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Heard in Helsinki: WRC Rally Manager Jarmo Mahonen pondered the experience of Toyota in hybrid cars, and suggested it would be three or four years before such new technology cars could be introduced into WRC.


WRC Rally Manager, Jarmo Mahonen.Lappi not happy.  

“Being a test driver when what I want is to win rallies is not the ideal situation, but I have to be satisfied by this opportunity of being Toyota’s test driver.  

“If what happened with VW did not happen, I would probably be one of the team's drivers.  There is the possibility that Toyota would introduce a third car in the middle of the season, and then yes, I want that.”
 
Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC finally has a press officer.  This is Terhi Heloaho, who has been well known and respected as the Press Officer for Finland’s WRC event.
 
Tommi Makinen was asked if he preferred to take Jari-Matti rather than the recently more successful, but equally available, Andreas Mikkelsen.  

“The decision was made on account of Jari-Matti’s much greater experience!”  No mention about being Finnish.  

On why Ogier declined the chance to drive for Toyota, Tommi added: "He did a little test but he had other plans. I can add that when he tested with us, we did it on a particularly misleading piece of asphalt.  I don’t believe it was a proper test and the car did not demonstrate what it is capable of.”

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Antoine l’Estage and Darren Garrod scored their fourth victory in the 2016 Canadian championship at the Big White Rally, adding the drivers’ title to the already won Manufacturers title for Subaru Canada.  It was Antoine’s 9th title, and his 7th in a row.
 
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As a result of his contentious reaction to finding apparently sabotage rocks in mid-stage on the Madeira Rally, the Portuguese federation FPAK confirmed a six month suspension on Bruno Magalhaes, four months having already been served.  His co-driver, Hugo Magalhaes, was given an official reprimand.

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Kris Meeke is reported to have badly damaged a C3 WRC test car in an accident near Gap

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Mads Ostberg has sent out a reassuring message on Facebook, saying: "I can confirm that I have a drive in the 2017 WRC in a 2017 spec car.  

“I plan to drive most of the WRC events, but I also have ambitions to drive selected rallies outside the WRC, like last year.   There are still some details remaining before I can present you with the complete programme for next year.  I will keep you posted!”

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No full details of either Rallye Monte Carlo or of the registered teams for the 2017 world championship have been released, but an initial list has been released for the Monte Carlo Rally.  

No entries for M-Sport were shown, but there are, as predicted, two Yaris WRC and three for C3 WRC and i20 Coupe WRC.  

It will be back to Fabia R5 for Andreas Mikkelsen (winning of the final WRC round in 2016), while it is back 40 years when Francois Delecour, Gabriele Noberasco and Luca Betti start in newly redesigned Fiat Abarth 124s
 
- Martin Holmes    

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