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LIVE! Rallye Monte-Carlo (January 25/28)

January 19, 2018

WRC 2018 Rallye Monte-Carlo -> Timetable, Previews, Results, Photos, Videos etc. CLICK HERE!

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WRC – Summary of regulation changes for 2018

January 16, 2018

Throughout the course of last year the World Motor Sport Council approved a number of changes to the Sporting Regulations for the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship. The main amendments are as follows:

Private teams or individual drivers will be permitted to enter 2017 specification World Rally Cars on WRC events, without the obligation to be entered by a manufacturer. P1 status will be given to all drivers entered with 2017 WRC Cars. Such entries will however remain subject to the approval of the FIA Rally Department.

Dedicated testing regulations for P1 drivers entered with a 2017 WRC Car but who are not nominated to score points for a manufacturer have been introduced. These drivers are not permitted to test outside Europe, bringing them into line with the restrictions placed on the other P1 teams.

If a driver is shown in the Power Stage classification but is not classified in the Final Classification, the Stewards will decide whether the next competitor should be moved up in the Power Stage classification for the attribution of Power Stage points.

DMACK, Michelin and Pirelli are the official tyre suppliers for 2018. Pirelli is the official partner of the FIA Junior WRC Championship and for competitors registered solely in the FIA WRC 3 Championship there is no imposed tyre supplier.

Tyres used during the shakedown will not count in the overall quantity for the rally. For WRC Cars, the four tyres used during the shakedown must be from the same compound, as defined by the tyre suppliers.

The FIA WRC 2 Championship will continue to be contested over seven events, with the best six scores counting towards the title. However there will no longer be mandatory rallies.

Drivers entered with R5 cars who are not registered in the FIA WRC 2 Championship, or who have not been entered by a registered WRC 2 Team during the year, may use any tyre brand, including those not nominated by the FIA for the WRC.

There will be no WRC Trophy title, although 2016 World Rally Cars remain eligible in the Championship events.

Source:
www.fia.com

Pierre Budar, appointed Director of Citroën Racing

January 15, 2018

Pierre Budar succeeds Yves Matton, who joins the FIA as FIA Rally Director, after having initiated the return of the brand to the WRC.

The Citroën Racing Team, under the leadership of Pierre Budar, to reconnect with the brand’s prestigious victories in motorsport, with 8 World rally championship titles, 3 WTCC World championship titles and 4 victories at Paris-Dakar Rally.

A graduate of the Ecole Centrale de Nantes, Pierre Budar joined Groupe PSA in 1989 as an engineer before being an official 309 Group N driver for the Peugeot Talbot Sport Team in 1991 and pursuing a brilliant career in engineering in France and in Asia.

After having created in 2010 the department of sports road versions (DS3 Racing, 208 GTi 30th, 308 GTi, DS3 Performance), he expanded his scope in 2016 to activities related to the Customer Competition. With his teams, he notably developed the 308 TCR and the C3R5.

His passion and his skills are undoubtedly an asset to reinvigorate Citroën Racing who is preparing to start the 2018 season of WRC at Monte Carlo rally with his C3WRC entrusting young talents Kris Meeke / Paul Nagle and Craig Breen / Scott Martin

On the occasion of his appointment Pierre Budar says: “Groupe PSA has given me a unique opportunity to reconcile my passion for motorsport with an engineering career. I never imagined one day running one of the most prestigious competition teams in the world. I measure the challenge that is proposed to me at the head of an extraordinary team and I will strive to obtain the best of its talents”

Jean Marc Finot, Senior Vice President of PSA Motorsport, adds: “I am proud that the FIA nominates Yves Matton to this prestigious position and would like to thank him for his contribution. I am pleased to give Pierre Budar the opportunity to express all his energy and enthusiasm in the service of our passion: motorsport”

Source:
media.groupe-psa.com

M-Sport confirm Suninen for eight rounds in Ford Fiesta WRC

January 12, 2018

M-Sport Ford World Rally Team are pleased to confirm that Teemu Suninen and Mikko Markkula will take to the wheel of the Cumbrian squad’s third EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC on eight rounds of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship.

With his Fiesta in essentially the same livery as team mates Sébastien Ogier and Elfyn Evans, Suninen will form a part of the manufacturer team at Rally Sweden, Rally Mexico, Rally de Portugal, Rally Italia Sardegna, Rally Finland, the Rally of Turkey, Wales Rally GB and Rally de España.

In addition, the Finn will also take to the wheel of the Ford Fiesta R5 as part of the FIA World Rally Championship’s premier support series – WRC 2 – at Rallye Monte-Carlo and Rallye Deutschland.

Following an impressive debut at the highest level of competition in 2017, Suninen is thoroughly deserving of further WRC outings and was the clear choice to assist M-Sport in the defence of their manufacturer title.

The Finn made his top-flight debut at last year’s Rally Poland. Securing an impressive sixth place finish on his competitive debut, he also had no hesitation in claiming his first stage victory – setting the fastest time through the Polish event’s seventh speed test.

Next time out at Rally Finland, he went even further – claiming a further three fastest stage times and challenging for a podium position on only his second outing with the Ford Fiesta WRC.

With eight events behind the wheel of the top-specification Fiesta in 2018, Suninen will have plenty of opportunity to prove his potential once more – and could well be knocking on the door of a maiden WRC podium.

Teemu Suninen said:

“This will be a nice season for us and I am very happy about my programme for 2018. The highlight will of course be the eight rallies with the Ford Fiesta WRC as part of the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team where I think we have a good opportunity to prove our potential.

“The plan is to start those rallies in a relaxed state of mind. There’s no now or never situation or anything like that and no need to focus on our position in the drivers’ championship. We’ll just take it rally by rally and make the most of every event we do.

“We need to ensure that we make the most of this opportunity, and that is exactly what we plan to do. I’m really looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of a top-specification world rally car and aim to learn as much as I can.”

Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:

“There is no doubting Teemu’s potential and I am sure that he will prove himself a very valuable member of our team this year. More than a few heads were turned when he got behind the wheel of the Ford Fiesta WRC for the first time last year. To secure a stage win on your debut outing is one thing, but to be challenging for a podium on your second is quite another.

“There is no denying that Teemu is a very talented young driver, and a future rally winner. With eight rallies this year he’ll get the vital experience needed to develop his career at this level and I would not be at all be surprised if we saw him challenging for a podium or two.”

Source:
m-sport.co.uk

WRC 2018 season launch

January 11, 2018

 

Greensmith confirms eight-round campaign with Fiesta R5

January 11, 2018

Gus Greensmith and co-driver Craig Parry have a busy 2018 ahead as they take to the wheel of the Ford Fiesta for nine FIA World Rally Championship events and a full campaign in the championship’s premier support series – WRC 2.

The 21-year-old Brit will first take to the stages later this month – making his Rallye Monte-Carlo debut behind the wheel of the Ford Fiesta R2.

Following advice from Team Principal Malcolm Wilson, he’ll use the outing to learn more about the challenging nature of the season’s traditional opener before being reunited with the EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta R5 for a further eight rallies.

The Brit will start his WRC 2 campaign on the gravel tracks of Rally Mexico. Having completed the recce last year, he and Parry will be well prepared to tackle the unique character of the Central American event for the first time in competition.

Having shown impressive speed and progression throughout his maiden year in four-wheel-drive machinery, Greensmith’s potential is clear to see. If the young Brit can couple that with improved consistency, he will undoubtedly be one to watch in 2018.

Gus Greensmith said:

“It feels great to be back in the swing of things, but this time in the colour blue. It’s been a long time since Wales Rally GB and now I cannot wait to get back behind the wheel.

“The 2018 WRC 2 Championship looks as though it’s going to be the most competitive yet and I’ve been working hard over the winter break for exactly that reason. I feel as though I’m going to be in a good place this year – mentally, physically, with Craig back by my side and of course with M-Sport, the reigning World Champions!

“Last year I think I showed my ability to drive as fast, if not faster, than my competitors. Speed wasn’t the issue, but consistency was and that is the key to doing well in any championship. This year, I need to focus on consistently scoring strong points.

“But at the same time I also have to admit that a goal of mine for this year is to secure my first WRC 2 victory. If the opportunity arises, and the circumstances are right, I’ll go for it. It’s a childhood dream and the second of six life goals I am aiming to achieve.”

Craig Parry said:

“We’ve got a really good programme for 2018 and I can’t wait to get started – with nine rallies to plan and contest we’ll certainly be kept busy!

“This will be my second year with Gus and it really was fantastic to see how quickly he progressed last year – a lot faster than any of us expected. He’s progressed in every area of the sport and it was great to see him mature not only as a driver, but also as a person.

“The main aim for this year will be to try and find a bit more consistency. The speed is already there, so now we just need to cut out some of those small but costly mistakes. We can have a good push on our stronger events, and try to focus a bit more on championship position as opposed to each individual rally. But as always, the main goal is to enjoy every minute of it.”

M-Sport Managing Director, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:

“It’s great to have Gus back with the team in 2018. He has the speed and the potential to go very far indeed. He’s still very young at only 21 years old, but he is also very determined to succeed. This could well be a breakthrough season for Gus and I’ll certainly be watching his progress with interest throughout the year.”

Source:
m-sport.co.uk

Ford extends it’s commitment to WRC

January 11, 2018

Ford has extended it’s commitment to WRC with Ford Performance Support for the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team in 2018.

Today Ford Motor Company announced a new agreement to supply extended technical and financial support to long-term motorsport partner M-Sport – winner of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ titles in 2017 with the EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC.

Starting in 2018, the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team led by Malcolm Wilson OBE – one of the most successful names in motorsport – and based at Dovenby Hall, Cockermouth, U.K., will benefit from additional technical support from the global Ford Performance organisation at Ford’s headquarters in Dearborn, U.S., led by Mark Rushbrook, global director of Motorsport.

The increased backing from Ford is a key driver in MSport’s retention of Sébastien Ogier – 2017 FIA WRC Drivers’ champion – for the 2018 season. Ogier and upcoming talent Elfyn Evans will lead the team, alongside their respective co-drivers Julien Ingrassia and Daniel Barritt, in the Ford Fiesta WRC.

Mark Rushbrook, global director of Motorsport

“Ford’s 20-year relationship with M-Sport has delivered unparalleled success at all levels of rallying, something we’re very proud of, and has also established Fiesta as the standard for rally competitors around the globe. Last year we supported M-Sport with the development of the all-new Fiesta that went on to campaign to an FIA championship win. For 2018, we’re excited to be able to provide even greater support.”

Ford has been a continuous partner with M-Sport since 1997. As the Ford-appointed specialist in rally-sport, M-Sport produces Ford vehicles for rally competition in several classes, from FIA R2 to the pinnacle in WRC. Almost 400 M-Sport developed Ford Fiestas are currently competing in rally-sport globally.

Malcolm Wilson OBE, M-Sport managing director.

“We’ve enjoyed a fantastic relationship with Ford over the years and it’s great to see that support increase as we look to defend our FIA World Rally Championship titles in 2018. In Sébastien and Elfyn we have another strong line up and the added technical support will allow us to progress the development of the Ford Fiesta WRC. The competition will be closer than ever but I’m confident that, together with the support of our partners, we can produce the same high levels of performance and reliability that delivered so much success in 2017.”

Powered by Ford’s 1.6-litre EcoBoost petrol engine, the Ford Fiesta WRC rally car is based on the all-new Fiesta, on sale across Europe in distinctive versions including the stylish Fiesta Titanium, the Ford Performance-inspired Fiesta ST-Line and the upscale Fiesta Vignale.

Source:
fordeurope.blogspot.com