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Old 02-06-2010, 05:50 PM   #1
Weasel 555
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Rally Stuff 2010 WRC Sweden Feb 11-14 talk/results spoiler**


WRC round 1 of 13
Thursday 11 February - Sunday 14 February


Official Website: rallysweden.com/

It's been a long time coming, but four months after the 2009 World Rally Championship reached its thrilling conclusion in Wales, the fuse is well and truly lit on the 2010 competition.

On 11 February the WRC ignites again, with one of the most spectacular challenges of the year - the 200kph snow-fest that is Rally Sweden.



Kicking off the 13-round 2010 season, Sweden is the only winter round this year, and makes a welcome return after a year out in 2009, when Norway hosted the WRC's annual snow and ice fixture instead.

Like in 2008, the rally is based from the central Sweden city of Karlstad. Unlike the last edition, however, much of the competitive action has been shifted north around a Service Park 85km away at Hagfors airport. Organisers took this step in an effort to guarantee good snow cover on the gravel roads of the Varmland and Dalarna regions, where the majority of the stages are based.

click: wrc.com/+Rally+Sweden+

---------------------------------------------
S-WRC: New Super 2000 championship

The first rally of the FIA's new championship for Super 2000 cars gets underway on 11 February as part of the opening round of the 2010 WRC, Rally Sweden. And with a world class selection of drivers, including four FIA champions, at the wheel of the newest cars in the series, there's a lot of pride at stake in the battle to take the first S-WRC rally win.

Ten rounds of this year's WRC count towards the new S-WRC support championship, and drivers must tackle eight of those ten to be eligible for the title. This year's only winter round of the WRC, Rally Sweden, is the first of the ten rallies and has been nominated by five of the ten drivers registered for the series so far.

click: wrc.com/S-WRC+NewSuper2000+championship+ready

---------------------------------------------
P-WRC:

Reigning Production Car World Rally Champion Armindo Araujo will begin the defence of his title on Rally Sweden next week, when the Portuguese driver is hoping to find the same form he showed on the 2009 season's winter fixture in Norway.

On that occasion Araujo finished second, losing out by more than two minutes to the Super 2000 Skoda Fabia of Patrik Sandell. This year, however, with the P-WRC competition once again restricted to 'traditional' Group N cars like the Subaru Impreza and Mitsubishi Lancer, Araujo starts the event as favourite to take victory.

Armed with the latest spec Lancer EvoX - the car he drove to a class win in Rally GB last year - Araujo will go up against six other P-WRC drivers in Sweden who have also nominated the winter rally as the opening round of their 2010 programmes.

click: wrc.com/=P-WRC


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Old 02-07-2010, 08:34 AM   #2
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Time for some skinny tire snow goodness!
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Old 02-09-2010, 12:11 PM   #3
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With the start of the 2010 WRC season only days away, wrc.com spoke to the team principals of the two manufacturer teams contesting this year's championship; Malcolm Wilson of Ford and Olivier Quesnel of Citroen.

In the first of two EXCLUSIVE pre-season interviews, Malcolm Wilson talks about his team, his driver strategy for the season ahead and why Sebastien Loeb has a lot in common with Michael Schumacher.

View from the top: Malcolm Wilson



It's been almost four months since Rally GB. What has the Ford team been up to since the end of the 2009 season?

"We've had one of busiest periods ever. From the M-Sport side of things, we've been flat-out on the design, development, homologation and testing of the Fiesta Super 2000. On top of that we did Rallye Monte Carlo, so it hasn't been much of a quiet season for us. Of course, we've also been testing for Sweden with the Focus World Rally Car, so it's been hectic period for us."

Have you made any significant changes to the team structure or personnel?

"There have been some small changes internally; a few promotions, and some people moving into different roles, but we've tried not to make any differences to our main WRC team because, touch wood, that works really, really well."

Have you made any changes to the Focus RS WRC since Rally GB?

"No technical changes. We're not allowed because the FIA froze the specification of the cars as it's the last year for World Rally Cars. There's nothing really you can do homologation-wise, so it’s just a case of working with the restrictions and trying to optimise the set-up for each rally. We've done a lot of work on things like dampers, springs and diff set-ups, but there are no engine spec changes or anything like that."

read more: wrc.com/Malcolm+Wilson+Q&A

--------------------------------------------------

wrc.com spoke to Olivier Quesnel of the Citroen Total World Rally Team.

Having collected all four of the manufacturers' and drivers' crowns since taking over at Citroen in 2008, the Frenchman is after another double haul of silverware this year, too.

But as he targets a seventh drivers' title for Loeb, and a sixth for Citroen, Quesnel also predicts this will be the year that Dani Sordo takes his first WRC rally win and new boy Kimi Raikkonen bags a podium:

View from the top: Olivier Quesnel



It's been almost four months since Rally GB. What have you been up to since the end of the 2009 season?

"We've been busy working on budgets, on regulations and I've been in the office making sure everything is going well as we prepare for the season. We are developing the new car, the DS3, and of course we had a lot of events to commemorate last years' results. So it was very busy. I'm pleased now that we're getting ready to start the season again."

Have you made any significant changes to the team structure or personnel?

"No, it’s the same. We are family, you know? Everybody is pleased to be there. Sometimes it's going not so good but, like a family, the next day it's okay. I don't like change for the sake of it. When I started at the team I didn't make any changes, and I 'm not going to start now just for the pleasure."

Have you made any changes to the C4 WRC since Rally GB?

"The economic crisis means we don't have a lot of budget to do this as well as build a new car. But the C4 is now at the top, even against the Ford, and there is no more homologation permitted. We agreed with Malcolm [Wilson] to say we stop on the WRC cars and put the money into the new car instead."

How is the development of the C4 World Rally Car's replacement, the DS3, going?

"It’s going well, now we know it will have a 1.6 litre turbo direct injection engine. And with the final regulations we can work to be ready for the 2011 season. We have tested the car, but so far only in a prototype form. The car we have tested was not exactly according to the regulations because it had the same two-litre turbo engine as the C4 WRC."

read more: wrc.com/Olivier+Quesnel+Q&A
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Old 02-09-2010, 12:41 PM   #4
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Olivier predicts Kimi on a podium this year?!? Seems a tad far fetched, unless many people have a bad rally (both Solbergs, Latvala, Sordo, Oiger).

Of course there are 4 tarmac events in which the C4 has proven it's worth. Perhaps Kimi would feel more at home there.
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Old 02-10-2010, 06:49 AM   #5
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New points breakdown announced:

http://www.wrc.com/jsp/index.jsp?lnk...nts+allocation
Quote:
FIA introduces new WRC points allocation
Motorsport's governing body, the FIA, has modified the championship points system used in the World Rally Championship, so that more finishers in a rally are awarded points.

Under the new system, which will come into force this week in Sweden, points will be allocated to the top 10 finishers (rather than the previous system's eight) according to the following scale:

1st: 25 points
2nd: 18 points
3rd: 15 points
4th: 12 points
5th: 10 points
6th: 8 points
7th: 6 points
8th: 4 points
9th: 2 points
10th: 1 point

The decision to adopt the system was taken on 9 February, after the FIA put the matter to a fax vote of competitors. It was also approved by the members of the World Motor Sport Council.

Even though more points are available under the new system, with 25 awarded for first place rather than 10, it would not have altered the 2009 drivers' championship classification had it been introduced last year.
Here's how the 2009 season would have looked with the 2010 system points shown in brackets.

1. Loeb 93 (229)
2. Hirvonen 92 (220)
3. Sordo 64 (151)
4. Latvala 41 (104)
5. P Solberg 35 (86)
6. H Solberg 33 (86)
7. Wilson 28 (76)
8. Ogier 24 (61)
9. Villagra 16 (44)
10. Rautenbach 9 (36
I think this makes Loeb's chances much higher with 4 tarmac rallies. You could almost award him the 100 pts already.
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Old 02-10-2010, 08:00 AM   #6
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The system will also be used in the Junior, Production and S2000 WRC title battles.
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:50 AM   #7
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Rally Stuff

Defending World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb sent a clear signal to his rivals today by setting the fastest time at the pre-Rally Sweden Shakedown test in his Citroen C4 WRC.

The four-hour test took place on a 4km stage in Hagfors, just south of the event's main Service Park. Conditions were perfect for this season's only winter round, with light snow falling throughout the session and a temperature of a chilly -8 degrees Celsius.

Loeb, the leader of the Citroen Total team, made four passes through the stage in his C4 WRC, setting his best time of 1min 53.4sec on his final attempt. Returning to the Service Park, the six time World Champion told wrc.com he was satisfied with the set-up of his car but warned that stage conditions could make this a very difficult event.

"My car felt okay, no problems, but Shakedown is a bit special I think compared to the first pass through the stages we will have tomorrow," he said. "In the stages there is snow and a lot of slippery conditions but the Shakedown was full of gravel so there was a lot of grip. Friday's first stage has a good ice base, on the second there was just snow on the recce, and for me that's not good. We're very close to the gravel underneath, so the second pass will be rough and hard for the tyres.

"I don't have much experience of the tyres in these conditions, but for sure we'll start to lose some studs. I don't know how to save the tyres on a surface like this. We'll have to see."


Shakedown times:

1. LOEB. Citroen C4 WRC. 1:53.4
2. SORDO. Citroen C4 WRC. 1:54.8
3. LATVALA. Ford Focus RS WRC 09. 1:55.8
4. HIRVONEN. Ford Focus RS WRC 09. 1:56.0
5. GRONHOLM. Ford Focus RS WRC 08. 1:56.2
6. P. SOLBERG. Citroen C4 WRC. 1:56.3
7. OGIER. Citroen C4 WRC. 1:57.4
8. H.SOLBERG. Ford Focus RS WRC 08. 1:57.6
9. OSTBERG. Subaru Impreza WRC 09. 1:59.0
10. WILSON. Ford Focus RS WRC 08. 1:59.4
11. RAIKKONEN. Citroen C4 WRC. 1:59.3
12. AL QASSIMI. Ford Focus RS WRC 08. 2:00.8

click: wrc.com/Sweden+Shakedown

.
-------------------------------------------------------
Rally Sweden Pre-Event Press Conference:

Present:
Sébastien Loeb, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Mikko Hirvonen, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Kimi Räikkönen, Citroën Junior Team
Marcus Grönholm, Stobart M-Sport Ford Rally Team
Patrik Sandell, FIA S2000 World Rally Championship
Martin Semerád, FIA Production Car World Rally Championship

Welcome to the pre-event FIA Press Conference Q & A:
Read click: rallysweden.com/wrc/en/?p=251

.

Last edited by Weasel 555; 02-11-2010 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 02-11-2010, 03:00 PM   #8
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**HOT News
Petter Solberg lost over 18 seconds when he was off the road in the heat against brother Henning on the first Super Special Stage.

SS1 Super Special Stage Karlstad 1




click: wrc.com sweden SS1

click : rallysweden.com/wrc/en/?p=258

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Old 02-11-2010, 04:11 PM   #9
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I like the new points; winning means a lot more now. Of course these days only one person's winning regularly
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Old 02-11-2010, 04:23 PM   #10
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I wish the WRC scoring would list the respective classes of each crew
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Old 02-11-2010, 04:35 PM   #11
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I love how 3 seconds separate 6 drivers.


awesome.
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Old 02-11-2010, 04:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
5. GRONHOLM. Ford Focus RS WRC 08. 1:56.2
HE'S BACK?!?!?!? WTF have I been???



Go Marrdrdrdrdrdkoooooooss!
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Old 02-12-2010, 05:41 AM   #13
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Day 1

SS2 Likenas 1





Defending World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb moved ahead of his Citroen team-mate Dani Sordo into the lead of Rally Sweden after setting the fastest time though the first forest stage of the event.
Under clear skies and in a temperature of -22 degrees Celsius, Loeb threaded his Citroen C4 WRC through the 20.78km Likenas test 1.9sec quicker than anybody else, moving into the rally lead by one second. Stage conditions were rock hard and icy, thanks to water spraying of the road prior to the event.
At the stage end Loeb was satisfied with his performance, and felt his road position was ideal. "The conditions are good for me to be first on the road; it was full ice, so no problems there," he said. "It's so cold that the ice is hard and the grip isn't so high, so the car was a bit nervous. I think I've done a good stage but it wasn't easy."
Loeb's title rival in 2009, Mikko Hirvonen, brought his Ford Focus RS WRC to the finish control in the second fastest time, 1.9sec slower, but felt he could improve. "That wasn't the best of starts but we can only get better," he said. "I was a bit too careful in places - it wasn't the aggressive start I made in GB last year. I need to wake up."

Click: wrc.com/index=SS2

--------------------------------------

SS3 Viggen 1



Citroen Total team drivers Sebastien Loeb and Dani Sordo were the two quickest drivers through Friday's second stage, enabling them pull slightly ahead at the top of the overall leaderboard.
With only three of the rally's 21 stages completed the top ten remains tight, but two consecutive stage wins from Loeb have moved the Frenchman 4.5sec ahead of his chief title rival Mikko Hirvonen, who holds third place.


Click: wrc.com/index=SS3

--------------------------------------



SS4 Torntorp 1



Ford team-leader Mikko Hirvonen ended Citroen's run of stage wins on SS4, taking his first fastest time of the rally and moving up to second overall.
The Finn rounded off Friday morning's loop of stages with a time through Torntorp four-tenths quicker than that of his closest rival, rally leader Sebastien Loeb.
After struggling to get comfortable on Friday's opening ice-covered stage, Hirvonen was far happier on the hard packed snow surface of Torntorp. "For the first time I'm sweating a bit, so things are going in the right direction!" he said. "Before the stage we changed the car set-up a bit, not too much though; it's all about the small things. Overall it's not too bad. We're not too far behind."
Before heading to Hagfors for the midday 30-minute service, Loeb, who is 4.1sec ahead of Hirvonen overall, couldn't explain why his rival had beaten him. "I wasn't so confident - a little too hesitant - but I don't know why," he said. "The stage before I knew it was good time, this one I'm not so sure."

Click: wrc.com/index=SS4

------------------------------------------------



S-WRC update after SS4: Swedes battle for first Super 2000 win
In the first ever round of the S-WRC, Swedish guest driver P-G Andersson is stealing the show having won all four opening stages of Rally Sweden.
He claims this result has taken him by surprise, “I'm very happy, though winning all the stages so far was a little unexpected. The car feels very good today. When we started testing I had to do what the car wanted, now it is the opposite.”
After a morning of drama and disappointing stage times, Patrik Sandell is out to catch his countryman; “It's been a really bad morning. SS2 was too slow and I stalled at the start of the next two stages. After that I couldn't really feel my groove. I had too much grip in the rear tyres into corners so I couldn't place the car correctly. Our aim for this afternoon is to go faster. We can fight with Andersson if we get everything working right this afternoon.”

Click: wrc.com/index=news SWRC


.

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Old 02-12-2010, 07:26 AM   #14
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I wonder how Petter feels losing to a Subaru
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Old 02-12-2010, 07:29 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wvallwheeldrive View Post
I wish the WRC scoring would list the respective classes of each crew
Would be nice if they showed the classes, but you can separate it between all, P-WRC and S-WRC at the top of the list. To the left of the stage name there is a drop down menu.
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Old 02-12-2010, 08:09 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeatLA View Post
Would be nice if they showed the classes, but you can separate it between all, P-WRC and S-WRC at the top of the list. To the left of the stage name there is a drop down menu.

Click here: wrc.com/jsp/stage=4

then go here and click and choose the class:

.


hope that helps

.
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:14 AM   #17
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SS5 Likenas 2





SS5: Hirvonen leads after carnage on Likenas repeat !

The first of Friday's repeated stages made a big impact on the top ten in Rally Sweden, with Mikko Hirvonen shooting into the lead, Loeb dropping to third, and numerous drivers going off or missing junctions.

The reason for the action was the road surface which, after the passage of the 55 car field, had deteriorated from the pack ice of SS2 to become rutted and inconsistent.

Sebastien Loeb was first to complete the stage, with split times showing that Hirvonen was around 10 seconds quicker. "There's nothing wrong with my car - it's the road conditions," Loeb shrugged. "There are lots of ruts with snow inside. I expected it and I knew I had no chance. I tried as much as I could, and took more risks in the second pass that I did earlier, but the time is not so good. I don't like these conditions."

Less than two minutes later, Hirvonen arrived at the control, but without a smile on his face. "This stage might have cost me a lot," he warned. "The conditions here might be too hard on the tyres, in which case Seb has saved his. When I knew we were a long way ahead I slowed down, but it could be that the damage is already done. We won't know until we tackle the next two."

Dani Sordo set the second fastest time, 4.4sec adrift of Hirvonen's, and echoed Loeb's comments about the road. "All the time I was in and out of the ruts, so it's very easy to make a mistake," he said. "It was okay on the first pass but now you're lucky if you finish the stage."

....All of the WRC crews did manage to finish the stage, but most emerged with stories of lucky escapes and missed junctions. Not so lucky, however, were Petter Solberg and Matthew Wilson who collided around 12km from the start.

Solberg was first to hit trouble, losing four minutes and damaging the rear of his C4 WRC when he went off the road. He got going again, but was quickly caught by Ford Focus RS WRC driver Matthew Wilson. Wilson got past soon after - when Petter went off again - but eight kilometres from the finish Wilson stalled his Ford on a corner and was rear-ended by Petter's Citroen.

Both drivers completed the stage, but Wilson's car seemed to have come off worse in the collision and sported some right-hand rear suspension damage. Solberg's car also looking second hand, with damage to its front and rear corners. "He went off in front of us and I hit him, that's explains the damage on front," said Petter. "I'm trying too hard."

The incidents dropped Solberg to 13th, while Wilson actually gained a place ( to eighth) when Adapta Subaru driver Mads Ostberg was slowed with an engine problem and went off.

Click: wrc.com/News SS5

Pics:

.


click: rallysweden.com/wrc/en/?p=SS5

------------------------------------

SS6 Viggen 2



Marcus Grönholm lost twelve and a half minute on special stage 6 when the car stopped and a lot of other drivers had trouble over the 21,28 kilometers. Mikko Hirvonen still in the lead with two stages to go this friday.

Click: rallysweden.com/wrc/en/?p=SS6


.

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Old 02-12-2010, 10:28 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weasel 555 View Post
Click here: wrc.com/jsp/stage=4

then go here and click and choose the class:

.


hope that helps

.

It does thanks.

And nothing about Kimi running way down.
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:53 AM   #19
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SS6: Big problems for Gronholm and Raikkonen

Finnish superstars Marcus Gronholm and Kimi Raikkonen both suffered serious setbacks on the sixth stage of Rally Sweden, with Gronholm losing 12 minutes because of a technical problem and Raikkonen getting stuck in a snow bank for 25 minutes.

Gronholm was first to hit trouble, 2.3km from the start line, when his Stobart Team Ford Focus was brought to a halt by a suspected electrical fault. The Finn managed to get going again and complete the stage, but a stage time 12 minutes slower than SS6 winner Jari-Matti Latvala's dropped him from sixth to 30th place.

Raikkonen's problems occurred later in the stage, just a couple of kilometres before the finish, when he drove his Citroen Junior Team C4 WRC into a snow bank and got stuck. Like Gronholm he eventually managed to get going again, but the incident meant he completed the stage more than 26 minutes slower than Latvala. The Finn, who was 10th overall on SS5, dropped out of the top 30.

read more: wrc.com/News SS6

.
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Old 02-12-2010, 11:46 AM   #20
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SS7 Torntorp 2





The Finish Ford-driver Mikko Hirvonen extended his lead in Rally Sweden when he was fastest over the second run at Torntorp-stage (run as SS 7). Hirvonen was 3,3 seconds ahead of battle rival Sebastien Loeb.

Daniel Sordo was third on SS 7 and is third overall 12,2 seconds behind Hirvonen. Jari-Matti Latvala is fourth and Sebastien Ogier is fifth when the cars, after a 45 minute service break, head back to Karlstad for the closing stage of the day, the super special stage at Färjestad horse-trotting track. First car is scheduled to 20.00 tonight.

Click: rallysweden.com/wrc/en/?p=SS7

.

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Old 02-12-2010, 01:48 PM   #21
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big thanks, weasel, for the updates!

Argh!!! Gronholm and Mads troubles!
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Old 02-12-2010, 02:19 PM   #22
BeatLA
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Can't wait to see the onboard video of Petter hitting Wilson...of all people.
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Old 02-12-2010, 03:11 PM   #23
Weasel 555
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End of Day 2

SS8 Super Special Stage Karlstad 2




Click: wrc.com/index/results=SS8


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Old 02-12-2010, 03:26 PM   #24
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I can not wait for the WRC season to start as well. Hope there is good coverage on the tube
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Old 02-12-2010, 03:31 PM   #25
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Weasel, thank you for being our Broker to the WRC's stock market. You've been watching those numbers like a hawk, and my workday went easier now thanks to you.
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