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Three-time European champion Kajetan Kajetanowicz borrowed a Fiesta WRC from M-Sport to outclass his rivals and record the best time on each special stage at last week’s promotional Warsaw based Barbórka Rally. It is the fifth time he has won the event. This puts him one short of the number of victories of the event record holder, Tomasz Kuchar. Polish national champion Filip Nivett was second ahead of former Polish champion Bryan Bouffier. = = = = Last week’s Monza Rally was won by MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi in a Fiesta WRC.   He beat the old 2016 Hyundai i20 WRC in which the driving was shared between Thierry Neuville and Andreas Mikkelsen by 5.7 seconds. Racing driver Marco Bonanomi was third in a Citroen DS3 WRC. = = = = Also last weekend was the Grizedale Stages Rally held in north west England.  This was the second appearance of the MEM team’s prototype Proton Iriz. Ollie Mellors won, after the event was led early by Josh Moffett.   Mellors eventually beat Moffett by twenty-two seconds. = = = = Various drivers, starting with Pontus Tidemand and Raimund Baumschlager, have been testing the prototype Volkswagen Polo R5 in Wales’ Dovey Forest and Sweet Lamb test tracks this week. FIA homologation is not projected for another half year or so. = = = = Sixteen year old Oliver Solberg, son of Petter and Pernilla Solberg, made his World Rally Car competition debut in continental Europe at Memorial Bettega. He drove a Pirelli Fiesta WRC alongside teammate, 17 year old, Kalle Rovanpera. = = = = The FIA’s spectacular annual prize-giving was held on Friday evening at the Chateau de Versailles, near Paris.  A special award was given to Toyota Gazoo Racing driver Esapekka Lappi for the “Action of the Year 2017” in honour of his victory in Rally Finland.

Sebastien Ogier collected his WRC silverware at the FIA prize-giving.

= = = = Analysis of the 2017 WRC events shows M-Sport team cars had podium results on every event - 19 podium results in total compared with 12 for Hyundai, five for Toyota and three for Citroen. Citroen had no podiums on the six events from Corsica to Finland, Toyota none since Finland, and Hyundai started with none until Mexico, and then none from Finland to Spain – meaning none on asphalt.
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