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The Japanese national championship Shinshiro Rally is the latest organisation to ask the FIA to be considered for inclusion in the future World Rally Championship. It is planned this miniature event will be based close to Nagoya in Central Japan, at Toyota City. Few specific details have been announced, and it’s also not known whether the request for such an overtly commercially promotion (from Toyota itself) will be supported by JAF, the national federation, or whether the FIA will want another asphalt event in the series. The 2017 Shinshiro Rally had 14 stages, total competitive distance of 87km (an average of six kilometres). The longest was 11km. = = = = Kris Meeke goes to Rallye Monte Carlo as the top British driver with a special opportunity. It is 50 years since the last British driver has won the sport’s oldest event. The winner in 1968 was Vic Elford, who worked his way into racing Formula 1 cars through sports car racing and rallying, and whose first motorsport activity was as a navigator in British road rallying. Kris announced he had also been a road rally navigator, for his brother Barry, before he was old enough to be allowed to drive. = = = =
Hyundai announced that they plan to run four cars in Portugal, providing a chance to give their part-time drivers, Dani Sordo and Hayden Paddon, an equal number of WRC outings in 2018.
= = = = Hubert-Ptaszek After 30 starts in World Rally Championship events over four years, Polish driver Hubert “Birdman” Ptaszek (pictured above) is to concentrate on European Championship rallying in 2018, driving a Skoda Fabia R5. “Of course the WRC will always be the top priority for the future,” he said. = = = = Gus-Greensmith 21 year old British driver, Gus Greensmith, is to drive nine world championship rallies in 2018, starting with Monte Carlo in a Fiesta R2, then starting his WRC2 campaign at Mexico.
“It feels great to be back in the swing of things, but this time in the colour blue. It’s been a long time since Wales Rally GB and now I cannot wait to get back behind the wheel,” Greensmith said.
“The 2018 WRC 2 Championship looks as though it’s going to be the most competitive yet and I’ve been working hard over the winter break for exactly that reason. I feel as though I’m going to be in a good place this year – mentally, physically, with Craig back by my side and of course with M-Sport, the reigning World Champions! “Last year I think I showed my ability to drive as fast, if not faster, than my competitors. Speed wasn’t the issue, but consistency was and that is the key to doing well in any championship. This year, I need to focus on consistently scoring strong points. “But at the same time I also have to admit that a goal of mine for this year is to secure my first WRC 2 victory. If the opportunity arises, and the circumstances are right, I’ll go for it. It’s a childhood dream and the second of six life goals I am aiming to achieve.” = = = = While M-Sport has not announced their next step in R5 development work, something is scheduled for introduction in March.
Unexpectedly there are no new regulations affecting R2T, work carries on as before, while R1 regulations are under review at the FIA in the hope a budget-friendly formula between the existing R1 and R2 cars can be devised.
M-Sport currently offer a more affordable car for the French Rally Championship in pretty much a specification they would like a new R1 formula to be. The engine is standard, but tuned electronically, with a good gearbox and suspension.
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