Posts Tagged ‘world rally championship’
2013 will be the 22nd running of Rally Australia and the third time it has run in the Coffs Coast region of New South Wales. The rally takes up to 1000 people to organise and run the event and the leader needs to be experienced in running rally’s and staff management. One of Australia’s most experienced rally officials, Adrian Stafford, has been appointed to lead the sporting organisation of next year’s Rally Australia round of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) and has the right stuff to run a successful event. Next year’s event to be staged on 12-15 September will be Staffords first involvement since Rally Australia moved to New South Wales in 2009, but he was a senior official throughout its successful 19 years in Western Australia and Clerk-of-Course for its final four years until 2006. Staffords experience also includes being organising committee Chairman in WA, an FIA Observer and Steward at other WRC rounds, a member of the FIA WRC Commission and led training and advisory roles in support of bids by China and South Africa to host future WRC events. Rally Australia Chairman Ben Rainsford said Mr Stafford would bring invaluable experience to the Clerk-of-Course role. “The Clerk-of-Course is central to the successful conduct of Rally Australia and we’re delighted to have secured the services of someone so accomplished as Adrian,” Mr Rainsford said. “In addition to the task of hosting the world’s most challenging motorsport championship, Adrian will use his experience to help develop new talent in our sporting organisation, to ensure we have a strong base for continued growth in the Coffs Coast area.” Perth-based Mr Stafford said he was excited to be returning to Rally Australia. “I’m looking forward to working on the Coffs Coast and with everybody there who put together a highly successful international event in 2011. I have fond memories of attending rally’s in the Coffs area many years ago,” he said. “Over the coming months we will review the rally route and the planning for our major infrastructure and locations, with a view to making an even better event in 2013. “Key to this will be the corps of sporting officials. We’ll aim to attract the best rally expertise from around the country while at the same time devoting effort to developing the local officials and capturing their vital local knowledge as a core part of our team.” Mr Stafford visited Coffs Harbour over the weekend for the Snake Racing Coffs Coast Rally round of the Bosch Australian Rally Championship.
In late September a meeting took place in Paris to discuss what company would take the World Rally Championship (WRC) into 2013 and beyond. The WMSC approved the FIA to proceed with an agreement with The Sportsman Media Group and Red Bull Media House to become the new global promoter of the FIA World Rally Championship from 2013. “The promoter will be responsible for investing and developing the WRC with a view to increasing its profile, reputation and commercial value. In particular, the promoter, working in close collaboration with the FIA, will be focused on introducing live television and an innovative digital media strategy in the next years,” said a statement issued by the governing body. With all that being worked out there are a going to be new and exciting developments for the 2013 season. The support championship structure has been revamped, while a number of cost-cutting measures have been announced. As part of a cost-reduction process and to attract greater entries, the WMSC confirmed WRC Teams competing in the 2013 FIA World Rally Championship will now only have to contest one round outside of Europe. WRC Teams must however still nominate and take part in a minimum of seven events. Current WRC Teams include the Adapta World Rally Team and the Qatar World Rally Team. The structure of the support championships has been revised to reflect the interests and demands of the competitors. From 2013, the current Super 2000 World Rally Championship will be replaced by the FIA WRC-2 Championship including cars with four-wheel drive (R5, R4 and S2000). A specific cup for cars in the Group N category will also form part of the WRC-2 Championship, and titles for teams, drivers and co-drivers will be awarded to those who have scored the most points in six of the seven events in which they have taken part. The current Production Car World Rally Championship will be replaced by the FIA WRC-3 Championship, including Group R cars with two-wheel drive (R3, R2 and R1). Titles for teams, drivers and co-drivers will be awarded to those who have scored the most points in five of the six events in which they have taken part. The current FIA WRC Academy will be re-named the FIA Junior WRC Championship. The Junior title was dropped when the all-new WRC Academy initiative was introduced for 2011 but is making a comeback in 2013. To limit costs and encourage participation, from 2013 the use of the latest evolution of parts homologated by manufacturers will not be mandatory for World Rally Cars entered by drivers not scoring points in the Manufacturers’ Championship. This also applies to all cars in the S2000 category with a 1.6-litre turbo engine. With all the new rules and names for classes the 2013 WRC calendar was also confirmed with one of the oldest events on the WRC calendar to open the season. The 13-round schedule will see drivers and teams come back to Australia after a one-year absence while Italy’s round moves from October to a June slot next year. The other major change is Great Britain’s event returning to its traditional final-round slot in November having run earlier this year. Rd 1 – Rallye Monte-Carlo: 20 January 2013 Rd 2 - Rally Sweden: 10 February 2013 Rd 3 - Rally Mexico: 10 March 2013 Rd 4 - Rallye de Portugal: 14 April 2013 Rd 5 - Rally Argentina: 5 May 2013 Rd 6 - Acropolis Rally (Greece): 2 June 2013 Rd 7 – Rally d’Italia: 23 June 2013 Rd 8 - Rally Finland: 4 August 2013 Rd 9 - Rallye Deutschland: Date TBC Rd 10 - Rally Australia: 15 September 2013 Rd 11 - Rallye de France: 6 October 2013 Rd 12 - Rally de Espana: 27 October 2013 Rd 13 - Rally of Great Britain: 17 November 2013 The dates shown are the Sunday of each rally weekend.
It was only a few years ago that the World Rally Championship (WRC) was losing manufactures left right and centre. But now as this year’s competition gets closer to the end, Hyundai have announced that they are poised to return to the series. Hyundai began their rallying career in 1998, competing in the F2 class of the WRC for two seasons. After the teams rookie season and an extra two for learning, in 1999 the company announced they would step up to the full WRC in the year 2000. Hyundai had been developing a full WRC car based on the three-door Accent. But it would not be running in the top level of rally for all that long. At the end of the 2003 season Hyundai announced they would be withdrawing from the WRC and would begin embarking on its long-term strategy to set up an in-house WRC team in Europe. As the Paris Motor Show opened its doors the many waiting media, the world of rallying was hit wait the news that Hyundai Motor Company is poised to return to the FIA World Rally Championship. Hyundai will be taking the challenge to the already established teams of Ford and Citroen and newly entered Mini and Volkswagen in the rally ready i20. The WRC is one of the world’s toughest motorsport series, and the Hyundai i20 vehicle has been engineered to withstand the extreme terrains and weather conditions competitors face throughout the championship. “The World Rally Championship is recognised as one of the most dramatic sporting series on Earth,” said Mark Hall, Marketing Director at Hyundai Motor Europe. “It’s a spectacle filled with excitement and dynamism – the perfect embodiment of the Hyundai brand. “The WRC also offers the most technologically-diverse challenge for an automotive manufacturer. Our participation will demonstrate Hyundai’s engineering excellence and durability, and will also help to enhance our road-going vehicles in future.”
Australia’s brother-sister rally team, Brendan Reeves and Rhianon Smyth, have added valuable Championship points to their World Rally Championship (WRC) Academy title chase after finishing fifth at the challenging Rally Deutschland (Germany) at the weekend. With two rounds still to run, the pair are sitting second overall in the Championship point score. After a solid preparation heading into the event, Reeves and Smyth were confident of a good showing, having taken advantage of a couple of tarmac testing opportunities prior to the rally. The stages used on the event are nothing like the pair normally experience – extremely different from the rally stages of Australia – with tight, twisty roads through vineyards and a huge 46 kilometre stage (“Arena Planzerplatte”) through the Baumholder military training area. The military base is renowned for the huge concrete boulders (known as hinklesteins) that line the course and these can create havoc if they come into contact with a rally car travelling at speed. Not only are the roads tight and twisty, the Panzerplatte stage has 118 junctions in its 46 kilometres, meaning that the driver and co-driver must write a particularly descriptive set of pace-notes to guide them through the stage unscathed. Reeves and Smyth’s event didn’t get off to the start they were hoping for when an overshoot on the first stage of the rally cost them around 25 seconds. They then landed hard, bending the rear suspension beam, but made it to the end of the stage in fifth place. As day one continued, the pair increased their speed and started to gain more confidence on the tricky roads and as other crews struck trouble, Reeves pounced and finished the opening day in third place. Day two consisted of six stages – three stages each run twice – including the Panzerplatte stage. The day started well with Reeves reducing the gap to second place and with a comfortable lead over fourth, and a stage win. Going into the final stage of the day (Panzerplatte), Reeves was heading for his fourth podium finish from four events but it wasn’t to be. Approaching a sharp left hand corner a little too fast, he went off the road in his efforts to avoid a ‘hinklestein’ and into some shrubs. The pairs Ford Fiesta R2 was stuck firm and it took some spectators to help get the car back on the road, albeit after 15 minutes. Back on the pace, the Fiesta then suffered a puncture just 4.5 kilometres from the stage finish. Reeves continued on, but the puncture had caused damage to the front guard and he was forced to limp his way to the finish. To still finish the rally in fifth place was a remarkable effort. With 10 points earned for his fifth place finish and one bonus point for the stage win, Reeves maintains his second place in the WRC Academy with two events to go. Reeves was happy with his weekend after a steep learning curve. Getting used to the faster WRC tyres used on gravel, and reading the corners better, were just two of the positives he took out of the rally. The WRC competitors who drive the stage ahead of the Academy cars tend to cut the corners, dragging a lot of loose gravel onto the roads, and driving to suit the slippery surface whilst negotiating the many corners and junctions takes some getting used to. After recording numerous second-fastest stage times, the young Australian was delighted to take a stage win and earn an important bonus point to add to his Championship tally. The next event on the WRC Academy calendar is Rally France, another tarmac event, which will be held from October 4 to 6. Reeves will remain in Europe this week for the FIA Young Driver Excellence Academy workshop, a program for which he was selected at the end of 2011. WRC RALLYE DEUTSCHLAND RESULTS 1. Elfyn Evans 2. Jose Suarez 3. John Macrone 4. Timo Van Der Marel 5. Brendan Reeves FIA WRC ACADEMY CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS AFTER ROUND 4, RALLYE DEUTSCHLAND 1. Elfyn Evans, GBR, 98 points 2. Brendan Reeves, AUS, 63 points 3. Alistair Fisher, GBR, 53 points 4. Jose Suarez, ESP, 52 points 5. Pontus Tidemand, SWE, 49 points
The V8Supercar program is gearing up for the change from the current spec race cars to the new Car of the Future (COTF) and Ford’s race team, Ford Performance Racing (FPR), have showed off their livery. FPR’s first COTF Falcon will run in Ford’s EcoBoost motorsport livery when it takes to the track joining other Ford squads around the world currently running the colour scheme, including teams in NASCAR and the World Rally Championship. EcoBoost is Ford’s latest engine technology which is now available in Australia in the locally-built Falcon, Mondeo and the soon to be released Focus ST. EcoBoost engines combine direct injection, turbocharging and variable valve timing to maximise performance and torque while improving fuel economy and reducing CO2 emissions. Ford Australia motorsport boss Graham Barrie says having Ford’s factory team running the global EcoBoost livery highlights the importance of the company’s V8 Supercar program. “EcoBoost is the future of Ford’s engine technology globally so it makes sense that we use Car of the Future (COTF), the future of V8 Supercars, as our platform to promote it,” Barrie said. “Ford Performance Racing’s first Falcon COTF will carry the same EcoBoost livery that all of Ford Racing’s official teams around the globe have run throughout the month of August. “This further aligns our V8 Supercar program with Ford’s global motorsport plan and places it alongside the likes of NASCAR and the World Rally Championship.” The white, black and blue livery will adorn the factory team’s COTF chassis during its test phase before FPR unveils its 2013 racing colours early next year. FPR Team Principal Tim Edwards says the new look coincides with a new era for the team and V8 Supercars as a whole. “The impending debut of our first COTF Falcon coincides with an important time for Ford globally as the company rolls out more and more models featuring EcoBoost technology,” Edwards said. “By running our test program in Ford’s EcoBoost motorsport colours we are not only showcasing our team and category to the world, but also showing we are an important part of Ford’s racing program. “It is also appropriate that we are running it on our Falcon at the same time road-going Falcons with EcoBoost engines are being produced just across the road from our workshop.”