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Weekend Rally Round-Up – May 13

Ole Christian Veiby won Rally Sorland.

Summer rallying came back to Norway recently when Ole Christian Veiby (VW Polo GTI R5) won the Rally Sorland, while teammate Johan Kristoffersson retired with gearbox problems.

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Winner of the 103rd edition on Sicily’s historic Targa Florio, now a championship rally, was Simone Campedelli (Fiesta) ahead of veteran Luca Rossetti’s Citroen C3.

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Andreas Mikkelsen and Esapekka Lappi are to compete in Rally Estonia, the celebrated “WRC Promotional Event” (12-14 July, three weeks before Neste Rally Finland), respectively driving Hyundai and Citroen World Rally Cars.

Mikkelsen said: “Rally Finland is such a special rally, being so fast and the roads are so wide, that going to Rally Estonia will be great to get into the rhythm on very similar conditions.

“I did a rally in Estonia back in 2006 (Saaremaa Rally, which he won when he was 17 – in a World Rally Car) and have not been there in a really long time.”

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Round two of the Australian national championship, the Netier National Capital Rally, was won by Toyota driver Harry Bates. He won seven out of eight stages across the two heats, challenged by Subaru driver MollyTaylor.

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In Portugal the Council of Gaia city decided at the last moment, due to internal issues, not to hold the proposed “Gaia Street Stage” on this year’s WRC Rally of Portugal.

The Automobile Club of Portugal has cancelled the special city stage on Saturday.

Meanwhile, amid rumours that Rally GB this year might start in England at Liverpool , it has been announced that a new promenade-side special stage will be run at Colwyn Bay.

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Chinese cars in Italian rallying! Two examples of the nationally homologated DR miniature cars were entered on the Targa Florio.

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These are locally assembled versions of the Chery, which were developed by Massimo Di Risio, whose business is to promote Chinese models in the Italian market.

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Kris Meeke’s crashed Toyota Yaris after he rolled on Day 2.

Curiosities from Chile

… 24 R5 cars started the event, compared with the 25 which started the Tour de Corse

… Special stages account for 24.5% of the total rally distance

… stages 3/5 passed through a location called Purgatorio. The competitors, however, do not then go on to a place called Paradiso. Rally drivers have clearly no hope of Salvation

… Mads Ostberg confirms that an updated version of Citroen’s C3 R5 is to appear on the next WRC event in three weeks’ time in Portugal, where the new Skoda Fabia Evo R5 will make its WRC debut

… when asked at the pre-event Press Conference his thoughts on hybrid technology, Sebastien Ogier said: ”Hybrid is important but I will not be there …!”

Mikkelsen said: “We need new technology sooner rather than later!”

… The ceremonial start in Concepcion’s Plaza de la Independencia was a superb success with special grandstands erected just for the occasion.

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Reaction from Hyundai Motorsport to FIA’s Rally Manager, Yves Matton’s, prediction that the WRC will embrace hybrid cars in 2022:

“We support any change of regulation that enhances WRC’s position within global motorsport and its relevance to road car technology.

“However, before any consideration can be given, we would need to hear the technical proposal from the FIA. Until then, we can’t have a position on the matter.

“It needs more clarification, which would make it easier to understand the scope of development that would be required.”

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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