Russia’s Novikov set to join Stobart in Mexico

Mads Ostberg - Picture by M-Sport Stobart Ford WRT/WorldRallyPics.

The M-Sport Stobart Ford World Rally Team will welcome Russia’s Evgeny Novikov, the youngest ever driver to set a fastest WRC stage time, into their Cumbrian-based squad for next week’s Rally Mexico.

The 20-year-old made his debut in the FIA World Rally Championship at 2007’s Wales Rally GB but was absent from the series last year after spending the season competing at home events in Russia. Novikov originally planned to embark on his 2011 campaign in the new Ford Fiesta RS WRC at Rally Portugal but has since moved this forward in order to build up his experience of competing on gravel. Continue reading Russia’s Novikov set to join Stobart in Mexico

L’Estage wins 100 Acre Wood Rally, Hanson maintains Championship lead

Antoine L'Estage/Nathalie Richard - Photo Credit: http://www.WorldRallySport.com/Matthew Young.

Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard have won the 2011 Rally in the 100 Acre Wood after a flawless drive from start to end. L’Estage set a blistering pace early on, winning ten of the event’s fifteen special stages and finishing 17.7 seconds ahead of international rally ace David Higgins. This victory was a particularly sweet one for L’Estage, who celebrated his birthday on Saturday, the second and final day of the rally.

Subaru Rally Team USA’s David Higgins and co-driver Craig Drew placed second overall, netting their first points of the season and keeping pressure on L’Estage as they gave chase for the duration of rally. Higgins’ Subaru teammate Dave Mirra rounded out the podium by maintaining third overall through most of the event with a solid drive. This is the second consecutive podium finish of the season for Mirra and co-driver Marshall Clarke, who are coming into their own after only two events together. Continue reading L’Estage wins 100 Acre Wood Rally, Hanson maintains Championship lead

Bogie claims Richard Burns Trophy on Rallye Sunseeker

David Bogie - Picture by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Scotsman David Bogie has claimed the Richard Burns Trophy on the Rallye Sunseeker: the opening round of this year’s British Rally Championship.

The trophy, awarded for the first time last year, goes to the highest-placed Group N runner on the Bournemouth-based rally under the age of 25, along with a cheque for £1000.

As well winning Group N on the Rallye Sunseeker in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9, Bogie also claimed overall victory: meaning that he now leads both the British and Scottish Rally Championships, following his win on the Snowman Rally the previous weekend. Continue reading Bogie claims Richard Burns Trophy on Rallye Sunseeker

Munchi’s Ford prepared for WRC comeback in Mexico

Federico Villagra/Jorge Perez Companc - Picture by WorldRallyPics.

The Munchi’s Ford World Rally Team will make their comeback to the FIA World Rally Championship for the fifth consecutive year at next week’s Rally Mexico. Nine-time Argentine Rally Champion, Federico Villagra, returns to the WRC to head up the South American team alongside fellow countryman, Jorge Pérez Companc.

Mexico will mark the first of a nine-round programme for the Munchi’s squad in Ford’s new challenger for 2011 – the Ford Fiesta RS WRC. Villagra has already gained some experience driving M-Sport’s Ford Fiesta S2000 in 2010 – the car which shares the same underpinnings as the Fiesta RS WRC. Continue reading Munchi’s Ford prepared for WRC comeback in Mexico

Adenco 400 is going to be a scorcher

Neil Woolridge - Picture by Motorpics.

The Adenco 400 in the Western Cape, the opening round of this year’s Absa Off Road Championship on March 11 and 12, looks like turning into a scorcher – in more ways than one.

According to route director Bill Bright from the Cape Peninsula Motorcycle and Car Club the weather in the Darling region, where the race has its headquarters, has been extremely hot over the last two months. Although temperatures are expected to cool over the next couple of weeks hot, dry and dusty conditions are expected. Continue reading Adenco 400 is going to be a scorcher

Tom Cave delighted with second on BRC debut

Tom Cave/Craig Parry - Picture by Jim Blackstock Communications Ltd.

Teenage rally driver Tom Cave said he was delighted at finishing the opening round of the 2011 Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship in second place. He and co-driver Craig Parry enjoyed a rally-long battle with reigning Scottish champion David Bogie on Rallye Sunseeker, at the wheel of their JRM-run Mitsubishi Lancer EvolutionX and claimed three stage wins en route.

Heavy overnight rain made conditions very tricky for the four wheel-drive crews, running behind both the historic and two wheel-drive fields on the road. Consequently, many found it particularly difficult picking the right braking point in the muddy roads, already cut up by the cars ahead. Continue reading Tom Cave delighted with second on BRC debut

Victorious Fiesta swaps Swedish freezer for Mexican furnace

Jari-Matti Latvala/Miika Anttila - Picture by Ford Abu Dhabi WRT/WorldRallyPics.

The extremes of climate and terrain that Ford’s new Fiesta RS World Rally Car must master in its quest for FIA World Rally Championship success will be highlighted at Rally Mexico next week (3 – 6 March). Three weeks after a podium clean sweep on its debut in the harsh Swedish winter, the car journeys to North America for the second round in conditions that could hardly be more different.

Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team drivers Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen and team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila excelled in Scandinavia to claim first and third respectively. However, the contrasts between competing in Sweden and Mexico emphasise the characteristics that make the WRC the toughest competition in motorsport for production-based cars. Continue reading Victorious Fiesta swaps Swedish freezer for Mexican furnace