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Old 04-28-2011, 10:30 AM   #1
Weasel 555
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Rally Stuff WRC Sardinia May 5-8 talk/results spoiler**

Next: Round 5 - WRC Sardinia May 5-8 , 2011

Official Website: rallyitaliasardegna.com/2011/gb/

World Rally Radio: wrc.com/world-rally-radio/

Italy returns to the World Rally Championship after a one-year gap with the Mediterranean island of Sardinia again playing host to all the action.

Organisers have used the time away from the global stage to tweak the route with the opening day based in the Oristano province in the west of the island for the first time.

The stages in Sardinia are characterised by their challenging and varied nature. Although they are predominantly fast and narrow, the terrain is a mixture of flat open areas and undulating tracks through woodland with water splashes and spectacular jumps thrown in for good measure.

Ordinarily the surface is hard with rock-strewn sections commonplace, while ruts will often form after the first pass. However, some parts of the route are on softer ground and can be prone to damage in the event of heavy rainfall.

New for 2011

Italy’s world championship qualifier begins with a visit to previously unchartered territory around Oristano and includes a remote service Siamanna. A ceremonial start on Olbia’s waterfront is also added to the itinerary.

Also the Debut event for Prodrive MINI WRC Team





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Old 04-28-2011, 11:23 AM   #2
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Is it bad that I subscribed to this thread here AND special stage?
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Old 04-28-2011, 02:05 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by sureshot007 View Post
Is it bad that I subscribed to this thread here AND special stage?
shame on you, two-timer!
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Old 04-28-2011, 02:09 PM   #4
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I'm just really excited to see another manufacturer.
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Old 04-28-2011, 02:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sureshot007 View Post
I'm just really excited to see another manufacturer.
Nice sentiment, but it's more like "just really excited to see another Prodrive team."

Gotta wonder if there ARE any real Mini bits in that car.
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Old 04-28-2011, 03:46 PM   #6
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Can you really blame me for wanting to see someone else beat those smug french bastards?
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:25 PM   #7
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Yess.... Mini... and Prodrive. let's see what happens.
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Old 04-28-2011, 11:14 PM   #8
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as much as i want to see the french get beat, i don't think mini will pose a serious threat till later in the season, despite all the testing they have done.
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Old 04-28-2011, 11:36 PM   #9
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This is cool. I used to live on La Maddalena, a tiny island right off the cost of Sardinia. Really a beautiful place
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Old 04-29-2011, 12:26 PM   #10
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My wife and I are leaving for Sardinia on Tuesday next week and staying the duration of the rally before heading off to some other parts of Italy. We're planning on watching as much of the rally as possible.

For those that have spectated WRC in the past, does anyone have any suggestions or tips?
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Old 04-29-2011, 12:34 PM   #11
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From what I've heard, get to the spectator points early and plan on being there all day. I've never been, but I can only imagine it being much worse than anything here.
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geenyus View Post
My wife and I are leaving for Sardinia on Tuesday next week and staying the duration of the rally before heading off to some other parts of Italy. We're planning on watching as much of the rally as possible.

For those that have spectated WRC in the past, does anyone have any suggestions or tips?
pm'd you also read the official webiste link as it has all the spectator info etc
but above all have FUN and we look forward to seeing photos
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Old 04-29-2011, 09:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geenyus View Post
My wife and I are leaving for Sardinia on Tuesday next week and staying the duration of the rally before heading off to some other parts of Italy. We're planning on watching as much of the rally as possible.

For those that have spectated WRC in the past, does anyone have any suggestions or tips?
Not sure where the rally is on Sardinia, but try to get over to La Maddelena, its on the north side, just a short 20 min ferry trip from Sardinia. beautful island!
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Old 04-29-2011, 09:19 PM   #14
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Preview: Rally d’Italia Sardegna

Challenges come thick and fast in the World Rally Championship. With the dust still settling on the dramatic climax to the previous round in Jordan, the all-action series returns to Europe and the punishing gravel tracks of Sardinia.

It’s been two years since the picturesque Mediterranean island has graced the WRC trail and organisers have used the short break to revamp the route of Italy’s world championship counter.

The biggest change is a move to stages in the west of the island - close to the town of Oristano - for Friday’s opening day. The tests are high-speed in their nature and three of them, Lago Omodeo, Grighini Nord and Grighini Sud, have never been used before while Alta Marmilla is new to the WRC.

Saturday and Sunday’s stages cover more familiar territory around Olbia, the rally’s base town, in the north east of the island with the action concluding with the 8.24-kilometre Gallura Power Stage shortly after midday on Sunday.

But while there has been a shake up to the route, Rally d’Italia Sardegna remains the huge test for both car and crew that it has always been since the island hosted the WRC for the first time in 2004 following the event’s move from Sanremo on the Italian mainland.

Although the stages in Sardinia are predominantly fast and narrow, the terrain is a mixture of flat open areas and undulating tracks through woodland with water splashes and spectacular jumps thrown in for good measure.

Read More: wrc.com/Preview/Rally Sardinia


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Old 04-30-2011, 01:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weasel 555 View Post
pm'd you also read the official webiste link as it has all the spectator info etc
but above all have FUN and we look forward to seeing photos
Thanks for the tips, I really appreciate that.
We're bringing the D90, a couple of lenses, and a handful of memory cards, so hopefully I can squeak out some decent stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zachfeen View Post
Not sure where the rally is on Sardinia, but try to get over to La Maddelena, its on the north side, just a short 20 min ferry trip from Sardinia. beautful island!
We're actually staying in Cannigione which is right across the bay from La Maddelena, so we'll definitely check it out. It looks beautiful in Google Maps.

The Day 1 special stages are all on the south west part of the island, which will be a drive, but the remainder of the rally is situated around Olbia which will be fairly close to us.
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Old 05-01-2011, 07:15 PM   #16
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Mini's World Rally Championship team has some work ahead if it intends to live up to the brand's historic rally credentials, but the post-jump video illustrates that Mini clearly has the tool needed for success.

Follow the jump to watch drivers Dani Sordo and Kris Meeke as they take the horns of the Mini John Cooper Works WRC car, which is based on the Countryman. Mini's "cute and hip" aesthetic gives way to something a bit more badass when it's attacking a rally circuit.

Click: autoblog.com/2011/05/01/minis-wrc-effort-is-hot-to-trot/

YT direct:



...
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Old 05-05-2011, 08:28 AM   #17
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Solberg tops Rally d'Italia shakedown

Petter Solberg set the fastest time at the pre-event shakedown test for this week's Rally d'Italia.

The Norwegian tested his Citroen DS3 WRC for a day in France last week and pronounced himself confident and ready to win the Olbia-based event. Solberg was seven tenths of a second faster than Ford driver Jari-Matti Latvala, who was second quickest over the 1.2-mile stage.

"It's gone well this morning, I'm happy," said Solberg. "I feel confident with the car. I did 150 kilometres in the test last week, we changed a few things, but really it was just time in the car for me."

Solberg's only problem on the test was suffering some tyre problems with the new hard compound Michelin cover he was running.

"We had a tyre come off the rim seven times in the test," said Solberg. "I think it was a problem with the wheel rim. We're using the same manufacturer of rims as the factory team, but not exactly the same wheel as them. Now we are using those rims, we didn't have the problem. But, for this week, like I said, I am happy and confident. I need the points. I need to win some rallies now."

All eyes were on the two factory Minis, competing for the first time in Sardinia. Dani Sordo was the fastest of the two John Cooper Works WRCs, posting a 1m48.2s (0.7 seconds ahead of Latvala's team-mate Mikko Hirvonen) while Meeke was 1.5 seconds behind the Spaniard.

"I haven't even looked at the times," said Meeke. "There was no point in trying to do anything at that shakedown stage. You couldn't use that stage to try and build the confidence or anything like that. The road was hellishly rough, if you ran wide in a corner, you ran the risk of hitting a rock the size of a transit van."

Despite the hype building around the event, Meeke said he remained focused on the job in hand.

"I've been waiting for this all of my driving career, I'm not about to choke now," said Meeke. "It would be easy to get drawn into the whole thing, especially when we're at the launch and things like that, but when I close the door and pull on the helmet I'm in the office and this is another rally. We have a job to do."

Click: autosport.com/news/91114




Here are the shakedown times of the WRC entries:

1. P. SOLBERG. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:45.4

2. LATVALA. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:46.1

3. OSTBERG. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:46.2

4. OGIER. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:48.0

5. H. SOLBERG. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:48.1

6. SORDO. MINI John Cooper Works. 1:48.7

=7. HIRVONEN. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:48.9

=7. ANDERSSON. Ford Fiesta WS WRC. 1:48.9

9. LOEB. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:49.0

10. VILLAGRA. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:49.0

11. WILSON. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:49.8

12. MEEKE. MINI John Cooper Works. 1:50.2

13. AL QASSIMI. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:52.9

14. KUIPERS. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:53.7

15. ARAUJO. MINI John Cooper Works. 1:53.8

16. OLIVEIRA. MINI John Cooper Works. 1:57.6

17. VAN MERKSTEIJN Sr. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:58.1

18. VAN MERKSTEIJN Jr. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:58.6

Click: wrc.com/sardinia/shakedown


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

Thursday Press Conference Video:

wrc.com//video-italy-2011-thursday-press-conference/



.

Last edited by Weasel 555; 05-05-2011 at 11:50 AM.
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Old 05-05-2011, 01:38 PM   #18
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Old 05-05-2011, 01:56 PM   #19
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Looks like Mini has landed pretty much where they want to be....right in the thick of things.
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Old 05-05-2011, 02:08 PM   #20
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Looking like moving to Mini was a great move for Danni Sordo.

He was passed up by the Sebastiens, but now he gets to be a #1. He wasn't gong to win WRC Champion in the next couple years anyways.

It's gonna be fun rooting for him.
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Old 05-06-2011, 08:47 AM   #21
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Day 1

SS1:Solberg sets the pace in Sardinia


Petter Solberg leads Rally d’Italia Sardegna after setting the pace on the opening special stage at the wheel of his Citroen DS3 WRC.

Mikko Hirvonen was second fastest in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC with PG Andersson third overall in his privateer Fiesta.

“It went quite good, a couple of small mistakes but nothing special,” said Solberg. “The car works quite good but we need to do some small adjustments later.”

But there was despair for Ford driver Jari-Matti Latvala who rolled his Fiesta RS WRC and lost more than 25 seconds. Latvala, the winner in Sardinia the last time the event was part of the WRC schedule, ran wide on a right-hand corner approximately three kilometres into the stage, slid into a ditch and hit a stone wall.

“We rolled on the stage,” said the Finn. “Miikka [Anttila] made a mistake and called me the wrong note but it was the first time he has done this after many years. We can still manage to drive and won’t be losing so much.”

Read More: wrc.com/italy/ss1





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

SS2: Hirvonen snatches Sardinia lead



Mikko Hirvonen has moved into the lead of Rally d’Italia Sardegna by topping the times on stage two in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC.

The Finn had trailed Petter Solberg by three seconds following Friday’s opening test but now leads Sebastien Loeb by 10.5s. Solberg lost more than 40 seconds with a suspected mechanical glitch on his Citroen DS3 WRC.

Kris Meeke continues to impress in the MINI John Cooper Works WRC. He was third fastest through the stage and moves into fourth overall behind flying Russian Evgeny Novikov.

Read: wrc.com/italy/ss2




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

SS3:Loeb closes on leader Hirvonen

Citroen Total World Rally Team ace Sebastien Loeb has claimed his first stage victory on Rally d’Italia Sardegna to close the gap to overall leader Mikko Hirvonen.

Running at the head of the field and cleaning the loose gravel surface for the drivers behind due to the fact he tops the world championship standings, Loeb had feared he would lose more time on the run, but instead reported the stage being cleaner than he had expected.

“There was not so much road cleaning in this one, the line was still here from the recce. I had a good feeling,” said Loeb.

Mikko Hirvonen was 10.2s slower than Loeb through the stage in his Ford Fiesta, which means his overall advantage has been narrowed to 0.3s.

“It looks like Sebastien found another gear,” said Hirvonen. “It was slippery in places and I went wide in a few places. It’s still early in the rally.”

Read: wrc.com/italy/ss3




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

SS4: Citroen’s Loeb leads in Sardinia

Sebastien Loeb has moved ahead of Mikko Hirvonen at the top of the Rally d’Italia Sardegna leaderboard after setting the pace on stage four. Loeb now leads Hirvonen by 2.4s with four stages of day one remaining.

Petter Solberg trailed Loeb by 0.7s through the stage in his Citroen DS3 WRC as he continues to recover from the delay he suffered when his car’s turbo boost pipe worked loose on stage two.

Hirvonen was third fastest with Evgeny Novikov continuing to impress by setting the fourth quickest time in his Fiesta to keep hold of the final podium spot in the overall standings.

Read: wrc.com/italy/ss4




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Old 05-06-2011, 08:54 AM   #22
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Midday Wrap

World champion Sebastien Loeb has completed the opening four stages of Rally d'Italia Sardegna with a lead of 2.7s over title rival Mikko Hirvonen.

Loeb, driving a Citroen DS3 WRC, had feared he would struggle to make an impact on the top positions running first on the road as world championship leader.

Although he lost time on the first two stages as he battled to forge a line through the loose surface gravel, the cleaning effect was lessened on the next two stages and he moved to the top of the leaderboard by going fastest of all on stages three and four.

“I expected to lose more time in the morning,” said Loeb. “Maybe tomorrow I will be first on the road again and I will lose more time but it depends on the weather, everything is possible. The stages today have a lot of crests, there are stones everywhere and the rhythm is changing, they’re very technical stages.”

Loeb did report one scare during the morning when he briefly ran through a ditch after taking the wrong line over a crest: “Just after a crest where you had to keep left I was a bit too much right so I landed in the ditch for a little moment,” he said. “But our car is very strong so it was no problem.”

Read More: wrc.com/friday/midday/wrap

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

Positives for MINI despite Meeke exit

MINI WRC Team technical mentor David Lapworth said he could take plenty of positives from the squad's world championship debut, despite Kris Meeke's retirement from the third stage of the event.

After beating the time set by world champion Sebastien Loeb on the opening stage, Meeke went third fastest on the next run to move into fourth overall in his John Cooper Works WRC.

“We’re a bit disappointed to have a problem so early on but I’m pleased with Kris’s speed,” said Lapworth. “Kris was exactly where we expected him to be and his time on stage two ticked another box. He was very relaxed and felt comfortable so it’s a shame what has happened to him.”

Meeke’s moment occurred approximately two kilometres into the 14.34-kilometre Alta Marmilla stage.

“He felt something braking for a fifth-gear corner,” said Lapworth. “We need to look at the data to understand what happened but he’s paid the price by running wide onto some loose gravel. We’re hoping he’ll be out again tomorrow.”

Read More: wrc.com/MINI/Meeke


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Old 05-06-2011, 10:22 AM   #23
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Kris is a good driver, but it seems the MINI is starting where the Subarus left off...
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Old 05-06-2011, 11:54 AM   #24
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Kris is a good driver, but it seems the MINI is starting where the Subarus left off...
....have some "faith" mate

...
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Old 05-06-2011, 12:38 PM   #25
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SS5: Hirvonen fights back

Mikko Hirvonen has hit back in his efforts to win Rally d’Italia Sardegna by beating Sebastien Loeb through the first stage of the afternoon.

Hirvonen dropped 2.7s behind Citroen DS3 WRC driver Loeb after stage four but has reduced that gap to 1.2s in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC.

“The car was moving quite a lot in the end of the stage but it looks okay,” said Hirvonen, who also trails Loeb in the battle for the World Rally Championship title.

Read More: wrc.com/italy/ss5



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

SS6: Loeb builds slight advantage



Sebastien Loeb has regained his advantage in his efforts to win Rally d’Italia Sardegna for a fourth time by going fastest on Friday’s sixth stage.

The Citroen DS3 WRC driver now leads Mikko Hirvonen, in a Ford Fiesta RS WRC, by 5.8 seconds with two stages of day one remaining.

“I had a good grip in this stage but I was pushing very hard because that is my only option,” said Loeb, who was 2.1s quicker than team-mate Sebastien Ogier. “This was a good stage.”

Hirvonen reported surviving a moment in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC: “I was lucky,” he said at the stage finish.

Read More: wrc.com/italy/ss6




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

SS7: Puncture slows Hirvonen in Sardinia

Mikko Hirvonen’s hopes of winning Rally d’Italia Sardegna have suffered a setback after he picked up a right-rear puncture approximately 13 kilometres into 19.66-kilometre test and lost more than 50 seconds to leader Sebastien Loeb.

“It was my own mistake,” said Hirvonen. “I went a bit wide, hit a bank and had a puncture.”

With one stage of day one remaining Loeb now leads his Citroen team-mate Sebastien Ogier by 33 seconds. “I drive a good stage again but I prefer to be first on the road tomorrow with a big hap to the others behind me,” said the seven-time champion.

Read More: wrc.com/italy/ss7




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

End of Day 1

SS8: Hirvonen lands third stage best




Mikko Hirvonen has claimed his third stage victory of Rally d’Italia Sardegna to move from fourth to third in the overall classification in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC.

Petter Solberg was second fastest and takes the runner-up spot from Sebastien Ogier, who elected to slow in order to secure a lower and more favourable road position for Saturday’s stages. He falls to fourth overall behind Hirvonen.

Sebastien Loeb was third quickest and will start day two with a lead of 33.2s in his Citroen DS3 WRC.

“This stage was more difficult compared to the others because there was a lot of road cleaning,” said Loeb. “It was very slippery but I lost some time and tried hard.”

Read More: wrc.com/italy/ss8




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