Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!! .. que mala suerte... ya me hacia la idea de que ibamos a tener a markko de vuelta
Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!! .. que mala suerte... ya me hacia la idea de que ibamos a tener a markko de vuelta
Skoda ha anunciado que su equipo Skoda-Red Bull no seguirá en la temporada 2007, puesto que van a centrarse en el desarrollo del nuevo Skoda S2000, sin embargo seguirán apoyando a Jan Kopecky y probablemente a François Duval (que han salvado el honor de la marca este año) y podría ser que hiciesen un equipo M2 preparado por First Motorsport (que preparaba el coche de Duval). Por su parte Red Bull seguirá apoyando a Andreas Aigner para que pueda entrar en un equipo M2 (Mitsubishi??)
Video de los tests de Loeb en Ardeche (supuestamente le toca hoy a Sordo por lo que me ha parecido entender en un foro francés):
PD: pero...no tenia un brazo roto???
Video por: http://supp.loeb.free.fr/
Más sobre el Clio R3 (está en inglés así que hay que esforzarse para leerlo ).
Más tests de Loeb y el C4, este video me ha dejado acojonado, con la lluvia es impresionante, qué poco le debe doler el brazo xD
Muy buenos los videos, impresionante como llovía y nevaba.
Creo que en el video de NaRcX es el que sale Marc Martí. Como bien decía Bunnings ayer era el turno de Sordo. Pues aquí las primeras fotos de los test.
Más videos de Loeb
Muy buenos los videos de esos tests
me da a mi que Red Bull monta un equipo Red Bull-Citroen con los Xsara de Kronos...y Kris Meeke y Andreas Aigner como pilotos. Ya vereis...Iniciado por NaRcX
Más fotos de Daniel Sordo.
fotos de: rally-news.org
EL CIVIC R3 TAMBIÉN RUEDA
El fin de semana pasado el equipo J.A.S Motorsport hizo rodar por primera vez la que será su arma para competir por la categoría R3.
El vehículo rodó primero por la pista de Adria para pasar después a recorrer algunas de las especiales del rallye de San Remo haciendo cerca de 150 km de tramo.
Según Stefano Fini director del equipo, "terminamos el test muy imporesionados con la fiabilidad de la máquina y con las evoluciones, y mucho más aún sabiendo que es un carro muy muy nuevo. Aún queda un largo margen de progresión, lo que nos hace creer que es un coche muy competitivo...".
J.A.S Motorsport tiene prevista otra jornada de Tests antes de navidad quedando la unidad construida en el Salón de Bolonia hasta entonces.
Tuohino y Sola prueban el Toyota S2000
Some of the world’s fastest rally drivers attended a RED World Rally Team test session on Monday and are seriously considering the Toyota S2000R as part of their plans for 2007.
The test, at Walters’ Arena in the Rheola forest, was used just two days after the entire Rally Great Britain field has passed over the road. The Toyota ran without any problems and offered the driver present an insight into just what a world-leading Super 2000 car offers. The Toyota arrived fresh from an overnight rebuild after Alister McRae used the car to make history, clinching four fastest Group N times on Rally GB – the first time an S2000 machine had ever managed such a feat.
RED World Rally Team principal Neil Gatt was delighted with the results of the day. He said: “We’ve had plenty of feedback from Alister McRae from the test and during Rally Great Britain. Alister is one of the world’s best and most experienced drivers at making rally cars go quickly. It’s always nice, though, to get more feedback. It was fantastic to hear what the drivers were saying when they got out of the car. It was a very encouraging day from our perspective.”
Finland’s Janne Tuohino was impressed with what he found, despite the torrential rain which was falling during his debut in the driving seat of an S2000 car.
“I like the car very much,” said Tuohino. “It’s really nice to drive. I don’t have so much experience of these cars, but this was great. I was a passenger in the Peugeot [206S2000], so I don’t know exactly, but I would think this is a little bit above that. The car is very good to drive, it’s stable and well-balanced. It was very positive for me.”
Tuohino is considering a Toyota for a programme of selected European WRC rallies, the Finnish Championship and possible IRC outings. Former Junior World Rally Champion Dani Sola also attended the test and was happy with the Toyota.
Ahora es el turno de Ford. Hirvonen entrenando por donde lo han hecho Loeb y Sordo.
Por cierto, sabeís que Hirvonen tuvo un accidente en Inglaterra??? Puede ser condenado y todo... XDDDDD
Me estoy viendo a Wilson en el primer equipo xDDDDD
Video Test Daniel Sordo C4 Wrc
Natalie Barrat ya tiene rival en el PWRC
Iniciado por eloyf1
Pues está corre rallyes nórdicos y está buscando el presupuesto:Iniciado por elecedos
Y ya para zanjar el tema, Stobart pone nombre de mujer a sus camiones, y a los del equipo de rallyes le han puesto "Michèle Mouton" xDDDD
Me gustan más las morenas
Bueno, se me ha olvidado decir la fuente... Esto lo he pillado en los foros de Motorsport...
Primero de nada, dar las gracias por todas esas fotos de los tests. Espectacular trabajo Sasar
Ahi va un video de esos tests de Gronholm (me parece que todavia no estaba puesto)
Urmo Aava, compañero de equipo de Stohl?
El invierno se presenta ajetreado para el piloto estonio Urmo Aava. A sus 27 años ha competid por última vez en el campeonato del mundo Junior ya que en el año 2007 ya superara el tope asignado por la FIA.
¿Qué hacer entonces? Al parecer Urmo tiene dos opciones serias encima de la mesa. La primera opción y más probable si nada se tuerce es ser compañero del austríaco Manfred Stohl dentro del equipo Bozian con el 307 Wrc.
La segunda que requeriría una mayor inyección económica y menos pruebas sería PH Sport con uno de los Citroen Xsara que adquirieron en el año 2006.
De salir adelante cualquiera de los dos proyectos habrá que seguir muy de cerca a este piloto que en los últimos años ha tenido una progresión bastante buena siendo tres veces campeón de Estonia en 2 ruedas motrices, una vez campeón de grupo N a bordo de un Subaru Impreza, y en el mundial Junior octavo en 2004, cuarto en 2005 y segundo en 2006 siempre apoyado por la marca nipona Suzuki.
que??? Que pasó con Hirvonen??? Cuenta, cuenta...Iniciado por eloyf1
Mi inglés es una mierda, pero creo que durante los reconocimientos del RAC, en carretera abierta, se estrelló contra un 4x4... Nadie salió herido, pero lo pueden condenar por conducción temeraria...Iniciado por Bunnings
Gracias Bunnings, imagino que muchos ya las habríais visto por otros foros, pero las pongo también por aquí.
Sigo con Marcus Gronhölm.
No sé si este es el post adecuado para colgar este artículo, pero merece la pena leerlo muuy detenidamente.
Let’s compare the IRC to the WRC.
Well, I admit with most changes in the WRC during the past 3-4 years I sounded more pessimistic straight away and was more complaining than it was fun to read my comments. However I feel the new IRC has the potential to put me in a very good mood in comparison, although I criticised the S2000 car concept. I believe I was not alone being critical about WRC changes and maybe people have been waiting for an alternative series.
One key example was when during Rallye Deutschland 2005 Peugeot’s press chief Jean-Claude Lefèbvre told me: “We are preparing a Peugeot 207 S2000 car. We do not believe S2000 is a good concept and we will not support entries with this car in an FIA run series, at least not in the WRC.” – Err, why then prepare an S2000 car? Maybe because first hints of a WRC alternative series, the IRC, was on the horizon? Meanwhile Peugeot has along Fiat confirmed an official participation in the series! And if you read on, Ford’s Malcolm Wilson also complained in similar ways.
Another key example is the recent news of Finnish terrestrial TV station Yle dropping their WRC coverage from 2007. Surely they don't drop rallying completely! Yle is the station that had the best live radio ever, with live stage reporters since 2003 including Juha Kankkunen, Markku Alen, Markko Märtin, Mika Häkkinen, Kaj Lindström, Risto Mannisenmäki and many, many more! Looking further into the value rallying enjoys in Finland, we are talking of a country were i.e. woman magazines write multi page specials about Timo Salonen’s divorce (the 1985 WRChampion)!
Therefore if Yle is pulling the plug on WRC, don't tell me it is lack of market! Were they just waiting for a worthwhile alternative series?
So let’s look at some of the changes the WRC has seen in recent years and compare this to what the new IRC has to offer:
I start with the 3-car teams in WRC, because that probably shows best the confusion this sport is put through. In 1995 for the first time a nomination system is introduced: each manufacturer can nominate 3 cars of which the best 2 results are counted. We stick to the best 2 results counted throughout, but from 1997 only 2 cars per make can be nominated, which is some kind of a U-turn. For a number of obvious reasons we return to 3-car teams in 2002, U-turn #2. And in 2004 it is 2-car teams again = U-turn of the U-turn of the U-turn!
Already the way this was introduced was a curiosity and had a major effect. There was some criticism that some teams may employ expensive drivers for all 3 cars. Mid 2003 it was announced that there would be rules imposed on the 3rd driver. Like a 3rd driver could not be one who had a WRC event podium finish within the last 3 years. This rule was confirmed and Peugeot and Citroën announced their driver line ups for 2004 accordingly, just before Australia 2003. Peugeot decided on a set up of 2 "medium" drivers to back up Grönholm, while Citroën employed a "weak" pay-driver alongside 2 stars, Loeb and Sainz. Within a week of Peugeot's announcement the FIA announced there was no 3rd driver any more. Therefore Citroën lost a sponsor and Peugeot now was stuck with 2 "weaker" drivers that were contracted following a firm rule confirmation!
It can be said that this scenario also played a part in the withdrawal of the PSA teams. Peugeot only returned to the WRC in 1999 after the FIA had given them written confirmation there won't be such rule changes without first consulting the manufacturers! Just to recall: at that time both PSA makes had new WRCars in the tube and Peugeot had sponsoring contracts with Total and Pirelli until the end of 2007.
Another effect is lesser known: Renault was at that very time testing a Megane WRC with Francois Delecour (In fact it was Renault’s initiative why WRCar maximum width was changed from 1770mm to 1800mm, the Megane road car being 1777mm). The project was stopped because Renault did not like how manufacturers were treated in this case and how there was no rule stability.
Generally it must be said the 3-car teams is the best layout for a number of reasons (hence there was a reason for U-turn #2 in 2002). And all manufacturers publically agreed to that, even Subaru and Skoda. Not to forget Hyundai employed 3rd drivers, often as pay-drivers (Stohl, Dale, Valimäki, Kuchar), and nobody objected to Hyundai giving us more of Juha Kankkunen. And so did Ford i.e. with Mikko Hirvonen in 2003. So it is not necessarily costing the teams more money. As well the logistics are there, you don't need an extra motorhome, an extra chef, extra car development, if you run 3 cars instead of 2 per event! Returning to 2-car teams in the current points and nomination system has 2 main effects:
There is less room for drivers, there are not enough cars. OK, Colin McRae lost his Citroën drive to Simon Jean-Joseph because of the original 2004 rule change 3rd driver announcement anyway, but his chances to find a drive elsewhere were much slimmer now. Clearly with 2-car teams, when there is already a lack of teams, the number of works cars is reduced too much. There is definitely the chance gone for new up and coming drivers or local stars to find a home, like i.e. in the WRC 2002 Skoda ran Gabriel Pozzo in Argentina and Matthias Kahle in Deutschland, Roman Kresta saved points for Skoda in Safari.
The other is that teams can't play jokers. We have like 8 cars altogether with points for top8, means obviously every single retirement is a loss in makes points. Combined with a gap of only 2pts between 1st & 2nd overall, you can easily lose everything for the sake of 2pts. Indeed for a combination of 2nd & 3rd a manufacturer gets 40% more points than the winner. A team manager would be utterly insane to allow his driver to attack for victory! With 3-car teams it was more like if the lead car crashes out, there still is a 3rd car for damage limitation. Let alone you give a new/local talent like i.e. Higgins a chance, you have your McRae crash and the "little boy" coming in to rescue points, what a way to turn a star!
First the points system. We had a lot of dicussions on our forum and we all agreed the reward for a fight for victory was not big enough with the change to the 10-8-6-5... system. There was nothing wrong (at the time with enough entries) about giving points for top8, but it should be more like 12-8-6-5... for the reasons described above. There is not much point going too deep into this as the new IRC for 2007 adopts the exact same 10-8-6-5... system. Maybe in future years.
Interesting however is that the IRC organisers don’t ask for driver nominations! The original purpose for driver nominations was to stop one make having an advantage from 10 potential points scoring cars per event. However this system is far more fair and less confusing than the 2-car teams we have in the WRC, where manufacturers do not get points according to their results. I remember i.e. Rally Sweden 2001, where Harri Rovanperä won in a works Peugeot, but Peugeot received 0points, Mitsubishi took the winners points despite being beaten. Doesn’t sound fair. Or just look at the asphalt rounds 2006, where OMV-Peugeot got zero points while Subaru scored 2-digit points for results even Subaru themselves described as emberrassing!
While we say 3-car teams, best 2 score, are about ideal, the IRC set up has merit. If any car from a registered manufacturer can score points, it would entice manufacturers to support privateer drivers. Manufacturers would have to make sure they give best material for good value for money to have a high market share. I have first hand experienced occasions of Volkswagen and Subaru seeing private drivers as a money making machine. Mainly French manufacturers and Ford seem to have the exact opposite attitude. And this would be enhanced in such environment. In fact in the WRC throughout the 1980s, when we did not have driver nominations, there have been some amazing examples how this would work:
Monte Carlo 1988, the full privateer Jean-Pierre Ballet in his own 175BHP FWD groupA Peugeot 205 GTI 1.9 goes absolutely crazy (as many spectators on that occasion will confirm) and even annoys works 4x4 turbo machinery as Timo Salonen’s Mazda on leg1. Overnight Peugeot Sport decides to send articulated lorries with works material and engineers from Paris-Vélizy to Monte Carlo in time for leg2. Ballet finishes a sensational 3rd overall, Peugeot is rewarded with 14 WRC points!
Tour de Corse 1987 was a major emberrassement for Ford with both works cars retired after SS3. Instead of packing in, the works team switches support to 2 completely unknown privateers, some guy called Didier Auriol, the other Carlos Sainz. Ford gets points, the 2 drivers in question got an amazing career on track.
Quite different the situation on the RAC 1982: the last round of the season and the title fight is hotting up between Audi and Opel. And how it is hotting up. Audi sends/supports Hannu Mikkola, Michèle Mouton, Malcolm Wilson, John Buffum, Harald Demuth & Lasse Lampi, Opel enters Walter Röhrl, Ari Vatanen, Jochi Kleint, Henri Toivonen, Jimmy McRae & Björn Johannsson. With Röhrl not starting, we still count 11 official cars between 2 manufacturers, all eligible for points, with further works entries from Talbot, Toyota, Lancia, Mazda, Nissan & Mitsubishi – imagine, in modern WRC unthinkable, in the IRC quite possible!
Next on my agenda is the SupeRally system. Shall I even write much? This is utterly against the spirit of rallying. OK, so it would be nice to see as many cars as possible on the last day. I agree, the system has its potential. Let's have a marathon rally and a lead driver have a silly error. I am thinking of i.e. Marcus Grönholm leading in Australia 2003 after 2 stages, then in SS3 he cuts a hairpin a little too much, the rear slips down the inside and a perfectly intact car is grounded and Marcus and all points opportunities have left the frame. What a shame!
However what we have got now is a system that is hugely confusing and doesn't take into account severeness of error and damage. You can go off violently in the last stage and come away with 2nd place (see Loeb Monte 2006) or you can have a scratched door handle in SS1 and take 6x 5min penalty and you can basically pack up and go home. Where is that better than Grönholm beaching his 206 in Australia? I have had so many people asking what is going on, I have heard/read so many TV commentators and journalists struggling to explain it. I feel sorry for the ISC having to market this. Because as a potential new fan or casual viewer, you don't understand the sport you are watching, you are not going to tune in again, simple!
IRC: Well, I have no information yet if they plan anything like SupeRally. But I have made up my mind that I prefer a rally without anything like a SupeRally concept. The quite different London-Sydney way of this "retirements don't count" business was far more sensible, but still, I have had enough of rallies where the result does not reflect performances and mistakes!
Maybe one suggestion if you want a good live show: In the mid-late 1980s a small local/Luxembourg TV station showed several times the FIRST rather than the LAST stage of WRC events live! This was fantastic, all cars were still there and you got a first hint and a teaser to follow the rally more! In fact I rather see no rally live on TV at all before I see a last stage when all is already decided or where results are faked (i.e. try to explain Didier Auriol’s WRC points in Finland 1999)!
There are so many other things that were changed in the WRC in recent years that just seem silly or are hard to understand. Why did navigator names disappear? Why did we have to reduce entry numbers to stamp size?
Sure, there were also some good changes. Like i.e. the intruduction of WRCars and turbo air restrictors, that gave us a closer competition.
And the lead car concept is my only point of critic in the IRC. Tho it maybe wouldn’t be too brilliant an idea to exactly copy the WRC in the cars. Plus the WRCars have developped into something very expensive, tho I see the same potential in S2000 cars. But if it isn’t WRCars, the IRC organisers had to take what is available, so no blame on them
Yet the more level play field is one thing we may lose with the non-turbo, non-air restrictor S2000 cars. While in my calculations in terms of cost effective spectacle we need little traction and much torque, so we keep 4x4 and drop turbos? Isn’t road market reality displaying what is efficient? In modern performance road cars, because of power loss, weight, fuel consumption, price, we have ever less 4x4 cars but many petrol turbos again, as Focus ST, Megane Sport, Golf 5 GTI, Astra Turbo, 207 Turbo...
I want to see loads of torque and little traction. You think FWD can’t be spectacular? Look at this forum post: http://www.rallye-info.com/forum.asp...9&new=6&page=1
Interestingly with the groupA launch there were protests by rally fans that 4x4 was boring. Now we seem to have got used to it. In the early 1990s Max Mosley discussed dropping 4x4 to slow the A8 cars and Juha Kankkunen argued: "4x4 is not at all faster, it's saver!". Interesting too that during the entire groupB era 4x4 cars could never win the Safari out of all events, which may underline that 4x4 alone is not what makes a rally car efficient. Indeed it also does not matter how fast your fastest category is. On the 1987 Rallye Monte Carlo above mentioned Luxembourg TV station made a big effort analysing groupB cars on Monte 1986 vs groupA cars on Monte 1987 on the same sections and the result was visually obvious: On the straights groupA was much slower, but in the corners groupA was as fast and, if anything, more spectacular for being more controllable! That's including Jean Ragnotti's FWD R11 Turbo, who finished 6th.
However in my eyes, pardon ears, the sound is majorly important when it comes to atmosphere. I don’t think turbos are to blame for lack of sound atmosphere. The most beautiful sounding cars of all time – or at least in my memory – are groupB Audi Quattro, groupA Ford Escort Cosworth & Subaru Impreza 555, and then it’s V6s and V8s (i.e. Stratos, Porsche, 504 Coupé, Rover SD1) with the first 4-pot atmospheric engine being a looong way down the list! OK, I admit, I liked the dark note of Escort BDA and 306 Maxi, but these are rare exceptions, while about every S1600 car sounds tinny and cheap to me. The best rally experiences in my memory without exception involve a concert of crackles, bangs, turbo whistles, dump valve chirping, all combined with fire spitting exhausts. So far to the car’s technical concept.
What buffles me is that in rally history there have been a lot of changes that were criticised but at least somewhere also had an advantage. Only the last few years, maybe it’s me getting old, I don’t see the sense in some changes, like navigator names and size of entry numbers, and like U-turns too. Maybe indeed it is me getting old, because I wish to wind the clock back and start again with a clean sheet where we were in 2002. But interestingly some of the younger fans on our forum say so too. Interesting also looking through history at the number of manufacturers involved in the WRC. Sure not all did a full season, but they were in one capacity or the other manufacturer supported or, from including 1986, the manufacturers had to register to the WRC. And still in 1986 there were 12 manufacturers registered and scoring points! In 1990, despite the groupA Lancia advantage, we had 15 makes! In 1994 we were still at 10 makes! Only in 1995, the moment driver nominations were introduced, we dropped from 10 to 3 manufacturers in one go. Later we built up again thanks to WRCar rules, but how come that at the end of the 2005 season 4 out of 6 manufacturers pulled the plug?
I think here are a lot of details that could be discussed, but the remaining and biggest part of this analysis should go to event calendar, number of events, choice of locations and event layout, subjects that are difficult to split apart.
To extend the WRC calendar to 16 rounds was an attempt to extend marketing opportunities. However quite the opposite is the case, since all the events itself have lost marketing value. Partly for the shortening of events, partly for the choice of events, the events themselves have lost character and have become too similar to each other. As well the calendar is cramped. It happens ever again that one event finishes Sunday and the recce to the next event starts 36hrs later on Tuesday.
The IRC has 9 events in its first season: Already in that the IRC is better. Sometimes fans complained when there was a longer break in WRC, but we always had good discussions on the forum in the breaks while we were waiting for the next event. We had time to reflect on events, preview events, build up the excitement. Just see WRC Rallye Deutschland 2006, I made a major effort reporting of my home event, but there was no final report. There was no Finland preview, which would have to be written before Deutschland started. There simply was no time between these events, while I helped tin spraying Galli’s car for Finland, which was taken to Deutschland and prepared on a hotel car park, as there was no time to return to base between events – Insane situation for a supposed to be professional series. In the IRC once an event is finished it will be something like 4-5 weeks to the next event and it will be an event of completely different character to the previous one, which means each event stays as a highlight of the season in its own rights. It helps those fans that have day jobs and a family and it helps manufacturers that have limited budgets. We at Rallye-Info have to earn money too in our day lifes and we do want to provide good info, research for curiosities, etc.. I do not want to see more than 9 events. I am maybe ready to discuss 10 or 11, but 16? No! This is supposed to be fun, a hobby! You can have 16 events in F1, where each race is over and done with in 90minutes, but this is rallye, where each event is a special, unique occasion, it's not meant to be simple!
It also is interesting that the IRC runs a scoring modus of best 7 scores out of 9 events are counted. This is a system we had in the WRC before driver nominations came in. And it has merit especially for the teams with a low budget but a good product. There is “only” 9 rounds and teams don’t even have to compete on all of them. It is an interesting limitation. The must to start 16 events, often in silly location, in the WRC surely played part of manufacturers like Skoda withdrawing. In the IRC there is no real minimum, but the more events you start the higher are your title chances. If you have a full program and a bad event stays the exception, this is damage limitation. At the same time these drop scores mean it is no good to send 10 cars to all events when you can’t win anything. Then you are better off doing 7 rounds with a winning product!
In contrast in the WRC I feel it as a fan that I am not looking forward to events any more and I lose track as to when the next event is due. And if the die hard fan can't keep track, how can a casual viewer or potential new fan? And I am convinced this is not just me getting old. In a recent interview BBC Top Gear’s good, “old” Jeremy Clarkson said: “Wales Rally GB? I didn’t even know it was on!” Ford's Malcolm Wilson also points out that in the old days he could remember all results from his head, now he can't even tell the order events were run in the previous year. In 2005 Malcolm Wilson has published calculations that proved that Rally Cyprus and Rally Japan cost each the equivalent of 3 central European WRC events, while Ford has neither a market in tiny Cyprus, nor in Japan.
And we are not finished here with such complaints. Single events don't mean anything any more. But we insist on Cyprus, we consider the inclusion of Jordan, another location more known as a war region than a car market, we insist on teams travelling to all 16 events. Now think again, why did 4 out of 6 manufacturers leave at the end of 2005?
If budget and value for money are all part of the calculations, it must be said that the meassures of dropping 3rd cars and shortening the events don't equal the added costs for the extended calendar. It's logical, for a glas of juice you still have to take a glas from the shelf, the juice from the fridge and unscrew the bottle, if you fill the glas half or full. Same applies to the logistics and preparing for 16 events, if each event is 350 or 400km and if you take 2 cars or 3. Only you get less value from the same effort. Or more accurately, now a manufacturer has 16 times the effort, 16 times the bills, 16 times the logistics, but there is no room any more for challenging, classic and adventurous goodies like El Condor (Argentina, Anden Mountains), Motu (NZ, Rotorua vulcano area), Sweet Lamb, Kielder Forest, Rift Valley, Black Cotton stages, etc..
Or what a crime to replace the Safari for Turkey. Turkey is just another Acropolis or Cyprus, same look, same area. So this is not a preach against rough events, because Safari wasn't exactly a piece of cake. But what was Safari? A huge adventure, photos with wildlife, amazing nature and landscapes. Only let me say it this way: Safari was such an adventure that year in year out magazines and daily papers (so not even speaking specialist press, but terrestrial, daily papers) had page filling adverts of whichever make won this huge adventure that year! Safari, that meant something to the general public. Safari, a victory here had real marketing value. When have you last seen a manufacturer advertising a single event victory?
In the IRC, with 5 out of 9 rounds being asphalt, the mix of surfaces is better. We just spoke of the Safari as a unique marketing opportunity and being an adventure like no other rally. However it also is true that asphalt can offer more variety in grip levels and stage character as typical gravel (The Safari is sand and mud, not gravel). And asphalt spec cars are low on wide tyres, they look more aggressive, more exciting, more like performance cars. I admit rallying is about coping with a variety of conditions and challenges and there is room for at least one rough event. But I do believe the WRC has got the mix utterly wrong. In 2006 in a 16 events calendar we had 11 gravel rallies, 4 of them very similar rough events in similar locations, only 3 real asphalt events. I for one would not want to see less than half the events being asphalt. But the aspect goes deeper when you look at it from a manufacturers point of view:
Part of the problem in the WRC is that from official side it was claimed asphalt rallies are not interesting for TV. That is simply not true. (Ask multiple DTM champ Mattias Ekström, who after his start on a wet 2004 Rallye Catalunya reported he had never driven on anything as slippy as this, Swedish Rally included!) But more importantly, here is the word of Citroën's Guy Fréquelin: Citroën try to sell a Xsara to a public road user, not an off road vehicle! Therefore the move of the Italian round from traditional San Remo to Sardinia is questionable. A potential Citroën customer living anywhere in Italy probably dreams of a holiday in the Ligurian Alps or in Tuscany, both traditional Rallye San Remo territory, but he will never wish to take his car to a rock field on a Sardinian military base next to a prison! Another example can be build around Subaru. Subaru fans, please tell me, do you regard an Impreza WRX as a performance car or as an off road vehicle competing Land Rovers? If performance car, where do you get more marketing value from, a victory on an asphalt rally or photos of your Subaru with wheels hanging off in a Sardinian rock field?
Another problem is that Rallye Sardinia is way too similar to Rally Turkey, Rally Cyprus and Rally Acropolis. We often ran these 4 events close together and they are so similar that from pictures even a die hard fan can hardly tell the difference. This is not about my dislike to rough lottery gravel. In the old days I was looking forward to Rally Acropolis. Because it was a once in a season unique affair and it was a real test. Not only because in the 1980s the Acropolis had a far larger variety of entries and the winner's overall time was in the 13hrs bracket! In Acropolis 1980 the best Lancia Stratos came 9th, the best Peugeot 504 Coupé V6 came 10th, the best works Mercedes 450SLC came 14th, nowadays you have a serious chance to reach the top10 with a groupN! But the main problem is that in today's calendar an event like Acropolis does not stand out any more.
Or once more that a 1980s Acropolis had a winner's time in the 13hrs bracket. I am not asking to be silly again, but a 1980s Acropolis was a 4days affair!!!! The Acropolis 1980 had 56 stages covering 766km - that is more than twice a modern Acropolis, when the event only took 1day longer! Basically saying the modern single service park and clover leaf format doesn't help the character and adventure that made each event stick out uniquely.
To the IRC and here starting on the event layouts, the WRC clover leaf concept goes wonderfully in line with the aspects SupeRally and 2car-teams.
It is hard to understand how reducing events from 400km to 350km really saves money. But more interesting in the last chapter above that a 1980s Rally Acropolis had more than double the stage distance and about 3 times as many stages as the 2006 event. Plus none of the stages were repeated and there were no mini superspecials. Yet in all this a 1980s Acropolis took only 1day longer than a 2006 one! And the Acropolis is just an example, replace this name by any other classic rally and you will get a similar result. Kind of makes you wonder how efficient and compact is the clover leaf format really?
See our article “Real RAC return?” (http://www.rallye-info.com/article.asp?sid=0&stid=5814) Talking of an RAC Rally proposal with classic stages in Yorkshire, Kielder, Scottish borders and Wales, an IRC source told Autosport magazine: "This is the kind of event we want. It's the kind that captures every fan's imagination. I grew up watching those kind of rallies and I'm sure there are thousands more out there like me who want to see them. We need to look at why rallying's popularity has waned so much." Here, here! Doesn’t this so much sound like what we all were missing?
Let me turn the 1980 Rally Acropolis example to a 1994 RAC Rally experience of mine. On that occasion I was driving a chase car for Peugeot. And already I am in an example that not all WRC changes have been to the worse. We had different overnight halt locations with different hotels for the whole team, the chase car idea in itself is debatable, plus we covered some 3500km with it in 4 days! But it was a 3 car team, we had vans too, and a motorhome to carry around as we had VIP guests. And then I am already in memories that make me wonder what went wrong in the last 10years? Why did the pendulum swing that far to the opposite extreme?
I look at the 2006 Rally Around Cardiff and I note the rally cars leave Cardiff in the morning for 3 stages. Then we are virtually 50km from Sweet Lamb, but it’s time for a service, so we rather send the car over a 150km road section back to Cardiff. Then in the afternoon we repeat the same 3 stages of the morning. Of course after a 3.5hrs interruption of action for a 20min service break that is. RAC 2006 leg2 was 13hrs on the road for 6 stages plus a mini superspecial. Where is that compact? Do we need the full articulated lorries monte for a 20min service? And what is more sensible, sending rally cars in need of a service, potentially with wheels hanging off, 150km down a public road or sending vans and motorhomes 150km to the rally cars?
I feel sad, because in those 3.5hrs we could have sent the service vans into the large Sweet Lamb arena, let the rally cars travel 50km to Sweet Lamb, here a service followed by stages Myherin Forest, Hafren Forest, Sweet Lamb (2?), then another service before we do the morning stages in reverse. Back in 1994 our VIPs loved the travel around country. The VIPs could watch the Sweet Lamb watersplash and had 100yards to walk back to the motorhome, in time for servicing the car they just saw in action. Exactly like this we could have extended the Rally GB 2006 leg2 action to 10-11 stages without the day’s overall distance and time being any longer than it was under clover leaf!
And those superspecials make me wonder just as much. Bringing rally closer to the public is always a good idea. But doing so in a side by side race over a 1.1km indoor track? How is that showing the audience the spirit of rallying? I find it ironic, because in the old days people were complaining about the Mickey Mouse character of the RAC’s Sunday park stages. Drivers were complaining on those stages you could not win anything but you could lose it all. Why? Sure these were short stages spread far over the country, but THEY were bringing rally spectacle to the public! They were extremely tricky, technical, slippery start finish stages (hence you could lose all, which however is rally!) in characterful parks and stately homes. 6km of Chatsworth Park wins my heart over 1.1km of Cardiff Indoor in every single aspect!
For the IRC I am still waiting for more details on event layouts, but the comments on a Real RAC proposal make me excited of the prospects. That could well make the Clover Leaf SupeRally WRC look like kindergarden in comparison! Welcome back to events that are unique, characterful adventures!
OK, I know some of the problems in Clover Leaf, SupeRally and event locations have been addressed in the WRC for the foreseeable future. But already in 2008 they drop Ireland again, introduce Jordan and welcome back Cyprus. I somehow don't trust them any more!
And finally to the selection of events in the IRC
The calendar is probably the best feature of the new Intercontinental Rallye Challenge IRC. Just how excellent this calendar is, can only be brought closer to you with some deep analysis. We have however already covered the number of events and the choice of surfaces.
When I look at the choice of locations, things jump to my mind like Skoda and Mitsubishi withdrawing from the WRC because it was a must to compete in 16 events. And because a large part of those 16 events are in questionable locations. I recall Malcolm Wilson’s complaint about Cyprus, a costly event in a location with no car market.
So let’s look at the IRC calendar cold and dry from a manufacturer and marketing point of view. No intercontinental series will be the same without manufacturer involvement and all enthusiasm of the sport departments does not help if they don’t have strong arguments for their marketing bosses.
Also interesting that when the WRC started in 1973, the most traditional manufacturers as Ford and Peugeot, were already having a marathon and African program and sticking to it. Interestingly both these makes competed in the Safari year in year out (i.e. Peugeot winning Safari non-stop 1966-1968, Ford winning 1969&1972) and they carried on competing there irrespectable if this was a WRC scoring event or not. Or how Ford won the London-Mexico 1970, which was the birth of Ford’s famous performance road car “Ford Escort Mexico” - see how marketing worked. Quite likely Ford got as much value out of that event alone as they will get from winning the whole WRC season's makes title 2006!
Therefore to include the Safari into the IRC calendar is a major coup! The Safari prompted marketing departments to switch newspaper adds about single event victories like no other event. Plus Safari in itself is the most unique rally there is. Its date is also perfect: late March is rain season! I just hope without the WRC clover leaf ties the IRC version of the Safari will visit the Rift Valley – the most picturesque and mystique rallye arena ever (vulcanoes, salt lakes and flamingoes in Africa?!)! And the twisty Tanzania/Kilimanjaro mountain roads – the most challenging stages in the World, black cotton surface anyone? It’s like black snow, just with less grip! A Safari victory is a world wide marketing goodie. The reasons it’s marketing potential faded in last WRC issues is a cramped calendar, the event moved into July = definitely no rain season and the event was confined to the outskirts of Nairobi. To call that a Safari is a bad joke, even an insult!
But back to the marketing departments. Safari is not the only far away event in the IRC calendar. How do you explain your bosses why they should spend money on new far away events? If you look at the global car market in general, Latin car manufacturers don’t care much about the very unique northern American market. But there are globally two huge countries in changed economical conditions, there are two brand new car markets so huge no car manufacturer can ignore: Russia and China. As examples: Skoda is building a factory in China. PSA has started a cooperation with the Chinese firm Dongfeng, who in return are currently building 2 more car factories to satisfy demand. And for PSA it is more than sending just out of use production lines to China, the Peugeot 307 Saloon and the Citroën Triomphe (C4 Saloon) are two models that are exclusive to the Chinese market! Since about a year, 2 out of 3 PSA non-motorsport press releases that I receive are about the Chinese or Russian market! That’s how important these markets are. I have never received any press release about the car markets of Cyprus or Jordan!
Russia and China are both on the IRC’s agenda. And now you see just how majorly attractive these events are to the manufacturers! And there is promise these events should also be interesting for the fan and in the sporting aspect.
We have still to wait for details on the Chinese event. China was once included in the WRC, but was a disaster. Interestingly more famous is the non-WRC marathon attempt of a rally in China in the mid 1980s, the Rally Hong Kong – Bejing. We have to wait and see.
Russia meanwhile the word is that this is a gravel event, starting and finishing in picturesque, famous St.Petersburg with stages heading towards Finland. Of course there is a pond between that part of Russia and Finland. But the choosen area is interesting for fans from Finland and Eestonia! And as this is the only thing missing in the IRC calendar, maybe in future years this event can be turned into a snow rally? (and surely there might be a change in the IRC calendar in that respect, this is the first season and the second event is only in May, which is a symptom of building it all up. I don’t want to see more events, but surely in future years they are spread wider over the year)
The rest is in Europe, but also doesn’t lack unique characters. I think San Remo, Turkey (tho relocated around Istanbul) and Barum are known to most of our regular visitors. Madeira is a famous ERC event. The roads are fairly smooth and fast/wide on this island, so no comparison at all to Corsica, even if that seems tempting. The most unique feature of Madeira is it’s mer of colourful flowers at that August time slot. Ypres is very much stop and go, narrow, bumpy, all straights with tight corners, mostly through open fields. The inclusion of Ypres is interesting because it is one of Belgium’s most famous rallies, while Belgium alongside France has the most famous local rally scene in central Europe.
Talking of San Remo, if the possibility of a Real RAC finds friends with the IRC organisers, I have a small suggestion: How about a really old fashioned San Remo? I am talking legs1&4 in the Ligurian Alps = asphalt and legs2&3 in Tuscany = powder gravel. I loved it in the 1980s when before the last leg i.e. Audi calculated their Quattro couldn’t win because they were only 4 minutes ahead of the Lancia Rally 037s and the surface switched back to asphalt now. OK, with S2000 cars there wouldn’t be much difference, tho after my previous S2000 complaint, I would consider taking a groupN Mitsubishi Lancer with decent suspension travel and turbo torque (and not at all because its 4x4, which remember even in the groupB days was not essential for Safari) to the Safari and a light, wide A7 Peugeot 306 Maxi to the asphalt rounds, then in San Remo I am stuffed. But see, generally the new series is so promising that in my suggestions I can only go into details rather than cringe over essentials!
Let’s stop at the Rallye du Valais as another example how clever the calendar is. If the IRC events should either cater for good marketing opportunities or be unique – like the Safari being the best example – then I see this largely unknown Swiss event as having the potential to became a true classic for the IRC, as the Monte is to the WRC. The stages itself could be easiest described as being similar in layout, surface and speed to San Remo. What makes this event different is its scenery! We are in the middle of the Alps. In stark contrast to San Remo a large amount of the Valais asphalt stages go through forests, while ever again we pass Alpine lakes and these typical Swiss Chalets that you could not imagine decorating any other rally.
You can rest assured this Rallye du Valais will also have it’s very own, unique character. You can rest assured once Rallye du Valais has finished, you will be looking forward impatiantly not only to the Rally China 5 weeks later but to the Rallye du Valais of the following IRC season – a real annual highlight, just like any other IRC event!
I am looking forward to the whole thing. I have been a rally fan since more than a quarter century and I do turn emotional about “my” sport. That’s why I felt downhearted and was complaining so often about happenings in international rallying. And now with every detail I find out about the IRC I get more excited and think to myself: “This is just so spot on what I was asking for when I was whinging about changes”. It’s a long time ago I last felt so optimistic and upbeat about my loved sport!
Bufff nunca había leido tanto en inglés de golpe jajaja, y aún así no me lo leí todo.
¿Quién escribe esto? Dice cosas interesantes que todo el mundo piensa, lo que más me llegó fue hacer un RAC real como los de hace años (también dice lo mismo del Sanremo). Y desplazar las furgonetas de las asistencias mientras los coches de rally cubren los tramos y así poder hacer rallyes más amplios.
Por fin hay alguien con las ideas claras y con posibilidades de hacer cosas.
DANI SORDO "RESPETO A LOEB, PERO NO LE TENGO MIEDO"
El piloto cántabro se ha convertido en la revelación del Mundial, ganándose el volante oficial del Citroën C4 para las próximas temporadas junto al campeón francés. Y no le asusta el desafío...
Acaba de terminar su primera temporada completa en el Mundial absoluto de rallys. ¿Qué balance puede hacer de su actuación?
Pues, sobre todo, estoy muy contento porque se han cumplido muchos de mis sueños, el más importante de todos llegar a ser piloto oficial. Además, he firmado la continuidad con Citroën no sólo por un año, sino por tres, por lo que aún estoy más satisfecho. Con respecto al balance de la temporada, hay dos partes claramente diferenciadas. Por un lado la primera mitad, en la que se corrían todos los rallys de asfalto y las pruebas que ya conocía del Mundial Júnior, y después una segunda parte, a partir de Finlandia, donde nos enfrentamos a pruebas nuevas y totalmente desconocidas.
Sí que ha existido un cambio significativo entre esas dos fases que señala. ¿Cómo asumió pasar de pelear por los podios a ir descubriendo nuevos territorios?
Ha sido muy duro pasar de estar peleando por los podios en las pruebas que ya conocíamos a ver que, por más que lo intentas, no llegas. Ya sabíamos que iba a pasar esto, pero hasta que no corres esas pruebas y te sucede realmente, no te das cuenta de lo duro que es. Es imposible rodar con los mejores con sólo dos pasadas despacio por cada tramo. De hecho, cuando hemos llegado a tramos nuevos para todos, como en las primeras etapas de Nueva Zelanda o la última de Gran Bretaña, nos acercábamos mucho más a los pilotos de cabeza.
En cualquier caso, ¡cómo han cambiado para usted las cosas en sólo un año!
La verdad es que, además del sueño de ser piloto oficial, se han ido cumpliendo muchos otros. Al principio sólo íbamos a correr con el C2 del pasado año y unas pocas carreras con el Xsara, pero gracias al apoyo de los patrocinadores fuimos consiguiendo dinero para seguir con el World Rally Car el resto de la temporada, lo que nos ha permitido aprender mucho más y conseguir objetivos que hace unos meses ni siquiera pensábamos.
Y ahora está ya metido de lleno en 2007. ¿Cómo fueron los ensayos del C4 en Francia la pasada semana?
El C4 es diferente al Xsara, pero tiene mucho potencial. Yo me siento muy cómodo con él y además todos vemos que va evolucionando, y lo mucho que mejorará según vamos trabajando. La pasada semana probamos en casi todo tipo de condiciones de piso para preparar el Rally de Montecarlo, el primero de la temporada. Va a ser una prueba muy complicada porque cambia de ubicación, se pasa a los tramos de toda la vida, que parece que esta vez sí que tendrán mucha nieve. Espero que al ser nuevos para casi todos me favorezca algo.
¿Y qué objetivos se marca para la próxima temporada?
El objetivo principal es conseguir el máximo de puntos para que Citroën recupere el título de marcas y devolverles así la confianza que han depositado en mí, haciendo un buen trabajo. Prefiero por el momento no hablar de victorias o de metas superiores, que se irán viendo según transcurra la temporada. Pero, está claro, espero mejorar los resultados que he conseguido durante 2006.
Será compañero de Sebastien Loeb, un triple campeón del mundo. ¿Cómo es su relación con él?
La pasada semana estuvimos juntos en esos ensayos en Francia. De hecho, yo fui por si su hombro lesionado le molestaba, y la verdad es que aguantó bien, aunque acabó un poco cansado. Está claro que tenerle de compañero te pone las cosas más difíciles, porque es el campeón, pero al mismo tiempo tener en casa al mejor con el mismo coche es una buena referencia. Le respeto muchísimo, pero de miedo, nada de nada.
¿Qué planes tiene hasta que arranque Montecarlo?
Esta semana iré a Suecia a seguir ensayando, después competiré el fin de semana en la Carrera de Campeones en París, a continuación seguiremos haciendo ensayos para Montecarlo Por lo menos me van a dejar tiempo para venir a casa a cenar en Navidad, pero según tome las uvas volveremos al tajo.
¿No le agobia tanta presión y trabajo?
No me agobia, sino que me lo tomo con mucha ilusión, era el objetivo que me había marcado. Es un nuevo reto que, sin duda, sólo me permite pensar en los rallys y en casi nada más. ¡Pero era lo que buscaba, así que no me agobia nada!.
Buenas! Me presento, soy nuevo en este foro, el que mas me ha gustado sobre rallys y en el que me he animado a escribir.
En la revista Autopista dicen que Mitsubishi ya tiene un piloto confirmado, se trata del arabe Khalid Al-Qassimi. Tambien dicen que Xevi Pons es pretendido por este equipo, que Kronos quiere que renueve con ellos y que la semana pasada probo un 307 WRC del equipo Bozian.
Por otro lado habla de que a Rossi le gustaria correr en los rallys de Suecia y Noruega. Saludos