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Fiesta R5 driver Nasser Al Attiyah won the Middle East Rally Championship Jordan Rally for the 12th time, finishing over eight minutes ahead of Czech driver Vojtech Stafj’s Skoda Fabia R5. It was reported to be Al Attiyah’s 67th victory in the MERC. He is trying to become the most successful Middle East rally champion by the end of this season. = = = = Japanese Toyota trainee rallyman, Hiroki Arai, won the Portuguese championship Rali de Mortagua in a Tommi Makinen Racing Fiesta R5. Until the final stage his teammate, Takamoto Katsuta, had been lying second. Second place was finally snatched by Hyundai driver Armindo Araujo, who scored maximum Portuguese series points. R5 cars took the top 12 places. = = = = Matt Edwards won the Pirelli International Rally, opening round of the Prestone British Rally Championship, held in the forests of the English Scottish borders. His Fiesta R5 finished 20 seconds ahead of the Fabia R5 of Rhys Yates, which overtook Keith Cronin’s Hyundai i20 R5 into second place on the final stage. Second seeded David Bogie (Fabia R5), who had nominated this event for supplemental “joker points”, retired when he rolled on the opening stage.   = = = = Leftover news: Seventh time winner of last weekend’s Oregon Trail Rally, the opening round of the American Rally Association’s 2018 championship, was Subaru driver David Higgins. In third place, despite technical problems, was the 25-year old Ford Escort RS Cosworth of entrepreneur Ken Block. Higgins’ teammate, Chris Atkinson, missed stages but was finally classified in 17th place after winning a number of stages. = = = = Volkswagen Motorsport has announced they plan to make the debut of their Polo GTI R5 car at Catalunya Rally (26-28 October) following homologation on October 1st. The emphasis on serving the customer sport market represents a major rallying offensive for the company, whose World Rally Championsip activity finished at the end of 2016. = = = = A bizarre story came from Rally Argentina, concerning an armed robbery on a rental car used by the WRC Promoters travelling from Cordoba Airport to Villa Carlos Paz. It appears the car’s satellite navigation system took them by the normal, direct, route which was through an area of a known high security risk. Most of the seized equipment was later recovered and the crew were reported to be unhurt. = = = = Winner of the FIA Codasur regional championship category of Rally Argentina was Skoda Fabia driver Gustava Saba, while winner of the national category Copa ACA series was the former tennis player, David Nalbandian, in his Chevrolet Onix Turbo Maxi Rally. Early Codasur leader was the Toyota Etios R5 of Alejandro Galanti, which suffered power steering problems. = = = = Three out of three wins for Xavier Pons in a Peugeot 208 T16 on the Spanish gravel championship Rally Isla de Los Volcanes, on the Canary Island of Lanzarote.
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