Weekend Rally Round-Up – March 11
Citroen have followed Volkswagen in efforts to enforce a wider use of new technology cars in motorsport.
Citroen Brand CEO, Linda Jackson, is reported to have said her company would reconsider participation in the WRC if the FIA makes no plans to introduce hybrid power units.
Speaking in Leon at Rally Mexico, Citroen Racing’s team principal Pierre Budar said: “I think the main goal is to be able to drive the car in the full electric version.
“We need sometimes to be 100% electric, like for example in service park or when we go through a town or village in countries where very loud cars can be a problem, sometimes for the neighbours.
“On rallies we want to present a good image of the hybrid and we can show also we are able to make high performance cars for the stages which can be very quiet and have zero emission on the road.”
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Following the chaotic events in the opening stage of their event, when the stage was stopped before the leading drivers could drive the stage because of a broken artificial ramp, the organisers of Rally Mexico made a hasty change in the Leon downtown super special stage to remove an artificial jump, citing “safety reasons”.
Artificial jumps have recently become an anathema for rallying purists, but are nothing new. There had been extensive damaged to rally cars at an artificial jump on the opening stage at the Palermo horse racing track in Buenos Aires as long ago as the 1988 Rally Argentina.
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Opening round of the FIA Codasur regional championship, the Rally de la Tierra Colorada in the Argentine province of Misiones, was won by Paraguay driver Diego Dominguez.
Early leader was Gustavo Saba who went off the road and retired with broken suspension.
This year the Codasur series is also held in Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia and Uruguay
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Former World Rally Championship co-driver and recently a manager in the Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC team, Jarmo Lehtinen, is one of latest consultants engaged in the proposed Safari WRC revival project.
Together with Iain Campbell, Clerk of the Course of Wales Rally GB, they have been in Kenya to advise on the organisational framework required for a satisfactory return of the only iconic African championship event to world status in 2020.
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First round of the new Spanish super rally championship, the gravel Rally Tierras Altas de Lorca, was won by former WRC driver, Xevi Pons, in a Fabia R5, ahead of the similar car of Siota Pardo.
The opening round of the German DRM championship was won by the Skoda Fabia R5 of Fabian Kreim, ahead of the similar car of Marijan Griebel
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The only special WRC news from last week’s World Motor Sport Council meeting was that arrangements had been changed regarding homologation procedures to enable teams to continue developing their 2017 World Rally Cars to the end of 2021, the year the current formula is due to end.
Regarding R-GT, manufacturers will now be permitted to homologate R-GT cars, rather than rely on the current vehicle passport system.
Also, an extra event in Japan (Montre Rally at Tsumagoi in Gunma) has been added to the list of Asia Cup rounds in the APRC to balance the number of Asia Cup and Pacific Cup rounds in preparation of the final APRC event.