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Weekend Rally Round-Up – March 12

Benito Guerra fire
Benito Guerra's Motorsport Italia Skoda Fabia R5 goes up in flames.

The sad fate of Benito Guerra’s Motorsport Italia Skoda Fabia R5 at the pre-event support championship test day in Mexico once again raises the worry about accidental Fabia R5 fires.

Recent other examples were Gryazin’s burned-out car on a road section (pictured below) on the ERC rally in Greece, and Stajf’s fire on the Barum Rally in Czech Republic.

One theory is that a pressure relief valve in the fuel tank system can get blocked, distorting the shape of the fuel tank itself.

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There was a shock result at the Belgian championship Herock Spa Rally when little known Adrian Fernemont scored an outright win, beating fellow Skoda Fabia R5 driver Kris Princen.

Throughout his 10 year career, Fernemont had never previously even scored a podium result in his national championship.

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35 R5 cars have been entered on the Azores Airlines Rally (22-24 March), the opening round of the FIA’s European Rally Championship, more than half the total number of cars entered in the event.

There are 23 drivers entered in the Junior categories.

Two weeks later the Tour de Corse will be the first time that the Citroen C3 R5 car will be homologated and available.

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More popular now than it ever was, the present day 66th Rally Moritz Costa Brava (16-17 March), the oldest running rally in Spain, has attracted 172 entrants in the combined performance, regularity or legend categories.

In earlier years the Costa Brava Rally vied in popularity with the Catalunya Rally before the two events merged and became a round of the WRC.

In the same vein, the spirit of old British major rallies is being remembered in non competitive touring road events.

The WRC British RAC Rally is being revived by the Lombard Rally Bath event, which was soon over-subscried. Now Yorkshire’s big Mintex Rally is also to be revived in the same way.

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There was no big rally news from Friday’s FIA World Motor Sport Council meeting in Geneva.

Main items were the announcements of the long awaited calendars for the 2018 regional Codasur and Nacam championships.

Martin Holmes is widely considered as world rallying's most experienced, and most respected journalist. Martin covers the WRC, ERC and all major rally championships around the world.

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