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Old 3rd October 2008, 15:42   #1
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Post WRC Round 12 of 15 Rally of Catalunya

With the WRC Scene heating up - Round 12 is going to be equally exciting offering its shares of thirlls and spills.

This 12th round of the 15-rally championship returns for a fourth time to Salou, on the Costa Daurada coast, south-west of Barcelona. The sweeping roads of the Tarragona region are fast and flowing and can be compared to a race circuit in their characteristics. The asphalt is smooth but often abrasive, and can quickly become slippery as drivers cut acr oss the open corners to shave tenths of a second from their special stage times and drag stones and dirt onto the surface.

The roads will become especially slippery for the second pass of stages in the afternoon after the whole entry has already tackled the morning speed tests. It places huge importance on the work of drivers' safety crews, who pass through the stages ahead of competitors. They note sections of road where conditions have changed and relay the information to co-drivers who modify their pace notes accordingly before starting the tests.

Team :
1. BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team:
After a five-week break from competition, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team returns to action in Spain next week for the first of two Mediterranean asphalt events on consecutive weekends that could go a long way towards deciding the 2008 FIA World Rally Championship titles. The team has prepa red meticulously for Rally de España (2 - 5 October) and the subsequent Rallye de France in Corsica with back-to-back tests in both locations as the campaign enters its decisive phase.

The reigning manufacturers' world champion has also strengthened its driver line-up for the final sealed surface events of the season. Finland's Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen, lying second in the drivers' standings, will be joined by acknowledged asphalt experts François Duval and Patrick Pivato in the record-breaking Focus RS World Rally Car. They will replace Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila, who will rejoin the squad for the final two rallies of the year in Japan and Britain.

#3 : Mikko Hirvonen/Jarmo Lehtinen: "The rally seems to be faster and faster each year. The stages are smooth and the organisers seem to improve the roads every time we come. It's like driving on a race track and it's crucial to find the correct braking point and the right line through bends. We're second in both the manufacturers' and drivers' points so I need to try to beat Sébastien Loeb. That's going to be very difficult and there's no room for mistakes, everything has to be perfect,"

#4 : Francois Duval/Patrick Pivato: "This isn't my favourite asphalt rally because the roads are fast and wide. I prefer stages that are narrow and tight. But that doesn’t alter my plan which is to try to take a podium. The 2008-specification Focus RS WRC is a big improvement over the 2007 version which I drove on asphalt earlier in the season, and if I can match the pace of Dani Sordo then I should be around the top three,"

2. Citroen Total World Rally team:
The 44th Rally Catalunya-Costa Daurada sees the 2008 FIA World Rally Championship resume sealed surface action. Following consecutive one-two finishes for Citroën Total in Germany and New Zealand, the team now leads the Manufacturers' championship standings, while Sébastien Loeb tops the Drivers' points table.

The journey to Spain consequently stands out as a first class opportunity for the squad to consolidate its position, especially since the Citroën C4 WRCs entered for Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena and Dani Sordo/Marc Martí have already shown their ability in asphalt trim. C4 WRCs have also been entered by Urmo Aava/Kuldar Sikk and Conrad Rautenbach/David Senior. Both of these cars are prepared and run by PH Sport with the support of technicians from Citroën Sport Technologies.

#1 : Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena: "A top result in Spain would do our chances a world of good in both champion ships. But our rivals are aware
of that, too, so they will have no intention of making life easy for us. That said, this is a rally I really like and I will try to make the most of this opportunity to pull further clear at the top of the Drivers' standings,"

#2 : Daniel Sordo/Marc Marti: "This time round, we will probably
have to adapt the way we drive and cut the corners less because our Pirelli tyres won't be equipped with
mousse. However, that won't change my objective which is to continue the recent successful streak we've
enjoyed since Finland, and also try to score valuable points for Citroën and ourselves."

3. subaru World Rally team:
On the first weekend of October the Subaru World Rally Team will travel to Spain with three works entries as the World Rally Championship returns to tarmac. RallyRACC Catalun ya Costa Daurada is the penultimate tarmac event of the year and the first half of a back-to-back asphalt double-header on which SWRT will be running a trio of Impreza WRC2008s for the first time.
#5 : Petter Solberg/Phil Mills:“Spain is a very different rally to Germany with very different roads, a lot cleaner and more flowing, but if you can drive, you can drive, so it’s not that big a change. We’re always driving flat out anyway, so you don’t do much different inside the car. It’ll be an important rally though as it’ll go a long way to deciding the result in Corsica the week after.”

#6 : Chris Atkinson/Stephane Prevot: “Spain is a very different event to Germany, where we were last on tarmac. The roads are wide, smooth and high-grip, and you can carry a lot of corner speed because of this. It’s about the highest lateral load we get all season, and whilst it doesn’t really affect us because we train for it, you notice it for sure inside the car. Because it’s smooth it gets very slippery when it rains as the water doesn’t run away, but when you get a series of corners right, it’s a great feeling.”


4. Suzuki World Rally team
The Suzuki drivers have been encouraged by a promising initial performance
on asphalt from the SX4 WRC, which is still in only its first full season of
competition. On the last tarmac round in Germany, Toni Gardemeister scored a valuable manufacturer point - and the SX4 WRC indicated that there was plenty of asphalt potential still to come. Rally de España ho wever is extremely different in character to Germany, although it holds the same
promise of uncertain weather conditions. With Europe now in the grip of
autumn, the rain in Spain is a distinct possibility.

#11 : Toni Gardemeister/Tomi Tuominen: I've not driven the Catalunya Rally since 2005, so I don't really know what to expect. It's an event that I like, but it's not always liked me in the past! For some reason we've often had little problems on this rally that have prevented us from getting a good result. It won't be easy because we have many opponents, but if we have a good level of reliability I think that we can score points."

#12 : Per-Gunnar Andersson/Jonas Andersson: "There are a number of things to look out for on this rally, in particular the way to cut the corners. If
you cut the corners too deeply you can damage the car but if you do not cut
them enough then your stage time will be slow. We've got some small
improvements on the SX4 WRC for this event including some new differential settings, which should make it easier to drive."

Event Statistics

44th RallyRACC Catalunya – Costa Daurada (October 2-5): round 12 of 15.

Surface: asphalt.

Base: Salou.

Continental Europe.

Practical information: the local currency is the Euro. There is no time difference compared with per driver. Five sets of dampers and five hub carriers are authorised per event.

Technical matters: Catalunya is linked with Corsica regarding the chassis/engine package. Two gearbox/differential packages are authorised choice of two compounds: 'Soft' (24 tyres) and 'Hard' (30 tyres). It is possible to carry two spares, but the 're-cutting' of tread patterns is not permitted. 54 tyres may be used during the event (including shakedown).

Tyres: only one type of tyre is available, namely the Pzero WRC 235/40ZR18. This tyre will be available in a passes are authorised at a maximum speed of 80kph.

Recce: scheduled for Tuesday September 30 and Wednesday October 1 (between 08.00 and 19.00). Two d'Escornalbou is 21.80km northwest of the PortAventura service park. Servicing will be possible in the village of Riudecanyes.

Shakedown : Thursday October 2 (08.00 until 12.00). The 2.3km stage between Riudecanyes and Vilanova.

Route: the total distance is 1,313.99km, including 353.62km divided into 18 stages (9 different).
Thursday 2 October: Ceremonial start

Start Passeig Jaume 1, Salou 20.00

Friday 3 October: Day 1 Salou - Salou

Start &nbs p; PortAventura 07.30
SS1 La Mussara 1 20.48km 08.16
SS2 Querol 1 21.26km 10.04
SS3 El Montmell 1 24.14km 10.47
Serv A PortAventura (30 mins) 12.42
SS4 La Mussara 2 20.48km 13.58
SS5 Querol 2 21.26km 15.46
SS6 El Montmell 2 24.14km 16.29
Serv B PortAventura (45 mins) 18.14
Finish Port Aventura 18.59

Total 131.76km


Saturday 4 October: Day 2 Salou - Salou

Serv C PortAventura (15 mins) 07.30
SS7 El Priorat / La Ribera d'Ebre 1 38.27km 08.44
SS8 Les Garrigues 1 8.60km 09.57
SS9 La Llena 1 17.12km 10.28
Serv D PortAventura (30 mins) 12.18
SS10 El Priorat / La Ribera d'Ebre 2 38.27km 13.47
SS11 Les Garr igues 2 8.60km 15.00
SS12 La Llena 2 17.12km 15.31
Serv E PortAventura (45 mins) 17.11
Finish PortAventura 17.56

Total 127.98km


Sunday 5 October: Day 3 Salou - Salou

Serv F PortAventura (15 mins) 07.15
SS13 Riudecanyes 1 16.32km 08.05
SS14 Santa Marina 1 26.51km 09.06
SS15 La Serra d'Almos 1 4.11km 10.02
Serv G PortAventura (30 mins) 10.56
SS16 Riudecanyes 2 16.32km 12.01
SS17 Santa Marina 2 26.51km 13.02
SS18 La Serra d'Almos 2 4.11km 13.58
Serv H PortAventura (10 mins) 14.47
Finis h Passeig Jaume 1, Salou 15.07

Total 93.88km
Rally total 353.62km

more info : Unofficial WRC Rally News : Rallye-Info.com

Last edited by madan80 : 3rd October 2008 at 15:45.
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Old 4th October 2008, 23:32   #2
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At the end of Leg 1
the unofficial leader board:

1. S Loeb/D Elena FRA Citroen C4 1hr 10min 11.5sec
2. D Sordo/M Marti ESP Citroen C4 1hr 10min 27.3sec
3. F Duval/P Pivato BEL Ford Focus RS 1hr 10min 52.8sec
4. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen FIN Ford Focus RS 1hr 10min 55.6sec
5. P Solberg/P Mills NOR Subaru Impreza 1hr 11min 59.0sec
6. U Aava/K Sikk EST Citroen C4 1hr 12min 12.7sec
7. J-M Latvala/M Anttila FIN Ford Focus RS 1hr 12min 15.9sec
8. C Atkinson/S Prévot AUS Subaru Impreza 1hr 12min 24.9sec
9. A Mikkelsen/O Floene NOR Ford Focus RS 1hr 12min 36.4sec
10 M Wilson/S Martin GBR Ford Focus RS 1hr 13min 53.6sec

I guess loeb can look at the championships already.
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Old 6th October 2008, 15:55   #3
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After leg2
1. S Loeb/D Elena FRA Citroen C4 2hr 22min 57.2sec
2. D Sordo/M Marti ESP Citroen C4 2hr 23min 24.9sec
3. F Duval/P Pivato BEL Ford Focus RS 2hr 23min 48.6sec
4. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen FIN Ford Focus RS 2hr 24min 01.8sec
5. P Solberg/P Mills NOR Subaru Impreza 2hr 26min 04.1sec
6. U Aava/K Sikk EST Citroen C4 2hr 26min 05.5sec
7. C Atkinson/S Prévot AUS Subaru Impreza 2hr 26min 39.9sec
8. J-M Latvala/M Anttila FIN Ford Focus RS 2hr 26min 43.3sec
9. A Mikkelsen/O Floene NOR Ford Focus RS 2hr 27min 14.4sec
10 M Wilson/S Martin GBR Ford Focus RS 2hr 29mi n 23.0sec
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Old 6th October 2008, 15:56   #4
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And the final standing (this is totally unofficial ofcourse)

1. S Loeb/D Elena FRA Citroen C4 3hr 21min 17.4sec
2. D Sordo/M Marti ESP Citroen C4 3hr 21min 42.3sec
3. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen FIN Ford Focus RS 3hr 22min 19.9sec
4. F Duval/P Pivato BEL Ford Focus RS 3hr 22min 28.2sec
5. P Solberg/P Mills NOR Subaru Impreza 3hr 24min 44.8sec
6. J-M Latvala/M Anttila FIN Ford Focus RS &nb sp; 3hr 25min 21.2sec
7. C Atkinson/S Prévot AUS Subaru Impreza 3hr 25min 22.3sec
8. A Mikkelsen/O Floene NOR Ford Focus RS 3hr 26min 37.0sec
9. M Wilson/S Martin GBR Ford Focus RS 3hr 29min 00.6sec
10 B Tirabassi/F Gordon FRA Subaru Impreza 3hr 30min 22.4sec
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