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October 19th
As the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) ventures to the only true mixed-surface event of the season at RallyRACC Rally de España, Qatar M-Sport will showcase six Ford Fiestas on the combination stages. The Ford Fiesta RS WRCs of Mads Østberg, Evgeny Novikov, Nasser Al-Attiyah and Thierry Neuville will be joined by newcomer Hayden Paddon and the Ford Fiesta R5 of Elfyn Evans.
As the only round of the season to combine both asphalt and gravel stages, the three-day fixture poses a real challenge for the technicians and crews alike. Saturday evening will see M-Sport’s expert team convert all six Qatari-liveried Fiestas from their asphalt to gravel specification in just 75 minutes.
But the real challenge for the drivers comes on Sunday morning as they strive to get back into the rhythm of gravel rallying. Being off the pace and out of sync through the final speed tests can cost valuable seconds, so the Qatar M-Sport crews will need to be on top of their game from the first loose-surface kilometre.
Back on form following an encouraging drive on the sealed-surface roads of Rallye de France-Alsace, Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team’s Østberg will be looking to do just that. The Norwegian made strides on the black-top stages of Alsace and will be looking for more of the same in Spain.
Partnered by Swedish co-driver Jonas Andersson, Østberg finished fourth overall at the event last year and will be looking for another top-five result next week.
Another driver keen to build on his development at the last outing in France is Østberg’s team mate, Novikov. The Russian combined his clear speed with a cautious approach on the French asphalt which resulted in a strong top-five finish. Partnered by Austrian co-driver Ilka Minor, the pairing will be keen to put in a similar performance in Spain.
Fresh from wrapping up his ninth FIA Middle East Rally Championship, Al-Attiyah will make a welcome return to the Qatar World Rally Team next week. Despite his vast experience in the WRC, it might surprise some to hear that the Qatari has only contested the Spanish event on one previous occasion – piloting a Ford Fiesta S2000 to the runner-up spot in the S-WRC series in 2011.
Joined by co-driver Giovanni Bernacchini, the pairing will be looking for another successful weekend. Having secured victory on the combination stages of Rally Cyprus, the duo are well placed to tackle a second mixed-surface event in succession and capable of securing a fourth top-five result of the year.
Al-Attiyah’s team-mate, Neuville, came tantalisingly close to securing a maiden WRC victory in France earlier this month – were it not for a puncture on the penultimate day. That said, the Belgian certainly proved that his speed has the potential to challenge for rally wins.
Unfortunately, that first victory will have to wait, but there would be few to bet against it coming to fruition in Spain. The Belgian has confidence and momentum on his side, and although admittedly focused on maintaining his second place in the championship, he and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul have already proven themselves – and the Fiesta RS WRC – to be a highly competitive combination on both asphalt and gravel.
Making their debut in a new generation world rally car, New Zealand’s finest – Paddon and co-driver John Kennard – will take to the wheel of the Fiesta RS WRC for the first time in competition next week. Driving for the Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team, the pairing have high hopes and their skill behind the wheel could well see them challenge the front-runners on individual stage times.
Elsewhere, in the WRC 2 category, Evans and co-driver Daniel Barritt are keen to take the fight to rivals Robert Kubica and Maciek Baran. The pairing have already proven that they have the speed to take on the ex-Formula One ace on asphalt as well as gravel and Evans is eager to make the most of what is his last opportunity to challenge the Pole in direct competition this year.

Mads Østberg said:

“Our confidence on Tarmac is certainly improving. I felt that the driving was getting a lot better in France and we progressed really well until we hit some troubles on the final day. I’m hoping to carry on that development next week and just keep building the confidence with each new kilometre.

“I have some new ‘sports’ glasses for this event too. In France, it was the first time for me wearing glasses whilst driving for a really long time, so it took a while to get used to. I used them in testing this week and it was a lot better so I hope that will help us too.

“I am really looking forward to the gravel stages on Sunday. It’s a big change and a big challenge. With almost two full events and all the testing on Tarmac, we need to be able to adjust quickly to the change in grip and also the speed that we carry into the corners. When making such a dramatic switch from one surface to another, it is so easy to make a mistake.”

Evgeny Novikov said:

“We had quite a good rally in France, so I’m hoping that we will be able to continue our progress next week. In Australia, we just concentrated on getting through all the stages, but we increased the speed in France and got a good top-five result. I think that was the best we could have done that weekend, so we’ll be looking to do at least the same again in Spain.

“I like this rally, but it is completely different to the other events because we will be competing on both asphalt and gravel stages. The key is to keep the momentum high as you go into the gravel tests on the final day. You need to make sure your car is well set-up for all of the different stages and also that you are in the right frame of mind to tackle each surface.”

Nasser Al-Attiyah said:

“Fresh from securing a ninth title in the Middle East means that Giovanni [Bernacchini] and I will be full of confidence going to Spain next week. It was a fantastic result by the whole team and the championship is very important for me, Giovanni, the team, Qatar and all of our sponsors and supporters who have been behind us all the way.

“Rally Cyprus was a mixed-surface event like Spain, so I hope that we will have a good rhythm going into this event. We know that the car is competitive on all surfaces so I am sure that all of the Qatar team will be able to challenge for some very good results.”

Thierry Neuville said:

“As the only mixed-surface event on the calendar, this rally is certainly a lot different to what we are used to. Although we’ll only be testing on asphalt, we have good experience from last year and we know from this year that we can be competitive on both surfaces.

“For a driver, the most difficult aspect is to ensure you make a swift transition from the Tarmac to gravel stages. You need to be confident in your driving and find a good rhythm. If you are not up to speed on Sunday, you can easily lose ten to fifteen seconds which – as we saw with the field being so close in France – can make all the difference.

“Our aim again is to maintain second place in the championship. We’ve seen that we can challenge for victory on many surfaces, so we will push from the beginning, but we also need to keep the championship in mind. We need to finish this event strongly, but if we are still in a position to fight for the victory on Sunday, then we will start to take a few more risks.”

Hayden Paddon said:

“It’s certainly going to be a very exciting event for us – it’s pretty amazing to have an opportunity to drive a world rally car for the first time in competition! Obviously, at the same time, that brings a lot of pressure, but we’ll put that to the back of our minds and just concentrate on doing the best job we can.

“Preparation wise, John [Kennard, co-driver] and I are lucky enough to have competed in Spain a couple of times before. We’re just working on the pacenotes and being as comfortable as we can before the start of the rally.

“Generally, the switch from asphalt to gravel is a real challenge for the drivers as you need to be able to adapt your driving style pretty quickly. For me, for example, I’ll be going from right-foot braking to left-foot braking over the course of just a few hours. That aside, next week will give us the perfect opportunity to show what we can do on both surfaces.”

Elfyn Evans said:

“The real challenge of Rally de España is ensuring that you have the momentum and the rhythm to keep the speed as we move from asphalt to gravel. There is the potential to lose a lot of time on Sunday morning, so all the crews need to ensure that their confidence is high when the surface changes.

“The ‘Terra Alta’ stage [SS12 and SS15] also includes a really tricky Tarmac section which could pose a bit of a challenge. Your pacenotes need to be spot on in there and you need to really concentrate. Especially if it’s dry, you also need to make sure that you look after the gravel tyres.

“It would be nice to beat Robert [Kubica] at least once this year! I think we have proven that we have the speed to challenge him on both surfaces; it’s just a case of pulling everything together and having a perfect rally. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”






Anna Louise Rudd
Media Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team

Photo Exclusive and Copyright:

André Lavadinho

Admin and Translation: Pablo MACHI
Rally Report Magazine Argentina

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Rally Report Magazine Argentina 13 años




This post is also available in: English (Englisch) Deutsch Español (Spanisch)

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




This post is also available in: English (Englisch) Deutsch Español (Spanisch)

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.


Media & Comunication TGS Worldwide
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Rally Report Magazine Argentina

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