WRC Safari Rally Kenya, Sebastien Ogier clinches last gasp victory as Thierry Neuville falters.

After a 19 year hiatus, the Safari Rally returns to the WRC calendar, once again the event headquartered out of Nairobi just as it was back in 2002. Compared to 2002 though, the event is somewhat shorter and doesn’t tackle the same brutal stages; this doesn’t mean that the Safari Rally has gone soft, with punishing dusty high speed stages & enormous bumps & ruts all along the stages. Add in the punishing arid heat and you have a perfect recipe for a car breaking rally. The opening day of…

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WRC Portugal, Elfyn Evans fends off Hyundai charge to take victory.

The famed gravel roads of Portugal played host to round 4 of the 2021 World Rally Championship. Portugal is one of the anchor events on the calendar, the rough dusty gravel stages punish the cars & drivers and reward the brave. Elfyn Evans paced the shakedown prior to the start of the events, but there was an expectation that this might be Hyundai’s event, given their strong track record on gravel events.  The opening day on Friday saw Hyundai stealing a march on the chasing Toyota’s & Ford’s, tyre choice…

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Sebastien Ogier victorious in wild Rally Croatia thriller.

After a seeming eternity since the last round of the World Rally Championship in the winter wonderland of Northern Finland, the series moves onto the tight, winding tarmac stages of Croatia. It marks the first time that Croatia has played host to the WRC and the first all asphalt rally since 2019, the covid affected 2020 calendar didn’t feature a full asphalt event as Germany & Ypres were culled from the calendar & Rally Monza was affected by snow & ice, along with muddy conditions around the Monza circuit itself.…

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WRC Arctic Rally Finland, Ott Tanak takes commanding victory as Kalle Rovanpera claims championship lead.

The second round of the 2021 WRC season sees the championship move onto the frozen lands of northern Finland. The cancellation of Rally Sweden at the end of 2020 due to Covid19 restrictions necessitated a change on the calendar, the aptly named Arctic Rally Finland taking Sweden’s place, with sub zero temperatures and huge swathes of snow characterising the event, which gained fame due to Mercedes F1 driver Valterri Bottas using the event to keep his skills sharp, prior to the start of the F1 season. Friday saw the event…

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WRC Monte Carlo, Ogier clinches victory from Evans & Neuville.

Round 1 of the 2021 World Rally Championship kicks off on the winding, icy roads in the snow capped alps above Monte Carlo. It’s a miracle in itself that the event is taking place at all this year, the current rate of covid19 infections, travel restrictions as well as the mandatory 6pm curfew in France presented a massive challenge to teams, drivers & organisers. Add in the travel issues in & out of the UK along with the bureaucratic nightmare generated by Brexit, it made things extremely challenging for Ford…

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WRC 2021 season preview

The 2021 World Rally Championship is primed to get underway, just 7 weeks after the close of the 2020 season at Monza. It’s one of the shortest time lapses between 2 seasons due to the delayed 2020 season finale. Technical regulation changes are set to take come into force in 2021, the major one being the change of tyre supplier from Michelin to Pirelli, who will now supply both the WRC & WRC2 cars for the duration of the 2021 season & beyond. The change in tyre suppliers could throw…

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WRC Rally Monza, Sebastien Ogier clinches 7th WRC title & victory in Monza thriller.

The 2020 WRC season finale took place in and around the temple of speed, Monza in northern Italy. It’s the first time Monza has hosted a round of the WRC. Friday saw the first running at the Monza circuit itself, the stages using the circuit itself along with the access roads along with the old Monza banking.  The championship finale sees Elfyn Evans leading the points with Sebastien Ogier in second, just 14 points adrift. Thierry Neuville & Ott Tanak both come in as rank outsiders for championship glory, the…

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WRC Rally Ypres cancelled due to Covid19.

The ongoing global Covid19 pandemic has once again struck the 2020 World Rally Championship. Belgium’s first time hosting the WRC, with Rally Ypres playing host on 19th-22nd November would have been the first full tarmac event on the calendar. The event characterised by fast flowing stages around the flats of the Belgian countryside. Event organisers following consultation with the Belgian authorities were left with no choice but to pre-emptively cancel the event. Europe is currently in the throes of the second wave of Covid19, other series have already fallen prey…

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WRC Sardinia, victory for returning Dani Sordo. 

The sun drenched italian isle of Sardinia offers itself up for the sixth round of the 2020 WRC calendar, the event was the penultimate event on the calendar, but on Friday, with Rally Monza added to the calendar in December; Opening the championship fight back up. Further broke on Friday as the provisional 2021 WRC calendar was shown for the first time. Notable changes include Wales Rally GB moving to an end of August date, away from the traditional October date.  Shakedown saw drama before the event got underway as…

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WRC Rally Turkey, Elfyn Evans takes surprise victory.

Turkey played host to round five of the 2020 World Rally Championship, the infamous rough roads have seen plenty of drama over the years, with the rocky gravel stages & searing heat sealing the events reputation as a real carbreaker. The action got underway on Friday, it was Sebastien Loeb who would set the pace throughout the Friday. Loeb, a three time winner of the event in the past knows the event well, but had never driven the stages on Friday, in the process fending off teammate Thierry Neuville &…

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WRC Rally Estonia, Ott Tanak wins as WRC roars back into life.

It has been a long time since the WRC’s last competitive action, almost six months since the last round at Rally Mexico, which was cut short due to the developing Covid19 outbreak to enable officials and competitors to travel home; in the wake of ever tightening travel restrictions. That was then, this is now. After a huge amount of work by the FIA & event organisers in the wake of numerous cancelled events, the most recent being Rally Germany in October; Italy has also been shuffled back 3 weeks in…

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WRC season set to restart in Estonia.

It’s been a long time since there has been some good news in the world of WRC, but after much consternation and waiting, we finally have an official restart date for the 2020 World Rally Championship.  September 4th, 5th & 6th will see Rally Estonia, which was originally going to run as Rally Dirtfish has become part of the WRC calendar. Estonia was already primed to join the WRC calendar from 2021 onwards, but with Rally DIrtfish going ahead and a number of WRC teams and drivers competing, the decision…

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WRC news round up, Rally GB cancelled, additional rounds being evaluated.

The latest casualty on the WRC calendar was confirmed this week as Wales Rally GB. The anchor event on the WRC calendar was cancelled for much the same reasons as the other events so far, organisers unable to guarantee the health and safety of spectators & series personnel due to the ongoing Covid19 pandemic. Travel restrictions in place in the UK for the short term mandate a 14 quarantine for those arriving into the UK. With the majority of teams, personnel and a large number of fans coming from overseas,…

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WRC news round up, Rally New Zealand and Finland cancelled, Ford making progress on new reg car

Organisers have confirmed that the predicted return of the WRC season in Rally New Zealand will no longer take place in 2020. Event organisers Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) confirmed on june 4th the cancellation of Rally New Zealand. The events CEO, Mike Goldstein stated “It became clear that with our borders closed to international travel and the logistics required to host thousands of international visitors as part of the World Rally Championship, that the September 2020 date was not practical.” New Zealand has effectively eradicated Covid19 from…

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WRC Rally Mexico, Ogier triumphs amidst Covid-19 shortened event

The third round of the World Rally Championship once again plays host to Rally Mexico, high temperatures and challenging gravel conditions faced the teams and drivers once again. The event going ahead was a surprise following mass cancellations of global motorsport events due to the ongoing Coronavirus/Covid-19 outbreak, Formula 1, IMSA Weathertech, WEC & Indycar amongst others have cancelled events en-masse due to government containment conditions and travel restrictions. The WRC has not escaped the grip of Covid-19, with the fourth round of the championship, Rally Argentina already being cancelled…

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Elfyn Evans triumphs in shortened Rally Sweden.

Sweden played host to the second round of the World Rally Championship this weekend, but there was something different, something unusual for those watching and attending. Yes, it’s a distinct lack of snow. Rally Sweden’s USP has always been the massive amounts of snow, giving unique scenery and a unique challenge for the drivers and teams as the cars run on studded tyres. There was drama before the rally even got underway, with talks of the event potentially being cancelled due to the lack of snow. The decision was taken…

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WRC Monte Carlo, Thierry Neuville victorious in Monte thriller.

After a long and dramatic off season, the 2020 World Rally Championship began in earnest in the hills above Monte Carlo. The conditions for the event were unusually good, with dry conditions and not an awful lot in the way of snow and ice on the mountain roads. The 2020 season sees three manufacturers in the series, Ford, Hyundai & Toyota. Citroen announced a shock exit from the sport in the off season which has seen a game of musical chairs for many drivers. Ott Tanak has moved from Toyota…

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World Rally Championship 2020 season preview

It only felt like yesterday that the 2019 World Rally Championship came to a close amid unusual circumstances in Australia, the event being cancelled before it got underway due to the bushfires around the New South Wales area. Those fires, even after more than 2 months are still raging and have ravaged Australia in one of the worst natural disasters the country has ever seen. Onto more pleasant topics though, and on January 23rd, the WRC winds itself back into life for the first round of the championship in Monte…

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Autosport international Show 2020 and the big BTCC catch up.

The Autosport international show rolled in its traditional venue of the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham in the UK, once again providing fans the opportunity to get up close and personal with the cars, drivers and people behind many different championships.  There were a number of headline events for fans to enjoy, from the Live Action Arena where a huge variety of cars would complete demonstrations in one of the largest indoor areas in Europe, to driver forums and team and driver announcements ahead of the start of the 2020…

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WRC news: Ford M-Sport confirms 2020 driver line-up.

After a long period of speculation within the WRC paddock and community, Ford M-Sport has confirmed its driver line up for the 2020 WRC season. Former Citroen driver Esapekka Lappi is confirmed as the teams new lead driver, replacing Elfyn Evans who completed the move to Toyota at the end of 2019. Ford confirmed that they will retain young Finnish driver Teemu Sunninen for a second season as their second driver. Sunninen showed flashes of brilliance in the 2019 season and Sunninen will likely build on the steady form he…

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