We can’t wait to see this WRC documentary!

Andreas Mikkelsen is proving his speed at the top level of the sport. The Volkswagen Motorsport Team’s Norwegian ace is also busy with a documentary. Check the trailer here…

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BREAKING NEWS: 2014 WRC calendar revealed

The FIA World Motor Sport Council today released the 2014 World Rally Championship (WRC) calendar.

2014 WRC Calendar:
19 January – Rallye Monte-Carlo
09 February – Rally Sweden
09 March – Rally Mexico
06 April – Rally de Portugal
11 May – Rally Argentina
01 June – Rally d’Italia
29 June – Rally Poland
03 August – Rally Finland
24 August – Rallye Deutschland
14 September – Rally Australia
05 October – Rallye de France
26 October – Rally de España
16 November – Rally of Great Britain

Handbrakes & Hairpins is a FREE weekly eMagazine. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and entertainment from the world of rallying. Click here to download the latest issue: http://bit.ly/19MwTVf

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Grab your FREE rally eZine here today!

Welcome to issue 295 of HANDBRAKES & HAIRPINS, your favourite free source of rally entertainment!

To download this week’s issue, please click here: http://bit.ly/16NJ8NW

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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Paddon secures WRC drive for Spain

Hayden Paddon and John Kennard step up to full World Rally Championship competition in October with confirmation that New Zealand’s top rally pairing has secured the opportunity to compete behind the wheel of a Ford Fiesta RS WRC at Rally de Espana.

Paddon and Kennard will compete for the Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team, running in full factory colours as part of the M-Sport team.

It’s the first time Paddon has competed in a full world rally car and the 26-year-old also becomes the first New Zealander to compete in a new generation WRC model.

“To say I’m excited is an understatement, but I am also focused on ensuring that we make the most of this opportunity,” says Paddon at home in Geraldine, South Canterbury. “I don’t want to just be in a WRC car for a one off event, this is what I want to make my career out of.”

The opportunity to drive a WRC car in full competition is one Paddon and his management team have been chasing for some time. The 2011 FIA Production Car World Rally Champion says the chance came up following his most recent international event, WRC Rally Australia, where he was setting times faster than some WRC competitors while driving a less powerful, Super 2000-spec model.

“After some discussions, we were offered this great opportunity and it’s amazing to finally get our chance in a WRC car. While it has been a lot of hard work over the past few seasons to get to this point, we are conscious that the level of hard work will in fact increase even further as this is very much our chance to try and showcase what we can do to ultimately move further forward in the sport and towards 2014.”

Hayden Paddon's Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team livery2

Paddon and his Blenheim-based, long-term co-driver John Kennard aren’t strangers to the Spanish event which mixes two days of tarmac with a day of gravel stages.

Paddon’s keeping the goals relatively straightforward: first, he aims to finish the rally in order to gain experience. In addition, he aims to secure some top five stage times, mixing it up with some of the best drivers in the world, Sébastien Ogier, Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala as well as fellow Qatar M-Sport drivers Mads Østberg and Thierry Neuville.

Paddon will have the benefit of a small test with M-Sport prior to the 24 to 27 October event, trying the 300 hp, 1.6-litre turbo-charged Fiesta on both gravel and tarmac.

“Naturally I want to be competitive and will be giving it our utmost to set some good stage times. However it is also important to make sure we finish the rally to gain as much experience behind the wheel of a WRC car for the first time,” Paddon says, having contested just three events in 2013 due to a limited budget. Their results in the new WRC2 category in a S2000 Skoda, against the faster RRC and R5 models, must have played a part in creating the opportunity to drive a WRC car – third in WRC2 on Finland’s famous high-speed ‘yumps’ and Germany’s tight, twisty vineyard roads, then fifth in class in Australia with some WRC competitor-matching times.

“Ultimately we are trying to market ourselves for 2014 and this amazing opportunity to compete in a Fiesta RS WRC with such a respected team as UK-based M-Sport gives us that chance.

“I cannot thank everyone in New Zealand enough, from our partners and shareholders, who are behind me all the way, to my family, friends and fellow competitors. Everyone has had such a big part to play and now we have our 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. Click here to download the latest issue: http://bit.ly/19MwTVf

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Molly takes to Croatia Rally this weekend

Molly Taylor prepares to tackle, at the wheel of the Citroen DS3 R3 with the United Business livery, the tenth round of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), the difficult but fascinating and prestigious 40th Croatia Rally to be held in Porec from Thursday 26 September to Saturday 28 September, and will include 14 stages for 239.12 timed kilometres and a total length of 653.93km.

This will be an important and decisive event for the strong Australian lady driver, co-driven by Seb Marshall, who once again faces a rally completely new to her; as well as targeting the best position in the standings, she aims to strengthen the first position in the 2013 European Rally Championship’s Ladies’ Trophy.

“Molly is having a great season this year, and has tackled all the races with great determination and professionalism,” said Pier Liberali, United Business Team Principal. “She is fast in every situation and thanks to intelligent race management, she is competitive and concrete in all the rallies. She accepts the challenge and loves to compete in rallies completely new to her enhanced by the fight against other international drivers. The goal of United Business in Croatia is to increase the lead in the Ladies’ Trophy, even though we know it will be a difficult race. We are confident that Molly can win the European Rally Championship Ladies’ Trophy – this is our goal: to reach it would certainly be rewarding for the team, the crew and for our company which has accompanied Molly’s career in these two years.”

Barum Rally, Zlin 30-08 / 1-9 2013

“Despite having never competed in Croatia Rally I feel it a little like my home event, because United Business is the promoter of this rally,” said Molly Taylor. “Clearly, I want to do well because my manager, Pier Liberali, has always told me enthusiastically about this rally. I can’t wait to be there; we will not leave anything to chance and on this occasion too we have planned a pre-event test session. Poland was a tough race, and despite having obtained a positive result I could not push as hard as I wanted, getting to the finish of the rally was the main goal, especially in light of the difficult weather conditions which made the special stages very tricky. In Croatia I hope to race with more freedom of action and to be able to push on the throttle as I wish.”

The rally will begin on Thursday 26 September with the opening ceremony in Porec, followed by the first special stage in the city centre. Friday 27 September will comprise six stages and the rally will end on Saturday 28 October in Porec at 17h30 after the last seven stages.

Handbrakes & Hairpins is a FREE weekly eMagazine. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and entertainment from the world of rallying. Click here to download the latest issue: http://bit.ly/19MwTVf

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Jan Kopecky Interview: “I’m still learning!”

Czech driver Jan Kopecky might be 2013 European Rally Champion, but he’s still learning and gaining experience from different rallies, surfaces and situations. And he does so with great enthusiasm.

Liga Stirna met up with Kopecky at the ERC Rally Poland on the weekend, and had a chat with him for H&H:

Q: May I congratulate you as a new European Champion?
JK: “I don’t know; I was not counting. My mathematics always has been quite bad, you know.”

Q: But you might be the first champion of the new-look ERC?
JK: “Yes, it’s interesting and very good that IRC and ERC are now together in one event and here in Poland we saw that it is good challenge for everyone. And it’s nice also that local drivers have a chance to win: they do not need a factory car, and still can win a rally!”

Q: Rally Poland was very specific. Have you seen and driven in conditions like that?
JK: “No, no, no! It was quite difficult. Last year it was fully dry and not so many fast drivers at the start. We had to change setup, for the last long stage, and we were quite fast to keep our position.”

Q: What have you learned from this event?
JK: “That I still have many things where to improve on gravel as in Czech Republic we don’t have a single gravel rally. Last year I did one gravel rally, this year: three. And, I am learning!”

ERC Rally Poland, Mikolajki 13-15  Septmeber 2013

Handbrakes & Hairpins is a FREE weekly eMagazine. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and entertainment from the world of rallying. Click here to download the latest issue: http://bit.ly/19MwTVf

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Download your weekly dose of international rally news for FREE!

Welcome to issue 294 of HANDBRAKES & HAIRPINS, your favourite free source of rally entertainment!

To download this week’s issue, please click here: http://bit.ly/16dQM9Y

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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