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Before the Wales Rally GB, M-Sport proprietor Malcolm Wilson was visibly despondent at the loss next year of star driver Sebastien Ogier. There was also the apparent lack of benefit for the team’s development work with Ford in America, which culminated in the team’s return to an earlier specification engine for Ogier in Britain. Then during the rally came the disasters of Elfyn Evans (engine misfiring) and Teemu Suninen (accident). When asked what the team’s WRC plans were for 2019 he said: “All options are open, even leaving the WRC altogether”. = = = = With the FIA African Rally Championship already decided, none of the regular competitors went to the final round, the Mountain Gorilla Rally in Rwanda. This event was won by Belgian driver Giancarlo Davite in a Mitsubishi Evo X, ahead of the Evo IX of Burundi driver Rudy Cantanhede. Four outright wins out of the seven qualification rounds secured the title for the Kenya Skoda driver Manvir Baryan. = = = = = = = = The Rally America series Show Me Rally run in Missouri was won by Illinois driver Peter Fetela (Fiesta Proto) who beat his championship rival Dave Brown (Subaru) from Colorado. = = = = Mads Ostberg confirmed at Wales Rally GB that the decision was taken last week that a long-expected entry for him in the Catalunya Rally in an R5 car will now not happen. No reason was given. It was also reported that Ostberg’s reason to stop on stage six in Turkey was technical, unconnected with the reported damage caused by impact with stones on the road. = = = = Ready for the debut of Volkswagen’s Polo GTI R5 cars on Rally Catalunya, VW has released images of the new livery adopted for the cars, to be rallied by Eric Camilli and Petter Solberg. = = = = This coming weekend sees the final round of the FIA European Rally Championship, the fast, gravel Liepaja Rally in Latvia. The newly confirmed overall champion, Alexey Lukyanuk, will miss the event, presumably for budget-related reasons. Main award to be won is for the Under 28 championship, fought out between Nikolay Gryazin, Chris Ingram and Fabian Kreim, all of whom are entered, as is the new Under 27 champion Martins Sesks.
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