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There was tragedy at the 101th edition of the Targa Florio in Sicily, a qualifying round of the national Italian CIR championship.  

Mauro Amendolia died in the Targa Florio rally in Sicily.Mauro Amendolia is reported to have died at the wheel of his Mini John Cooper Works on the third stage of the event.  Gemma, his daughter who was the co-driver, was badly shocked.   

A course marshal died at the scene.

Paolo Andreucci was leading the event when it was halted.

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This weekend’s Oregon Trails Rally was the second round of the new American Rally Association championship, a breakaway sanctioning authority set up as a rival to Rally America.  

Five rounds of RA have moved this year to ARA.  The ARA states it is different because it is a Non-Profit Corporation owned by its members who are principally event organizers. The idea is to create a transparent organization in which all stakeholders will have input as to how it runs and operates, and access to the financial numbers.

It will be a co-operative venture between organizers, competitors, and sponsors who share a common love for and enthusiasm for rallying.

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David Salanon won the 69th Rallye Lyon Charbonniere-Rhone in a Fiesta RS WRC, comfortably ahead of the battling Citroen DS3 R5s of Yohan Rossel and Yoann  Bonato.  Sadly the driver of a Citroen Saxo lost his life in an accident.

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Skoda driver Jan Kopecky won the Rallye Sumava Klatovy, second round of the Czech national series, beating Vaclav Pech’s Fiesta R5.

The opening round of the neighbouring Polish championship (Rajd Swidnicki Krause) was won by the Fiesta R5 of Zbigniew Gabrys.  At the other end of Europe, the Citroen DS3 R5 driver Carlos Vieira won the  Rallye Casino Espinho.

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Andreas Mikkelsen stepped in to drive on a one day test with Hyundai in Portugal while their regular team drivers were en route for Argentina.  The team state that no further inference should be read into this event.

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Speaking on the Colin Clark Breakfast Table Shakedown programme, Mads Ostberg said he plans to contest the remaining WRC events, with possible exception of Australia, also ERC events in Poland and Italy in an R5 and some rounds of the Spanish championship, for tarmac practice.  

He also planned to go testing in Argentina before the WRC event, something not permitted for registered WRC teams.   

“It is one of the things we can do where we can have an advantage.  If there is something where I can gain I will do it.”  

Regarding developing the 2017 Fiesta WRC car he said his private team was: “definitely lacking some of the information we need to work on the car.   At the moment we are quite happy about that, we need to keep things simple.  The car is fantastically complicated.  When you try to get into every detail you can get really confused.  We are not following what the factory team is doing, we are not really sure they know what they are doing at the moment.”

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Marcus Gronholm hopes to drive publicity stages in a Yaris WRC on the forthcoming WRC Neste Rally Finland for VIP promotion work
 
- Martin Holmes 

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