FIA’s 2006 Junior World Rally Champion, Patrick Sandell from Sweden (pictured above), last weekend won the Olympus Rally in Washington State, his first rally on American soil, a year after joining the Subaru Rally Team USA. He inherited the lead when his British team-mate, David Higgins, retired with transmission trouble. The top 10 finishers were all Subarus. The Olympus Rally was America’s qualifying round for the World Rally Championship from 1986 to 1988, now it is a round of the American ARA series. The next ARA event is next weekend’s Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally in Pennsylvania, on the other side of the country. = = = = It is reported that Toyota Gazoo Racing rally manager, Jarmo Lehtinen, is to return to his co-driving career with Hiroki Arai. Arai’s regular co-driver, Glenn Macneall, will return to co-drive for his former colleague, Gaurav Gill, with whom he won the APRC title in 2016. Both Arai and Gill have entered the Sardinia WRC event. = = = = Kalle Rovanpera 17 year old Kalle Rovanpera secured his first victory on an asphalt rally at the Sachsen (Saxony) Rallye, a qualifying round in the German Rally Championship. He finished over a minute in front of fellow Fabia driver Dominic Dinkel. This fast event was notable for 15 penalties (each time 30 seconds) being imposed on drivers for driving mistakes at chicanes. The event is based at Zwickau, the city where the legendary East German Trabants were built. Although production stopped in 1990, one car took part. It was seeded last in the start list and finished – and it wasn’t last! = = = = Gustavo Saba (Fabia) won the third of five rounds of the FIA Codasur rally championship when he won the Erechim Rally in Brazil. This was after the Hyundai of his closest championship challenger, Diego Dominguez, retired when a punctured tyre damaged the alternator belt. Saba beat the Fabia of Miguel Zaldivar by towards three minutes, and the Toyota Etios R5 of Alejandro Galanti was third. The rally was run despite a blockade by local truckers protesting at the price of diesel. = = = = Fourth round of the Italian championship was Rally Elba where Paolo Andreucci returned to his winning ways in his Peugeot 208 T16. Paolo (57 points) leads the Italian series ahead of Umberto Scandola (32, Skoda) and Andrea Crugnola (27, Ford). Martin Koci, meanwhile, won the traditional Rallye Tatra, the second round of the Slovakian series, heading a Skoda 1-2-3.
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