There were worrying overtones from WRC Promoter Oliver Ciesla (below) at the WRC Presentation at the Autosport show in Birmingham. He said: “If we are going to stay with 14 rounds in the World Rally Championship and Japan and Kenya arrive, two events in Europe will have to leave the championship in 2020.” = = = = It has been decided that the candidate Kenya world championship rally is to take place on the first weekend in July, based on the Delamere estates south of Nakuru. = = = = Details of this year's new WRC event in Chile have been published. Based at Concepcion, the stages are all held on private forest territory to the south of the city on roads similar to those in Finland. WRC Promoter Oliver Ciesla says that the fans in South America are more numerous and younger than those in Europe. = = = = Permanent competition numbers for this year’s regular WRC competitors have been announced, as follows: Citroen - Oger 1, Lappi 4. Hyundai - Sordo 6, Neuville 11, Loeb 19, Mikkelsen 89. M-Sport Suninen 3, Evans 33, Tidemand 7. Toyota - Meeke 5, Tanak 8, Latvala 10. = = = = All the four registered teams presented their new team liveries for 2019 at the official championship launch. Citroen, Hyundai and Toyota replaced the cars shown for the first two days of the show with the new livery for display on the third day. = = = = Two new WRC sponsors were announced at NEC: the German on-line car parts company Autodoc and the Wolf Oil Corporation, which will give its name to the Power Stages. = = = = Entry details for the 87th Rallye Automobile Monte-Carlo are due to be released January 14, if approved by the FIA. Over 80 entries are expected, including over 30 R5 cars. = = = = A curious lack of information was offered at the WRC Presentation from Hyundai Motorsport's new Team Direction, Andrea Adamo, about who is in charge of the company's technical development work, previously his domain, and other personnel changes after the departure of his predecessor Michel Nandan = = = = Noticeably absent from the WRC presentation was Skoda, whose cars have been unbeatable in WRC2 for the past four years. The reason why Skoda’s anticipated entry into the new WRC2 Pro series has not been made is believed to have been the late publication of the championship regulations, leaving no time for the company to obtain budget approval. = = = = Petter Solberg is allowing his 17-year old son, Oliver, to drive his VW Polo GTI R5 on the Swedish Rally, while father drives his old Escort Mark 2 on the historic section of the rally. = = = = Spain and Finland are well advanced with their Junior driver projects. Rallye Team Spain will enter both Jan Solans and Efren Llarena in their second season in the ERC3 Junior series and also in the Junior WRC. The Fying Finn Academy supports drivers in racing, karting, rallycross and rallying, aimed at promotIng young talented drivers rise up to the international level.

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