October 2003 News Archive

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Fri October 24, 2003

There is some promise Peugeot There is some promise Peugeot’s attempt to prove the 206 is still competitive and can help Peugeot winning a 4th makes title got off to a bad start when for the first loop of 3 stages the entire team choose once again the completely wrong tyres. Temperatures in the morning of about 4 degrees centigrad...

Skoda held back by small problems Skoda Skoda held back by small problems Škoda Motorsport Team driver Didier Auriol got off to a flying start on the Catalunya Rally, his 150th World Rally Championship event, when he set tenth fastest time over the opening stage of La Trona. Unfortunately Didier’s luck did not hold out, leaving team mate Toni Gardemeis...

NEWS JUST IN

WRC weather update 23:00 @ 05:24 PM - At Rallye Catalunya locally at 11pm Friday night it started raining very hard with temperatures being only at 4 degrees centigrade. It looks like it could be only a short rain, but at these temperatures chances are that conditions in the morning stages may be trickier than they were today.

WRC E SS8 - end of leg1 @ 11:15 AM - Loeb ends the leg in a huge lead. But behind him is a good fight. Panizzi has kept closing in on the last 4 stages and is now only 2.3s behind Märtin and 7.3s behind Sainz. Unofficial, provisional positions after leg1: 1. Loeb 1:31:37.8, 2. Sainz +26.2 3. Märtin +31.2 4. Panizzi +33.5 5. Duval +55.0 6. Burns +1:14.0 7. Mc Rae +1:22.9 8. Bugalski +1:39.3 9. Mäkinen +1:42.0 10. Grönholm +1:56.2

WRC E SS7 - Burns slips @ 10:51 AM - Burns had an off in the stage and lost over 30s. Panizzi in turn takes the stage win. Loeb extents lead over Sainz. Auriol has engine problems. Unofficial, provisional positions after SS7: 1. Loeb 1:16:42.5, 2. Sainz +17.7 3. Märtin +21.7 4. Panizzi +31.3 5. Duval +46.8 6. Mc Rae +1:05.8 7. Burns +1:08.4 8. Mäkinen +1:24.0 9. Bugalski +1:31.4 10. Solberg +1:44.7

WRC E SS6 - Citroen hunting @ 10:20 AM - The supposed to be uncompetitive Peugeots and the fast Fords have started to hunt the Citroens. Panizzi wins stage ahead of Martin, Duval and Burns, fastest Citroen on this stage is Loeb in 5th. What could be helping this situation is this being a re-run of an earlier stage. This however would mean we will see more of the same on the remaining stages of the day. Unofficial, provisional positions after SS6: 1. Loeb 1:03:30.6, 2. Sainz +13.1 3. Märtin +19.6 4. Burns +29.5 5. Panizzi +32.6 6. Duval +47.1 7. Mc Rae +49.7 8. Mäkinen +1:11.9 9. Bugalski +1:25.6 10. Solberg +1:33.6

WRC E SS5 - Short one @ 08:42 AM - A real shorty. But not the shortest stage of the calendar as some sources seem to believe, it is still about tripple the distance of a superspecial. Unofficial, provisional positions after SS5: 1. Loeb 55:09.9, 2. Sainz +11.0 3. Märtin +21.7 4. Burns +30.0 5. Panizzi +37.6 6. Mc Rae +44.7 7. Duval +49.0 8. Mäkinen +1:06.0 9. Bugalski +1:20.9 10. Solberg +1:29.6

WRC E SS4 - Tight battle @ 08:10 AM - The Peugeots are now on the right tyres (that makes a change!) and join the game. Loeb posts another fastest stage time, but only half a second ahead of Panizzi! Indeed the top 6 on this 26km stage are seperated by less than 5s! Unofficial, provisional positions after SS4: 1. Loeb 52:11.5, 2. Sainz +12.0 3. Märtin +23.9 4. Burns +29.9 5. Panizzi +38.6 6. Mc Rae +40.7 7. Duval +48.8 8. Mäkinen +1:01.2 9. Bugalski +1:18.0 10. Solberg +1:27.4

WRC Penalty for Solberg @ 07:05 AM - Petter Solberg left service before SS4 late following a problem with the alternator on his Subaru. We have to wait for confirmation, but it appears he should incure a 50s penalty, which would effectivel drop him to 11th at this early stage. - Confirmed!

WRC E SS3 - Märtin's G-sting @ 05:25 AM - The extreme G-forces in Catalunya give Märtin a stinging neck following his Tour de Corse accident. Meanwhile Loeb and Sainz confirm their grip at the top of the leader board. Peugeots still on wrong tyres, but service coming now. Unofficial, provisional positions after SS3: 1. Loeb 36:36.2, 2. Sainz +6.5 3. Solberg +20.1 4. Märtin +20.9 5. Mc Rae +25.2 6. Burns +25.4 7. Mäkinen +37.8 8. Panizzi +38.1 9. Duval +47.0 10. Bugalski +1:01.9

WRC E SS2 - Loeb lead @ 04:02 AM - Tyres seem to be a big issue in dry but very cold conditions with minus temperatures. Solberg and Duval suffer punctures. Grönholm and Panizzi claim to be on the completely wrong tyres - the tyres are too soft and warm up much quicker than expected in the cold conditions. Unofficial, provisional positions after SS2: 1. Loeb 21:32.7, 2. Märtin +5.4 3. Sainz +6.1 4. Mc Rae +10.4 5. Burns +11.9 6. Solberg +12.5 7. Panizzi +20.1 8. Mäkinen +20.5 9. Duval +23.2 10. Bugalski +35.8

WRC E SS1 - Another boring asphalt... @ 03:35 AM - ...rally got under way. Only that it is bound to provide as little boredom as the previous ones did. There is really a wrong stereotype in peoples heads. First stage indicates there are two battles, one between Citroen and Peugeot and another one between Ford and Subaru - but not necessarily in the order you would have expected. Grönholm had a slow start. Unofficial, provisional positions after SS1: 1. Solberg 8:23.6, 2. Duval +0.1 3. Märtin +0.3 4. Loeb +1.8 5. Panizzi +2.8 6. Mc Rae +3.1 7. Burns +3.2 8. Sainz +3.4 9. Mäkinen +6.8 10. Auriol +10.7

Thu October 23, 2003

Didier celebrates 150 WRC starts Skoda Didier celebrates 150 WRC starts Škoda Motorsport Team driver Didier Auriol was fêted by his colleagues at today’s shakedown test for the Catalunya Rally as he celebrates his 150th World Rally Championship event start. Only Juha Kankkunen and Carlos Sainz have started more events. Didier was taken by surprise...

Catalunya and Ford a good bet Ford Catalunya and Ford a good bet Ford BP Rallye Sport has little time to reflect on its podium finish on the Rallye de France - Tour de Corse on Sunday as for the first time in the history of the FIA World Rally Championship, teams face rallies on consecutive weekends. Just four days after the finish in Corsica...

WRC Statistics - The Season So Far

On The Prowl for A Drivers Title Subaru On The Prowl for A Drivers Title Just days after an emphatic victory on the Tour de Corse, the 555 Subaru World Rally Team is already making final preparations ahead of the next round of the 2003 FIA World Rally Championship, Spain's Rallye Catalunya, which begins on Friday. Tommi and Petter are raring to go....

Citroen Bid to Extend Dual Lead Citroen Citroen Bid to Extend Dual Lead Less than a week after taking the lead in the World Rally Drivers' Championship and extending its lead in the manufacturers' title race in Corsica, Citroën will bid this weekend (24-26 October 2003) to extend its lead in both title chasses in Spain, host to the penultimate ...

Tue October 21, 2003

Petter - Right in the championship fight Subaru Petter - Right in the championship fight Petter Solberg really was the come-back king in Corsica on the weekend. A crash in shakedown on Thursday, competing in a rebuilt car on Friday morning and rally winner on Sunday afternoon. It's little wonder he's a happy chappy and looking forward to Catalunya. The below is...

Toni: Fabia might suit Spain best Skoda Toni: Fabia might suit Spain best For the first time in World Rally Championship history, competitors travel direct from one rally to start the next just four days later. The physical and logistical pressure is huge on every member of the Škoda Motorsport Team as they prepare for this weekend’s Catalunya Rally in...

Peugeot Kresta prepares for asphalt finale

Mon October 20, 2003

NEWS JUST IN

WRC Catalunya Tips @ 11:25 PM - Only a few days left to get your Catalunya tops in, it starts this Friday!

Sun October 19, 2003

Interview - Luis Moya at Subaru Subaru Interview - Luis Moya at Subaru The Tour de Corse marks Luis Moya's second event as Sporting Director for the 555 Subaru World Rally Team. In his new role, Moya's main areas of responsibility are driver management, event strategy and managing the teams relationship with FIA - quite a change from his previ...

Duval Equals His Best Ford Duval Equals His Best Ford BP Rallye Sport drivers François Duval and Stéphane Prévot matched their career-best result by finishing third on the Rallye de France - Tour de Corse today. Their podium finish at the wheel of a Ford Focus RS World Rally Car was their second of the season and came after a t...

Carlos Leads the WRC Drivers Title! Citroen Carlos Leads the WRC Drivers Title! Citroën has taken control of the 2003 World Rally Championship with the French car maker leading the manufacturers' title chase and, after the weekend's (17-19 October 2003) Rally of Corsica, Carlos Sainz leads the Drivers' Championship in his Citroën Xsara WRC. Colin M...

Subaru - Come Back Kings! Subaru Subaru - Come Back Kings! Continuing yesterday’s remarkable performance, Petter Solberg delivered another strategically perfect drive to maintain his overnight lead and win the rally, the fourth victory of his WRC career. Winning by a margin of 36.6 seconds, the Norwegian claimed a maximum ten points in b...

Fabia WRC makes asphalt improvement Skoda Fabia WRC makes asphalt improvement Škoda Motorsport World Rally Team driver Toni Gardemeister finished the Tour de Corse in 11th position to make up for the disappointment of team mate Didier Auriol having been forced to retire from the event following an electrical problem on the start line of the opening stage. ...

Marcus bang on pace on day 3 Peugeot Marcus bang on pace on day 3 This was a very disappointing result for Peugeot. It all was a weather and tyre lottery. Although Subaru and Petter Solberg have done a fantastic job, you could argue that the real winner of the rally is Pirelli. But even within the Michelin teams, Peugeot managed to consistantly...

NEWS JUST IN

WRC Makes title battle @ 07:33 AM - provisional, unofficial standings after Tour de Corse: 1st Citroen 137points // 2nd Peugeot 129 without mathematical chance on the title left: 3rd Subaru 88 // 4th Ford 78 // 5th Skoda 21

WRC Drivers title battle @ 07:32 AM - provisional, unofficial standings after Tour de Corse: 1st Sainz 61points // 2nd Solberg 58 // 3rd Burns 58 // 4th Loeb 55 // 5th Grönholm 43 // 6th Märtin 43 without mathematical chance on the title left: 7th Mc Rae 40 // 8th Mäkinen 23 // 9th Duval 21 // 10th Rovanperä 18 // 11th Panizzi 17

WRC 1st Rally World Champ 2003: @ 07:31 AM - ...is Martin Rowe, the 2003 PWRChampion! Martin had to finish in 5th place in the category. Then even a win by his closest hunter Toshi Arai would not have been enough to take the title away of Martin. As it was, Arai finished 2nd, Rowe 3rd in the category this event. The provisional final championship positions: 1st Rowe 43points // 2nd Arai 38 // 3rd Blomqvist 30

WRC F SS16 - Solberg wins @ 07:29 AM - Petter wins, Sainz snatches 2nd off Duval in the very last stage through a brave tyre gamble. Interestingly in this weather lottery the winner's time is nearly half an hour down on last year's Tour de Corse winning time. Unofficial, provisional positions at end of rally: 1. Solberg 3:20:15.3, 2. Sainz +36.6 3. Duval +41.7 4. Grönholm +1:09.2 5. Mc Rae +1:26.0 6. Panizzi +1:58.7 7. Mäkinen +2:25.8 8. Burns +2:36.7 9. Bugalski +2:46.8 10. Hirvonen +3:55.4

WRC F SS15 - Tyre gamble goes on @ 06:42 AM - It's still Pirelli weather, mainly wet with dry patches. The big loser is Carlos Sainz, the only driver to go out on a slick, although heavily cut. As a result Sainz lost 10s to Duval and 20s to Grönholm, who may now even have a slime chance to snatch 3rd of Sainz on the last stage, but with Mc Rae breathing down Grönholm's neck as well. Märtin went off and retired. Unofficial, provisional positions after SS15: 1. Solberg 3:59:59.9, 2. Duval +38.5 3. Sainz +49.1 4. Grönholm +1:25.4 5. Mc Rae +1:29.3 6. Panizzi +1:43.5 7. Mäkinen +2:33.9 8. Burns +2:44.3 9. Bugalski +2:57.9 10. Hirvonen +3:47.5

WRC F SS14 - Lucky Solberg @ 03:51 AM - The morning's stages have been damp and very slippy, still Pirelli weather, allowing Solberg to increase his lead. To add to it, Duval dropped quite a bit of time through the last 2/3rd of the stage, now being only 0.1s ahead of Sainz. Interesting battle for 4th between Grönholm, Mc Rae and Panizzi. Unofficial, provisional positions after SS14: 1. Solberg 3:44:27.8, 2. Duval +36.5 3. Sainz +36.6 4. Grönholm +1:31.5 5. Mc Rae +1:34.2 6. Panizzi +1:38.8 7. Mäkinen +2:25.5 8. Burns +2:40.4 9. Bugalski +2:55.9 10. Hirvonen +3:39.1

WRC F SS13 - leg3 started @ 03:06 AM - Märtin had a gear selction problem, otherwhise drama free start. Unofficial, provisional positions after SS13: 1. Solberg 3:24:35.9, 2. Duval +22.2 3. Sainz +29.8 4. Mc Rae +1:24.1 5. Grönholm +1:29.9 6. Panizzi +1:36.8 7. Mäkinen +2:17.6 8. Burns +2:34.0 9. Bugalski +2:47.3 10. Hirvonen +2:54.9

Sat October 18, 2003

Duval sets sights on victory Ford Duval sets sights on victory Ford BP Rallye Sport drivers François Duval and Stéphane Prévot hold second position after a dramatic second leg of the Rallye de France - Tour de Corse today. The Belgian duo led this 12th round of the FIA World Rally Championship for most of the day in their Ford Focus RS Worl...

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