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16-year old Norwegian Oliver Solberg – son of Petter – finished second in his class on Rally Alūksne in Latvia. The event was a championship round in both the Latvian and Estonian championships, and Solberg was driving a Peugeot 208 R2. Overall winner was Valeriy Gorban’s Mini JCW WRC. https://twitter.com/Petter_Solberg/status/954721716600819719 * Soon after his father won his second Dakar Rally, Carlos Sainz Junior is to be one of the official course opening cars on the Monte Carlo Rally, along with Bruno Saby, driving Mégane RS cars ... * Fourteen JWRC registered drivers have entered the Swedish Rally, the opening round of the Junior series this year. * Ukraine driver Valeriy Gorban, patron of the Eurolamp World Rally Team, the last team to run Mini JCW WRC cars in the world championship, has announced he will concentrate on competing on the Estonian national championship this year. He intends to return eventually to the WRC. * It has been announced that the funeral of the long time and much respected rally photographer, Hugh Bishop, is to take place on February 10 in Wiltshire, at a location close to the Thruxton racing circuit. It was at Thruxton that Hugh first started his professional motorsport career in the ‘60s. = = = =
Rauno Aaltonen (right) and Timo Makinen, in 2010.

Rauno Aaltonen (right) with his famous contemporate teammate, the late Timo Makinen, taken at the Mobilia Museum near Tampere, Finland in 2010

Back in full rally action again after seven years is the 80-year old Finnish driver, Rauno Aaltonen, who is entered in the Historic category of next month’s Swedish Rally.
Among his legendary success, Aaltonen not only won the 1965 European Rally Championship title, but won the 1967 Monte Carlo Rally, and then went on to finish third on the Swedish that year.
He plans to drive a Mini Cooper S, but which car is not yet decided. One possibility is the ex-BMC Sweden importers’ Mini Cooper S which was driven by racing driver “Picko” Troberg at Monte Carlo Rally in 1965, recently restored by former Swedish Volvo Touring Car racer Hans-Åke Söderqvist. = = = = Carlos Barbosa, president of the Automobile Club of Portugal, has revealed that the Portuguese Rally of 2017 is nowadays the biggest sporting event and the biggest tourist event in Portugal since Euro 2004. The rally gave a return to the country of "137 million Euros".
Speaking publicly about his event on a visit to Spain, he said that the north of the Porto is the “favorite zone, not only in terms of stages, but also in terms of the public”.
In 2017 it was estimated there were 1.2 million spectators who spent around 60 million Euros, and in total the event “gave a return to the country of 137 million euros, that is, seven million more than in 2016”, but only one million Euros came from state support. This was through the subsidy of Northern Coordination and Regional Development Commission. = = = =
Recently signed part-time Citroen Racing WRC driver, Mads Ostberg, contested the 2017 One Bet team Fiesta WRC on the Norwegian championship Sigdal Rally.
He was leading by a half minute, but then retired with a broken brake disc. The event was won by the itinerant Russian driver, Nikolay Gryazin, whose Fabia R5 finished nearly a minute ahead of the Fiesta R5 of Norwegian Anders Grondal. Third place went to Henning Solberg is his old Mitsubishi Evo 6, who finished seven seconds in front of his 21-year old son, Oscar, in a Fabia R5.
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