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Turkish Skoda Fabia R5 driver, Yagiz Avci, won the FIA’s European Rally Trophy after finishing second overall on the Rali Casinos do Algarve in Portugal. Fellow Skoda driver, Pedro Miereles, lost his title chance when he punctured and eventually he finished third on the event, therefore in the series, behind Vojtech Stajf. Bulgarian Mitsubishi driver Plamen Staykov won the ERT2 title, Portuguese Peugeot driver Pedro Antunes was ERT3 and ERT Junior champion. Event winner Carlos Vieira was not eligible for the ERT. Citroen DS3 R5 driver Vieira, however, is the new Portuguese rally champion. He won this notoriously complicated series on points, beating Miereles who finished runner-up for the second year running. Curiously the Portuguese title was effectively decided earlier in the season because Miereles scored reduced points on an earlier round, at Mortagua, when victory went to a guest Citroen driver Craig Breen. = = = = Excitement among the competitors in the East African Classic Safari Rally increased at the news that Hannu Mikkola’s 1987 Safari WRC winning Group A Audi 200 will be on display at various locations during this year’s rally. = = = = Citroen’s dreams of regaining world rally supremacy took another dive when Sebastien Loeb hinted he would not countenance a return to the WRC next year or more than two or three events – and that Monte Carlo was too close in dates to Dakar for him to even think about. Having already dismissed the chance of accepting Andreas Mikkelsen into the team, who then went to Hyundai, Citroen’s only chance of a driver with WRC winning form to accompany Kris Meeke for 2018 rests with the undecided Sebastien Ogier. = = = Just published is an intriguing first-hand book about international rally life and long forgotten rally teams in and around the ‘70s. Chris Sclater emerged in 1968 when he finished 9th overall on his first international rally driving a borrowed Lotus Cortina. He went on to lead the ’69 International Scottish Rally before crashing down a mountainside. A phone call from Ford led to a test session with rallying greats Hannu Mikkola and Roger Clark, which days later led to him collecting a works Escort Twin Cam. In 1971 Chris became British champion, reportedly the first title gained for a Ford Escort. He then won the Kleber/Wheelbase scholarship in a prize drive Ford supplied BDA Escort. Works drives with Datsun, Chrysler and Toyota followed. In 1977 Chris was driving for Vauxhall in the UK in the new Chevette HS2300 with teammate, Pentti Airikkala, and then in ’78 for GM on European events. Full of anecdotes. Paperback, 185mm x 245mm, 224 pages, includes over 180 images. Price UKL25 including postage in UK. For orders outside the UK please contact sales@cjpublications.co.uk. = = = = Miscellaneous news from Australia … His stage win on stage five meant that Thierry Neuville had scored at least one fastest time on every rally in the 2017 World Rally Championship … Molly Taylor was in line to clinch her second successive CAMS Australian Rally Championship title when the engine of her Subaru do Motorsport national championship Impreza failed, leaving Nathan Quinn to cruise home. Kris Meeke said he could have continued with the damaged suspension, but the team told him to stop, because he still had to tackle the second Newry stage.
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