Tour de Corse 2012

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Tour de Corse 2012

Postby RonSkoda » 11 Apr 2012 12:46

Quite a big route for Corsica this year, using 4 different service parks!

Should also be the best entry list so far this year with both works Skodas, Mikkelsen, Basso, Breen & Arzeno, Flodin all expected and maybe Peugeot will put in more of an effort too? Also rumours of Mini registering and Campana turning up.

5 live tv stages: http://irc.rallye-info.com/article.asp? ... stid=10042
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Re: Tour de Corse 2012

Postby RonSkoda » 12 Apr 2012 10:42

Not just Campana in the Mini but Sordo too!: http://www.rallye-sport.fr/dani-sordo-au-tour-de-corse/

Looks like both with the "Drive-Pro" team.
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Re: Tour de Corse 2012

Postby RonSkoda » 12 Apr 2012 15:17

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Re: Tour de Corse 2012

Postby rv65 » 12 Apr 2012 21:49

It is a shame that the WRC cannot have an event like this.
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Re: Tour de Corse 2012

Postby ChrisB » 13 Apr 2012 01:35

Great to hear Mini is there. I always wondered with Prodrive struggles in WRC, why don't they forget about WRC and go profile themselves in IRC? They can do IRC for far less money, with far more TV on more classic events! That would be showing fingers towards München! With Patrick Snijers and Vaclav Pech also planing to start at least one IRC round each in a Mini, what we need now is Mini to register as manufacturer. And Lotus next!

rv65 wrote:It is a shame that the WRC cannot have an event like this.

+
http://irc.rallye-info.com/article.asp? ... stid=10042
=
Let me just talk you through some specialities.

There are two stages shown. 5 stages, meaning 2 different ones. Note the event starts on Thursday. Then one TV live stage is used 2x on Friday and the other 3x on Saturday. The last TV live stage is also the last stage of the event. And since the organisers realised this is not WRC kindergarden, the last stage is not a power stage but a proper 30km showdown!

That's not enough. Can you picture Corsica on a map? You might remember, that Ajaccio is the capital (2A, with Bastia being the second capital 2B) located to the centre west coast with Corte being somewhere central and Bastia to the north-eastern corner. You may also remember, that around Bastia is a big semi island, like tongue to the north, characteristical like G.W.Bush kept naming Italy "the L-shaped country".

When I was in Corsica myself (too many years ago), I remember that heading to the north coast Isle Rousse, Calvi, from Bastia, took a turn towards Corte/central, because the rocks on that half island were massive. And massive on Corsica means something. Normally the island is around 100km wide and 200km long, but don't you think you can go from coast to coast in less than 3hrs, yes for 100km! Heading from Corte back North, I remember there was a main road. Main road meant a curve every 50 metres. Boring, so we turned left onto a side road with a kurve every 10 metres! But it would have never crossed my mind to try a side road to the right, into those rocks, I may be adventurous, but I do want to reach my destination eventually and in one piece! I found it stunning in there should have been a stage of the rally in the 80s!

So what should be a proper event ending TV stage? Well, take that region where I couldn't believe there was a stage in the 80s! I don't know for sure when they last used this stage, but it was used in the groupB days and probably stopped after the dramas.

The Marinca stage, as it is called, actuially starts in a village called Canari (nearby, it would be hard to find Marinca on a map) and it follows the D80 to Pino (it might actually use side roads to the D80 for some parts), then the D180 & D332 to Cagnano, just north of Bastia.

For us rally fans this reads as follows. 30km stage you can split in 3/3rds. First 10km is the start at the west coast of that half island and following the coast road, flat and fast for Corsica (fast for Corsica means around 80km/h average). Next 10km the stage turns right/east up the mountain and last 10km goes down the mountain again towards the finish near the east coast!

If you think that is exciting, than make sure you watch it! Because it is already clear that this stage will not be used next year!

Why, what happened?

Well, what happened is that this is no longer a WRC round with meeting in Ajaccio every 2 stages! Next year the event is heading to Bonifacio in the South! Last year it went from Calvi via Corte to Ajaccio, this year from Ajaccio to Bastia. While in WRC we have office hours clover leaf single service and a rule that at least 80% of the stages have to be identical to last year, the Tour de Corse is now in IRC and therefore a proper rally. Every year a different route, next it is Bonifacio, and if you like the Bastia region and the Marinca stage, well it will be used again in 2015 or 2016!

That is what rallying should be! I don't even know off my head which is the next WRC round, but I know at the end of the Tour de Corse I will be already looking forward to the Tour de Corse 2016!
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Re: Tour de Corse 2012

Postby RonSkoda » 13 Apr 2012 08:04

It seems quite likely that Mini/Prodrive will register. They have put out a press release specifically mentioning IRC more than once, also stating: "Corsica also sees the launch of Drive-Pro & SMG Motorsport’s MINI drive packages for the IRC and WRC as well as national and regional championships."

With 5 hours of live tv coming up on this event they would be stupid not to register in time.

Also hearing rumours of some "Portugese" entries for Ypres - Sousa in the Lotus?
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Re: Tour de Corse 2012

Postby ChrisB » 13 Apr 2012 10:57

RonSkoda wrote:Also hearing rumours of some "Portugese" entries for Ypres - Sousa in the Lotus?

Slightly off topic. All seems a bit vague around Lotus. They do it for fun it seems, but some comments from inside the team shows to me that they in fact know very well what rally is about. They have two drivers, and I am delighted alongside Bernardo Sousa it is Luca Rossetti. The rest comes down to finance I guess, as only Sousa is confirmed for the car's debut and Rossetti has an additional program with a Turkish Skoda team. But Rossetti has tested the Lotus several times and I think Lotus would be stupid (and they are not stupid) to not enter Rossetti on their main events. Main events is the next question mark. No Lotus in Tour de Corse and nothing confirmed yet for Ypres. I guess they want to taste the waters first. But I hear that San Remo is confirmed. Sorry, waffling on here for all seems speculative still, but I expect Lotus in San Remo with Sousa & Rossetti, with Sousa also potentially starting IRC/ERC rounds as Ypres and Barum. Lotus is also thinking of trying the car on gravel (San Marino?)! Beyond that Lotus is geared up for customer drivers. It probably is only 2-3 IRC events they will do, but I think likelihood is very high that we see the Lotus R-GT in IRC this year and maybe a manufacturer registration is not completely impossible.
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Re: Tour de Corse 2012

Postby RonSkoda » 21 Apr 2012 14:52

Basso took an easy win on Mille Miglia with a Fiesta RRC, now I'm curious to see which he will chose for Corsica. I prefer S2000 cars but it would be interesting to see Basso in Fiesta RRC vs. Sordo in Mini RRC.
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Re: Tour de Corse 2012

Postby ChrisB » 21 Apr 2012 21:56

Why do you prefer S2000? I think Turbos are more promising for potentially less money and have the potential to sound better, but all subject to the air restrictor, which I think in RRC is too small and kills all that. I hope Basso will use the Fiesta RRC. It would be good to have at long last a honest comparison between the two concepts. We don't know how the Mini compares to the Fiesta and we do know that Michal Solowow swapped his Fiesta RRC back to the S2000, saying the RRC was nowhere near competitive. However if we never compare them in competition, the FIA will never alter a wrong rule.
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Re: Tour de Corse 2012

Postby RonSkoda » 22 Apr 2012 09:59

Well, you've opened up a can of worms there!...

In my opinion, these RRCs should never have been allowed to exist in the first place, and instead the FIA should have just waited for R4T to come on stream.

They are a stop-gap solution designed to compete with S2000 but they are much more expensive (S2000 Fiesta is £260,000, RRC is £360,000 according to information on M-Sport's website)

Even though the RRCs are quite choked by the 30mm restrictor, this is not a wrong rule. I would hate it for example if Matthew Wilson or any other slow-but-rich driver came along to IRC with a Fiesta RRC and won because his car was simply much better.

Most previous evidence seems to suggest RRCs are a bit slower than S2000, although Basso just provided some evidence to the contrary this weekend - it is hard to tell whether that is because of his awesomeness or the car.

R4T could be a lot more interesting as they should be cheaper but also alledgedly will have a larger restrictor so should sound a bit better than the RRCs.
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Re: Tour de Corse 2012

Postby ChrisB » 25 Apr 2012 17:12

OK, first to the can of worms.

With the price tag you have a point, Ron. But that is not down to the turbo, but to the kit car rules. Not sure where the price difference for the RRC comes from (probably its relation to the WRC), but usually a turbo should be the cheaper way to tune an engine. What really makes the car expensive is 4x4, which will also be the case on the R4T cars, as you need to completely re-design the floor pan for the transmission tunnel and the completely different rear axle. But the main culprid is the kit car formula. As long as we are stuck to kit cars, we are stuck with stupid prices. However the FIA thought an S1600 could be limited at 100.000 Euros and an S2000 at 150.000, the latest S1600s were 180.000 and the Fiesta S2000 price translates to 300.000 Euros, most of the difference here being thanks to the transmission and necessary changes for that.

I am in favour full stop of turbos. They are the future, they are the cheaper way to tune an engine, the engine is also more reliable because it doesn’t get its power through compression, they have more torque, aka more fun, they are easier to control for level play field (air restrictors), they sound better, etc, etc.... The S2000 as it originally was, for me was the wrong route from the beginning. With these atmo engines the rich manufacturers get a power advantage and for them being kit cars, it was obvious they would end at 300.000 Euros, right in contrary to what S2000 was invented for in the first place! Besides for S2000 invention, why drop the turbo and keep 4x4? 4x4 is what makes these cars expensive and if we want to improve spectacle, we want much power, little grip, S2000 with 4x4 and no turbo was a step into exactly the opposite direction.

What I like about RRC or S20001600T is that they go back to turbos, which, if you look at road cars, simply is the future. I further like, that they are compatible with WRCars. This makes it possible for a driver/team to use the same car for several series. It also should open a much larger second hand market. (In fact Basso’s Fiesta RRC is the car that Latvala used last year as a works WRCar in Sweden, Portugal, Sardinia, Acropolis!)

My doubts about RRC is that the air restrictor is way too small. We have to see how they really compare, as I agree the turbos should not be so much above the old S2000, that a Wilsow can come and beat Hänninen. But they should also not be slower than S2000s, because the S2000s are the old cars with old technology. We have to wait and see how they compare, and also remember that on Corsica with those extremely twisty roads we have an event where the turbo torque likely counts more than on any other IRC event (except San Remo probably). The only comparison we have so far is that Michal Solowow intended to use a Fiesta RRC on last year’s Polish Championship and after only one rally he declared the RRC catastrophically slower than his Fiesta S2000, and he backed it up by being beaten on this event by even in Poland completely unknown guys (he was 2 1/2min down on a guy called Macej Rzeznik in the 4 years old Stohl 207!).

And that should not be allowed to happen and is also part why Peugeot hasn’t started on the 208 rally car – Peugeot fear the 208 is going to be much slower than the 207 in direct competition, and before that happens Peugeot rather don’t compete at all! Another effect is that the turbo air restrictor is responsible for the low revs. Already with the 33mm restrictor a groupN Mitsubishi can’t rev beyond 4000rpm, because there is no air coming to feed the engine! And that is why many people have on their minds turbos sound crap – which with a 30mm restrictor surely they do!

Well, that is my objections. On the other hand I do agree with most of your points. How the whole thing was handled by the FIA so far is an utter joke. Maybe we should have waited until R4T, and it is a shame when a category is short lived, even for S2000. But maybe the S2000 should never have been without turbos in the first place. While I agree the new cars should not be so much faster, that a rich Wilslow, Villagra, Al Qassimi or so beats the entire IRC field, we do want an exciting sport after all and therefor I would think ideal would be if we eventually end up with 33-34mm restrictors for RRC/R4T and 35-36mm restrictors for WRCars. Only then the cars rev and give us all the turbo spectacle with pops and flames on top of it and if that means a WRCar has 380BHP so be it. But maybe there is a problem with WRCars too. I see it as a desirable advantage if WRCars and RRCars are interchangable (which won’t be with R4T I believe), but then prices of 400.000 Euros and more is not right either, which means the whole kit car thing is wrong!

BTW we have to see how they compare, but I found something that the Mini SPC, as the one Sordo will be driving on Corsica, is 50BHP down on a Fiesta or 207 S2000. For Corsica this probably will be alright thanks to the twisty nature of the event, give us a faster rally like Canarias or Finland and we will soon be in a scenario that only old model of cars can be competetive, which totally removes the point of manufacturer involvement.
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Re: Tour de Corse 2012

Postby ChrisB » 25 Apr 2012 17:26

Back to Corsica:

The organisers have received an entry for Francois Delecour!

If that is not sensation enough, his navigator officially retired from competition only in January! It is Dominique Savignoni, who retired from competition in January 2012, comes back out of retirement now, probably retires again after Corsica in May, then comes back again for June, and if he carries on like that gets a job at the FIA LOL.

If that still is not sensation enough, the entry was placed by Renault Sport, which means Renault enters a rally as an official factory team! OK; car will be a Mégane Turbo RS N4, not likely an overall winners candidate, but I could trust Franky Le Nutter to win gN against 4x4 opposition and find his way into the top10. Team mate in the two car Renault works entry will be FRC star Emmanuel Guigou
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Re: Tour de Corse 2012

Postby RonSkoda » 25 Apr 2012 19:40

Few quick points in reply:

- The price difference is not down to the so-called KitCar rules as both S2000 and RRC use them. Maybe it's not entirely down to the engine but this must be a part of it since that is the main difference between the two cars (maybe because it is a detuned WRC engine rather than a pumped-up production engine?)

- Turbo engine more reliable I don't know... It is true the turbo can go longer between rebuilds (only by 100km) but the rebuild for the Fiesta RRC engine is £30,000, for the S2000 £13,000.

- Not sure the restrictor is too small for the proposed R4T rules... They are talking about 33mm, and Basso was clearly the fastest on Mille Miglia with only 29mm. R4T chassis might be slightly less advanced than S2000/RRC though. All in all I would expect a 33mm R4T to at least be as quick as S2000.

- Re Solowow, apparantly the Fiesta RRC has had a major upgrade since then (more power and different gear ratios)

General points: Disagree that NA was wrong for S2000 from the beginning as it was a succesful formula until the FIA killed it. However I agree turbos are the future and I am fully supportive providing that they don't sound like an N4 Lancer or Focus WRC! I do want 4 wheel drive to continue on the top formulae of rallying though - 2wd is fine for the junior classes but they don't quite provide the spectacle of the 4wd classes to be attractive enough for the main show in my opnion. Especially 2wd with turbo is a disaster from the videos I have seen.
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Re: Tour de Corse 2012

Postby rv65 » 26 Apr 2012 00:07

S2000/S2K 1.6T/RRC/WRCars have some of the simplest components, yet they still manage to be quite expensive. 33mm is the Class 1 (RRC) restrictor for S-WRC.
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Re: Tour de Corse 2012

Postby ChrisB » 27 Apr 2012 20:00

Well, in short, kit car is to blame, as already S2000 is way too expensive, twice the price limit the FIA was talking about. The difference in price must be that it is detuned WRCar engine rather than pumped up road engine. This also is completely the wrong way, alone when you see that Citroen and VW are not using Citroen or VW engines at all for motorsport. Every engineer will tell you that turbos are cheaper. For atmo engines you go through rev and compression, which means a lot more fine tuning and balancing of every single tiny engine component, while with a turbo in theory you don’t even have to open the engine.

You are the first to say that 4x4 is more spectacular than 2WD. Maybe I am thinking too much on old RWD, but also i.e. a Jean Ragnotti in a FWD Clio was always about the most spectacular sight possible, while 4x4 is just like on rails. Part of the problem is that suspension and tyre technologies moved on a huge bit. That is why 2WD cars are no more as exciting as they used to be, but the same goes for 4x4 too. A group A Audi, Escort, Impreza, Celica was a spectacle, but today, Neuville in a 207 in Ypres two years ago was a spectacle, absolutely every single 4x4 rally car I have seen since was like on rails and totally boring to watch!

And I do feel S2000 was wrong. They are boring to watch, more so even than a WRCar, and to the point I feel they should have done turbos from the beginning. If they had done that, we would have had the same manufacturer interest, if not even bigger, and today we wouldn’t have the problem of how to switch them to turbos.

I think it comes down to, if R4T starts from a road car with more restrictions than S2000/RRC (also in suspension and tyres) and has a large enough air restrictor, this should be an exciting and financiable category. It would be a big shame if we lost interchangability with WRCars though. But then, I don’t think WRCars are the right way either for being too much kit car. Maybe have a simple R4T with simple suspension and everything, raise the air restrictor and make them as fast as WRCars. Bet that would be much cheaper and better to watch than WRCars as they are now?!
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Re: Tour de Corse 2012

Postby ChrisB » 27 Apr 2012 20:01

rv65 wrote:33mm is the Class 1 (RRC) restrictor for S-WRC.

Yes, but that's SWRC only, in IRC it is 30mm I believe. And even with the 33mm the Fiesta RRCs struggle to keep up with the S2000 cars in (S)WRC!
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Re: Tour de Corse 2012

Postby RonSkoda » 28 Apr 2012 13:00

ChrisB wrote:
rv65 wrote:33mm is the Class 1 (RRC) restrictor for S-WRC.

Yes, but that's SWRC only, in IRC it is 30mm I believe. And even with the 33mm the Fiesta RRCs struggle to keep up with the S2000 cars in (S)WRC!


That is because of the drivers though... If Basso can keep beat Hanninen and Andreucci by over one minute on Mille Miglia the RRC must be pretty good. Corsica will be really interesting with both Basso and Sordo there in RRC.

To get this thread back on topic; Bouffier and Campana both now confirmed for Corsica with 207s!
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Re: Tour de Corse 2012

Postby ChrisB » 29 Apr 2012 00:27

Sorry, still off topic. But RRCs on Corsica are something to look (and hear) forward to. This seems to be a particularly tricky corner on Mille Miglia. I think result there was a combination of Basso's excellence and Andreucci & Hänninen both having troubles. Further I feel on this video Basso's RRC sounds really good. I never liked S2000s for they sound high pitch, a bit like struggling engines, while Basso RRC here proves turbos do not have to sound like just spluttering around.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Okqreafh ... re=related

Bouffier & Campana on Corsica in 207s are both surprises. Campana simply as I would have expected him in the Drive Pro Mini. Drive Pro enters Sordo and Drive Pro has two Minis: C014 / FP03 PRO, which Alex Bengué used as course opening car on Corsica last year (after Ari did a Vatanen on SS6) and C018 / FP04 PRO, which Campana used so far. They have two cars and they are on Corsica, so...?

Bouffier is a surprise that he is there at all. Kind of shows the state of Peugeot Sport. First IRC round Bouffier and Magalhaes were there. Latest I heard is that Bouffier actually bought a 207 S2000 for himself, and it is the ex Magalhaes car!!!!
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Re: Tour de Corse 2012

Postby RonSkoda » 29 Apr 2012 09:30

I heard Bouffier would again be with Delta Rally who serviced him and Magalhaes on Azores?

I am quite surprised about Campana too. Maybe he felt the 207 is faster still?

Very disappointed by Peugeot. I thought they would make an effort for Corsica and we would see Bouffier and Neuville there in full works supported cars.
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Re: Tour de Corse 2012

Postby ChrisB » 29 Apr 2012 12:42

I share your disappointment about Peugeot. And yes, Delta Rally is the team taht ran Bouffier & Magalhaes on Acores. Maybe the ex-Magalhaes car is for French Championship rallying.
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