Weekend Rally News – January 3
- 3rd January 2017, 4:14am
Belated congratulations to Japanese rally driver, Toshihiro Arai, who celebrated his 50th birthday on December 25th.
Toshi (pictured) won three FIA titles, becoming WRC Production Car champion in 2005 and 2007, and also the FIA Teams Cup in 2000.
Though Toshi was exclusively a Subaru rally driver, in current life he is the father of Hiroki Arai, the trainee driver for Toyota Gazoo Racing.
= = = =
Back again and winning in his old Group A Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6.5 is 43-year old Henning Solberg at the sprint Romjulsrally, 10 seconds ahead of Mads Ostberg’s Fiesta R5, which had turbo trouble.
Henning’s 20-year old son, Oscar Solberg, finished fourth in a Subaru Impreza.
= = = =
Monte Carlo Rally promises more legends this year when it unveils the 2017 World Rally Car formula and reintroduces the official Citroen team back into the WRC after a one-year respite.
Ten years ago Citroen was successfully reintroduced to the WRC after another one-year break. Twenty years ago Monte Carlo unveiled the era of the World Rally Car, and 30 years ago the Group A WRC rally formula.
= = = =
Enhanced spectator experience has been the basic background behind improvements to the format of the 2017 edition of Rally Mexico, with improved information, upgraded access roads and changes to the Service Park in Leon.
= = = =
Citroen competition chief, Yves Matton, has confirmed that Craig Breen will drive a 2016, not a 2017 car in Monte Carlo, and therefore will not be eligible for world championship points for the team.
He gave no assurances who will be dropped from their three driver, two-car team for the other first three WRC events until a third car is available.
He said that they expect the 2017 car to be 0.7 – 0.8 seconds per kilometre faster that the 2016 car. He explained the sudden rule change from two car to three car teams took them by surprise, saying that some parts of the Citroen rally car needed six months’ construction time.
= = = =
Another Solberg coming! Norwegian Petter’s 15-year old son, Oliver, has been given permission to follow the now-16 year old Finnish driver, Kalle Rovanpera, into the Latvia rally championship.
Oliver will be at the wheel of an SRT team Peugeot 208 R2. In 2015 Oliver was given permission to compete as co-driver for his father on the Finnskogvalsen winter rally in Norway, in a historic rear drive Escort Mark II.
Happy New Year!
- Martin Holmes
SUBSCRIBE BELOW TO READ THE FULL STORY
By clicking "Subscribe Now" you agree to receive news, offers and updates on RallySport Magazine. If you do not wish to receive marketing communications, you can update your preferences in My Account.
We will commence charging your payment method after the 7 day free trial expires. If you cancel after expiry of your trial, cancellation will take effect from the end of your current monthly subscription period. You will not be refunded any fees paid to RallySport Magazine unless otherwise set out in the terms and conditions.