The WRC, FIA World Rallycross Championship, the FIA, Petter Solberg, and more are all featured inside this week’s 18-page edition. Download, download, download for FREE: http://bit.ly/issue329
Volkswagen Motorsport has secured the services of former World Rally Champion Marcus Grönholm: the 46-year-old Finn, winner of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) in 2000 and 2002, will support the works team at test sessions with the Polo R WRC. Grönholm boasts a vast wealth of experience acquired from 150 WRC rallies enormous, 30 of which he won, and his findings will provide invaluable assistance when it comes to testing and further developing the World Rally Car.
“We are delighted to have Marcus Grönholm on board as test driver for our WRC project,” said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito. “Marcus is one of the most successful and talented rally drivers around, and will support us with the further development of the Polo R WRC. Thanks to his in-depth understanding of technical aspects and his analytical skills, he will be able to provide our engineers with valuable input.”
“To get behind the wheel for the World Championship winning team from Wolfsburg is obviously a great opportunity for me,” said Marcus Grönholm. “I am really looking forward to testing and having the chance to work on the further development of what is currently the best rally car out there – the Polo R WRC.” “Bosse” Grönholm took his place at the wheel of the Polo R WRC for the first time during the gravel tests in Fontjoncouse (southern France) in early August. Grönholm will assist the Volkswagen WRC team at selected tests.
Grönholm’s career as a works driver in the World Rally Championship began in 1999 at Peugeot. In only his second year as a pro, the Finn won four rallies and claimed his first World Championship title. Two years later he added a second title with Peugeot. The father of three subsequently switched to Ford, where, at the end of the 2007 season, he brought the curtain down on a dazzling career that included 30 wins, 60 podiums and 540 stage wins.
While a full recovery from the back injury sustained in a heavy landing during Finland’s World Rally Championship round last week is his current priority, Craig Breen’s focus is very much on achieving more FIA European Rally Championship success on Barum Czech Rally Zlín later this month.
Q: It’s an event you last tackled in 2011 but how tough is Barum Czech Rally Zlín?
CB: “It’s a very tough event but it’s similar to what I know from back home in Ireland. The roads are bumpy and quite changeable if it rains. The problem is the shiny Tarmac, which can become very slippery and therefore a big challenge.”
HANDBRAKES & HAIRPINS has compiled a massive WRC Neste Oil Rally Finland review special edition this week over 12 pages! If that’s not enough reason to get your free issue now, we also bring an article on Jari-Matti Latvala’s psychological victory over his rivals and the latest proposed shake-ups in the WRC. Yours free, each week.
Welcome to issue 134 of HANDBRAKES & HAIRPINS, your favourite free source of rally entertainment!
With the WRC Vodafone Rallye de Portugal kicking off tonight with the SSS, we already have photos from our roving photojournalist Eva Kovkova from this morning’s Shakedown Stage accompanying out event preview special article.
We also feature the thrilling fourth round build-up of the South African Rally Championship, the Rally of South Africa. Taking place this weekend, it is expected to be a battle royal between the Ford, Toyota and Volkswagen S2000 crews, not to mention the intense rivalries in the lower classes…
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Yours in Rallying,
Leeroy Poulter and Henry Dearlove have a clear objective in mind for the 4th round of the Sasol South African Rally Championship, the Rally of South Africa, which takes place in the Ermelo region of Mpumalanga; to take maximum points and the lead of the first 1600cc Championship and reward their new sponsors Imperial Toyota for their investment and belief in the team.
The Imperial Toyota/Ferodo Toyota RunX pair leads the class A6 Championship by two points after dominant class wins in the last two rounds, which has also rocketed them into 3rd in the 1600cc rankings. Continue reading Poulter targets maximum points in Ermelo next weekend
The forests around Warburton and Panbult are set to witness the re-introduction of the Basil Read/bizhub Ford Fiesta S2000 when the Rally of South Africa gets underway from Ermelo.
The 4th round of the Sasol South African Rally Championship is not for the faint-hearted but the double Production Car champions Charl Wilken and Greg Godrich are well prepared after a number of productive test sessions since the M-Sport built Fiesta arrived in late April. Continue reading Basil Read/bizhub Ford Rally Team ready for Rally of South Africa