After nearly four seasons driving Fords, Eric Camilli (pictured) has been named as one of the drivers of the new Volkswagen Polo R5 on the forthcoming Rally Cataluna. This will be on the occasion of the competition debut of the car. The second driver has not been announced. = = = = News from Turkey: When Citroen Racing were asked if they supported the suggestion that more rounds of the WRC would be possible if the timeframe of existing rallies was shortened (an experiment tried by the FIA in 2004, but which failed) it was said: "We don’t believe that shortening each event would save enough money to cover a number of additional rallies. You would save some money, but a lot of costs would remain the same". Curious story. Notwithstanding the availability of DMack’s latest range of gravel tyres in time for Rally Turkey, all the registered drivers ran on either Michelin or Pirelli tyres. When full times from Shakedown were released, fastest WRC2 driver was Kopecky (pictured above), 3.7 seconds quicker than championship rival Pontus Tidemand. Fastest two-wheel drive car was Julius Tannert’s JWRC Fiesta R2, while David Holder’s similar car stopped with an ECU problem. The reason offered by the WRC Promoter for the unusually late time for the pre-Turkey Shakedown (09h30 instead of the usual 08h00) was to attract crews to a welcome party the night before, the highlight of which was a beachside international fashion show. = = = =

Thierry Neuville at Rally Poland in 2017. Photo: Holmes

Next weekend sees the gravel Rajd Polski (Rally Poland), back again after three recent years in the World Rally Championship. This time the event is the penultimate round of the 2018 European Rally Championship, replacing the country’s asphalt Rally Rzeszow. Familiar, though a shorter route than last year’s WRC event, but held at a later Autumn date, though the weather forecast is that it should be sunny with temperatures between 18 - 22 C. There are two brand new stages. Mikołajki Max uses some parts of the roads run before, but after short tarmac part the finish is at the circuit Mikolajki Arena, which is in addition to the traditional two-at-a-time Mikołajki Arena, which will be run only once. The second new stage is Pozezdrze. The name was already used in the past, but for a completely different route. = = = = A proposed calendar for the 2019 Prestone MSA British Rally Championship has been announced, with two of the six events outside Britain! Once again one of the foreign events will be Renties Ypres Rally in Belgium, the other is the Quality Hotel West Cork Rally in the Irish Republic. The other four events are in Northern Ireland, North Wales, far north of England or Scotland. = = = = While the rally community waits for the World Motor Sport Council’s WRC calendar decision expected on October 12, still no news comes out of Japan concerning a possible WRC Candidate event. The only feasible date will be the final round of the national championship, the Shinshiro Rally held in the nearby region to the proposed WRC event.
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