Wilson flies home for Stobart as Duval bows out
FIA World Rally Championship Repco Rally New Zealand, 31 August 2008
It has been an unfortunate final day of Repco Rally New Zealand with François Duval/Patrick Pivato bowing out on the penultimate stage after looking promising for a fifth place finish.
Stobart VK M-Sport Ford team-mates Matthew Wilson/Scott Martin have had another fine day to finish the 11th round of the FIA World Rally Championship in 17th position. The pair climbed back from an incredible 41st on Friday when they retired from day 1 with a transmission problem.
Twenty-one kilometres into the rally’s penultimate stage Duval left the road on a medium right-hand corner when he encountered some loose gravel. The car then became beached and the Belgian was unable to move it and was forced to retired from the event. It was an unfortunate end to what was another strong rally for Duval with the Stobart team.
The only dramas for the Belgian over the weekend came in the form of brake loss which he put down to an overuse of left-foot braking especially towards the end of some of the longer stages on Saturday. After struggling with over-steer on Friday morning Duval made antiroll bar changes in service which helped his confidence for the remainder of the event.
Wilson’s efforts over the last two days of Rally New Zealand have seen some of his best driving to date in the WRC. On today’s opening 11.23 kilometre Te Hutewai test the 21-year-old set an amazing second fastest time despite a raging battle between the top-four competitors fighting hard for the rally win.
The young Brit’s problem on day 1 occurred with five kilometres left of the 24.22 kilometre Pirongia 2 stage when he experienced gear selection issues and, as a result, the decision was made to withdraw him from the leg not to cause any further damage to his Stobart Ford Focus RS WRC07.
On an event plagued with drama and incidents the Pirelli Scorpion gravel tyre again held strong on what have been some tough days of competition. Weather was not so typical to usual Rally New Zealand conditions, with dry days throughout making loose gravel a factor and affecting front running crews who were left to ‘sweep’ the roads.
Rally New Zealand’s typically fast flowing cambered roads again treated fans to an action packed event once again based from Hamilton in the country’s north island. The event saw 18 stages over 353.04 kilometres of competitive distance covered from Friday to Sunday across some of the most picturesque scenery in the championship.
This year’s Rally New Zealand has seen one of the most dramatic WRC events in recent history where road position and team tactics have played a big part in proceedings. The next event for the Stobart squad takes crews back to tarmac where Jari-Matti Latvala will rejoin his old team for Rally de España.
Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Team Driver François Duval said:
"It was a second gear corner near the end of stage 17 and we caught a little bit of loose gravel and slid off the road. The car was not damaged but it became stuck and we were unable to get it out of the ditch. We were taking no risks on this stage so it was unlucky that our rally ended this way. We were starting to set some good times and my feeling was getting better each day after such a long time out of a WRC car on gravel. The next event for me is Spain and I am looking forward to getting back on asphalt again."
Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Team Driver Matthew Wilson said:
"I really enjoyed the rally this weekend but obviously we are disappointed with what happened on Friday as we would be in a great position now. Having a ‘pressure-free’ run over the last two days allowed me to drive my own race and try a few different things and we have set some great stage times in the process which I am really happy with. I have learnt a lot this weekend and I will take a lot away from our performance here. This is a fantastic rally with some amazing stages and I’m looking forward to hopefully coming back in the future."
Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Team Principal Malcolm Wilson said:
"It has been an unfortunate end to what was looking to be another strong event for the Stobart team. François’ off was a huge disappointment after what has been a really strong drive considering his long break from gravel and I’m really surprised he went off after not putting a foot wrong all rally. This has been one of Mathew’s best performances in his career and the times he set today with everything going on at the front have been really impressive. He has also set some amazing split times over the last two days and it was good to see him setting faster times than drivers like Petter and Urmo."
1. S Loeb/D Elena F Citroën C4 +3h58m48.9s
2. D Sordo/M Marti E Citroën C4 +17.5s
2. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen FIN Ford Focus RS +41.5ss
4. P Solberg/P Mills N Subaru Impreza +2m48.9s
5. U Aava/K Sikk EE Citroën C4 +3m30.7s
6. P-G Andersson/J Andersson SWE Suzuki SX4 +7m37.4s
7. T Gardemeister/T Tuominen FIN Suzuki SX4 +7m54.9s
8. F Villagra/J Perez Companc RA Ford Focus RS +8m35.0s
9. H Solberg/C Menkerud N Ford Focus RS +9m15.2s
10. M Prokop/J Tomanek CZE Mitsubishi Lancer +13m49.0s
Repco Rally New Zealand FIA World Rally Championship, round 11/15
Hamilton, New Zealand 31.08.08
Being the only Priority One or Two driver never to have contested this rally before, Conrad Rautenbach was looking to bag as much New Zealand experience as possible in his PH Sport-run Citroen C4 WRC. The first two days p weiter >>
Repco Rally New Zealand day three bulletin
Petter Solberg and Phil Mills finished the 38th running of Rally New Zealand in fourth position overall after a dramatic re-shake of the leaderboard on the rally’s penu weiter >>
Compared with the furious battle which raged in the P-WRC on Friday and Saturday, Sunday was an almost relaxed affair for Martin Prokop who won the production category in Hamilton today.
The Czech Republic driver moved into the lead of the New Zealand P-WRC fight on Saturday when a gearbox problem forced the retirement of his closest rival, Mirco Baldacci.
Proko weiter >>
Sebastien Loeb took his 44th WRC victory this afternoon, winning Rally New Zealand by 17.5sec from his Citroen Total team-mate Dani Sordo who was second.
It was the dream result for Loeb and his team after a shaky start to the day, when weiter >>
4 Jari-Matti LATVALA Miikka ANTTILA BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team FIN FIN Focus RS WRC 07 8 1 ACCIDENT DAMAGE
6 Chris ATKINSON Stephane PREVOT Subaru World Rally Team AUS B Impreza WRC 2008 8 1 RADIATOR
7 Francois DUVAL Patrick PIVATO Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Rally Team B F Focus RS WRC 07 8 1 OFF ROAD
31 Toshi ARAI Glenn MACNEALL Subaru Team Arai J weiter >>
The BP Ford Abu Dhabi team’s perfect one, two, formation on Rally New Zealand was blown apart on the penultimate stage when both its drivers hit problems.
The first casualty was second placed Jari-Matti Latvala who stopped 3.3km from the start after his Focus RS WRC hit a rock. The Finn reported a serious engine oil leak after the impact and weiter >>
Although he edged two seconds closer to Mikko Hirvonen’s rally lead on SS16, Sebastien Loeb says the Finn’s 15.3sec is too much to make up through driving alone on the 32 kilometres which remain.
Ahead of the repeat pass th weiter >>
Mikko Hirvonen regained first place on Rally New Zealand on Sunday’s second stage, the 29km Whaanga Coast, moving ahead of his BP Ford team-mate and into a 7.1sec lead.
As he headed to Raglan for a 15-minute service, Hirvonen said hi weiter >>
The battle for the lead of Rally New Zealand took another dramatic twist on Sunday’s opening stage when Sebastien Loeb lost around 10 seconds with a spin.
Loeb started the stage on a mission to close the gap on the two Ford’s ahead of him weiter >>
38e Repco Rally New Zealand (28-31 août 2008)
L'ensemble de l'équipe Citroën Total a parfaitement su maîtriser la deuxième étape du 38e 'Rally New Zealand' pour se présenter à l'aube de la dernière journée dans une weiter >>
Sousa does it better, already up to P82008 Rally New Zealand, sixth PWRC round, after Leg 2
That’s exactly what the Red Bull Rallye Team wanted to avoid: Rally New Zealand is over for Andreas Aigner (AUT)/Klaus weiter >>
FIA World Rally Championship Repco Rally New Zealand, 30 August 2008
The Stobart VK M-Sport Ford rally team look poised for another fine result as François Duval/Patrick Pivato sit comfortably in fifth with one day weiter >>
Repco Rally New Zealand day two bulletin
Petter Solberg and Phil Mills, today celebrating his birthday, found improved pace on the second day of competition in New Zealand. Restarting after a roll yesterday, Su weiter >>
The boss of the Citroen Total team has described the current WRC rules concerning road positions as ‘stupid’ and revealed that he asked for them to be changed earlier this month.
Team principal Olivier Quesnel said he remained strongly o weiter >>
With less than two seconds separating the top two Production Car World Rally Championship runners, the watching world was looking forward to a classic battle between Mirco Baldacci and Martin Prokop through the two Te Akau stages this afternoon. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.
The bad luck which has dogged Baldacci since his switch to the P-WRC in 2006 continued with a br weiter >>
Sebastien Loeb says a rally lead of 20 seconds at the end of today’s competition might be enough to counteract the negative effect of running as first car on Sunday.
Loeb took 21 seconds out of Hirvonen’s rally lead on the 62km loop of stages this morning, but needs to find another 26 seconds on the 67km which remain today.
Running as second car on the road toda weiter >>
Repco Rally New Zealand day one bulletin
After a tough first day of Repco Rally New Zealand, the Subaru World Rally Team duo of Chris Atkinson and Stéphane Prévot were sidelined after a roll on stage four, whilst team-mates Petter Solberg and Phil Mills finished in seventh position overall.
In the morning’s stages, both Solberg and Atkinson were able weiter >>
BP Ford Abu Dhabi World rally Team driver Mikko Hirvonen holds the lead of Rally New Zealand after a fascinating first day of competition.
Hirvonen took the lead on the second stage and capitalised on a more advantageous road position than his title rival Sebastien Loeb to build a 9.4 sec lead over the Frenchman by the midday point. But Loeb was quicker in weiter >>
Mirco Baldacci continues to lead the way in the Production Car WRC category of this year’s Rally New Zealand after a trouble-free afternoon aboard his Mitsubishi - but it’s fellow Lancer driver Juho Hanninen who has been fastest on each of the four stages.
Hanninen’s chances of challenging for a third P-WRC win of the season were knobbled when he put his car on its side o weiter >>
The Australian fell foul of the slippery New Zealand gravel roads
Chris Atkinson and Stéphane Prévot suffered a roll 14 kilometres into the 24 kilometre Pirongia West stage, the first of the afternoon loop. Both crew are ok, but have retired from the day.
The duo slid into a ditch after a downhill braking section on the very slippery gravel routes and roll weiter >>
Francois Duval was the fastest driver at today’s pre Rally New Zealand shakedown test.
This weekend the Belgian is driving a Ford Focus RS WRC for the Stobart VK M-Sport team in place of Gigi Galli, who broke his le weiter >>
Here are the best times of each of the WRC competitors:
1. Duval: 2:26.0
2. Latvala: 2:26.4
=3. Hirvonen: 2:26.7
=3. P. Solberg: 2:26.7
5. Sordo: 2:27.2
6. Loeb: 2:27.3
7. Wilson: 2:27.4
8. H. Solberg: 2:28.0
9. Atkinson: 2:28.8
10. Aava: 2:29.0
=11. Villagra: 2:29.1
=11. Garde weiter >>
CONRAD RAUTENBACH NEWS RELEASE
Repco Rally New Zealand
FIA World Rally Championship, round 11/15
Hamilton, New Zealand
Rally New Zealand is one of the fastest rounds of the World Rally Championship – an weiter >>
Für die Teams der Weltmeisterschaft führt die Reise jetzt vom warmen Wetter in Deutschland in die fast winterlichen Verhältnisse Neuseelands. Ein dramatischer Wechsel sowohl der Kulisse als auch der Reifen. Der Pirel weiter >>
FIA World Rally Championship Repco Rally New Zealand, 29-31 August 2008
Henning Solberg/Cato Menkerud will join the Munchi’s Ford World Rally Team next week as it embarks on round 8 of its 10 event campaign in the 2008 FIA World Rally Championship; Repco Rally New Zealand. The Norwegians’ team-mates for the event will be fulltime Munchi’s regulars Federico Villagra weiter >>
FIA World Rally Championship Stobart VK M-Sport Ford
Flying Finn Jari-Matti Latvala will join the Stobart VK M-Sport Ford rally team for the two remaining asphalt rounds of the FIA World Rally Championship in Spain and Corsica in October. The former Stobart star will re-join his old team-mate Matthew Wilson and will be a nominated point scoring driver on both seal weiter >>
FIA World Rally Championship Repco Rally New Zealand, 29-31 August 2008
Matthew Wilson/Scott Martin and François Duval/Patrick Pivato will head to the southern hemisphere for round 11 of the FIA World Rally Championshi weiter >>
Report: Rallye Neuseeland 2007
BFGoodrich Partner Marcus Grönholm gewinnt furioses Zehntelsekunden-Duell in Neuseeland
Platz drei an Mikko Hirvonen und ein spannendes Duell um die vierte Position
• Ford Focus RS WRC-Team liegt nach 354-km-Duell um 7,5 Meter vorn
• BP Ford und Marcus Grönholm bauen Tabellenführungen weiter aus
In einem furiosen Finale hat Ford Focus RS WRC-Pilot Marcus Grönholm gemeinsam mit Beifahrer Timo Rautiainen die WM-Rallye Neuse weiter >>
nach NEW ZEALAND RALLY 2007
WM-Zwischenstand Fahrerwertung nach dem 11. von 16 Läufen:
Fahrer Marke Punkte
1. Marcus Grönholm Ford 90
2. Sébastien Loeb Citroën 80
3. Mikko Hirvonen Ford 69
4. Petter Solberg Subaru 31
5. Dani Sordo weiter >>
37e Rally New Zealand (31 août-02 septembre 2007)
Au terme d'un intense et exceptionnel duel de trois jours, Sébastien Loeb, Daniel Elena et leur Citroën C4 WRC terminent à seulement 3 dixièmes de seconde du vainqueur, lors de la 37e édition du Rally New Zealand. Sur la seconde voiture de l'équip weiter >>
Position des C4 WRC et écart par rapport au meilleur temps, spéciale par spéciale.
Sébastien Loeb Daniel Elena Dani Sordo Marc Martí
ES12 : Maungatawhiri 1 (5,35 km) 2e + 1,8 s 10e + 7,5 s
ES13 : Te Hutewai 1 (11,23 km) 1er 7e + 9,4 s
ES14 : Whaanga Coast 1 weiter >>
FIA World Rally Championship Rally New Zealand, 2 September 2007
Both Munchi’s Ford World Rally Team crews have successfully gained more valuable WRC experience at this weekend’s Rally New Zealand, round eleven of the FIA World Rally Championship. Federico Villagra/Jorge Perez Companc emerged as th weiter >>
FIA World Rally Championship Rally New Zealand, 2 September 2007
All three members of the Stobart VK M-Sport Ford rally team have successfully finished inside the top-ten at this weekend’s Rally New Zealand, round eleven of the FIA World Rally Championship. Pick-of-the-crop were Jari-Matti Latval weiter >>
... after a thrilling last leg battle with Jari-Matti Latvala
New Zealand - Leg three 02 September 2007
Sixty of the original 68 starters left the service park at Mystery Creek, Hamilton, for the third and final leg of Rally New Zealand.