High speed in Paraguay! Three of the seven stages on the first full day of the Trans Chaco Rally were won at an average speed of over 160kph and another three at over 150kph! The map below shows the route for stage 9, won by second placed Alejandro Galanti’s Toyota Etios R5 at 161.9kph. Rally leader is Diego Dominguez’s Hyundai i20 R5. These are not all time record speeds for this traditional event, run in the vast desert shrub land of the Chaco. In the days when Group A cars were admitted, Alejandro Galanti won a stage in a Toyota at over 200kph average.

Alejandro Galanti’s Toyota Etios R5 won a stage at an average speed of 161.9kph.

= = = = At only two weeks’ notice, the FIA announced that no points for general classification would be awarded after Rally Bulgaria, a round of the Balkan region section of the European Rally Trophy, following a series of organisational problems. Rally Bulgaria, when organised by the late Georgi Yanakiev, had been part of the World Rally Championship in 2010 and was won by Sebastien Loeb in a Citroen C4 WTC. = = = = Abarth has announced that rear-wheel drive 124 Rally cars had won no fewer than 30 category wins in the first eight months of the 2018 season. The most impressive achievement of these cars, designed as visual throwbacks to the official Fiat rally cars run in the ‘70s, has been when Raphael Astier became unbeatable in the FIA’s R-GT Cup with one round still to be run. = = = = The French preparation company, Oreca, has the FIA contract to market components which can be fitted to series production cars to allow them to run under the new and ground breaking R4-Kit vehicle regulations. They have announced that studies and construction of cars is under way for a wide range of cars. Following initial conversion by Oreca of their development Toyota Etios, customers are working on a Renault Clio, a Dacia Sandero, a Fiat MR 500X, an Audi A1, a Skoda Fabia, a Hyundai i20 and a Mazda 2. This concept follows the success in Argentina of the Maxi Rally concept. = = = = Belgian Peugeot 208 R2 driver, Joachim Wagemans, secured the TER Junior title on the penultimate round and has won a prize drive entry in an R5 car. He has the chance to win the overall TER title at the final round, the Rallye Interational du Valais in Switzerland in October. = = = = Under the name of the Flying Finn Future Star Award, the Finnish federation is to expand its successful “Future Star Award” system which gave a major career boost for Jaru Huttunen, Juuso Nordgren, Emil Lindholm and Henri Hokkala. The 2019 winner will win an entry in the FIA Junior WRC “or an equivalent WRC class” in 2020. = = = = More tragedy for European Rally Champion Alexey Lukyanuk came when a close friend, Aleksandr Soloviev, a 33-year-old rally driver, died in an accident on the recent Russia Cup Saint Petersburg Rally. His Citroën C2 R2 went off the road and hit a tree. Last year Lukyanuk had a broken leg in a testing car collision accident in Pskov Oblast, Russia, where the co-driver of the other rally car died.
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