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Will New Zealand’s WRC aspirations benefit from China’s problems? Hayden Paddon gives his opinion.

“The FIA, the promoter, they all know what we’re doing.  WRC Promoter (chief) Oliver Ciesla is coming down to New Zealand at the end of the year to talk with all our officials," Paddon said.

“We’re waiting for 2018.  2017 is too early for New Zealand because Australia is on a two year contract.  The idea is that it should be three years New Zealand and then three years Australia.”

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Hyundai’s Team Manager, Alain Penasse, says the WRC doesn’t need running order changes.  

“This year’s rules have provided six different winners in the WRC, so what is wrong about that?  For me the situation is fine.  We had nine years of Loeb and that is enough for me. The rules should stay as they are!”

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Last week’s winners:

Tiago Weiler’s Ford Fiesta R5 Evo won the Paraguayan championship Rally de Acosta Ñú, beating Alejandro Galanti’s Toyota Etios R5.

Further south, Marcos Ligato beat his old WRC rival, Federico Villagra, on the Argentina championship Rally Vuelta de la Manzana (Circuit of the Apple Tree) at Nequen, when Maxi Rally Cars took the top 13 places.  Fourth place went to the new Citroen C3 Maxi Rally of Raul Martinez.

Subaru driver Valery Bukera from Burundi won the African championship Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Rally, finishing six seconds ahead of Zambian driver Muna Singh Jr.  

Singh reduced the championship lead of Kenyan Don Smth who finished fourth.  Two more rounds are to come, in Uganda and Madagascar.

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Soilu Joonas won the Finnish national Turku Rally in an old Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII, beating Juha Salo’s Peugeot R5.

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Snappehanegatan Rally, round five in the Swedish Championship, was won by twice FIA Junior champion Per-Gunnar Andersson, his fifth start and fifth win in the national series, clinching the series for him.  

With two rounds still to run, lying second at the moment is Jerker Axelsson.

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One week after the WRC Rally Germany, official Skoda driver Jan Kopecky returns to his native Czech Republic for the popular ERC Barum Rally, an event he has already won four times.

- Martin Holmes

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