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October 26th

As the FIA World Rally Championship’s (WRC) only mixed-surface event of the year bade farewell to the pure asphalt stages, Qatar World Rally Team’s Thierry Neuville moved into a top-three position whilst claiming three additional points in the all-important Power Stage.

Making strides throughout the day, Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team’s Evgeny Novikov holds sixth place overall with Mads Østberg and Hayden Paddon in seventh and ninth places respectively.

Unfortunately, a huge roll on the penultimate stage of the day put paid to Nasser Al-Attiyah’s hard work and progress. Similarly for Elfyn Evans, the Welshman had to forfeit a strong second place in the WRC 2 category having impacted with a concrete bollard on the day’s final stage and damaging the steering of his Ford Fiesta R5.

Having altered the set-up of their Ford Fiesta RS WRC for the afternoon loop, Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul were back up to their customary speed – matching the times of their rivals from the off. The pairing were keen to show how formidable their pace can be, and they did just that by winning the Power Stage by an impressive margin of 2.8 seconds over their nearest rival.

With an additional three points for his championship campaign, it was mission accomplished for Neuville. Having controlled the gap to the leaders, the 25-year-old goes into tomorrow’s gravel terrain with all to play for – as well as a favourable road position he is less than thirty seconds adrift of the battling duo ahead.

In the Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team, Novikov was continuing where he left off last night. Looking at one behind the wheel of his Fiesta RS WRC, he and co-driver Ilka Minor set a string of competitive times to remain in the fight for another top-five result, just 0.1 seconds adrift of rival Mikko Hirvonen.

Getting to grips with the handling of the sister Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team Fiesta RS WRC, Østberg and co-driver Jonas Andersson demonstrated some encouraging progress on today’s closing speed tests. With their confidence renewed, the pairing will be relishing the opportunity to get back behind the wheel on gravel tomorrow – when they can truly showcase their potential.

Also improving the balance and handling of his Fiesta RS WRC, Paddon was growing in confidence with each new stage. The New Zealander had been struggling to find the optimum set-up, but having made some adjustments in service, he and co-driver John Kennard were encouraged by their improvements and relishing tomorrow’s fresh challenge on gravel.

Following an inspection of their Ford Fiestas, Evans will restart under Rally 2 regulations tomorrow, but following some substantial rollcage damage, Al-Attiyah will unfortunately take no further part in this weekend’s event.

Thierry Neuville (3rd) said:

“I think it is fair to say that this morning, the times just weren’t there. We tried to minimise the gap to the guys in front, but the set-up wasn’t really working for us and we were losing time on every stage.

“After speaking with the team, we made some changes to the set-up in [midday] service and immediately the car felt great and our confidence was right back to what it had been in the previous events. It was a lot easier to fight with the other drivers and the three points in the Power Stage were very important for the championship.

“Of course tomorrow is another day. If Jari-Matti [Latvala] takes the full 25 points – and the additional point from this afternoon [for third place in the Power Stage] – it will really reduce our advantage over him [in the championship]. We need to be clever tomorrow and find a good balance between taking time out of him [Latvala] and Dani [Sordo] and, ultimately, staying on the road.”

Evgeny Novikov (6th) said:

“We were able to push a little bit more this afternoon and again I was happy with the times. I think we can be pleased with what we have done on the asphalt stages and tomorrow we will just continue the way we have been going and see what happens.”

Mads Østberg (7th) said:

“Today has been a lot better than yesterday. OK, we started a bit off the pace this morning but we altered the set-up of the car and immediately I found more confidence. From the third stage of the day [SS6], it has been a really good day for us.

“That was where we wanted to start the rally, but unfortunately it was not to be. That is just the way it is sometimes, but I think we ended the day well and I am really excited about tomorrow. There’ll be no real tactic. Result wise, there is nothing much we can do, but we will certainly push because we want to prove that we can be competitive and set some good stage times.”

Hayden Paddon (9th) said:

“We made some good changes to the set-up during midday service and everything certainly went a lot better for us this afternoon. OK, we’re not 100 per cent there yet, but we are moving in the direction that we have some more confidence out on the stages. The times were a little bit better and I think that we got down to about 0.6 of a second per kilometre adrift of the front guys which is not far off where we wanted to be.

“Naturally, we want to be a little bit more competitive, but I am really looking forward to the gravel stages tomorrow which is my preferred surface. It will be another big challenge having not driving the car on gravel before, but hopefully we can adapt quickly and get the job done.”

Nasser Al-Attiyah (DNF) said:

“Today we started with some changes on the car and we were making improvements in many areas. I was really happy with the way things were going – we were driving at our own pace and learning a lot on the Tarmac – but unfortunately we had a crash [on SS8]. This is just part of rallying, and the main thing is that Giovanni [Bernacchini, co-driver] and I are OK.”

Elfyn Evans (4th in WRC 2) said:

“It had all been going OK. Robert [Kubica] had been setting a very strong pace, and even though we were a bit in no man’s land in-between him and the chasing pack, it felt as though we were driving well. We weren’t quite able to match his pace, but compared to other events I think it had been a strong performance from us.

“Unfortunately that hard work was all undone on the last stage of the day. It was a silly mistake from me. We just went a little bit tight into a hairpin, opened the steering for a bit more lock, and there was a big concrete bollard on the inside which I didn’t see. Because the steering was broken we couldn’t continue back to service.

“Obviously it is a huge disappointment for me and the whole team, but tomorrow is a new day. We just need to go out there and show what we – and the car – can do on gravel.”

Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:

“Firstly I am relieved that both Nasser [Al-Attiyah] and Giovanni [Bernacchini] were OK after what was the biggest accident in their WRC careers. Unfortunately the car is too damaged to take any further part in the rally, but is it good to see that the safety features of the Fiesta have done their job.

“We’ve seen a much better afternoon from Thierry [Neuville] – taking his first stage win of the event, and the Power Stage at that. The additional three points will go towards helping him secure his second place in the championship.

“As we move to gravel tomorrow, the rally is still all to play for. Thierry has a more favourable road position, and with the leaders battling up front, anything can happen.”


Anita 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 (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.


Media & Comunication TGS Worldwide
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Rally Report Magazine Argentina

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