More successes for the stars of the recent Swedish Rally over the weekend. Third placed WRC2 driver, Ole Christian Veiby, won the Numedal Rally for the second year running in his native Norway, while fellow Fabia R5 driver, Mattias Adielsson, won the Ostersund Winter Rally in north central Sweden.
The Scottish driver, David Bogie, failed to finish the Ostersund Rally. He went into a snowbank on a super special, which was the final stage of the event.
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Big surprise on the entry list of the Bandama Rally, opening round of the FIA African regional championship, was a Yamaha YXZ side-by-side quad bike driven by Stephane Peterhansel.
Peterhansel won the motorcycle category of the Dakar Rally six times on Yamaha bikes.
He was running as a non-championship competitor.
The only registered ARC driver on the event was Gary Chaynes in a Mitsubishi Evo X.
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Serge Uspensky took out the Peno Rally in -28 degree temperatures.
59-year old Serge Uspensky won the intensely cold (-28 degrees) Peno Rally, second round of the Russian championship and run in the Tver region, in a Subaru Impreza R4.
Second was Estonian driver Janis Berkis’ Fiesta R5.
Feature of the event was a multi-lap super special placed adjacent to the service area.
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Kris Princen snatched a last stage victory over fellow Skoda Fabia R5 driver Vincent Verschueren on the Belgian championship Haspengouw Rally.
Over the last four stages, the gap between them was never greater than 1.2 seconds.
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Rosemary Smith (right) with former co-driver Pauline Gullick. Photo: Martin Holmes
Guest celebrity at the Race Retro exhibition at Stoneleigh near Coventry was the 80-year old Irish driver Rosemary Smith, winner of the 1965 Tulip Rally in a Hillman Imp.
That was to be the only outright European Championship rally victory for the British based Rootes competition team, a success only matched by Andrew Cowan’s victory on the London to Sydney marathon three years later.
Followed in later years by Billy Coleman and recently by Craig Breen, Rosemary has been one of very few internaional rally stars from the Irish Republic.
Rosemary gave a highly entertaining public interview, the highlight being to explain how the Safari Rally allowed her and her co-driver, Pauline Gullick, to finish the rally, despite their accumulated lateness penalty completely over-running a scheduled overnight halt.
She gave a splendid description of how she recently drove a Formula 1 car.
When commenting on the changes in the sport, she emphasised that despite assumptions, money wasn’t the only required ingredient for starting a successful career, and that drivers still need as much natural talent to win as ever.
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