This week sees action from no less than three countries and three continents, as well as news from South Africa as well. This weekend sees the start of the eagerly anticipated 2014 British Rally Championship, and there will be a number of drivers all capable of claiming the win. We’ll bring you the news as it happens from the United Kingdom, as well as from Rally America’s Oregon Trail Rally from Friday to Sunday on our editor’s Twitter feed at @evan_rothman. Next week’s issue will be a muddy one!
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During the French round of the FIA WTCC at the Paul Ricard Circuit this weekend, the Citroën Racing team received a visit from His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco.
With seven championship victories between 2003 and 2013, Sébastien Loeb, Daniel Elena and Citroën Racing have made quite a mark on the modern history of the Monte-Carlo Rally. Flying the flag for Monaco the world over, Daniel Elena has become the Principality’s most decorated sportsman, with 78 rally wins and nine World Championship titles. Continue reading Monte-Carlo honours its rally hero
The Rally America National Championship competition heats back up after a two-month break at the Oregon Trail Rally on 02 – 04 May in Portland, Oregon. The Oregon Trail Rally is the only three-day event on the Rally America National Championship 2014 calendar.
The event begins Friday evening with four stages of tarmac and gravel roads at Portland International Raceway (PIR). The continuous race action at PIR is a fan favorite with teams being easily accessible for photos and autographs prior to the start of the event. After the PIR stages, the event moves east towards Dufur and Hood River where teams will experience the much faster roads on Saturday and then the very technical gravel sections on Sunday. Continue reading Rally America revs up for Oregon Trail Rally
The roller coaster action from the FIA ERC’s Circuit of Ireland Rally features in this week’s issue. This event most certainly has upped the stakes in terms of event action for the remainder of this year’s series. Our cover star is Daniel McKenna, winner of the event’s 2WD Class. We’re proud to be associated in a very small way with this Irishman as our European Ambassador. He’s readying for Round One of the highly anticipated British Rally Championship next weekend, but this week we also bring you the Peugeot 2008 DKR monster machine and take a peek into a persistent rumour buzzing around the World Rally Championship’s Service Parks.
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Jean Ragnotti in a Renault Megane Maxi kit Car? Yes, please!
Factory Citroën WRC driver Kris Meeke is attending his home round of the ERC, the Discover Northern Ireland Circuit of Ireland Rally, as a guest of ERC promoter Eurosport Events.
Q: The last time we saw you was in Ypres when you were showing off the new Peugeot 208T16. How impressed were you with the performance of the car, particularly on the Acropolis Rally?
KM: “It was pretty special obviously for Craig to get his first victory but also for the guys at Peugeot Sport who have taken a long time to develop the car and really refine it. I was lucky enough to be part of that development last year. I am so happy for the guys that they hit the ground running and it’s a 100 per cent record at the minute. For a special event like the Acropolis – okay one day was on Tarmac this year – but it’s still a world-renowned and tough event. It was very good for everyone at Peugeot and it’s great for the R5 category. It bodes well for the future. Craig will obviously take a lot of confidence from that and hopefully keep the ball rolling on the Circuit of Ireland Rally.”
Q: You’re a guest of Eurosport this weekend. What are you going to be doing and what do you think of Eurosport’s coverage of the ERC?
KM: “You should probably say Eurosport is a guest of mine this weekend being on my home patch! This morning we went out with Jean-Pierre Nicolas [ERC Sporting Manager] over the famous stage Hamiltons Folly. I have never actually competed on it but I’ve watched so many videos of years gone by in the 1980s with all these Audi Quattros breaking on the jumps. This morning I was asking Jean-Pierre if there was any chance to get a car and get a start tomorrow. It’s just exceptional and I would really love to be in a car competing. They are the best Tarmac stages in the world and all credit to Bobby Willis. He’s got the ERC back to the Circuit of Ireland and hopefully now the rally can have a home because that’s what it has been lacking over the last 10 years. It hasn’t had a base and somewhere to work from. But here we have a fantastic venue in the Titanic Quarter. To build something from here would be pretty special and as everyone has seen the roads here are simply fantastic.”
Q: And how much would you have liked to have been competing on the rally this weekend – were you working on a plan to take part?
KM: “It was never really talked about. Maybe in the back of your mind if the Citroën DS3 R5 might have been ready it could be an opportunity but it wasn’t to be. But there was never anything said with any conviction. I just have to keep my priorities in check and focus on what I have to do in the world championship. It’s always nice when a big championship comes to your country but very frustrating when you’re not part of it. But we’ll see for the future. Maybe the world championship could come to Ireland again or I end up in the ERC you never know. But for sure some time I would like to compete on my home rally in a big championship.”
Rally journalism is now no longer confined to pen and paper writers. And, this is a fantastic thing because we have those ridiculously cool action videos of jumps to keep us smiling on YouTube between rallies, some fun tweets from rally drivers and selfies on Instagram. We also wouldn’t have this giggle-inducing post on Tumblr from Samantha Honeyman HERE.
Being part of a WRC team means being constantly photographed. If you’re not posing for photographs with fans or official pictures then there is always a photographer lurking somewhere, catching your every move. One theme which occurs in all these hundreds of images is that essentially, rally drivers only have 3 poses for the camera.
1. Hands on Hips – you can do it alone…
Read the rest of this great article here: http://rallyrecce.tumblr.com/post/82985841204/posers.