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Local driver Stephane Lefebvre (pictured above), in one of only two World Rally Cars on the event, scored an easy win on the opening French championship rally, the Rallye du Touquet Pas-de-Calais. His old Citroen DS3 finished 93.1 seconds in front of Bryan Bouffier’s Hyundai i20 R5, while reigning champion Yoann Bonato was third in a Citroen DS3 R5. = = = = = At mid distance on the West Cork Rally, Donagh Kelly’s 10 year old Focus WRC was on its way to winning the event for the fifth successive time. Kelly was pulling away from the Festa R5 of Josh Moffett, the top qualifying Irish Tarmac national championship contender. The event was due to finish Sunday afternoon. = = = =
Safari Rally rain

A Safari Rally competitor took this photo of the wet conditions on a road section.

Heavy rainstorms failed to stop the FIA regional African Rally championship Safari Rally in Kenya. In the week before the event, two super special stages were cancelled, but they were replaced by a re-run of the longest stage of the event. Most of the short competitive part of the event was run on the Saturday, despite earlier overnight rain and torrential downpours at the end of the afternoon. Leading with the final stage to go was Carl Tundo’s Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, ahead of Onkar Rai’s Skoda Fabia R5. = = = = Frequent flyer Hayden Paddon expects to compete as often in his home country New Zealand this year as in the WRC. His former long time co-driver, John Kennard, is to return as his co-driver for the New Zealand events, where they will compete in the Hyundai i20 AP4+ car. This year Paddon alternates his programmes with Hyundai Motorsport’s WRC teammate Dani Sordo in the third WRC entry, expect for Rally Portugal, the only time they are due to compete on the same events. = = = = 14 times Austrian national rally champion, Raimund Baumschlager, was transported to hospital in Graz suffering a serious back injury when his Fabia R5 crashed off the road into trees on the Rebenland Rally. At the time he was marginally leading the rally ahead of the Fiesta R5 of Niki Mayr-Meinhof, who won the event. Second was the Skoda Fabia R5 of Czech driver Jan Cerny. = = = = Opening round of the Spanish national asphalt rally championship, the Rali do Cocido, was won by Ivan Ares’ Hyundai i20 R5, ahead of Miguel Fuster’s Fiesta R5. The event was based at Lalin in Galicia. = = = = M-Sport driver Eric Camilli has announced he will augment his meagre Ford-based programme as a test driver of the new Volkswagen Golf GTI R5. Camilli has only competed once in the last five months. = = = = News from Britain … no alternative date for the postponed opening round of the British Rally Championship, the Border Counties Rally in South Scotland, has been found and the event has been finally cancelled.
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