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At the end of his first 10 years in the sport, Kevin Abbring won his first international rally and his Hyundai i20 R5 beat the World Rally Cars at the Rallye du Var in France.  

Kevin Abbring won his first international rally when he won the Rallye du Var.Favourite Stephane Levebvre, Citroen DS3 WRC, and accompanied for the first time after their Rallye Deutschland accident by his regular co-driver Gabin Moreau, retired with damaged rear suspension. David Salonon (Fiesta WRC) also went off the road.  

Celebrity competitors among the 200 entries included Francois Delecour in a 1993 style Ford Escort Cosworth, which retired three stages from the end when 12th, and Gilles Panizzi who finished fourth in a Peugeot 208 T16.

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Busy week ahead.  The FIA World Motor Sport Council meets on Wednesday to finalise changes to the World Championship rules for 2017 and the next day Hyundai Motorsport publicly present their 2017 version rally car at the Monza race circuit.  

A resume of official decisions taken at the final World Motor Sport Council meeting of the year is due to be posted online by the FIA in the afternoon of Wednesday, November 30.   

The 2017 Sporting Regulations, however, are not expected to be released till mid December.

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Friedheim Kissel takes over as the new Rallye Deutschland Clerk of Course, replacing Alfred Rommelfager, who had been linked with the event for three decades, since European championship days.  

As for the long awaited decision where the 2017 event will be based, there is currently no news.

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The organisation of Switzerland’s most prestigious international championship rally, the Rallye International du Valais, is changing hands.  Richard Chassot, organiser of the cycling race Tour de Romandie, will take control, with Global Events LLC.

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Still no decision about 2017 from world champion Sebastien Ogier, who rushed from his M-Sport test in Wales to Germany for VW’s prizegiving celebrations.

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Home win for Antoine l’Estage and Darren Garrod in the Subaru Canada importers’ WRX STI at the Ontario based Rally of the Tall Pines, beating the similar car of Travis Pastrana of the US importers team.  Sylvain Vincent’s Impreza was third.

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Fiesta R5 driver Rajbir Rai scored his second outright win in three weeks when he won the Kenya championship Guru Nanak Rally, based at Naivasha, beating the Mitsubishi Evo Xs of Jassi Chatthe and Ian Duncan.  

Recently crowned champion Tapio Laukkanen retired with suspension failure.

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Strong presence of former WRC drivers is on the entry list for next month’s Dakar, including Nasser Al Attiyah, Carlos Sainz, Yazeed Al Rajhi, Sebastien Loeb, Mikko Hirvonen, Xavi Pons and Martin Prokop.
- Martin Holmes

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