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Welcome to issue 283 of HANDBRAKES & HAIRPINS, your favourite free source of rally entertainment!

To download this week’s issue, please click here: https://handbrakeshairpins.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/hh-283.pdf

For ANY back issues, please send a request to subs.hhmag@gmail.com and we will gladly send you the PDF files.

As always, please enjoy this week’s read!

Yours in Rallying,

Evan Rothman (Editor) and Eva Kovkova (Photojournalist)

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What is happening with MINI in the WRC?

Seeing and hearing the distinctive MINI John Cooper Works WRC machine on the world’s stages has been a flurry of activity since its launch in June 2010. Now, as Michal Kosciuszko has teased rally fans with photos of his new Ford Fiesta RS WRC livery on Twitter it signals the exit of the last MINI in the 2013 World Rally Championship (WRC).

iRally has posted a fantastic article on their app and website, and gives hope for the future of this iconic name in the sport. Click here to read it: http://irallylive.com/ir_news.htm?00004108&10.

Lotos

Handbrakes & Hairpins is a FREE weekly eMagazine. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and entertainment from the world of rallying.

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Hyundai Motorsport tests its i20 WRC machine

After an intensive few months of preparation at its Alzenau headquarters, Hyundai Motorsport has taken the i20 WRC out of the workshop and onto the road at the start of its testing programme.

The latest specification of the Hyundai i20 WRC ran for the first time during a positive shakedown on a private testing ground in mid-May. With the aim of checking the car’s systems as the team ramps up its test schedule ahead of an entry in the FIA World Rally Championship in 2014, Hyundai Motorsport’s technical team completed the roll-out without encountering any particular issues.

This shakedown was followed last week with the first comprehensive testing session where the team started working on different set-up solutions and gathered valuable data which will be analysed by engineers back at the Hyundai Motorsport facility in Alzenau. While all key areas of the car’s performance were evaluated, there was a major focus on collecting feedback on the i20 WRC’s 1.6 litre turbocharged engine as part of the continuing development programme for the powertrain.

A total of 550km covered over the three days has enabled the team to start building the knowledge base of testing data from which to prepare its entry to the WRC in eight months’ time.

With an ambitious target to meet in a short period of time, the intensive testing programme is intended to ensure that Hyundai Motorsport arrives at Rallye Monte-Carlo in January fully prepared for the challenge. The programme will continue for the rest of the year and will involve the assessment and development of the i20 WRC in all of the terrains and conditions expected in World Rally Championship.

THREE QUESTIONS TO HYUNDAI MOTORSPORT TEAM PRINCIPAL, MICHEL NANDAN:
Q: Michel, the last couple of weeks were pretty busy for the team at Hyundai Motorsport. Can you tell us a bit more about it?
MN: “Indeed, it has been a busy few months here at Hyundai Motorsport as we prepared to kick-off our testing programme to get ready for the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship. After starting our operations from scratch at the Alzenau factory in early January, we have been developing the car and now we can put the theory into practice. The car is on the road and I have to admit it was quite an emotional moment to see the latest specification of the i20 WRC in action for the first time. The car we are currently testing was originally designed by our colleagues in Korea at the Namyang R&D Centre. It has then been developed and prepared in Alzenau by the team which is growing constantly day-by-day.”

i20-WRC-Testing-3

Q: What are your thoughts on the first two outings of the i20 WRC on the road?
MN: “The learning from the first tests for me is quite positive. I think we are starting from a good base that we can use to carry on working. This was crucial considering the tight schedule we have until the end of the year. We have now a lot of useful feedback to digest for the next steps of our preparation. On the human side of things, I have already seen great teamwork, from the engineers in Namyang and the growing team of people in Alzenau. I have to say I’m very proud of everyone and I should thank them for the good job they have been doing so far. We have a lot of work ahead of us but I’m sure that with the commitment everybody showed so far we will respect all the timings and objectives we have for this year.”

Q: What are the next steps in the testing programme?
MN: “We have an intensive testing schedule for the rest of 2013 which will take us to different venues across Europe, to evaluate the i20 WRC in different conditions and on different terrains which reflect the variety of circumstances we will encounter in the World Rally Championship next year. We are not disclosing our specific test venues or the names of the various drivers we will have but we will ensure that every aspect of the car’s performance is put to the test and thoroughly evaluated without leaving anything to chance.”

Handbrakes & Hairpins is a FREE weekly eMagazine. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and entertainment from the world of rallying.

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Who can outpace Cronje in Gauteng?

With back-to-back victories in the opening two rounds of the 2013 South African National Rally Championship, reigning champions Mark Cronje and Robin Houghton (S2000 Ford Dealer Team Fiesta) have accumulated a full-house score of 50 points in their quest for a second successive title.

The Ford pair enjoy a comfortable lead of 12 points over nearest challengers Leeroy Poulter and Elvéne Coetzee in a S2000 Castrol Team Toyota Yaris, who gave the new-for 2013 Yaris its best result yet with third place in the recent Sasol Rally, behind Cronje/Houghton and British pair Matthew Wilson and Chris Patterson, who were making a guest appearance in Cronje’s spare Fiesta. With the visitors not eligible for points, the Toyota factory pair was able to pick up the 21 points for second place to boost their total to 38.

Former champions Jan Habig and Robert Paisley are third in their privateer S2000 Basil Read Ford Fiesta with 37 points, four points ahead of fourth-placed privateers Jean-Pierre Damseaux and Hilton Auffray (S2000 Team Total Toyota Auris), who are currently joint leaders of the S2000 Challenge for the older specification four-wheel drive cars.

The factory pairing of Gugu Zulu and Carl Peskin (Volkswagen Sasolracing Polo), who won the inaugural S2000 Challenge last year, are fifth in S2000 with 31 points and share the lead of the S2000 Challenge with Damseaux and Auffray. Third in the Challenge and 11th in the S2000 championship are Team Total privateers Mohammed Moosa and Andre Vermeulen in a Toyota Auris.

Leeroy1

Eight points behind Zulu and Peskin and in joint sixth place in the S2000 championship are Johnny Gemmell and Carolyn Swan in the second Castrol Toyota Auris and rising young star Henk Lategan and Barry White in their first season in a factory VW Sasolracing Polo. Eighteen-year-old Lategan scored an impressive fourth place in the Sasol Rally to make up for a troubled outing in the season-opening Total Rally, where he and White only managed to score four points.

Two points behind Lategan and White in eighth place are privateers Japie van Niekerk and Gerhard Snyman in the New Africa Developments VW Polo after a top 10 finish in the last round. Ninth are Giniel de Villiers and Greg Godrich, who had a troubled first outing in their new Imperial Toyota Yaris in Mpumalanga, and rounding out the top 10 are former champions Hergen Fekken and Pierre Arries, who have yet to show their true form in the second of the three factory VW Sasolracing Polos.

Former champion Enzo Kuun (VW Sasolracing Polo) is an unfamiliar 18th in the S2000 drivers’ championship after failing to finish either of the first two rounds, the first as a result of a high-speed crash that saw co-driver Guy Hodgson sidelined for the second event, in which Kuun and stand-in co-driver Douglas Judd were forced to retire with technical problems. Hodgson has since decided to call an end to a distinguished 40-year rally career in which he competed with distinction both internationally and in South Africa, where he won a title with Kuun.

The S1600 championship for two-wheel drive cars is proving to be a lot closer and picking a winner at this early stage would be foolish. Leading with a healthy 46 points after a win in the Total Rally and second in the Sasol Rally are Namibian national championship rookie Thilo Himmel and Armand du Toit in a brand new Toyota Etios R2.

Joint second on 33 points are Matthew Vacy-Lyle and Schalk van Heerden (Fragram Tools Toyota RunX),after two consistent outings have seen them finish in the top five on both occasions, and circuit racer turned rally driver Chad van Beurden and experienced co-driver Henry Dearlove Jnr in a Van Beurden Construction VW Polo R2.

Mo TEST 1

Megan and brother Oliver Verlaque are fourth in an ex-factory VW Polo with 31 points, one point ahead of 2012 Two Wheel Drive champion Craig Trott and new navigator Janine Lourens in Trott’s ageing Total Toyota RunX.

Sixth and seventh are two crews who have each had one great result and one poor one to date. Clint Weston and Christoff Snyders (Reef Tankers Citroen C3 R2) bounced back from a troubled Total Rally to win the Sasol Rally and move up to sixth place with 29,5 points. Fellow championship contenders Ashley Haigh-Smith and British co-driver Craig Parry (Castrol Ford Fiesta R2) are seventh with 26,5 points after following up third place in the season opener with a disappointing 10th place in Mpumalanga as a result of technical issues.

Guy Botterill and Simon Vacy-Lyle (Yato Tools Toyota RunX) are also championship contenders but failed to finish the Sasol Rally after a fine second place in the Total Rally and now find themselves in a lowly eighth place in the standings with 21 points

Toyota leads the manufacturers’ championship with 187points, ahead of VW (137,5 points) and Ford (126 points).

The Toyota Gauteng Dealer Rally, round three of the 2013 SA National Rally Championship, takes place in the Bapsfontein area on 31 May and 1 June.

Handbrakes & Hairpins is a FREE weekly eMagazine. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and entertainment from the world of rallying.

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Meeke’s Zero Car run in Corsica was “tremendous fun”

MEEKE RELISHES CORSICA ERC ZERO CAR RUN
While French star Bryan Bouffier was doing the winning on Giru di Corsica-Tour de Corse last week, Kris Meeke had the honour of leading the pack throughout the two-day event, round five of the FIA European Rally Championship.

Meeke, a successful international rally driver, was responsible for driving the course-opening zero car, a Peugeot 208 R2, alongside fellow Northern Irishman Chris Patterson.

Afterwards, Meeke said: “Even driving the zero car, the Tour de Corse is a magical event and I had tremendous fun on the stages in the Peugeot 208 R2. We used the rally to try some new parts and we didn’t have a single problem, so that was a highly satisfying result.”

Meeke again underlined his desire to compete for real on an ERC round in the near future.

Handbrakes & Hairpins is a FREE weekly eMagazine. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and entertainment from the world of rallying.

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Sainz appearance at X Games Barcelona was rained out, but we love the look of that Polo!

The much anticipated outing by rally legend Carlo Sainz in the 600hp Volkswagen Polo R at the recent X Games had to be cancelled. After heavy rainfall over the last few days, the specially-erected circuit in Barcelona’s Olympic Stadium was so damp that, having been postponed on Sunday evening, the organisers had no choice but to cancel the rallycross race. Local favourite Sainz tried to console the fans who had flocked to the arena with a tweet on Twitter: “I am sorry for everyone. Thank you for coming.” The 51-year-old had prepared for his planned rallycross debut with test drives in a Volkswagen Polo. “El Matador” won the 2010 Rally Dakar for Volkswagen and is a national hero in Spain, due to his two World Rally Championship titles.

But this doesn’t mean we can’t drool over this beautiful-looking Polo!

Handbrakes & Hairpins is a FREE weekly eMagazine. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and entertainment from the world of rallying.

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Your FREE insight into the world of rally, part 282

Welcome to issue 282 of HANDBRAKES & HAIRPINS, your favourite free source of rally entertainment!

To download this week’s issue, please click here: https://handbrakeshairpins.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/hh-282.pdf

For ANY back issues, please send a request to subs.hhmag@gmail.com and we will gladly send you the PDF files.

As always, please enjoy this week’s read!

Yours in Rallying,

Evan Rothman (Editor) and Eva Kovkova (Photojournalist)

Cover 282