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Rally Report Magazine Argentina 15 años




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EVENT PREVIEW: 2014 FIA European Rally Championship, final round (11 of 11)
Giru di Corsica-Tour de Corse, 6-8 November 2014

4 November 2014

Following 10 rounds, 162 special stages, a whole heap of action and plenty of serious competition, the thrilling race for the FIA European Rally Championship concludes on the Mediterranean island of Corsica next week.

Giru di Corsica-Tour de Corse, which starts in Porto-Vecchio on 6 November and finishes in Ajaccio on 8 November, is running for a 57th time in 2014 and remains one of the most legendary and demanding rallies on the international calendar.

Known as the ‘Rally of 10,000 Corners’ due to the frequency of twists and turns over spectacular mountain passes, this year’s event will decide the outcome of the overall ERC title, the ERC Production Car Cup, the ERC 2WD Championship and the new-for-2014 ERC Junior Championship. The ERC Asphalt Master for surface specialists is also up for grabs in Corsica.

The 2014 ERC season-closer marks a step back in time with Friday’s route using stages not run for 30 years, while the November date recreates the spirit of the event’s past when the rally traditionally took place towards the end of the year. Following Free Practice, the Qualifying Stage and shakedown on Thursday, 11 stages are scheduled over a distance of 251.56 kilometres.

Tour de France memories for Corsica ERC counter
Having selected Ajaccio, Bastia, Calvi and Corte as the rally’s central hub in recent years, Porto-Vecchio has been chosen as the new starting point for 2014. The tourist town, Corsica’s third largest and the starting point for the island’s opening leg of the Tour de France cycle race in 2013, will host the ceremonial start from 20:00hrs on Thursday 6 November, two service halts on Friday 7 November, while the Qualifying Stage will take place between Ceccia and Pasciallelo a few kilometres south of the Porto-Vecchio. By using Porto-Vecchio, organisers are able to include classic stages around Sartène and the Forêt d’Ospédale (Palavèse-L’Ospédale, Sorbollano-Pont D’Accoravo, Sartène-Orone), which have been absent from the Tour de Corse for several years.

Destination Ajaccio via Propriano
Following the completion of leg one’s six stages, crews will head to Ajaccio for an overnight halt via a regroup in Propriano. Saturday’s final leg consists of five stages – a single run through Acqua Doria-Col de Bellevalle plus two visits to Bastelica-Tavera and Sarrola-Plage du Liamone. The finish in Ajaccio is scheduled to begin at 17:32hrs local time on 8 November.

Star-studded entry for Corsica ERC finale
Stars from stage and track will be in action on Giru di Corsica-Tour de Corse, which boasts an entry of more than 50 cars. Among those taking part are ŠKODA’s ERC title chasers Esapekka Lappi and Sepp Wiegand, Peugeot duo Kevin Abbring and Craig Breen, last year’s Corsica winner Bryan Bouffier, ERC regulars Robert Consani, Kajetan Kajetanowicz, Bruno Magalhães, Jaromír Tarabus and Antonín Tlusťák, Swiss star Jonathan Hirschi, plus Le Mans 24 Hours racers Romain Dumas and Stéphane Sarrazin with Dumas giving the RGT Porsche 997 its ERC debut.

ERC titles to go down to the wire in Corsica
While Esapekka Lappi needs five points to become European champion for the first time and Zoltán Bessenyey holds a comfortable advantage in ERC 2WD, Martin Hudec remains in touching distance of Vitaliy Pushkar in the ERC Production Car Cup. Elsewhere, Andrea Crugnola is a mere nine points behind Stéphane Lefebvre in ERC Junior, while the ERC Asphalt Master award will be decided on the Mediterranean island.

Lappi on Wiegand, Wiegand on Lappi
The battle for the ERC title will come down to a two-horse race between ŠKODA team-mates Esapekka Lappi and Sepp Wiegand. And this is what they have had to say about each other ahead of Giru di Corsica-Tour de Corse. Lappi on Wiegand: “He’s quite smart driver, I have to say. He’s using his head during the rallies and finishing the rallies. He’s maybe not the fastest guy, but he’s taking the points.” Wiegand on Lappi: “As Esapekka comes from Finland, he’s extremely fast. With all those fast roads and jumps in Finland, he is used to drive fast. He drives a bit longer than me, he has a bit more experience. He does a bit more testing and drives more. I think he’s very motivated, he always aims for the best and he is very focused. I believe he has a good package.”

Six of the best for ERC Junior
Six ERC Junior drivers will be in action in Corsica. Although the focus will be on title contenders Stéphane Lefebvre and Andrea Crugnola’s race for the prize drive in an R5 car on selected rounds of next year’s ERC, Fabio Andolfi, Gino Bux, Florin Tincescu and Aleks Zawada will all be looking to end their respective seasons on a high. Although he’s out of contention for the title, Zawada can still finish runner-up in the final standings.

Local aces out in force on ERC finale
Corsican youngster Jean-Mathieu Leandri will step up to a Ford Fiesta R5 for the first time having started 2014 competing in ERC Junior. Frenchman Laurent Reuche will make his second ERC start in as many weeks armed with Renault’s Clio R3T following a debut ERC 2WD win in Switzerland, while Eric Camilli will be one to watch in a Peugeot 207 S2000.

Subaru chance for Cronin
Keith Cronin will make his return to international competition following a year away in JRM’s Subaru WRX STI. The Irishman, a three-time British champion, will face opposition from ERC Production Car Cup title rivals Vitaliy Pushkar and Martin Hudec and rapid Hungarian Tibor Erdi.

The ERC’s Mr Loyal has chased success on all 11 rounds of the championship in 2014. The Delta Rally driver looks ahead of his home ERC event, Giru di Corsica-Tour de Corse.

As a driver, what does competing on a legendary rally like Tour de Corse mean to you?
“When I was a kid I went to watch the rally twice with my dad and it was the first time we went to see a WRC round. This is where I saw Philippe Bugalski with the Citroën Xsara Kit Car and I can remember how impressed I was. For me it means a lot to drive there, it means I have somehow achieved my dreams and I keep fighting for them. It won’t be my first time here as I already competed in 2013 and with very bad luck because I crashed. So I hope 2014 will be better.”

Friday’s route features stages that haven’t been run for 30 years, how will you prepare for this challenge?
“Maybe I should ask Jean-Pierre Nicolas for a few tips. He’s the ERC Sporting Manager who already won the rally in 1973. He knows those stages well!”

Your target of a top-five finish in the final ERC standings is still achievable. What’s your strategy in Corsica going to be?
“It’s a very complicated and long rally, we are going to start on a normal pace and adjust our strategy depending on our classification stage after stage.”

You are officially the most loyal ERC driver having contested all 11 rounds in 2014. How hard have you had to work to achieve this and what kind of scarifies have you made?
“Everyone around me is doing sacrifices, Delta Rally with their competitive prices, as we are running an ERC round with a smaller budget than an ERC Junior driver for sure. My co-driver Maxime Vilmot, with his commitment, my family as I don’t see them often, especially Alexandra, my wife, who travels a lot as well but always tries to come on my rallies, and my sponsors who believe in me. Achieving a season like this one represents a lot of day-to-day work. I gather everyone around the project, keep motivating them, talk to sponsors daily or weekly and make sure they are still on to help you. This is my routine when I’m not in a rally car.”

Looking back on the ERC season so far, what has been your best moment and what has been your worst?
“My best memory is the first fourth position overall with the Peugeot 207 Super 2000 on the Circuit of Ireland Rally. My worst moment might be Ypres as we were really strong and had a very good pace, but were forced to retire after a very scary episode because of a fire.”

*After finishing third in Corsica last season, ex-grand prix racer Stéphane Sarrazin is back on the event in a Ford Fiesta RRC. For the record his only Formula One start came in Brazil back in 1999
*Jean-Pierre Nicolas, the ERC Sporting Manager and 1973 Tour de Corse winner, is celebrating 50 years since his debut on the event armed with a shared Renault Dauphine
*Subject to ratification, ŠKODA is assured a third ERC drivers’ title with Esapekka Lappi and Sepp Wiegand hoping to follow in the footsteps of Juho Hänninen (champion in 2012) and last year’s winner Jan Kopecký
*Corsica is big on mountains with 20 summits more than 2000 metres high. Monte Cinto is the highest at 2706 metres
*Wild boar and cheeses made from goat or sheep milk are popular among Corsicans, while Cap Corse is a favourite aperitif

EVENT ESSENTIALS (all timings local)
Starts: 20:00hrs, Thursday 6 November, City Hall, Porto-Vecchio
Finishes: 17:32hrs, Saturday 8 November, Place du Diamant, Ajaccio
Headquarters: Palais des Congrès, Quai l’Herminier, 20179, Ajaccio (a satellite HQ will be located at Cinémathèque, Espace Jean-Paul de Rocca Serra, Rue Fred Scamaroni, 20137, Porto-Vecchio
Service parks: Port, Porto-Vecchio and Port de Commerce, Ajaccio
ERC appearances (since the restructuring in 2004): One (2013)
Stages: 11
Stage distance: 251.56 kilometres (135.40 kilometres leg one, 116.16 kilometres leg two)
Liaison: 505.50 kilometres
Total: 757.06 kilometres
Surface: Asphalt

Media accreditation and media centre: Cinémathèque, Porto-Vecchio
Opening times: 14:00hrs-19:00hrs, Tuesday 4 November; 09:00hrs-19:00hrs, Wednesday 5 November; 08:00hrs-23:00hrs, Thursday 6 November; 07:30hrs-17:00hrs, Friday 7 November
Satellite media centre: A satellite media centre will be operational at the Town Hall in Propriano from 14:00hrs-18:00hrs on Friday 7 November
Additional media centre: An additional media centre will be located at the Palais des Congrès in Ajaccio. It will be open from 15:00hrs until the last journalist leaves on Friday 7 November and from 06:30hrs until the last journalist leaves on Saturday 8 November
Free Practice (for FIA/ERC priority drivers): 09:00hrs-10:30hrs, Thursday 6 November, Ceccia-Pasciallelo (2.64km)
Qualifying Stage (for FIA/ERC priority drivers): 10:40hrs-11:20hrs, Thursday 6 November, as above
Shakedown (for all other drivers): 11:20hrs-13:20hrs, Thursday 6 November, as above
Pre-event photocall with FIA/ERC priority drivers: 12:30hrs, Thursday 6 November, Le Bastion de France, Porto-Vecchio
Start order selection: 14:15hrs, Thursday 6 November, Cinémathèque, Porto-Vecchio
FIA Action for Road Safety photo: 14:30hrs approx, Thursday 6 November, as above
Pre-rally press conference: 14:45hrs, Thursday 6 November, as above. Bryan Bouffier, Romain Dumas, Esapekka Lappi, Stéphane Lefebvre will be in attendance.
Ceremonial start: 20:00hrs, Thursday 6 November, Town Hall, Porto-Vecchio
End of leg one press conference/autograph session: 16:20hrs, Port de Plaisance, Propriano
Post-event press conference: 18:00hrs, Saturday 8 November, Podium, Place du Diamant, Ajaccio. Top three drivers and co-drivers in attendance
Colin McRae ERC Flat Out Trophy presentation: Immediately following the post-event press conference, Podium, Place du Diamant, Ajaccio
Meet the champions: Subject to availability, the respective ERC champions will be available for interviews in the Media Centre in Ajaccio from approximately 18:30hrs on Saturday 8 November.

Media FIA ERC 2014

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Media & Comunication TGS Worldwide
Media Toni Gardemeister Driving Academy
Rally Report Magazine Argentina

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Rally Report Magazine Argentina 15 años




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




30 September 2015

Chris Atkinson has won the latest round of the Chinese Rally Championship in the VW Golf SCRC. Atkinson won comfortably by a minute and 40 seconds from Mark Higgins in the Subaru and Manfred Stohl in a Citroen DS3.

Chen Dean in the second Golf was fifth with Li ninth in the third car.

That makes it three wins from four events for Atkinson as the Championship heads to the next round Longyou at the end of October. Longyou was the debut event for the VW Golf SCRC last year when Atkinson to its maiden win.












Cedric Journel / Dongwei Zhang
Media & Comunication
Faw-Volkswagen Rally Team

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Rally Report Magazine Argentina

Ben Sayer
Media Prodrive Motorsport

Foto: Media Prodrive Motorsport

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Rally Report Magazine Argentina 15 años




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


La leyenda del rally Sébastien Loeb se une al “Dream Team” de Peugeot-Total.

Sebastien Loeb poses for a portrait in Peugeot Sport workshop, France, on September 21, 2015
Sébastien Loeb, el mejor piloto de rally de todos los tiempos, se enfrentará al mayor reto de su carrera al unirse por primera vez al equipo de Peugeot en el legendario Dakar del próximo mes de enero.


29 Septiembre 2015

El nueve veces campeón del WRC y plusmarquista del Pikes Peak se ha unido al equipo de Peugeot 2008DKR junto a Carlos Sainz para el Rally du Maroc del próximo mes (del 3 al 9 de octubre) antes de hacer frente al mayor reto de este deporte, el Dakar, durante 13 días en Argentina y Bolivia en 2016. Junto a él en Sudamérica también estarán Stéphane Peterhansel y Cyril Despres completando así el “dream team” de pilotos de Peugeot-Total.

El francés de 41 años, Sébastien Loeb, uno de los pilotos con más éxito de la historia de los deportes de motor con un porcentaje de victorias sin precedentes del 46,2% en el WRC dijo: “Descubrí los deportes de motor cuando tenía 18 años y empecé a competir en mis primeros rallys. Desde entonces me han interesado todo tipo de deportes de motor y el Dakar es uno de ellos. Creo que es un gran reto competir y conducir en el desierto”.

“El Dakar es completamente diferente a las carreras que hago en este momento. va a ser muy larga, más de dos semanas, y necesitas tener aguante para cuidar del conductor y del coche. Es una carrera con un enfoque distinto pero lo descubriré en enero”.

Hasta entonces, Loeb se unirá a Sainz en Marruecos para su debut en el competitivo Cross Country, aunque ya pilotó el rival de Peugeot a principios de año. Para Loeb ésta será una reunión muy especial pues ya fue compañero de equipo de Sainz durante su primera temporada completa en el Mundial de Rallys del 2003, hasta que el español se tuvo que retirar del WRC de 2004. En Marruecos Sainz pilotará el último Peugeot 2008DKR16 mientras que Loeb pilotará un coche con especificaciones de 2015.

“Cuando probé el PEUGEOT 2008DKR en junio me sorprendió muchísimo y por supuesto ha cambiado mucho desde entonces”, dijo Loeb -que en la actualidad está compitiendo en el Campeonato Mundial de Turismos de la FIA con Citroen.

“Lo que más me impactó fue lo diferente que es conducir el coche del Dakar, era una experiencia completamente nueva para mí. En el WRC acostumbro a rodear obstáculos pero con este coche puedes simplemente pasar por encima, ¡y cuesta tener la suficiente confianza en uno mismo para creer que puedes hacerlo!”

“ También estoy acostumbrado a tener notas de copiloto muy detalladas pero en el Cross Country tienes que abrirte paso e improvisar tu ruta. Esta, además, es la primera vez que he pilotado diferentes tipos de coche diesel en una competición por lo que tengo que aprender mucho pero tengo muchas ganas de hacerlo”.

Además de haber ganado más rallys, etapas especiales y campeonatos que cualquier otro piloto, Sébastien Loeb también se ha convertido en el “Rey del Peak” al batir el record del Pikes Peak Hillclimb con Peugeot y Red Bull hace dos años en América. Un triunfo épico que ya forma parte de la historia legendaria de los deportes de motor.

Ahora forma parte del mejor equipo que se haya enfrentado jamás al Dakar. Tal y como dijo el 11 veces campeón del Dakar Stéphane Peterhansel: “Sébastien Loeb es un referente del motor. Hay muy poco que yo o cualquier otro le pueda enseñar”.

El cinco veces campeón de motos Cyril Despres añadió: “Desde que cambié las dos ruedas por cuatro, la experiencia no ha hecho más que mejorar. Y saber que ahora Sébastien se une al equipo la remata aún más”.

El dos veces campeón del WRC y campeón del Dakar en 2010 Carlos Sainz, que será una vez más el compañero de Loeb en Marruecos dijo: “No tengo nada más que decir sobre Sébastien que no haya dicho ya. Por supuesto que el rally raid va a ser una nueva aventura para él, pero va a ser capaz de adaptarse sin problemas. Como yo mismo he podido comprobar aprende muy rápido”.

“El Dakar es algo que me llama, es una gran aventura”, añadió Loeb, quien ya dominó el Pikes Peak y el WTCC. “El rally en Marruecos me mostrará lo que es realmente el Cross Country, así que para mí esta es una oportunidad fantástica para aprender, en especial al lado de unos compañeros tan buenos”.

Tal y como pasó con sus nueve títulos mundiales y sus 78 victorias en el WRC hasta la fecha, Loeb tendrá como copiloto al campeón mundial de deportes de motor monegasco Daniel Elena. Marruecos marcará la vuelta de la pareja con más éxito jamás vista en la historia del motor que emprende una nueva aventura juntos tras 17 gloriosos años en los rallys.

Al igual que Loeb, el copiloto de 42 años Elena nunca ha competido antes en Cross Country, pero se ha preparado a fondo para las exigencias de la navegación más dura del mundo, en la que los equipos tienen que reaccionar rápidamente para conquistar el terreno offroad más sobrecogedor. Cuentan además con la ayuda de un sofisticado sistema de GPS que les guiará de punto a punto.

El director deportivo de Peugeot Bruno Famin comentó: “ Sébastien fue impresionante desde que se sentó en el coche, como ya sabíamos tras haber trabajado con él anteriormente. Adoptó ese enfoque calculado que tanto le caracteriza para entender el coche paso a paso, pero después su habilidad natural se encargó del resto. Tras mejorar diferentes aspectos del coche desde la última vez que estuvimos en el Dakar, el fichaje de Sébastien Loeb es la pieza que le faltaba al puzzle”.


The 2008 DKR 16 in Peugeot Sport workshop, France, on September 21, 2015








Cécile Estenave
Peugeot Sport France

Admin and Translation:

Media & Comunication TGS Worldwide
Media Toni Gardemeister Driving Academy

Rally Report Magazine Argentina
Comunity Manager 

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Rally Report Magazine Argentina 15 años




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


Rally Legend Sébastien Loeb joins “D-ream TEAM Peugeot-Total”.

Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena pose for a portrait during the Peugeot test in Erfoud, Morocco on September 16, 2015

Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena pose for a portrait during the Peugeot test in Erfoud, Morocco on September 16, 2015

29 September 2015

Rally Legend Sébastien Loeb joins “D-ream TEAM Peugeot-Total” © Flavien Duhamel/Red Bull Content Pool

Velizy-Villacoublay, France
Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Sébastien Loeb, the greatest rally driver ever, will take on one of the biggest challenges of his illustrious career when he lines up as part of Peugeot’s dream team at the legendary Dakar in January for the first time.

The nine-time World Rally Championship winner and Pikes Peak record-holder has joined Peugeot’s 2008DKR line-up alongside Carlos Sainz for next month’s Rallye du Maroc (October 3-9) before facing the sport’s toughest challenge, the Dakar, over 13 days in Argentina and Bolivia in 2016. Joining him in South America will also be Stéphane Peterhansel and Cyril Despres, completing Team Peugeot Total’s dream team driver line-up.

The 41-year old Loeb, one of the most successful drivers in the history of motorsports, with an unprecedented 46.2% wins-to-starts ratio in WRC, said: “I only discovered motorsports when I was 18 and I started competing in my first rallies. Since then I have been interested in all types of different motorsports and Dakar is one of them. I think it’s a great challenge to go and compete there and drive in the desert.

“The Dakar is completely different from the racing I’m doing at the moment. It will be very long, over two weeks, and you need to have the endurance to look after the driver and the car. It’s another approach to racing but I’ll discover that in January.”

Before then, Loeb will line up with Sainz in Morocco next week for his competitive Cross Country debut – although he already tested Peugeot’s Dakar challenger in the country earlier this year. For Loeb, this will be a very special reunion: he was previously team-mates with Sainz for his very first full season in the World Rally Championship in 2003, until the Spaniard decided to end his WRC career at the end of 2004. In Morocco, Sainz will drive the latest PEUGEOT 2008DKR16 whereas Loeb will drive a 2015-specification car.

“When I tried the PEUGEOT 2008DKR out in June, it was immediately very impressive for me – and of course it has changed a lot since then,” said Loeb, who is currently competing in the FIA WTCC with Citroen.

“What struck me most of all is how the Dakar car was a completely new experience: in the WRC I have been used to going round obstacles but with this car you can just drive straight over them, and it takes some time to have the confidence to believe it!

“I’ve also been used to having very detailed pace notes: in Cross Country, you have to find the road for yourself and improvise your route. And this is actually the first time I have driven any type of diesel car in competition too. So there is a lot for me to learn, but I am eager to find out more.”

As well as winning more rallies, special stages and championships than any other driver, Sébastien Loeb also became ‘King of the Peak’ when he pulverised the Pikes Peak hill climb record with Peugeot and Red Bull two years ago in America: an epic feat that is already remembered as a legendary part of motorsport history.

Now he forms part of the greatest team ever to tackle the Dakar. As 11-time Dakar winner Stéphane Peterhansel said: “Sébastien Loeb is a reference in motorsport. There’s very little that I, or anybody else, can teach him.”

Five-time bike winner Cyril Despres added: “Since I made the switch from two wheels to four, the experience has got better and better. And to see Sébastien arrive in the team now, everything is complete.”

Two-time WRC champion and Dakar 2010 winner Carlos Sainz, who will be Loeb’s team-mate once more in Morocco, concluded: “There is nothing more I can say about Sébastien that his career hasn’t said already. Of course rally raid will be a new adventure for him, but he has every capacity to adapt to it with no problem. As I have seen for myself in the past, he is a quick learner in everything he does.

“Dakar is something that appeals to me; it is a huge adventure,” added Loeb, who has already mastered rallying, Pikes Peak and the World Touring Car Championship. “The rally in Morocco will give me a very interesting idea of what Cross Country is all about, so this is a fantastic opportunity for me to learn; particularly alongside such successful team-mates.”

Just as has been the case throughout his nine world titles and 78 WRC victories to date, Loeb will be co-driven by Monaco’s motorsport world champion: Daniel Elena. Morocco will mark the comeback of the most successful pairing ever seen in the history of motorsport, as they start a new adventure together following 17 magnificent years in rallying.

Like Loeb, the 42-year-old Elena has never competed in Cross Country before, but he has undergone intensive training to prepare him for the demands of some of the most challenging navigation in the world, where crews have to think instantly on their feet to conquer the daunting off-road landscape. They are aided by sophisticated GPS equipment, guiding their route from waypoint to waypoint.

Peugeot Sport director Bruno Famin commented: “Sébastien was impressive from the moment he first sat in the car, as we knew would be the case after having had the privilege of working with him before. He took his usual measured approached to understand the car step by step: from there his natural ability took over. Having improved the car in several different areas since we were last at the Dakar, the signing of Sébastien Loeb is the final piece in the puzzle.”











Cécile Estenave
Peugeot Sport France

Admin and Translation:

Media & Comunication TGS Worldwide
Media Toni Gardemeister Driving Academy

Rally Report Magazine Argentina
Comunity Manager

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