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Rally Mexico 2015

· Mads Østberg and Andreas Mikkelsen embroiled in fight for second place

· Qatar’s Al-Attiyah inherits massive WRC2 lead when Protasov hits trouble

· Latvala’s podium chance wrecked in SS12; Ott Tanak fails to restart

7 March 2015

LEÓN (Mexico): There was no stopping Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia on the second day of the 12th Rally Guanajuato Corona and the Volkswagen Polo R WRC crew extended their outright lead to a commanding 1min 15.2sec after 18 special stages on Friday afternoon.

The Frenchman began the day with a lead of 13.5 seconds, but he attacked from the outset. Finland’s Jari-Matti Latvala blotted his copybook on the first run through Otates, tore a rear wheel off his Volkswagen Polo R WRC and wrecked his chance of pushing Ogier for the outright lead. From then on, it was plain sailing for the World Champion and he is now just three stages away from a hat-trick of Mexican victories.

“I am so happy with the way everything is going,” said Ogier. “There is no need to push. I just need to manage the car, take no risks and stay out of trouble. There is one long stage to go, but I have a gap and can afford to drive safely.”

The battle for second place developed into an all-Norwegian affair between Mads Østberg and Andreas Mikkelsen. The Citroën DS3 WRC driver managed to stave off the Volkswagen challenge and heads into the final day with a lead of 4.5 seconds.

Welshman Elfyn Evans appears to have the perfect strategy for success in Mexico. Fourth overall last year after a sensible and trouble free drive, the M-Sport World Rally Team driver remains on course for a repeat performance in the lead Ford Fiesta RS.

A puncture cost Spaniard Dani Sordo the opportunity to pressurise Evans, but Sordo leads the way for a blunted Hyundai Shell World Rally Team challenge in fifth overall. Czech driver Martin Prokop holds sixth place for the Jipocar Czech National Team.

Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah moved into a massive WRC2 lead through the second Otates stage when Ukrainian Yuriy Protasov hit trouble. The defending champion will take an advantage of 7min 50.6sec over Peru’s Nicolas Fuchs into the closing three timed tests on Sunday after the Peruvian incurred an additional 30-second penalty for changing a flat tyre between stages and arriving late at the control.

“I feel for Yuriy,” said Al-Attiyah. “But, this afternoon, we had been applying the pressure. Now we need to be clever for the last few stages.”

Finland’s Jari Ketomaa dropped behind Fuchs with a broken drive shaft and Qatar’s Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari rounded off the top four, although the quartet of WRC2 drivers are all inside the overall top 10.

Saturday – as it happened

Twenty-eight of the 30 cars started day two and the M-Sport World Rally Team’s reward for extracting Ott Tanak’s Ford Fiesta from its watery grave was a position running first on the road for Saturday’s eight special stages. The gearbox, fuel tank, turbo, cooling package, boost control valves, electric components, brakes, front and rear suspension and cosmetic parts were all changed by a core team of eight mechanics in a frantic three-hour period where the engine block was also drained.

Overnight leader Ogier benefited from a starting position of eight behind the seven World Rally Cars that rejoined the action through Rally2 after retiring on Friday. He headed into the 30.27km of Ibarrilla with a lead of 13.5 seconds over Latvala. A back injury sustained after a heavy landing forced Russian WRC2 driver Radik Shaymiev to join Mexican Guillerne Sanchez on the list of retirements.

Tanak stopped shortly after leaving the service park late, but the crew managed to get going again before stopping for good at the refuelling point. Hayden Paddon was duly promoted to first on the road, but Ogier and Latvala were the class of the field and Ogier pipped Latvala by two-tenths of a second after the Finn clipped a rock near the stage finish and suffered a damper issue.

Protasov extended his WRC2 advantage over Al-Attiyah to 19 seconds and Jari Ketomaa benefited from Nicolas Fuchs’s delay changing a puncture and climbed to third.

The 42.90km of Otates was next on the agenda and it brought about the downfall of Lorenzo Bertelli and wrecked Latvala’s Mexican dream. Road sweeper Hayden Paddon complained of a treacherously slippery surface to clean, but the stage belonged to Ogier and the Frenchman’s overall lead grew to 50.5 seconds after Latvala badly damaged the Volkswagen and the wheels literally fell off his challenge.

The Finn lost over four and a half minutes and slipped to seventh behind Østberg, Mikkelsen, Evans, Sordo and Prokop before retiring at the end of the stage. “We broke the rear suspension and lost the rear wheel,“ said a shocked Latvala. “It was a fast right-hander and we touched the bank.”

Al-Attiyah reduced Protasov’s WRC2 lead to 16.1 seconds heading to the first of three passes through the El Brinco stage.

“So far we have done the perfect rally,” said Ogier, who set the second fastest time in El Brinco behind Dani Sordo to extend his lead over Østberg to 1min 08.2sec. The Norwegian complained of a problem with his right, front wheel and dropped 17.7 seconds. “I knew it was very unlikely that I could win unless my rivals had a bad weekend. Putting pressure on them was part of my plan,” added Ogier.

Protasov headed to the short León street stage with a WRC2 lead of 35.3 seconds after Al-Attiyah spun and landed in an El Brinco ditch. “I carried a lot of speed into a tight corner and we had a spin,” admitted the Qatari, who dropped a further two seconds on SS14.

Robert Kubica recorded the quickest time on the street stage, but Ogier reached service with a comfortable overall lead of 1min 08.3sec. A fastest time on the re-run of Ibarrilla gave the Frenchman a cushion of 1min 13.9sec, but an inspired Mikkelsen closed the gap on second-placed Østberg to 4.9 seconds.

Sordo clouted a rock in the track, lost around 18 seconds and puncture a front tyre and Al-Attiyah managed to pip Protasov and reduce the Ukrainian’s WRC2 lead to 31.4 seconds.

Kubica lost over two minutes with a puncture in SS16, but the second pass through Otates 2 belonged to Østberg and the fastest time enabled the Norwegian to edge six seconds clear Mikkelsen.

The treacherous gravel trails spelt disaster for Protasov. The Ford Fiesta RRC driver stopped on two occasions with reported overheating issues and his woes handed a massive 7min 13.8sec advantage in WRC2 to the defending champion, Al-Attiyah. Fuchs overhauled Ketomaa when the latter sustained a broken drive shaft.

Ogier was fastest through the penultimate stage of the day and the Frenchman headed back to León with a lead of 1min 14.6sec. The second fastest time enabled Mikkelsen to reduce Østberg’s hold on second place to 5.7 seconds. Al-Attiyah topped the WRC2 times and his lead grew to 7min 16.7sec.

Mikkelsen was on the ragged edge to set quickest in the final super special stage at the Autodrómo in León. His performance closed the gap on Østberg to 4.5 seconds in the frantic fight for second overall behind Ogier.


Three special stages are planned for Sunday, before the official ceremonial finish in León. The action gets underway with the daunting 55.82km of the Guanajuatito stage from 09.53hrs and that precedes the 11.59km of Derramadero at 11.16hrs. The competitive action draws to a close with the third run through the television El Brinco Power Stage at noon.

Rally Guanajuato Corona 2015 – positions after SS18

1. Sébastien Ogier (FRA)/Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC 3hr 33min 27.4sec

2. Mads Østberg (NOR)/Jonas Andersson (SWE) Citroën DS3 WRC 3hr 34min 42.6sec

3. Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)/Ole Floene (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC 3hr 34min 47.1sec

4. Elfyn Evans (GBR)/Daniel Barritt (GBR) Ford Fiesta RS WRC 3hr 35min 56.0sec

5. Dani Sordo (ESP)/Marc Marti (ESP) Hyundai i20 WRC 3hr 37min 38.0sec

6. Martin Prokop (CZE)/Jan Tománek (CZE) Ford Fiesta RS WRC 3hr 38min 07.0sec

7. Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Matthieu Baumel (FRA) Ford Fiesta RRC 3hr 44min 11.3sec

8. Nicolas Fuchs (PER)/Fernando Musano (ARG) Ford Fiesta R5 3hr 52min 01.9sec

9. Jari Ketomaa (FIN)/Kaj Lindström (FIN) Ford Fiesta R5 3hr 53min 06.9sec

10. Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari (QAT)/Marshall Clarke (GBR) Ford Fiesta RRC 3hr 53min 16.5sec












Media Rally Corona GTO Mexico WRC 2015

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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




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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
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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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