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RallySport Magazine August 2016

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The August 2016 issue of RallySport Magazine is now available, and includes: Latest news: * Dowel backs rallycross to be bigger than V8 Supercars * Quinn’s Rally Australia WRC car bid falls short * New WRX STi could be Rally America bound * Up to 10 AP4 cars for 2017 NZRC * Skoda R5 for Mark Pedder at Rally Australia Feature stories: * Famous stages - New Zealand’s Motu * A close look at the Skoda Fabia AP4+ * Group B Mitsubishi Starion 4WD remembered * Budget rallying - Hyundai Excel * Where are they now - Wayne Bell * Hayden Paddon column * Vale: Steve Ashton Interviews: * Molly Taylor - Subaru factory driver * David Holder - NZ Rally Champion * Col Trinder - Chairman of ARCom * Emma Gilmour - NZ’s fastest lady Event reports: * Rally of Finland * APRC - China Rally * Catalans Coast Rally * NZ’s Northern Rallysprint Series * Walky 100 Rally, SARC


RALLY FINLAND - WRC 8 KRIS-MAS COMES EARLY Story: MARTIN HOLMES Ulsterman Kris Meeke became the first British driver to win the Neste Rally Finland, winning his second WRC event this year at the wheel of an ex-works Citroen DS3 WRC. Championship leaders Volkswagen had a disastrous event apart from second place for Jari-Matti Latvala (winner the past two years), while M-Sport brought only one car home in the top 10 places. After suffering a run of uncharacteristic off-road excursions, this was the first rally for four years that VW’s Sebastien Ogier had finished a rally without scoring Drivers’ championship points. Hyundai had an unhappy event with their drivers never confident with their cars, although they scored the highest total of Manufacturer points. It was a very special event for the Irish with Meeke and Craig Breen both on the podium, while the saddest driver was Ott Tanak, who was spectacularly fast with his DMack tyres, but who went off the road on the final day when chasing a podium place after earlier delays. The event saw renewed controversy as to the effect of continued running order rules, and the implications of a second victory this year for the part-time Abu Dhabi Total team of 48 | RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE - AUGUST 2016 Rally Radio personality, Colin Clark, captured this great photo of Henri Toivonen’s brother, Harri, on the 30th anniversary of Henri’s death. Harri drove a Group B Lancia Delta S4 around the street stage in Jyvaskyla. old Citroen cars competing against regular championship drivers, who are governed by special rules. There were runaway wins in the categories for the Finnish WRC2 driver Esapekka Lappi, for the Norwegian Ole Christian Veiby in WRC3, and for Max Vatanen (son of World Champion Ari) in the DMack Fiesta Trophy. It was a popular win for Meeke, the oldest top driver in the event, whose winning speed (126.61km/h) was the highest ever recorded in the world championship. His car was built four years ago, and had never previously won a rally in Europe. THE EVENT When the start list was published showing the Portugal winner Meeke was to run eighth on the road and Ott

Tanak (a pace maker in Poland) seventh, on another event where road opening was a severe disadvantage, the writing was on the wall for Sebastien Ogier and his fellow VW driver and Poland Rally winner, Andreas Mikkelsen. They were due to run first and second, and the situation was none too promising for third runner Hayden Paddon. And so it was. Meeke took the lead, which he held from stage two to the end of the rally. Tanak chased Meeke until he spun (on a straight road!) and then suffered punctures. Ogier impressively persevered in adversity until the middle of the first afternoon when he slipped off the road in the middle of a hairpin, losing a quarter hour when lying third. Mikkelsen had an horrendous time, especially on the second day, and eventually struggled to finish seventh overall. VW’s hopes therefore rested with Latvala, whose fortunes were thwarted by a puncture on the Friday, but through determination held on to second place after Tanak fell back. There was a sense of relief for VW at the end of the event to discover that notwithstanding all their problems, their drivers were now holding the top three places in the Drivers’ Hayden Paddon battled set-up problems, but still managed 5th place. championship. It was hard to put Citroen’s success into true perspective. It was a mighty effort for both Kris Meeke and Craig Breen, but Abu Dhabi Total are not a registered team, meaning their cars run under different rules. That is one thing, but also because of their lack of accumulated championship points, their drivers enjoyed favourable running order positions, as they also had when Meeke won in Portugal. Thierry Neuville amongst some Finnish sunflowers. And victories in qualifying rounds of a championship based on manufacturer participation can throw doubts as to the value of regularly competing in the WRC. Or so the argument goes! Then, over at M-Sport ( the team similarly does not carry the Ford name), their team continued unsuccessfully to evaluate their true performance level, hoping that Ott Tanak, whose DMack-entered car was in the same specification as the M-Sport’s registered AUGUST 2016 - RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE | 49

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