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Weekend Rally Round-Up – March 3

‘Hoonigan’ Ken Block plans to continue high profile rally competition in the 2019 season with a programme entitled “Cossie World Tour”.

Once again he will sit behind the wheel of a 1990s style Ford Escort RS Cosworth, similar to the car he ran in 2018 before it was destroyed by a fire during a rally, but now employing updated preparation techniques.

The programme includes his favourite rallies and also events in which he has not yet participated, including the American Rally in the 100 Acre Wood, the New Zealand Rally Whangarei, the Donegal International Rally in Ireland, Goodwood Festival of Speed, the Polish Gymkhana Grid event, the San Marino Rally Legend, and Switzerland’s Rallye International du Valais.

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The Rallye-Cote d’Ivoire, opening round of the 2019 FIA African Rally Championship, was won by the reigning champion, Kenyan driver Manvir Baryan, in a Skoda Fabia R5.

Six SxS Can-Am Maverick X3s finished in the top 10, the highest placed being PH manager, Bernard Piallat, who finished third overall.

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Estonian Prime Minister, Juri Ratas (left), has endorsed his country’s wish to be considered as a future WRC qualifying round saying: “It gives us an opportunity to show the world Estonia as a great country with great sportsmen. It will help bring more effort to local economy and tourism”.

WRC Promoter Oliver Ciesla has arranged for the 2019 Shell Helix Rally Estonia to be granted a special category of an ‘Official WRC Promotional Event”, a title of no declared significance in the hierarchy of possible future WRC rallies.

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Four times European historic rally champion, 51-year old Italian rally driver “Pedro”, has announced he will compete in WRC2 events in an M-Sport run Fiesta R5 on five events in 2019.

He competed on the 2019 Monte Carlo Rally in a Hyundai i20 R5. He expects to compete under his real name Massimo Pedretti. He plans to compete in Corsica, Portugal, Germany, Turkey and Catalonia. In 2020, six starts are planned.

In Historic competition he drove Fiat Abarth 131, Ferrari 308GTB, Lancia Delta Integrale and Lancia 037 cars. He follows the trend set by fellow Italian Enrico Brazzoli who, after twice winning the European historic car title in Porsches, turned to the WRC and became WRC3 world champion in 2018.

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Dramatic last stage victory on the Finnish championship Itarally at Joensuu for Takamoto Katsuta, his first competition as part of Toyota Gazoo Racing’s intention to promote Japanese drivers internationally on WRC cars.

He snatched the win from Emil Lindholm (Polo GTI R5) who took over the lead when first running Katsuta suffered from driving on fresh snow.

It was Katsuta’s first event in a Yaris WRC and he was running on Pirelli tyres.

 

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Hat-trick FIA European Rally champion, Kajetan Kajetanwicz, plans a full WRC2 programme this time in a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5, again with Lotos support.

Volkswagen Motorsport announced that their 50-car build of Polo GTI R5 has already been fully pre-ordered.

The model first appeared in competition on the 2018 Catalunya WRC event.

More rally news:

Feature: Triumph TR7 V8 – a history

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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