A new season. A new era. The 2017 World Rally Championship is set for new beginnings. The WRC Monte Carlo Rallye will be exciting to say the least. Dive right into this week’s new read: https://goo.gl/3pS4ZR.
The World Rally Championship takes centre stage as I revive this publication. I hope you enjoy this read. See you after WRC ADAC Rallye Deutschland!: https://goo.gl/W8UIgl.
As always, enjoy this week’s read!
Welcome to the latest edition of Handbrakes & Hairpins, a 16-page issue to bring you back into focus on the world of rallying: https://goo.gl/8Xqkm1.
As always, enjoy this week’s read!
Tuthill Porsche duo, François Delecour and Dominique Savignoni, extended their lead at the top of the 2015 R-GT Cup last weekend, following a dramatic twist in the Ypres Rally, second round of the inaugural FIA R-GT championship.
With four R-GT cars entered in Belgium, Ypres was the strongest round yet for the fledgling GT rally car series. Porsche works World Endurance Championship driver, Romain Dumas, was again competing in his Porsche 997 GT3 RS 4.0 rally car, while former Ypres Rally winners Patrick Snijers and Marc Duez had also entered R-GT Porsches.
Dumas set the quickest time in qualifying, with Delecour’s 3.8-litre Porsche GT3 close behind. Fast qualifying times meant Dumas would run amongst the front runners, on roads with more dust and less grip. With the risk of errors always high in Ypres, Delecour was keen to take advantage of any mistakes up front.
Dumas’ first stage times were quick, but an error at a junction handed the lead to Delecour. The Tuthill 911 set top ten stage times, but the 4-litre Porsche had an advantage on dry Tarmac, and eventually found its way back to the front.
The French rivals set identical stage times on the first stage of day two: both cars spinning on the slippery surface. Dumas stretched his advantage before disaster struck for Delecour mid-morning, when his car cut out mid-stage with an apparent electrical issue. After some minutes, the drivers followed the reset procedure and restarted the car, but the mishap had left them well down the order.
Victory was now out of the question, but all was not lost in the championship. Delecour returned with the bit between his teeth, chasing the Porsche of Duez for a third position worth fifteen points in the championship. As the rally reached its penultimate stage, the pendulum of fate swung back to Dumas, who overshot a junction into a wall of hay bales, retiring immediately. Delecour redoubled his pursuit of Duez to finish second in the R-GT reckoning.
“Hats off to Romain Dumas for a great competition this weekend,” said Tuthill team boss, Richard Tuthill. “Second place is a good result for the R-GT championship. Our other cars have also taken wins in the historic event, so we leave here very happy.
“Now we look towards round three: WRC Rallye Deutschland. Tuthill Porsche brought the first R-GT car to this event last year, and we’re delighted to see R-GT growing, with four cars fighting in Ypres. This series has only just started and the excitement this weekend has been incredible. We can’t wait to get back to Germany!”
Images by Andre Lavadinho @World for Tuthill Porsche.
Poland is not only the second-oldest and second-fastest event on the World Rally Championship (WRC) calendar in 2015, but also an emotional homecoming for Pirelli’s star World Rally Championship contender Robert Kubica, driving a privately-run Ford Fiesta RS WRC on the Italian tyres this year.
The route of Rally Poland has been extensively reworked: only the superspecial stage in Mikolajki remains entirely unaltered compared to 2014. However, the fast and flowing nature of the gravel roads, with average speeds close to those of Rally Finland, remain. Adding to the challenge are high summertime temperatures, which only increase the demands on the tyres during round seven of the World Rally Championship.
The longest stage is 39 kilometres, with the shortest being 2.5 kilometres. Following the superspecial stage in the evening of Thursday 2 July, the rally concludes at lunchtime on Sunday 5 July in Mikolajki, with the entire event being run within the Masurian Lakes region this year.