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2013 Rallye de France

October 10th

The Qatar M-Sport squad were left to ask what could have been as Rallye de France-Alsace came to a close today. Having led the rally in its early phases, Qatar World Rally Team’s Thierry Neuville finished the event in fourth place with the Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team Ford Fiesta RS WRCs of Evgeny Novikov and Mads Østberg in fifth and eighth places overall.
Despite finishing the event off the podium, Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul were superb throughout the four-day fixture. Having led the field for much of the event, the Belgians were on course to secure a maiden FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) victory until a puncture on the second pass of yesterday’s ‘Vallée de Munster’ stage (SS12) undid their good work.
Losing almost a minute and a half to the chasing pack, the pairing were relegated to fifth place with all to do on today’s remaining 56.58 kilometre distance. Unfazed by yesterday’s disappointment, Neuville entered the treacherous, mud-strewn stages with one clear goal – to keep his Fiesta RS WRC firmly planted to the black-top stages and reap the rewards of any time loss ahead.
The 25-year-old’s strategy worked well. Despite taking a more cautious approach for the final day, Neuville was never out of the top-three on overall stage times. When nine-time World Champion, Sébastien Loeb, fell foul of the conditions, the Belgian recovered fourth place and valuable points for his championship campaign.
Having claimed two additional points on the opening Power Stage, Neuville lost just one point to Jari-Matti Latvala and retains his strong second place in the Championship – 18 points clear of the Finn – with two rounds remaining.
In the Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team, Novikov and co-driver Ilka Minor piloted their Fiesta RS WRC to another strong result. Driving well, the Russian increased his pace throughout the weekend – setting a string of competitive times. Indeed he and Minor have given themselves a healthy base on which to build when the championship returns to the mixed stages of Rally de España later this month.
Taking an intelligent approach to what is a rally on his least preferred surface, fellow Qatar M-Sport driver, Østberg, grew in both experience and confidence throughout the weekend. Comfortably upping their pace, he and co-driver Jonas Andersson were rewarded through the morning loop as they climbed from eighth, to sixth place overall.
Unfortunately, the 25-year-old had to settle for eighth place come the end of the event having become lodged on a junction through the tricky second pass of ‘Vignoble de Cleebourg’ (SS18). That said, the knowledge he has gained will hold the Norwegian in good stead as the championship continues in Spain.
Elsewhere, in WRC 2, Elfyn Evans and Daniel Barritt regrouped brilliantly following a puncture on the opening day. Having fallen down to fifth place in the category rankings, the Welshman set his Ford Fiesta R5 up perfectly for the challenging conditions.
Rarely out of the top-two on individual stage times, Evans looked more than comfortable on the rain-soaked stages. Second only to ex-Formula 1 ace Robert Kubica, the 25-year-old secured his second successive podium and will be looking to take further strides as the championship continues.

Thierry Neuville (4th) said:
“Obviously I am disappointed having had the opportunity to take my first win this weekend, but I have to accept it. I think that we had a really good weekend and we have definitely shown that we have the speed and the car to win rallies.
“Ultimately it was my mistake – just 10 centimetres wide in one corner. Of course it’s a shame, but both ‘Sebs’ were here, and we were beating them, so I have to be happy with that.
“Again I need to thank the entire M-Sport team for everything they have done this weekend. This is our eleventh event in the team and we have not had a single problem with the car all season. We know that we have everything we need to secure a win this season, so now we just need to go out there and get it.”

Evgeny Novikov (5th) said:
“Fifth place is quite good result for us, and I think the best we could have achieved this weekend. Generally it was a good event – our driving was good and I felt confident on the stages which I know quite well. I hope that we can continue to progress like this at the final two events.”

Mads Østberg (8th) said:
“I was definitely more comfortable as the event went on and the speed was getting better and better which is a good thing. Of course this afternoon didn’t go the way we would have wanted it to, but sometimes things do not always go to plan.
“It is always frustrating when something like that happens – especially when everything was going in the right direction. But if you look at what we have done this weekend, I think it was a big improvement which I hope to continue building on in Spain.”

Elfyn Evans (2nd in WRC 2) said:
“There are certainly a lot of positives that we can take from this weekend. We had a difficult start after having a bit of a break from the car since Germany and we struggled to get settled in. Then we had a puncture in the early stages that really hampered any hopes of battling with Robert [Kubica] for the lead of WRC 2.
“Saturday was a good day for us and we set some good times. But today we had some very difficult conditions and, considering the gap to Robert up front, we decided to just concentrate on getting the car home in one piece.
“All in all, there are positives to be taken, but not quite the result we wanted. We’re back in Spain and GB so hopefully we can go one better there.”

Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
“It’s obviously a big disappointment that Thierry [Neuville] and Nicolas [Gilsoul, co-driver] were not able to take their first victory here this weekend – especially after dominating the first half of the event to such an extent – but there is no question that their first win is not far away.
“The way he [Neuville] recovered after the disappointment and went on to continue to set fastest times is testament to both him and the [Ford] Fiesta [RS WRC]. We know that the car is competitive on both gravel and Tarmac, and the whole team is now looking forward to Spain where we can go and challenge for the victory once again.
“In WRC 2, we also saw another solid performance from Elfyn [Evans] and Daniel [Barritt, co-driver]. The puncture on the first day inevitably set them back, but I am looking forward to Spain where I am sure they can take they battle to Robert [Kubica] and Maciek [Baran, co-driver].”



Anna Rudd
Media Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team

Photo Exclusive and Copyright:

André Lavadinho

Admin and Translation: Pablo MACHI
Media Qatar World Rally Team
Rally Report Magazine Argentina

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Rally Report Magazine Argentina 13 años




This post is also available in: English (Inglés) Deutsch (Alemán) Español

WRC A FULL 2013 / 2014


29 de Diciembre 2013

Cuando todo indicaba que la firma inglesa que distribuye y arma en sus instalaciones de Cumbria, los autos que representan a la compañía norteamericana del ovalo en el WRC, o sea Ford desde 1997 con la responsable gestión de Malcom Wilson, en el día de ayer surgió la versión que su empresa habría acordado un contrato de tres años con Vodafone para participar cómo patrocinador principal de la escuadra británica en el campeonato del mundo de rallyes que organiza la FIA a partir del mítico Rally de Montecarlo a mediados de enero.
Pero al parecer no es tan concreta la opción cómo se vislumbraba para la sustitución del patrocinio de Qatar, tras la determinación del príncipe qatarí, Nasser Al-Attiyah, de dejar de lado por un año la actividad rallística y centrarse al certamen ecuménico de Rally Raid con el equipo alemán que conduce Sven Quandt, X-Raid Team. Mirando el objetivo máximo la edición del Dakar Argentina, Bolivia y Chile 2014 con el MINI ALL4 Racing.
Con esta incertidumbre comenzará M-Sport, el año en el Rally Mundial, si o no Vodafone en los laterales de los competitivos Fiesta RS WRC del finlandés Mikko Hirvonen, el inglés Elfyn Evans, en el día de su cumpleaños número 25 y el polaco Robert Kubica, quien entreno en esta jornada en Europa con vistas a su debut en el ERC Janner Rally con la Fiesta versión RRC by M-Sport con el apoyo del lubricante de su país, Lotos.








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Rally Report Magazine Argentina 13 años




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FIA ERC 2014 event preview: 31 Int. Jannerrallye, Oberosterreich


28 December 2013

EVENT PREVIEW: 2014 FIA European Rally Championship, round one of 12
31 Int. Jännerrallye, Oberösterreich, 3-5 January 2014 (Austria)

ERC Ice Masters to chase success on 2014 season-opener in Austria

Some of Europe’s best drivers will prove their worth as Ice Masters when the 2014 FIA European Rally Championship powers into action on the 31 Int. Jännerrallye, Oberösterreich from 3-5 January 2014.

The asphalt showcase, which first ran in 1969 and attracted 100,000 spectators when it hosted the opening round of the 2013 ERC, is based in Freistadt, 40 kilometres north of the city of Linz in Upper Austria. The stages in the spectacular Mühlviertel region use fast, undulating country roads, with ice and snow adding to the challenge facing the crews.

As well as counting as the first event of the 12-round ERC schedule, which will enjoy extensive coverage on Eurosport, the rally is also the opening event of the Austrian and Czech championship seasons. It provides the first opportunity for drivers to chase ERC Ice Master points, an exciting new initiative developed by ERC promoter Eurosport Events.

Close on 50 cars are entered for the international section of the Jännerrallye with Formula One race winner turned rallying superstar Robert Kubica the top seed in his Ford Fiesta RRC. The entry list also includes Austria’s ERC Production Car Cup champion Andreas Aigner, his ERC 2WD title-winning counterpart Zoltán Bessenyey from Hungary, plus the national champions from Austria (Raimund Baumschlager), Czech Republic (Václav Pech) and Poland (Kajetan Kajetanowicz).

The event features 18 stages over a competitive distance of 245.60 kilometres. A Qualifying Stage, held on the morning of Friday 3 January, will be used to decide the starting order among the priority drivers.


ERC aces to make performance step
Several ERC regulars will be taking a step up in performance in Austria. Andreas Aigner, Robert Consani and Hermann Neubauer are among those sampling more advanced machinery than they used in 2013, with Aigner and Consani both competing in Peugeot 207 Super 2000s and Neubauer armed with a Subaru Impreza R4 STI for the first time. Meanwhile, ERC 2WD runner-up Kornél Lukács will switch to a four-wheel-drive Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX having campaigned a Citroën C2R2 in 2013.

R5 cars out in force in the ERC
Three new-generation Ford Fiesta R5s are entered with Czech drivers Roman Odložilík and Pavel Valoušek, plus top Pole Kajetan Kajetanowicz all competing in the M-Sport-built cars. Valoušek scored the first ERC stage win for an R5-specification car last season, while Kajetanowicz bagged the car’s maiden outright victory in the ERC.

Young ERC hopefuls out to impress
Several future stars will be in action including young Latvian promise Vasily Gryazin, emerging Czech talent Jan Černý, rated Hungarian Kornél Lukács, rising Ukrainian Vitaly Pushkar, German hope Raffael Sulzinger and Simone Tempestini, the current Romanian Junior champion. Černý, Lukács, Pushkar and Tempestini will all be in contention for ERC Production Car Cup honours, where rapid Austrian Beppo Harrach is expected to provide their strongest opposition.

Tarabus to start ERC adventure in Austria
Jaromír Tarabus, a frontrunner in the Czech championship for several seasons, will begin his ERC campaign on the Jännerrallye, one of as many as eight rounds that Tarabus is due to tackle in his Kresta Racing-prepared ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000. Compatriot and European championship regular Antonín Tlusťák is also expected to contest several ERC rounds in 2014 in a Fabia.

Danhelová and Stratieva to chase ERC Ladies’ Trophy honours
Martina Danhelová and Ekaterina Stratieva will battle for ERC Ladies’ Trophy honours in Austria. Stratieva finished runner-up to 2013 champion Molly Taylor, while Danhelová made a one-off ERC appearance in her native Czech Republic last term.

What’s new in the ERC in 2014?
New rallies, new categories and new awards are all in store for the ERC in 2014. The Acropolis Rally, the Circuit of Ireland Rally, auto24 Rally Estonia and the Cyprus Rally are all new for the upcoming season, while Sibiu Rally Romania becomes a winter event. The FIA ERC Junior Championship will get underway on Rally Liepāja in late January; the ERC Manufacturers’ Cup begins in 2014, while surface specialists will be rewarded with the creation of the new ERC Asphalt, Gravel and Ice Master accolades.


ERC Production Car Cup champion steps up for home rally

A new year and a new car – how much experience do you have of your Peugeot 207 Super 2000?
“Not so much. I did some kilometres in a Race of Champions-style event on a rallycross track in Austria but for sure we will do a test before the rally because it is very important to prepare for the wet, icy and snowy roads you get on this event so you can get the confidence.”

So it sounds like the weather will be a big factor?
“It means there cannot be one real favourite for the victory because it is so easy to make a mistake and go off the road or to make the wrong tyre choice and lose one minute. The weather is changing all the time and it is not easy to be on the right tyres at the right time.”

Your choice of car gives you the chance to start the 2014 ERC season with an overall victory…
“Although it’s my home event I don’t have so much experience on these roads and there are a lot of good drivers doing this rally, including really strong drivers from Austria and Czech Republic. They know the stages very well and will be very fast.”

Is this a one-off drive or is there a chance that you will do more ERC events in this car?
“We don’t know yet. I am very happy to be at the start in this car and I will look forward to this but we are still waiting on decisions from some sponsors before we can look ahead for the rest of the season.”

How crucial will a strong result be in your efforts to secure more backing?
“Of course a good result is important but I don’t think it will make a big difference. The most important thing is to compete in the European Rally Championship when it comes to your country.”

*History was made on the Jännerrallye in 1981 when a four-wheel-drive car was used in competition for the first time. Driving an Audi Quattro, Franz Wittmann won by a margin of more than 20 minutes.
*Speaking of iconic rally cars, event regular Stig Blomqvist will drive a Quattro course car as part of the 30th anniversary celebrations of his world rally title triumph in 1984.
*The first Jännerrallye took place in 1969 but a lack of finance meant there was no event between 1986 and 2001. The event didn’t run in 2010 due to a permit issue.
*Ernst Haneder is a baker in Jännerrallye host town Freistadt when he’s not competing. A brush with a telegraph pole ended his hopes of a finish last season.
*Apple strudel and Wiener schnitzel are two popular Austrian dishes. In Upper Austria, dumplings are a favourite, while the Linzer Torte is a cake made from ground nuts and raspberry jam.

ŠKODA driver Jan Kopecký claimed what would be the first of six ERC victories during his title-winning season by repeating his Jännerrallye triumph of 12 months previously. In a dramatic finish, Kopecký beat Bryan Bouffier (Peugeot 207 S2000) to victory by half a second after he fought back from a late puncture. Multiple Austrian champion Raimund Baumschlager finished third. Austria’s Beppo Harrach clinched the Colin McRae Flat Out Trophy for his performance to win the ERC Production Car Cup. Hannes Danzinger recovered from a puncture to win ERC 2WD in a Renault Clio.


Starts: 19:30hrs, Friday 3 January, Messehalle, Freistadt
Finishes: 17:28hrs, Sunday 5 January, Messehalle, Freistadt
Headquarters: Messehalle, Stieranger 8, 4240 Freistadt
Service park: Stieranger, 4240 Freistadt
Facts and figures:
Entries received: 49
ERC appearances: Three (since restructuring of ERC in 2004)
Stages: 18
Stage distance: 245.60 kilometres (138.40 kilometres leg one, 107.20 kilometres leg two)
Liaison: 579.26 kilometres
Total: 824.86 kilometres
Surface: Snow and ice-coated asphalt

Media accreditation and media centre:
Wirschaftskammer (WKO building), Linzer Straße 11, 4240 Freistadt
Accreditation times:
07:30hrs-22:00hrs, Friday 3 January
07:30hrs-22:00hrs, Saturday 4 January
Media centre opening times:
07:30hrs-22:00hrs, Friday 3 January
07:30hrs-22:00hrs, Saturday 4 January
07:30hrs-22:00hrs, Sunday 5 January

Free Practice (for FIA/ERC priority drivers): 09:30hrs, Friday 3 January, Freistadt Trölsberg (1.99-kilometre stage approximately three kilometres from the event service park)
Qualifying Stage (for FIA/ERC priority drivers): 10:30hrs, Friday 3 January, Freistadt Trölsberg
Shakedown (for all other drivers): 11:00hrs-15:00hrs, Friday 3 January, Freistadt Trölsberg
Driver photo/interview opportunity: 14:00hrs-15:00hrs, Friday 3 January, Pferdeeisenbahn Museum, Kerschbaum 61, 4261 Rainbach (eight kilometres from service park)
Presentation of competing cars: 16:00hrs, Friday 3 January, Stadtplatz, Freistadt
Start order selection: 16:30hrs, Friday 3 January, Stadtplatz, Freistadt
FIA Action for Road Safety photocall: 16:40hrs approx., Friday 3 January, Stadtplatz, Freistadt
Pre-event press conference: 17:15hrs, Friday 3 January, Wirschaftskammer (WKO building), Linzer Straße 11, 4240 Freistadt (200 metres from the service park)
Ceremonial start: 19:30hrs, Friday 3 January, Messehalle, Stieranger, 4240 Freistadt
Post-event press conference: 18:30hrs, Sunday 5 January, Messehalle, Stieranger, 4240 Freistadt, Austria. Top-three drivers and co-drivers in attendance
Event media contact: Armin Holenia,, +43 6642012700
Television coverage: Daily highlights will be broadcast on Eurosport. Go to the Watch it on TV section of for more information
ERC Rally Radio: Live throughout the event at or through the ERC app
Results, standings, live timing and text commentary:





Media FIA ERC 2014

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Rally Report Magazine Argentina 13 años




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WRC A FULL 2013 / 2014


28 de Diciembre 2013

Vodafone será el patrocinador oficial de M-Sport a partir del Rally blanco de Suecia, valido por el FIA World Rally Championship 2014 en el mes de febrero en los Ford Fiesta RS WRC de Mikko Hirvonen, Elfyn Evans y Robert Kubica.


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