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Issue 13, September 2013

Rall y aus

ogier tralia T i t l e #1 with in re ach PLUS: ADAC Rallye Deutschland

Barum Czech Rally Zlin

The Inside view & Monthly News Wrap-up

Lotos Rally Poland


Everybody at c itroen was delighted with Sor do’s first win Image: Bas Romeny


sordo was gree ted at the final stop finish by his fam ily and a lot of media Image: Steven van Veenendaal


australia is not

just dust...

Image: Citroen Racing Media


See? Image: Volkswagen Motorsport


Rally-eMag

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Rally-eMag September 2013 / Contents

A tear and a smile

This Month

Rallying is so much more than driving around tight roads in fast cars. Its true beauty, like in all sports, is in the emotion that pushes all drivers and co-drivers to travel the globe and fling themselves though vineyards and wet forests. Walking the tight rope is what these guys and girls do for a living. The margin for error, and with it the difference between winning and losing, is so small that at some point it becomes almost unimaginable. Over the last month we have seen it all happen. While Sebastien Ogier was in emphatic command all season long, he faltered at the most unexpected moment. Volkswagen Motorsport rolled into Trier to start their home rally as outright favourites. Ogier was in position to, with a little luck, clinch his maiden world title. Doing so in Germany would make him the fastest champion ever, with four events to spare. However Lady Luck was not on Volkswagen’s side. Mikkelsen could not even start due to an injury to his co-driver and Ogier quickly threw away his shot at the title when he crashed into a wall. Latvala took over but he too went off, missing out on what would be his maiden tarmac victory. Starting as outright favourites, Rally Germany proved that you can never take anything for granted in rallying. That was reiterated even stronger during the historic car intermezzo at Rally Germany when one of the crews crashed after the Gina jump, resulting in the death of both driver and co-driver. If anything, let this be a strong reminder that motorsport can be dangerous and we should always keep safety first, both as drivers and spectators or media representatives.

ADAC Rallye Deutschland - Thriller in Trier

The inside view

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- Anna talking logistics Page 20

Barum Czech Rally Zlin - Kopecky on top in Czech Page 23

Ford fiesta st Mk2 - Driving like Thierry and Mads

Coates hire rally australia

Page 30

Lotos Rally Poland - Polish Powerplay Page 44

- Ogier Thunders Down Under Page 34

After the sadness over this tragic event on Saturday, Sunday would bring tears of joy. The main beneficiary of Volkswagen’s demise would be Dani Sordo who finally claimed his first WRC victory after 107 starts. What made it even sweeter was that just before the event Sordo was told he would not start in Australia, Citroën opting to register Kris Meeke instead. The relieve this victory brought was clear to see at the stage end, where an emotional Sordo family awaited their son and brother.

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Ogier’s confidence might have suffered a small dent, but after his season so far, it will take a lot more to crack. In Australia he was once again on target for the WRC title, going into the final stage far ahead of the chasing pack and knowing that Hirvonen was in the second place Neuville needed to stay within (theoretical) range of him. All seemed well, but was it to be? Find out by reading our review of Rally Australia! 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.

Who helped?

Who we thank!

How to reach us?

Logo design: Minse Blom

PR Photography from: Peugeot Sport, Hyundai Motorsport, Citroen Racing, FIA ERC.

Email: info@rally-emag.com Web: www.rally-emag.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/ emagrally Twitter: @emagrally Issuu: www.issuu.com/rally-emag

Distribution: Issuu.com Columnists: Anna Louise Rudd, Michael Jenkins.


Rally-eMag September 2013 / News

This month’s wrap up WRC 2014 Calendar

Rallye Monte Carlo 19 January Rally Sweden 09 February Rally Mexico 09 March Rally de Portugal 06 April Rally Argentina 11 May Rally d’Italia 01 June Rally Poland* 29 June Rally Finland 03 August Rallye Deutschland 24 August Rally Australia 14 September Rallye de France 05 October Rally de España 26 October Rally of Great Britain 16 November *Rally Poland will also feature a leg in Lithuania.

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Two extra Fords for Spain

It’s official, The Rally of Gods is no longer part of the WRC. Rumours went around for months, but now we know for sure, the WRC circus will not be heading to Greece for one of the iconic events of the series. Back on the menu though, is the awesome Rally Poland, part of the WRC for the last time in 2009, surely something Robert Kubica won’t mind. Image: Harry van Veenendaal

Hayden Paddon and John Kennard will make their WRC debut in Spain. The pair will pilot a Ford Fiesta WRC under the flag of the M-Sport team. An opportunity very much welcomed by the young New Zealander: “To say I’m excited is an understatement, but I am also focused on ensuring that we make the most of this opportunity. Ultimately, I don’t want to be in a world rally car for just one event. This is what I want to make my career out of.” The first to impress will be M-Sport team boss Malcolm Wilson, who will be watching the youngster closely. “There is no doubt that Hayden is an extremely fast driver, and I am looking forward to seeing how he progresses through the weekend.” Image: Qatar M-Sport WRT

The second newcomer to WRC level is current WRC2 leader, Abdulaziz AlKuwari. His strong performance in the WRC2, including wins in Mexico, Argentina and Australia earned him a spot in the WRC. Al-Kuwari is both realistic and ambitious. “Our first goal is always to finish all the stages and make it to the finish ramp. Of course a top 10 finish would be fantastic, and if I’m honest, I really want to beat my best result of 10th place overall.”


ADAC Rallye Deutschland / Overview

ADAC Rallye Deutschland

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Based in: Trier Date: 22-25/08/2013 Number of stages: 16 Shortest stage: Peterberg – 9.23 km Longest stage: Arena Panzerplatte – 41.08 km Total stage distance: 372 km Surface: Asphalt Image: Steven van Veenendaal


ADAC Rallye Deutschland / Rally review

Thriller in trier Although everyone agrees Volkswagen will be champion and that Ogier will be their champ After Finland it also became clear the competition had finally woken up. Especially Neuville and Ă˜stberg showed they were not just going to sit and wait. So what was going to happen in Trier? Would Ogier be prematurely crowned or would others prevent that from happening? The battle of the winefields seemed to get an early conclusion but then the rain came‌ Words: Harry van Veenendaal

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Images: Bas Romeny


ADAC Rallye Deutschland / Rally review

Ogier was relaxed and all smiles before the start.

The weather Weather forecasters predicted a nice and warm late summer type of weather. But Germany is famous for its many microclimates, especially in the Mosel region. So the weather gods played an important role in the proceedings but they were not the only ones. Lady Luck also had some surprises in store.

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Home rally Volkswagen wanted to do well in their home event. In a relaxed atmosphere they invited all media representatives to their quarters to celebrate the first rally for their home crowd. But before the start the first problem arose. Andreas Mikkelsen’s navigator Mikko Markkula, proved

Neuville meanwhile is learning to deal with ‘superstart-status’ .

to be unfit for rallying in Germany. In Finland a heavy landing on some of the ever-present jumps had caused a lot of discomfort. Special training and relative rest seemed to have done the job. However during recce he suffered a lot of pain and the VW medical staff send him to a special hospital. Some MRI scans showed a bruised and a broken vertebrae and it would be impossible for him to compete. For safety reasons team management decided not to find another co-pilot.“ Andreas and Mikko use a new notes system since the beginning of this year and Mikko is the only one who is familiar with that”, ”says teamprincipal Jost Capito. ”In these circumstances the only option is to choose for safety!” Consequently Mikkelsen had to retire before he even started.

Before the start If we have to go on what people said before the start we would have an interesting battle on our hands. Here’s what the main players had to say: Sebastien Ogier was most relaxed. “Why couldn’t we win here?” he said. “I’m not too concerned as I don’t have to win here. But obviously a win here would be nice for my championship chances.” A little bit different was the home of Ford, here we found a bundle of people all gathering around Thierry Neuville. He seems to be a little bit less at ease. Although he says he doesn’t feel much extra pressure, he looks a bit more tense than usual. “I’ve had some good results this year and so I feel confident for this race.”


ADAC Rallye Deutschland / Rally review

In another corner we find Mads Østberg. “I had some bad luck in the early rally’s of this season, but I know what happened in each case and also know I was not to blame so I feel relaxed about starting here.” Did Daniel Sordo feel it is as a blow that he will be replaced in Australia? “Not really”, he said. “Team management made the decision in close cooperation with us. Now we can focus on the remaining asphalt rally’s and I really want to score well there.” Latvala is aiming for the runner up spot and Hirvonen for ‘at least’ a podium.

There on the square before the famous cathedral the unofficial start takes place. As some local legislation prohibits motorsports in the city centre the official start is just outside the city. On the way back the crews have to tackle two stages before arriving in the familiar Trier service area. On the first stage Ogier took control again, almost five seconds faster than teammate Latvala. In third we find Neuville, suffering from the mud thrown on the road by his predecessors. Sordo, Hirvonen and Østberg follow. Evgeny Novikov again doesn’t make it to the end. This time it is after barely five kilometres that he parks his car The road to Cologne and back in a ditch. The second stage (Sauertal) ends in Wednesday shakedown produced a small sur- exactly the same order. So the first day is for Ogiprise: Latvala was fastest, followed by Sordo, in er. The distance between him and Østberg in fifth third place we find Neuville and Ogier is in fourth. place is already over half a minute. On Thursday all cars are transported to Cologne.

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As soon as the rally hit the vinyards Ogier was in trouble. The damage to his VW caused another off later on, leading to retirement for the day.

Image: Steven van Veenendaal

Disaster strikes But that is it for Ogier because after a short distance in the third stage (Mittelmosel) he slides off the road, breaking his front suspension in the process. Losing two and a half minutes he makes it to the end of the stage. Before the next stage he retires, the damage being irreparable on the stage. Neuville sees his chance and is fastest on the stage but Latvala is not far behind and still leads the Belgian on the leaderboard. Of all the six Friday stages through the famous Mosel vineyards Neuville wins four and Latvala two. Sordo follows at some 26 seconds another twenty seconds later Hirvonen seems to have given up his quest for a podium position. Østberg trails another 2 minutes behind in fifth.

With Ogier in trouble, Latvala was left to maintain Volkswagen’s honour. He did so by leading the event early on.

Image: Steven van Veenendaal


ADAC Rallye Deutschland / Rally review

Disaster strikes again! Panzerplatte is the key to success in the German WRC round is. But on the way there from Trier the teams first have to tackle the Stein und Wein and Peterberg stages. The sky is grey but initially there is only little rain. The first loop sees an attacking Sordo and Latvala. Ogier mingles in the battle for fastest times but is no contender in the fight for the top. After the first Panzerplatte stage Latvala, Neuville and Sordo seem to be settling for their positions. Just before the start of the second loop there is an enormous shower flooding the stages. When the top drivers have started, it stops raining. Then Latvala and Neuville are both caught by the same muddy corner. They both slide off the road. Latvala breaks his rear right suspension and struggles to the end of the stage where, right in front of the Rally-eMag camera, he slides off into the bushes ending his almost certain chance of winning. Not far behind is Thierry Neuville. The Belgian is struggling too but he can continue. After the stage he just has to remove a log that’s got stuck between his exhaust and the Fiesta’s bodyshell. But at least he can continue and take the lead as well!

However Sordo is in a winning mood and takes control on the next stage, but only by the smallest of margins (0.8 seconds). Sadly the second running of Panzerplatte was cancelled due to a fatal accident during the support programme. A Dutch team leaves the road after the Gina jump. Their historic Triumph TR7 V8 is stopped buy a group of trees, killing both team members on the spot. It’s a really sad ending of an exciting day of rallying.

Image: Steven van Veenendaal

Thrilling final Only two stages to go and the first strike is for Sordo. He can add 2.2 seconds to his 0.8 seconds lead. Five kilometres before the finish of the second pass of Drohntal both drivers are equal but the in a final attempt to win Neuville slides off the road to make an excursion through the vines to re-join the route a little further. So it’s Sordo who in front of a large fanbase including father mother and brother, takes his very first WRC win. Neuville is relieved of his burden and can laugh again. “At least I tried,” is his comment leaning over the roof of his Fiesta that is covered in vines, showing the signs of his earlier excursion.

In a close battle with Sordo and Latvala, Neuville went off and had to drag a log through part of the stage. While Neuville and Latvala faltered, Sordo kept his cool under immense pressure to perform. His victory was incredibly well deserved.

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In position to take his first tarmac win Latvala went off and had to leave his car in the bushes, another costly mistake by the Finn. Image: Steven van Veenendaal


ADAC Rallye Deutschland / Final result

Final result

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1. Sordo - del Barrio 2. Neuville - Gilsoul 3. Østberg - Andersson 4. Prokop - Ernst 5. Kubica - Baran 6. Evans - Barritt 7. Latvala - Anttila 8. Paddon - Kennard 9. Østberg - Andersson 10. Novikov - Minor

Citroen DS3 WRC Ford Fiesta RS WRC Ford Fiesta RS WRC Ford Fiesta RS WRC Citroën DS3 RRC Ford Fiesta R5 VW Polo R WRC Skoda Fabia S2000 Ford Fiesta RS WRC Ford Fiesta RS WRC

3:15:19.4 +53.3 +2:36.1 +8:00.8 +9:01.3 +9:14.2 +9:55.0 +13:01.2 +13:28.1 +15:17.9


ADAC Rallye Deutschland / Rally review 16/52

Championship standings 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Sebastien Ogier Thierry Neuville Jari-Matti Latvala Dani Sordo Mikko Hirvonen Sebastien Loeb Mads Ostberg Martin Prokop Evgeny Novikov Nasser Al-Attiyah

Manufacturer standings VW Polo R WRC Ford Fiesta WRC VW Polo R WRC Citroën DS3 WRC Citroën DS3 WRC Citroën DS3 WRC Ford Fiesta WRC Ford Fiesta WRC Ford Fiesta WRC Ford Fiesta WRC

184 points 109 points 98 points 96 points 88 points 68 points 67 points 49 points 40 points 30 points

1. Volkswagen Motorsport 262 points 2. Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team 236 points 3. Qatar World Rally Team 127 points 4. Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team 126 points 5. Jipocar Czech National Team 51 points 6. Abu Dhabi Citroën Total World Rally Team 37 points 7. Volkswagen Motorsport 2 26 points 8. Lotos WRC Team 20 points


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ADAC Rallye Deutschland / Who’s hot?

Who’s hot? Dani Sordo Citroën DS3 WRC Abu Dhabi Citroën World Rally Team

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Things change rapidly in the WRC, in last month’s issue we honoured Dani Sordo with the NOT award. Now we reserved the HOT column for him. So what happened? Well the sharp-eyed reader already noticed we were not that negative about his results. His achievements in Germany prove us right. During the weekend several candidates for the HOT title crossed our minds. Starting with Latvala, then Neuville but they all faltered. Although initially Sordo was not that fast, in the end he was the one who kept his nerve. When Latvala slid off the road and Neuville did the same the Spaniard took the lead. It was marginal but on the final day he extended the 0.8 second lead into a 3 second lead. He lured Neuville into a mistake in a final showdown. For the usually cool Belgian this resulted in an off road excursion,

that cost him some fifty seconds. “At least I fought for it,” was his conclusion. And Sordo? He was awaited by his father, mother and brother who had been nailbiting during the thrilling finale. At last the Spaniard got his victory something he had been waiting for, for a long time. He’s been pretty close at several occasions (especially on Tarmac) but he was always in the shadows of a man called Loeb. Many times the legend was just a little bit faster than Sordo. Sometimes the man from Spain even had to lift his right foot in favour of his teammates championship chances. It earned him the title most loyal team colleague, but not much more. So he deserved this hard fought victory more than anyone else. Even Neuville, but his chance will not be very far away.

Image: Steven van Veenendaal


ADAC Rallye Deutschland / Who’s not? 19/52

Who’s not? Jari Matti Latvala VW Polo R WRC Volkswagen Motorsport

Image: Steven van Veenendaal

It’s clear Latvala is coming to grips with his 2013 chariot of fire. He’s feeling more comfortable now and can be really fast. It is difficult to beat his team colleague. Ogier is simply a very good driver and he has been able to set the car exactly as he wants it to be. But in Germany Latvala had his big chance. As we know Asphalt is not the Finn’s favourite turf. But unlike his early years he can now be fast on the sealed surface. So when Ogier made his early mistake, it was Latvala who took over. Neuville was giving him a hard time, but he could control the Neuville attacks relatively easy, until the second passing of ‘Stein und Wein’, the first afternoon stage of Saturday. Just before the start an enormous amount of water fell out of the sky and the stage

became even more treacherous. Then, while braking his car left the road and broke a wheel. He limped further but a bit further, right in front of the RallyeMag camera, he ended up in the bushes. Neuville was taken by the same corner but was just a bit luckier and could continue. The conclusion is that in rallying anything can happen. But Latvala is a very experienced driver and he knows the treacherous circumstances in Germany, so perhaps by now he should be able to cope with that. Sometimes bad luck is simply bad luck, sometimes you’ll have to help Lady Luck a bit by just marginally lifting you right foot in uncertain circumstances. If only to defy his criticasters that say he is fast but at the same time claim he can only crash.


Rally-eMag Sept. 2013 / The Inside View

The Inside VieW By: Anna Louise Rudd Images: Qatar M-Sport WRT

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. After travelling half way around the world for Rally Australia, I am now safely back at M-Sport HQ. As a Rally Australia virgin, the hype didn’t disappoint and the Southern Hemisphere fixture has to be one of my favourites of the year!

As the cars drove back into Coffs Harbour for midday service on Friday, I didn’t see Thierry or Nicolas once. They were straight into the engineering office, watching their onboards and amending their pacenotes for the afternoon loop. That’s dedication right there, and it certainly paid The whole team were truly made to feel at home dividends. – any media centre which keeps you constantly Of course it wasn’t all fun and games and, as you supplied with coffee, sweets and chocolate is always going to be a winner with me! We also had some special Aussie guests visit us in the service park in the form of a huge snake and a baby crocodile. I’m delighted to add that whereas the boys weren’t too keen, I was first in line to give our slithery friend a cuddle. The rally itself didn’t disappoint either with another sensational drive from Thierry [Neuville] and Nicolas [Gilsoul]. This was the Belgians’ first time in Australia, but they didn’t allow their inexperience to hinder a fourth consecutive runner-up spot to strengthen their second place in the drivers’ championship.

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Indeed, you will meet few crews who work as hard as Thierry and Nicolas. They may have had a difficult start to the event with some overly optimistic pacenotes, but they regrouped brilliantly.

might imagine, there is an incredible amount of work involved in transporting the championship’s largest rally team to the other side of the world. Key to this process is one of M-Sport’s most devoted and longest-serving employees – Ashley Fowler.


Rally-eMag Sept. 2013 / The Inside View 21/52

A technician by trade, Ashley isn’t just seen giving our fleet of Ford Fiesta RS WRCs the once over during service. Back at M-Sport he is part of the team responsible for engine rebuilds, attends a number of pre-event tests and also oversees our sea and air freight for long-haul events.

lengthy screening processes at the airport. As palette must be weighed and contoured to fit the boxes are all sealed and signed as safe at perfectly into the aircraft’s hold. The cars travel M-Sport, they can go straight onto the aircraft. on standard passenger aircraft – 777 or airbus – so next time you’re flying to Mexico, Argentina The rally cars too are transported via air. Where- or Australia, you could well have over a million as we have a fleet of recce cars on the sea freight pounds worth a rally cars lined up underneath that travel from one long-haul event to the next, your feet! Work starts weeks in advance when the team it is not the same for the competition cars which start to load the air freight. Obviously, this is just a very Unlike European events, brief description of all the nothing can be last minute – work that goes into travelling you can’t just fly a spare part the team to such distant desover in a couple of hours, tinations, and doesn’t even so every department has to begin to cover all the customs plan ahead. paperwork and internal check lists, but I hope it gives you a Working in a secure area better understanding of how it limited to just a handful of all works. personnel, Ashley is responsible packing our three AMP Now, with our final long-haul boxes – each rated at three event done and dusted, it’s tonnes. It’s a tricky job as back to Europe and what is everything has to be calcusure to be one of the most lated. For example, the drivmomentous events in rallyers’ equipment and an ening history: the 2013 edition gine may vary dramatically of Rallye de France-Alsace. in weight, but the volume is With Sébastien Loeb bidmore or less the same so ding farewell to the sport and everything has to be balSébastien Ogier keen to wrap anced accordingly. up the drivers’ championship on home soil, it’s sure to be Similarly, and especially in exciting, and I know of one Australia, there are strict regyoung Belgian who is certainulations on what can and cannot be brought into are fully stripped and rebuilt at M-Sport before ly capable of upsetting the status quo! the country. There can be no dangerous goods or each event. liquids, no aerosols and no food. Thankfully, due Until next time, au revoir rally fans… to Ashley’s diligence, the whole process is made Once prepped, the cars are loaded onto palettes a lot quicker as we don’t have to go through any by Ashley. Again, it’s a tricky process as each


ERC: Barum Czech Rally / Overview

Barum Czech Rally Zlin

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Based in: Zlin Date: 30/8-1/09/2013 Number of stages: 15 Shortest stage: Biskupice – 8.81 km Longest stage: Maják – 23.66 km Total stage distance: 235 km Surface: Asphalt Image: FIA ERC


ERC: Barum Czech Rally / Rally review

Kopecky on top in Czech Both championship leader Jan Kopecky and top manufacturer Skoda enjoyed the comfort of running on home soil for round eight of the ERC, Barum Czech Rally Zlin. No surprise then that a plethora of Skodas made their way to the start with one-time winner Vaclav Pech providing the sole serious competition in his Mini John Cooper Works S2000.

Words: Steven van Veenendaal

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Images: FIA ERC


ERC: Barum Czech Rally / Rally review

Vaclav Pech posed the most serious threat to Kopecky’s charge.

No Bouffier One of Kopecky’s most serious rivals, Bryan Bouffier was forced to withdraw from the event before it had even started. The Frenchman had enrolled but as the event approached found himself unable to secure the necessary funds. Efforts of the local organizers as well as championship promoter Eurosport Events also proved insufficient. Bouffier’s withdrawal came as a rather large disappointment because without him, who was to stop Kopecky from taking charge and building an almost insurmountable lead in the championship? His main opposition was now expected from teammate Esapekka Lappi.

“Czech fans” are infamous around the world.

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Shortly after its inception it started to draw wellknown drivers from all over Europe. The fast flowing tarmac stages, coupled with its status of a European Rally Championship event (since 1983) worked as a magnet for the big names of European rallying. John Haugland, Franz Wittman, Erwin Weber, Enrico Bertone, Freddy Loix and Juho Hänninen are just a few of the top flight international stars to win the rally. Skoda is the most successful manufacturer at their home event, collecting fourteen victories with a wide range of cars, from the 1100 MB and the 130RS in the seventies to the Octavia and Fabia WRC’s early in this millennium. Lately the weapon of choice for the winner has been the The Rally Fabia S2000, which has been undefeated here With roots tracing back over forty years to 1971 since 2009. when the rally was first held, the Barum Rally is quite the icon of Eastern European rallying. Fast, very fast tarmac stages make up the bluk

of the event. The organizers modified some of the stages in an effort to bring down the average speed but the event is still one of the fastest of the season. Another admirable effort by the organizers was to reshuffle the itinerary and add an additional service halt, to allow spectators additional time to move between the stages. Most other event organizers try to entertain spectators between the stages hoping to maintain them at a single spot for the day and prevent possible traffic jams. Credit to the Czechs then to take a different approach and try to give spectators maximum viewing options of their heroes. The strategy paid off as some 200.000 infamous “Czech fans” (you know what we mean if you frequented WRC events during Skoda’s WRC stint with the Octavia and Fabia) flocked to the Zlin region to provide support to their favorites and enjoy the competition.


ERC: Barum Czech Rally / Rally review

Kopecky dominates Crowd favorite Jan Kopecky claimed victory on the first stage of the rally, the Friday night SuperSpecial in Zlin itself. After that, he activated domination mode to charge through Saturday’s stages winning all of them. Of course, Kopecky was the clear favorite prior to the event but his pace and emphatic domination was impressive. The fast, short stages meant that the gaps on the stages were never large, 4,5 seconds being the largest margin. However while the chasing pack were constantly reshuffling their positions, Kopecky was on top every single time, building up a lead of well over half a minute.

Vaclav Pech got off to a bit of a slow start but as the day progressed he found his rhythm and a couple of second place times. Second overall was his at the end of the day too. Pech had a sizeable lead of 28 seconds over third placed Roman Kresta in a privately run Skoda Fabia S2000. That could have been a lot smaller though, as Jaromir Tarabus should have sealed his solid driving with third at the end of the day. An early check-in cost him a minute though, dropping him down to fourth. The main retirement of the day was Esapekka Lappi. The young Finn was having a solid debut at the rally lying in fourth. On stage six a tree intervened with his intentions though. The impact damaged the rollcage on his FaBest of the rest bia after which he was prevented from startBehind Kopecky an engaging battle unfolded ing the final three stages of the day. for the ‘best of the rest’ honor. 2003 Winner

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Tarabus got off to an impressive start untill an early check-in cost him a minute,

Fords in trouble Two brand new Ford Fiesta’s R5 were entered for Tomáš Kostka and Pavel Valoušek. Kostka started very well and was up to third after the first proper stage on Saturday. Finding it difficult to cope with the bumpy roads in his new car he gradually dropped down the leaderboard though. His rally would come to an end on stage six as he broke the transmission of his Fiesta. Valousek faired little better in the second Fiesta. Off the pace from the start, he was hindered by a puncture and failing power steering. Despite a solid effort on the third day, including fastest time overall on stages 11 and 15 he could not climb higher than eighth overall in the final classification.

Up to speed immediately, Kostka started furiously but slipped behind on the tricky bumpy stages later on. A broken transmission eventually cost him the rally.


ERC: Barum Czech Rally / Rally review

Caution rain! The fine weather of the first days turned for the worse on the final day as rain set in overnight making the stages slippery and muddy. Kopecky could take a cautious approach “Today 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.” The Czech did exactly that and brought his Skoda safely home to clinch his fifth win of the season. Having only started six rallies in the ERC so far this year, it’s clear Kopecky is on a mission without question the current man to beat.

WRC ace closed the gap to Vaclav Pech to a mere 15 seconds on the first stage of the final day. A puncture on the next stage crushed his hopes of a good farewell result though. Despite winning four of six stages on Sunday Kresta dropped down to fifth. It was an all Czech podium after all as Jaromir Tarabus moved up in the rankings. Sepp Wiegand claimed fourth.

Group N victory went to Miroslav Jakeš who brought his Lancer Evo IX home in a solid sixth place overall, earning him the Colin McRae Flat Out Trophy. In the ladies category it was once again Molly Taylor taking the spoils which means that she is now tied with Behind Kopeky it was Roman Kresta who had Ekaterina Stratieva for first in the Ladies Trodevious plans of moving up to second on his phy standings. final competitive outing. The former factory

On home soil Jan Kopecky was in command from the get go, he led from the start and never relinguished his position.

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In his final competitve rally former Ford and Skoda factory driver Roman Kresta bat- An impressive drive brought both Group N and Colin McRae Flat Out Trophy glory to Mirotled hard for second place. slav Jakes.


ERC: Barum Czech Rally / Final Result 28/52

Final result 1. Kopecky - Dresler 2. Pech - Uhel 3. Tarabus - Trunkát 4. Wiegand - Christian 5. Kresta - Gross 6. Jakeš - Norek 7. Orsák - Kostka 8. Valoušek - Škardová 9. Tlusťák - Vyoral 10. Kořístka - Drozd

Skoda Fabia S2000 Mini JCW S2000 Skoda Fabia S2000 Skoda Fabia S2000 Skoda Fabia S2000 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX Ford Fiesta R5 Skoda Fabia S2000 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX

2:15.23,0 +1.01,6 +2.32,7 +3.04,3 +3.58,7 +6.35,8 +7.32,1 +7.52,6 +8.27,4 +9.37,2


ERC: Barum Czech Rally / Final Result 29/52

Championship standings 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Jan Kopecky Criag Breen Bryan Bouffier Francois Delecour Vaclav Pech Jari Ketomaa Freddy Loix Andreas Aigner Jaromir Tarabus Luis Monzon

Skoda Fabia S2000 Peugeot 207 S2000 Peugeot 207 S2000 Peugeot 207 S2000 Mini JCW S200 Ford Fiesta S2000 Skoda Fabia S2000 Subaru Impreza R4 Skoda Fabia S2000 MINI JCW RRC

223 points 114 points 99 points 75 points 49 points 39 points 37 points 28 points 25 points 24 points


Rally-eMag September 2013 / Feature

Driving like Mads, Thierry, Evgeny and Nasser When we go to a WRC event we usually fly. Distances are too long to do it otherwise. But Germany is the exception. If we go there we drive. Most of the times one of the importers or dealers is willing to provide us with an interesting model that we can test for a somewhat extended period. This year Ford offered us a Fiesta ST so when we travelled to Trier we felt like one of the official Ford drivers. We are not going to make a habit of it but we couldn’t resist sharing this experience with you.

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Words & images: Harry van Veenendaal


Rally-eMag September 2013 / Feature 31/52

Walking to the car you can’t help being impressed. Not by the exuberantly different looks from a standard Fiesta but more by the subtle details that immediately show, your looking at a potent car. The ultra thin tyres around the 17 inch grey alloys play an important role here. Also the not to loud spoiler over the rear door is a tell tale. The honeycomb front is impressive but doesn’t differ too much from the normal Fiesta. The colour is an ST exclusive: molten orange. It seems to be red, but next to a racing red model you see the difference and when you’re parked in the sun, you can see some gold flakes. It seems tacky but it definitely is not. It fits remarkably well Inside So the outside shows enough of the potential but without being too much for a normal roadcar. The first look at the inside immediately is a bit different. The seats look impressive. And actually

that is what they are. We had the ST2 version of the car and one of the niceties of that version are a set of genuine Recaro’s with a mixture of leather and some kind of very comfortable fabric. The Reacaro’s don’t just look ‘racy’ but they feel that way too. Climbing into the seats is the first time you feel like one of the Ford drivers. Okay there is no roll cage but dropping yourself into the seats is not an option. And if you sit, you sit! The normal seatbelts keep you in place so you can’t just slide lazily under the steering wheel. An agile driving position has simply been built in. Ok so now you’re sitting, in front you find the multi functional steering wheel. Due to all the buttons it doesn’t look that racy, but the perforated leather cover feels good and the grip is tight. To be honest we think the design inside the car does not match the outside. The choice of materials and colours is a bit too much. (It’s a lot better if

you’re driving in the dark though) In the middle of the dashboard a huge Sony infotainment system does everything you possibly could want from a system like that. Roarrrr After adjusting the seats you are both comfortable and safe. The seats support every part of your body and keep you in constant contact with the car’s movements. But you’re still in the parking lot. Not the normal habitat for a car like this. So let’s start. A light touch of the start button is enough to wake the engine. The 1.6 Ecoboost engine is clearly pleased to be able to do it’s trick again and shows that with a pleasing roar. A simple touch of the right foot on the throttle increases the roar. Impressed you carefully release the clutch and instantly the car starts to move. (That is if you didn’t release the clutch too fast, killing the engine in the process).


Rally-eMag September 2013 / Feature 32/52

On the road And now you’re on the road. It depends on the kind of surface underneath your wheels how that feels. The suspension obviously is not of the comfortable kind. It’s rather stiff to use is an understatement. Every bump or hole in the road is amplified. You hear it and at the same time feel it. Steering is remarkably easy, bearing in mind the very low and wide tyres. But the Ford engineers invented one of the best power steering systems we ever experienced. In the

parking lot you can turn the wheels without any effort. Giving you the fear this will not be good while driving a bit faster. But no fear! The system works as it should be. When accelerating the steering feel stiffer (as it should do) and in the end it feels right at every speed.

problem the enormous torque always keeps the engine running. Feel like being Thierry Neuville at the start of a special stage? Racing through the gears is rewarded by an enormous acceleration and together with the excellent road holding capacities you get a very safe feeling. The brakes of course fit very well into this package. The engine The red claws grip into the large discs in and The 185 BHP powerplant is a very nice one in comforting way. If you need to stop quickly the combination with the 6 speed gearbox it does brakes adequately help you do that. everything you want. Lazy at the gear shift? No


Rally-eMag September 2013 / Feature 33/52

Is it perfect then? Well the answer to this questions clearly depends on what you want. If you’re cruising the highways, the amplified roars of the engine sometimes make you a bit tired. And every bump in the road is also felt. So if I would be driving 400 kilometres per day on just motorways I would buy a car with a somewhat longer wheelbase. But hey this is not what the car was made for. So try driving the meandering roads through the Mosel vineyards. This is the car’s natural environment. This is where the car is happy and so is the driver. No leaning over of the bodywork, always enough power and with the perfect feeling in the steering wheel. In these circumstances you can only smile. So if your habitat is similar, meaning you have a lot of smaller twisty roads. Run to your nearest dealer, trade in your own car for the Fiesta ST. And if you can spare a few extra dimes, buy the ST2 if only for the good looks of the leather Recaro’s!


Rally Australia / Overview

coates hire rally australia

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Based in: Coffs Harbour Date: 12-15/09/2013 Number of stages: 22 Shortest stage: Coffs – 1.60 km Longest stage: Nambucca – 49.90 km Total stage distance: 354 km Surface: Gravel Image: Qatar M-Sport WRT


Rally Australia / Rally review

ogier thunders down under There was general consensus among the WRC in-crowd, Ogier would be champion and the chances to be champion in Australia were more than average. Mikko Hirvonen won the last three events there and Kris Meeke was eager to show his value. Although there were only 30 drivers and Neuville and Ă˜stberg have never been down under before, all ingredients were there for an interesting battle.

Words: Harry van Veenendaal

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Images: PR


Rally Australia / Rally review They invented the super special stage in Australia years ago and they still know how to entertain, running the Coffs Harbour super special no less than six times.

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The organizers of the Coates Hire Rally of Australia did their best and the rally again was quite a success. Not in the last place for the public. OK they had to pay a hefty sum to be part of all the action. But there was plenty of it especially in and around the host town itself. In the centre of Coffs Harbour the fans found a rally hub with both the service centre and a mixed surface super special that will be run no less than 6 times. The 1,6 competitive kilometres will not be a rally decider for the competitors, but for the locals it is an excellent opportunity to watch their favourites right at their doorstep. Just like the FIA wants it: people close to the action.

Kris Meeke’s WRC return is welcomed by his many many fans.

The event This event will be one of the most compact WRC events in history. Two of the three legs never go further than 35km from Coffs Harbour. Of the total distance of just over 930 kilometres, 38% (or 354 km) are competitive stages. Competitors The biggest absentee is Daniel Sordo. The Germany winner was replaced by Kris Meeke. In the eyes of Citroën-boss Matton, the man from Northern Ireland stood a bigger chance to gain the ever so necessary points in the constructers’ championship. So he gave his recruit a simple order. “You’re not here to win but to gain as many points as possible for the team. Before the rally

Meeke seemed to understand this: “I won’t be going flat out. At this moment it’s important to show I can get the car to the finish to gain some constructers’ points. It’s also important for myself as it is my second ‘one off chance’ to earn a factory seat for next year.” Another nice addition to the entry list is local driver Nathan Quinn. He found sponsorship to compete in his hometown in a Mini John Cooper Works WRC, entered by Motorsport Italia. He is realistic about his chances. “ I expect to be cleaning the roads for the other competitors on day one but after that I hope to be in the top ten. Hopefully this helps because ultimately, it’s my aim to generate more opportunities for the future to further my rallying.”


Rally Australia / Rally review

Qualifying Kris Meeke was fastest on the qualifying stage. “Road position is very important here,” says the Northern Irishman. “But that does not mean Ill be going flat out tomorrow. This morning and in Finland I showed I could be fast. Tomorrow I’ll have to show I can finish. There is very much at stake here.” Ogier was 0.3 seconds slower. “It was good, but not a perfect stage,” he explained. Following the winning couple were Neuville, Østberg and Mikkelsen, the last being 1.2 seconds adrift of Meeke. The initial stages After the rally show in the centre of Coffs Harbour the competitors only had to travel a very limited distance to the first two stages as these were situated at the fringe of the city’s centre.

The stage where drivers meet head to head on the former velodrome proceeds into the streets of the outskirts and then joins the velodrome again. It’s Mikkelsen who is the surprising winner of the first stage. He and Paul Nagle, who temporarily replaces Markko Markkula, still injured after a heavy landing in Finland, are almost one second faster than Kris Meeke and 1.6 seconds faster than Ogier. On the second passing Ogier sets things straight and wins, but Mikkelsen’s time was fast enough to stay the overnight leader. Ogier takes control As from the second stage Ogier takes over. There are 22 stages in Australia and Ogier wins 19 of them. Mikkelsen, Latvala and Hirvonen are the only ones who manage to be faster then the future champion. Mikkelsen and Hirvonen beat

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After missing Germany, Mikkelsen was back in Australia with a new co-driver, Paul Nagle. He promptly won a stage.

Ogier on two super special stages and a charging Hirvonen stops the timekeeping machine before Ogier on the first stage of the last day. But for the rest it’s clear Ogier wants to be champion and preferably in Australia. So was it boring? No it was not! Behind the leading Volkswagen pilot there was quite a severe battle, starring Hirvonen, Neuville Østberg and (in a supporting role) Kris Meeke. Hirvonen is a three times winner in Australia and he obviously wants to keep it that way. The young Belgian Neuville just like Norwegian Mads Østberg has his maiden run down under and Meeke wants to show the world (and especially the WRC team managers) that he is capable of winning a rally.

Hirvonen couldn’t repeat his wins he took here the last three times. He was fast and up to second though untill that final stage...


Rally Australia / Rally review

Meeke on schedule Meeke has a flying start and resides in second place. Then he starts losing some time and ends up fourth, in front of Latvala and Østberg. It’s Friday now, so he seems to be going according to plan (or should we say according to his promises to Matton?) But then on Saturday’s first stage things go terribly wrong. Meeke explains. “I went into a relatively slow corner but braked just a little bit to late the car went wide and touched something that kicked the car off the road at a really slow speed. Unfortunately we ended up on a slope going down. Therefore we couldn’t stop and after hitting something we started to roll. Before we stopped we were so far down that we could not get back onto the road.” Yves Matton was not amused. “This is not what we agreed upon,” he said ominously. “I need some time to evaluate this…” Meantime Hirvonen and Neuville fight a fierce battle but the Finn’s experience was too much for the young Belgian who drove sensibly by just staying in touch with his rival. He did not risk everything by trying to outpace his rival.

cool and does what he has to do. He wins the Powerstage and another three extra points. Ogier finishes fastest but Mikko Hirvonen loses almost a minute due to a flat tyre. Neuville passes the Finn to be second and Ogier in the process misses one essential point in his quest to be World Champion. To be continued in France. Neuville once again (for the fourth consecutive time) is the runner up and Hirvonen fills the last step on the podium. And Meeke? After some extensive work by his service team his car is fit to race again. But again Lady Luck is not in the hot seat. After going a bit wide again his right hand rear wheel hits something and spontaneously breaks off. A proper seat in a WRC team seems further away than ever… Latvala had problems getting into the rhythm and was struggling behind the leaders. On stage 12 he had a puncture and though he came back rather fast he could not really fight with the top and ended up being fourth. Local hero Nathan Quinn did an excellent job by finishing in the top ten. Much tot the delight of his fans from the Coffs Harbour region.

“So that’s it,” everyone thinks. Virtually Ogier is the new World Champion. But then there is the Powerstage. Ogier is A final stage puncture ruined Hirvonen’s chance of second and dropped him to third.

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Despite winning, Ogier was not as happy as he would have liked. If it wasn’t for Hirvonen’s last minute puncture he would be champion already. Neuville continues his second-place streak, four in a row now. When will he do one better for the first time?


Rally Australia / Final result 39/52

Final result 1. Ogier - Ingrassia 2. Neuville - Gilsoul 3. Hirvonen - Lehtinen 4. Latvala - Anttila 5. Østberg - Andersson 6. Mikkelsen - Nagle 7. Novikov - Minor 8. Quinn - MacNeal 9. Al-Qassimi - Martin 10. Al-Kuwari - Duffy

VW Polo R WRC Ford Fiesta RS WRC Citroen DS3 WRC VW Polo R WRC Ford Fiesta RS WRC VW Polo R WRC Ford Fiesta RS WRC MINI JCW WRC Citroën DS3 WRC Ford Fiesta RRC

3:19:55.0 +1:32.1 +2:02.1 +2:57.4 +3:17.2 +3:37.6 +7:31.2 +13:10.2 +15:17.6 +17:27.7


Rally Australia / Standings Championship standings 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Sebastien Ogier Thierry Neuville Jari-Matti Latvala Mikko Hirvonen Dani Sordo Mads Ostberg Sebastien Loeb Martin Prokop Evgeny Novikov Andreas Mikkelsen

VW Polo R WRC Ford Fiesta WRC VW Polo R WRC Citroën DS3 WRC Citroën DS3 WRC Ford Fiesta WRC Citroën DS3 WRC Ford Fiesta WRC Ford Fiesta WRC Ford Fiesta WRC

212 points 129 points 110 points 103 points 96 points 77 points 68 points 49 points 47 points 34 points

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Manufacturer standings 1. Volkswagen Motorsport 299 points 2. Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team 251 points 3. Qatar World Rally Team 145 points 4. Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team 142 points 5. Jipocar Czech National Team 51 points 6. Abu Dhabi Citroën Total World Rally Team 41 points 7. Volkswagen Motorsport 2 34 points 8. Lotos WRC Team 20 points


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Neste Rally Finland / Who’s hot? 42/52

Who’s hot? Sebastien Ogier VW Polo R WRC Volkswagen Motorsport

In Australia there was simply not one driver that could come anywhere near our HOT award. Ogier led the field almost from start to finish and was not rewarded enough for all his efforts. But not winning the championship in Oz will not be a big problem. He’ll sets things right in France we expect. In Austrlia the young Frenchman was perfectly cool. He knows he is one of the best and he knows he doesn’t have to be afraid of anybody. But his rare mistake in Germany proves that Ogier is only human. Even he can falter on some extra pressure. But In Australia he was totally at ease. He won almost all stages and as it was necessary for his championship chances he even won the Powerstage. So he deserved to be champion but then a strange twist of faith caused a puncture

for Hirvonen and the Frenchman got stuck one point from his championship. But the Ogier we knew from his early Citroën days seems to have gone completely. He is smiling a lot and that seems to suit him well. In France there are two challenges for him. First of all to gain enough points to be the champion but secondly he will be in a battle with his biggest rival ever Sebastien Loeb. Jost Capito sees the merits of this and gives his top driver a free hand to fight this battle. “After Australia the situation in the championship is such that we can afford it,” says Capito. In a few weeks time we will know if the new Seb, as he doesn’t want to be called can finally beat the old Seb. It will be a tight battle, but Ogier in this form is capable of (almost) anything.


Neste Rally Finland / Who’s not? 43/52

Who’s not? Kris Meeke Citroën DS3 WRC Citroën Abu Dhabi World Rally Team

It was with mixed feelings that we heard the news of Kris Meeke replacing Dani Sordo. First of all we think Meeke deserves a chance on the toplevel. His Mini years did not bring him what he expected. Not because of his results or speed but only because of money. We all know the story. But more or less the same applies to Sordo. Still we can also understand Yves Matton. Something had to be done. Hirvonen in his second year was not delivering and Sordo seemed to be struggling. Again Meeke proved to be fast. He was runner up for some time. But then disaster struck. Everywhere you heard, “Oh yes Meeke is off again”. Of course this can happen to anyone but with Meeke it seems to happen somewhat more often. But at this time we gave him the benefit of

the doubt. A day later however, things did not improve. After an enormous effort by the mechanics, he is back again and then, at a time when nothing can be gained and everything can be lost, he goes off again. If you look at his face after the incident, you can see he knows: I’m out of the team now. It’s always hard to judge someone on one or even two mistakes, but this was very bad timing and he can only be very happy Matton said. “I have to think about it.” We hope he will get another chance in Wales, preferably in a team including Hirvonen and Sordo, so that we can actually see if Meeke can really do it and beat his teammates, on the finish line and not only on a few stages.


ERC: Lotos Rally Poland / Overview

Lotos Rally poland

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Based in: Mikolajki Date: 13-15/09/2013 Number of stages: 13 Shortest stage: Mikolajki – 2.50 km Longest stage: Mateuszek – 26.01 km Total stage distance: 203 km Surface: Gravel Image: FIA ERC


ERC: Lotos Rally Poland / Rally review

Polish powerplay Going through a steep learning curve Robert Kubica is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with. After starting the year with the idea of driving safely and gaining experience the former F1 star won the WRC2 class three times out of his last four starts. Even though his ERC results have not nearly been as impressive he still comes to home soil as the clear (fan) favourite.

Words: Steven van Veenendaal

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Images: FIA ERC


ERC: Lotos Rally Poland / Rally review

Kubica was impressive in the mud untill he was caught out.

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Wet and Wild It was clear from the off that Kubica would not face and easy cruise to victory. The Polish starting list was crowded with top flight drivers. ERC Regulars Breen and Bouffier were there, just as title favourite Kopecky. Don’t underestimate the number of Polish talents though. An extensice list of S2000, RRC and R5 cars driven by local talent dominated the entry list. Among others it featured WRC regular Kosciuszko, Solowow, Kajetanowicz and the old fox Krystof Holwczyc.

Many fans defied the dreadful conditions for a look at their heroes.

Strong opposition As in Finland, local knowledge helps a lot on the stages in Poland. So although championship leader Jan Kopecky arrived here full of confidence, he was not necessarely the outright favourite. As mentioned before, local Polish stars are abundant and Robert Kubica is only just joining their ranks in the rally scene. Another force to be reckoned with is Bryan Bouffier. The Frenchman also has a lot of experience on the Polish roads. He competed here between 2007 and 2009 taking the Polish national title. So although At just over 200 km the rally is not very long Kopecky came here after winnig five of the six compared to some of the other events. The com- ERC events he started this season, this one was bination of the flowing gravel roads and heavy definitely not going to be easy. (HEAVY!) rain made the going very though indeed. The stages around the town of Mikolajki Mud wrestling are quite fast, going through scenery resembling Jan Kopecky opted to start first on the road on the forrests of Finland, although there aren’t as the opening day, quickly realizing this had been many jumps here in Poland. the wron decision. “Under the mud there is sand,

which has a lot more grip for the drivers behind.“ He was immediately off the pace on the opening loop, dropping to fourth, over 40 seconds behind the rally leader. Picking up the fight he steadily improved throughout the day to maintain the gap untill the final stage of the day. That was where it almost all went wrong “That last stage was a real nightmare. Twice I was out of the road. I was very lucky because once I thought we were hitting a tree.” Despite losing over half a minute on that stage Kopecky survived to finish the day in fourth. Robert Kubica was less fortunate. His start had been very impressive. He may be from Poland, untill this weekend he had never participated in the rally so all stages were new to him. A bit unconsistent, but fast nonetheless Kubica clocked two fastest stage stages before heading into the stage that had almost caught out Jan Kopecky.


ERC: Lotos Rally Poland / Rally review

Going through a fifth-gear right hand corner Kubica hit a rock breaking his right front wheel. Despite struggling to the end of the stage Kubica was forced to retire. “I tried to make it to the finish as I thought we had some spare parts but we don’t and it’s a shame. I thought at the beginning it was a puncture but in the end it was the wheel.“ Another suffering from the atrocious conditions on the day’s final stage was Estonian youngster Martin Kangur. He had impressed many with fastest time on the fifth stage. A powersteering problem on the final stage caused him to crash into a tree losing nearly two minutes (and all hopes of a good result) in the process. So, with all those guys losing time, who is up

in front? Not Craig Breen. The Irishman has shown flashes of brilliance this season but failed to make a similar impact in Poland. A puncture early on caused him some time, but he never looked the superstar-in-the-making as he has on other events. He ended the day down in eigth. Peugeot teammate Bryan Bouffier though was up front. Capitalizing on his experience of the Polish stages Bouffier jumped out in front from the start. He won the first two stages to open up a small gap to Robert Kubica. Later in the afternoon he set another fastest time and when Kubica faltered, he could take a little breather. It would be a very little breather though as Kajetan Kajetanowicz quickly seized second place and put the pressure back on Bouffier. At the end of the day just under 17 seconds separated the two with Solowow in third.

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‘Semi-local’ Bryan Bouffier was immediately on the pace and fought till the end.

Battle Royale(?) As the crews rolled over the start ramp for the second day of the rally a great battle between Bouffier and Kajetanowicz appaered to be on hand. Both drivers have a lot of experience on the event and Bouffier knows his Peugeot 207 S2000 like the back of his hand. Kajetanowicz meanwhile had only done 200 kms of testing in the new Fiesta R5 before starting the event. Coming to grips with the car pretty quickly he was getting faster and faster. Surely this would be an awesome fight to the finish. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be. Bouffier hit trouble on the very first stage of the day. A broken right rear suspension damper spoiled his day. Rather than risking everything Bouffier opted to ease off and nurture his car to the finish to take a save second.

But eventually it was Kajetanowicz who jumped into the lead.


ERC: Lotos Rally Poland / Rally review

A Premiere! Bouffier’s trouble meant that Kajetanowicz could cruise safely home to take the win. It would be the first ERC victory for the brand new Ford Fiesta R5. With the win Kajetanowicz also racked up a few bonusses as he claimed the Polish national rally title as well. To finish things of, he was also rewarded with the Colin McRae Flat Out Trophy for his spectacular performance. Behind Kajetanowicz and Bouffier, Kopecky eventually made it home in third, having to overcome a loosening propshaft bolt. His thrid place brings him within reach of his maiden European Rally Championship title. Winning just one day at the next event in Croatia would suffice for the Czech. Given his recent performances it seems unlikely

the title will elude him now. As an indication of the strength of the entry list, the rest of the top ten finishers contained not one Group N car. The entire top ten was made up of S2000’s, RRC’s and R5’s. Behind Kopecky, WRC regular Michal Kosziuczko claimed fourth in his Fiesta ahead of yet another Fiesta, driven by the unofficial King of Polish rallying, Krysztof Holowzcyc. The veteran managed to stay clear of Michal Solowo by just two seconds. Next up, Craig Breen, who will no doubt be disappointed to finish in seventh. Never coming to grips with the Polish stages he only managed one fourth fastest stage time, not the performance we have grown accustomed to. Kajetanowicz spectacular win earned him the Colin McRae Flat Out Trophy.

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Strangly off-pace Craig Breen found the conditions difficult to cope with and was no- The man they call “Holek”, Krysztof Holowzcyc makes an occassional outing but always where near the front runners. tries to do his main home event. He’s always fast too.


ERC: Lotos Rally Poland / Final Result 50/52

Final result 1. Kajetanowicz - Baran 2. Bouffier - Panseri 3. Kopecky - Dresler 4. Kościuszko - Szczepaniak 5. Hołowczyc - Kurzeja 6. Solowow - Rozwadowski 7. Breen - Vanneste 8. Staniszewski - Drahan 9. Gryazin - Chumak 10. Oleksowicz - Kuśnierz

Ford Fiesta R5 1:58.40,6 Peugeot 207 S2000 +23,3 Skoda Fabia S2000 +1.28,4 Skoda Fabia S2000 +2.14,1 Ford Fiesta RRC +3.15,5 Ford Fiesta RRC +3.17,4 Peugeot 207 S2000 +3.33,5 Ford Fiesta S2000 +3.48,2 Ford Fiesta S2000 +4.08,0 Ford Fiesta S2000 +4.13,5


ERC: Lotos Rally Poland / Standings 51/52

Championship standings 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Jan Kopecky Bryan Bouffier Criag Breen Francois Delecour K. Kajetanowicz Vaclav Pech Jari Ketomaa Freddy Loix Andreas Aigner Jaromir Tarabus

Skoda Fabia S2000 Peugeot 207 S2000 Peugeot 207 S2000 Peugeot 207 S2000 Ford Fiesta R5 Mini JCW S2000 Ford Fiesta S2000 Skoda Fabia S2000 Subaru Impreza R4 Skoda Fabia S2000

248 points 129 points 121 points 75 points 50 points 49 points 39 points 37 points 28 points 25 points


Next issue, late October, with Rally de France, Rally Croatia and much more. See you there!

Rally-eMag 013 September 2013  

Featuring WRC rallies Germany and Australia, ERC rallies Barum and Poland, a look at the Fiesta ST and of course The Inside View.

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