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Mid-week Rally Round-Up – December 12

Final round of the national Rally Argentino series was the Gran Premio Homage to Jorge Recalde, based at Mino Clavero.

Winner was Geronimo Padilla in a Peugeot 208 MR, who recovered after dropping back with a final day puncture. Federico Villagra retired on Day 1 with transmission trouble, but finished as the national champion in his Fiesta MR, ahead of Padilla and Nicolas Diaz’ Fiesta MR.

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Formula One driver, Valtteri Bottas, is to drive a Fiesta WRC on the Arctic Rally, opening round of the Finnish Rally Championship, an event which traditionally invites guest drivers.

Although this event clashes with Rallye Automobile Monte-Carlo, the opening round of the 2019 World Rally Championship, he is to be co-driven by twice world champion Timo Rautiainen, vice President of the WRC Commission.

Timo had retired from full time rallying in 2007 and has not co-driven for anyone other than his brother in law, Marcus Gronholm, since 2004.

Bottas: “This is a unique opportunity to take a peek into the world of rallying, and I would like to thank everyone who has made it possible. It’s totally new territory for me too, as I have no prior experience of a World Rally Car.”

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Moto GP rider Valentino Rossi (above) again won the Monza Rally, beating Teemu Suninen by over a minute, with Fiesta 2-litre Fiesta WRC cars taking the top four places.

Top placed non-WRC car was Luca Rossetti’s Hyundai i20 R5. British driver Rhys Yates finished ninth overall.

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The 2019 FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship is to consist of seven rounds, with two events (Otago and Whangarei) the first two rounds. India has again been tentatively included in the schedule.

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Latest driver to announce plans to rally a VW Polo GTI R5 is Hungarian Norbert Herczig, competing in the 2019 European Rally Championship.

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More ralles have been announced by the FIA for their R-GT series for rear engined sports cars. In 2018 there were five all asphalt rounds, in 2019 there are to be eight.

The R-GT Cup is not run as part of any one particular championship. Whereas the series was originally expected to attract cars like Porsche, recently the Abarth 124 Rally cars have become successful.

In addition, the European series has announced an Abarth Rally Cup with six rounds (four asphalt and two gravel) for 2019.

More rally news:

Four-warned: ARC tally could end at four for Eli Evans

Martin Holmes is widely considered as world rallying's most experienced, and most respected journalist. Martin covers the WRC, ERC and all major rally championships around the world.

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