Posts Tagged ‘wrc’
Australian rally driver, Brendan Reeves, has been given the chance to test drive a Ford Fiesta World Rally Car in the UK this month. Reeves, who finished fourth overall in this year’s FIA WRC Academy, has been rewarded for his excellent 2012 performances with an invitation to attend the exclusive test day. Reeves will have the opportunity to test drive a World Rally Car during a one hour test session in the UK. The 24 year old is rapt to have been offered the test drive and whilst it means a trip to the UK at his expense, he is grabbing it with both hands. “I’m stoked to be given this chance to drive a Fiesta World Rally Car,” Reeves said. “It is a nice reward for our efforts this year and driving the World Rally Car will give me a real taste of the next level of the sport. “I had the chance to sit beside Ken Block in his Fiesta World Rally Car just prior to Rally Finland this year and it was a great experience. To now have the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a similar car myself is fantastic. “Testing the World Rally Car is a great opportunity and I’m really looking forward to it. Hopefully it leads to more similar opportunities in the future. “We haven’t confirmed our program for 2013 just yet. We learnt so much in 2012 and competing in the Academy again has been really important for our careers and we’d love to be able to continue competing in the World Rally Championship again in 2013. “I’d really like to thank M-Sport for the amazing efforts they put into the WRC Academy this year and also for giving me the chance to take part in the test drive.”
The battle to finish at the front was a challenge for Australian due Brendan Reeves and Rhianon Smyth as their rally was nearly over after special stage two. On Friday’s opening day, the pair headed off on SS2, WRC Academy stage one, with an opportunity to catch championship leader Elfyn Evans, however not long into the stage the duo picked up a puncture. After stopping to change the wheel, which they did in two minutes, they dropped from third to sixth and the fight was now on to gain some points to stay second in the championship. With the remainder of Friday stages Reeves and Smyth fought hard to get back in touch with the front running teams. Setting consistently good stage times the pair won the final stage of the day, the Super Special at Mulhouse. They finished the day in fifth place. “We didn’t start off too well today (Friday) with a puncture on the first stage [SS2].” Reeves said. “I’m not sure what it was – just a small cut on the tyre. But we re-grouped and have set some really good times. We were really close to the top and then we got a stage win on the last one – it is only a short stage, but still a championship point. “We have eight new dry-tyres for tomorrow (Saturday) now and 190 km so we should be in a good position. The tyres didn’t really wear much today (Friday) but it was completely dry in some places and really muddy in others. “On some of the new stages the pacenotes weren’t great, but we improved our times a lot on the second pass. “It has been tricky, but we are still enjoying it a lot.” Saturday would consist of a further eight stages where the pair would have the chance to show their speed and work at catching the top runners. Reeves said he was aiming to maintain his speed and consistency and put in a strong finish. The rally threw another curve ball at the Aussie battlers as two of the morning’s four stages were cancelled. One stage was stopped due to an accident and the other due to excessive crowds – so at the midday service the pair remained fifth. The afternoon’s stages were good for Reeves with a couple of top-three stage times, and he and Smyth finished the rally in fourth place. The 12 championship points earned in the hard fort battle was enough to retain second outright in the WRC Academy title. Welshman Elfyn Evans won the event and in doing so secured the 2012 WRC Academy title. Reeves will head into the final round, Rally Spain, just two points ahead of Jose Suarez in the battle for second. Despite his disappointment at not finishing on the podium, Reeves was happy to retain his position in the Championship. “It was a tricky day. We started back in sixth position, trying to claw our way back from the puncture yesterday. But we pushed on and set some really good stage times. Pontus [Tidemand] and I had a really great battle and then Fredrik [Åhlin] came in on it as well which was good fun. “We’re improving all the time, but it is just not consistent enough yet. We need to be more consistent on the variety of surfaces because there are five or six types of roads on one stage here and in the more open stuff we’re still not getting it quite right. But we’re working on it!” More time spent testing and competing in European events would certainly help the determined Aussie duo who have proven they have what it takes to get to the next level, but funding is essential to ensure they can take the next step. Reeves and Smyth returned to Australia early last week and the next event on their schedule is the Coffs Coast Rally, a round of the Australian Rally Championship, where they will drive the zero car. Results, Rally France (WRC Academy) 1. Elfyn Evans, 25 points 2. Jose Suarez, 18 points 3. John Macrone, 15 points 4. Brendan Reeves, 12 points 5. Frederik Ahlin, 10 points WRC Academy standings after Rally France 1. Elfyn Evans, 126 points 2. Brendan Reeves, 76 points 3. Jose Suarez, 74 points 4. Pontus Tidemand, 59 points 5. John Macrone, 59 points
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.”