Tommi Makinen explained why Toyota Gazoo Racing engaged Kris Meeke for 2019, and it wasn’t to get good results. “We know that Kris is very fast. He is an experienced driver, but his technical understanding of the car is very high level. "New ideas and fresh ideas and ideas from somewhere, they are always very welcome and I feel confident that Kris is the driver who can bring those,” Makinen said. And where did Kris gain so much rallying technical experience – at M-Sport, where he used to work! Earlier, in answer to questions whether the anonymous social media images of a Toyota on its side on a test was real or a malicious fake, Makinen confirmed that Meeke did have a “small” problem in testing. = = = = There was a potentially appalling co-driver error on Friday night in Spain when the rally returned to Salou. Taisko Lario was in line to win the WRC3 title, the final time this series was due to be run by the FIA, when the co-driver failed to have his card stamped at a Passage Control situated in Salou itself, 1.97km from the end of the leg. This incurred a 10 minute time penalty, which dropped him on the rally and in the championship points behind his WRC3 rival Enrico Brazzoli. Passage Controls, where only the car’s passage and not the times are noted, are extremely unusual on World Rally Championship events. = = = = Noted in Spain: * It has taken Sebastien Loeb 16 years 4 months between his first WRC win in Germany in 2002 till Spain 2018, beating the record of Bjorn Waldegard, 15 years 2 months between Sweden 1975 and Kenya 1990. * Curious scene at the prizegiving after the Power Stage when personalities from the proposed WRC Rally Kenya were invited to present the prizes, rather than from the host country * Sebastien Loeb joyously exclaimed at the finish: "It is incredible, I couldn't believe that! I tried my best, I struggled every morning to get the rhythm except this morning. I managed to get the feeling back with the car and I could push. "Great satisfaction for sure, I didn't believe I would win a rally again. I'm not thinking about next year yet." He recovered from lying 27th on the first stage, after stalling his car, to leading after the 14th stage. = = = = 35-year old Citroen C3 R5 driver, Yoann Bonato, won his second successive French national rally title when he won the Criterium Cevennes, where he beat Quentin Giordano (Hyundai) and Quentin Gilbert (Skoda).
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