207 S2000 114 points Peugeot 207 S2000 99 points Peugeot 207 S2000 75 points Ford Fiesta S2000 39 points Skoda Fabia S2000 37 points Subaru Impreza R4 28 points MINI JCW RRC 24 points Skoda Fabia S2000 24 points MINI JCW S2000 24 points
Rally-eMag August 2013 / Column
The Road to Wales Rally GB Dreams of being a rally driver, at some point in our lives, haven’t we all had them? The harsh reality though is that rally driving isn’t as a easy sport to start with as say, football. The required inflated piece of leather costs a lot less than a full blown rally car. Once you do start, “A mark, a yen, a buck or a pound. A buck or a pound, a buck or a pound. Is all that makes the world go round. That clinking, clanking sound. Can make the world go round…” (Joel Grey, Cabaret, 1972) To anyone who has ever dreamt of driving in a world class rally, I’m pretty sure you first thought of you strapped tight into the driving seat speeding between the blurring trees, your co-driver over the intercom ‘200 Hairpin, handbrake, don’t cut’, gravel flying hitting the windscreen, you can feel sweat of pure adrenalin running down your neck under your helmet, the wheels sliding on the gravel the smell of rubber and oil. Well before you get anywhere near that point you need a car, money and lots of time…
So the next part of the journey is the hard part, the money. Finding sponsorship is not an easy task. The first thing is finding the people and companies you want to target. I know what you are thinking, it’s obvious, anyone to do with cars. That is of course a good starting place. After creating cover letters, PDFs and leaflets I emailed every company I could think of that had any connection to cars; rallying and motorsport, there were lots. When I say I, I mean we. I think Will Michael make his dream come true to and fly a blue Impreza through the Welsh forrests?
Words and images By: Michael Jenkins
the road to the top is even more expensive and thus difficult. In this monthly column we follow the adventures of Michael Jenkins, an amateur rally driver who set himself the goal of competing in this year’s Wales Rally GB. I totalled near a thousand emails. Although this area of industry has the best connection, I have discovered that some of the best sponsorship opportunities come from larger household names that either have community support programs or help local charities. To this end I also
contacted some of the larger supermarkets and clothing brands. This is a harder task because firstly you have to find the right contact information, this involved a maze of web pages leading you form one section of the company to another until you finally find an address.
Rally-eMag August 2013 / Column
More often than not I would get a reply saying ‘thank you for your email enquiry, if you are interested in sponsorship then please contact… blah…blah…blah!!! I am the first one to admit I’m no Shakespeare and I’m convinced that asking people for money would be difficult even if you were. What is it that makes people go; yeah ok I’ll give you thousands of pounds, just like that? I’m sure I haven’t found the secret to that yet. This is really hard. I, my fiancée and my Co-driver have spent every waking hour on this and still no money in the bank. It’s not all bad news though. We have a few corporate sponsors who are interested in the venture. This however is one of those things where you have to be patient, I’m not patient. I don’t have time to be patient about this. This is not just my dream; this is a charity that is working towards something so very special. The Brain Bus that The Richard Burns Foundation is trying to buy will mean so much too so many people now and in the future. This is not just about honouring Richard this is about honouring his life and death. All his bravery will go towards helping others with the same illness be brave too. Now all I need is someone to believe in me. So for now we will keep trying. I’m lucky I have people around me who want this to happen as much as I do and they are working so incredibly hard. All I can think is that if I’m ever in the situation where I need help from a charity like RBF, that someone giving sponsorship to a cause like ours could save my life.
Money makes the world go round. Without money our campaign will fail. The car is still white now... ready for sponsor stickers!
Next issue, late September, with Rally Germany, the Barum Rally and much more. See you there!