October 2003 News Archive


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Sat October 18, 2003

Leg 2 - Solberg Leads in Corsica Subaru Leg 2 - Solberg Leads in Corsica In a perfectly measured drive, which capitalised on the wet-weather performance of the Pirelli/Subaru combination and his own talent behind the wheel, 555 Subaru driver Petter Solberg delivered an outstanding performance today. By setting a string of consistently good times, incl...

Toni sets top 3 time on day two Skoda Toni sets top 3 time on day two Škoda Motorsport World Rally Team driver Toni Gardemeister set third fastest time on a rain-affected second stage today. While the sport’s acknowledged asphalt experts struggled for grip, Toni discovered that the Fabia WRC’s excellent handling was perfect for the conditions when ...

Peugeot Unlucky or embarrassing?

WRC Subaru and Pirelli shine in the rain

WRC Bizarre Island Rocks


WRC F SS12 - Pirelli flies @ 12:07 AM - More weather gamble. Peugeot pulls the trick of running the previous wet stages on dry tyres and now this dry stage on wet tyres, such severely harming their championship bid. Meanwhile this stage sees a Subaru 1-2 and Solberg taking the lead of the rally. Unofficial, provisional positions after leg2: 1. Solberg 3:09:13.6, 2. Duval +17.9 3. Sainz +22.4 4. Mc Rae +1:15.5 5. Grönholm +1:23.6 6. Panizzi +1:25.5 7. Mäkinen +2:10.3 8. Burns +2:22.0 9. Bugalski +2:32.9 10. Hirvonen +2:33.9

WRC F SS11 - Pirelli weather @ 09:57 AM - Solberg won the tyre gamble in unpredictable stages. Grönholm kept on losing time after his off a stage earlier. Unofficial, provisional positions after SS11: 1. Duval 2:41:54.8, 2. Solberg +3.2 3. Sainz +7.8 4. Panizzi +58.3 5. Mc Rae +59.9 6. Grönholm +1:04.8 7. Burns +1:47.5 8. Bugalski +1:57.3 9. Mäkinen +2:04.3 10. Hirvonen +2:15.3

WRC F SS10 - Solberg attack @ 09:03 AM - Impressive fastest stage time for Petter Solberg. op3 of this rally move very close together indeed. But Marcus Grönholm had an off just after the start of the stage. He got going again but lost a lot of time. Unofficial, provisional positions after SS10: 1. Duval 2:31:29.2, 2. Sainz +5.1 3. Solberg +6.5 4. Panizzi +47.8 5. Grönholm +53.6 6. Mc Rae +54.7 7. Bugalski +1:38.8 8. Burns +1:40.9 9. Mäkinen +1:56.4 10. Hirvonen +2:08.2

WRC F SS9 - The long one @ 06:32 AM - Still very mixed conditions. Convincing fastest time by Gilles Panizzi. Duval increases lead slightly. Burns spins and stalls in a hairpin. Unofficial, provisional positions after SS9: 1. Duval 2:05:48.6, 2. Sainz +11.6 =3. Solberg +26.4 =3. Grönholm +26.4 5. Panizzi +44.9 6. Mc Rae +49.8 7. Bugalski +1:14.2 8. Burns +1:17.0 9. Mäkinen +1:48.0 10. Hirvonen +1:49.8

WRC Loeb out! @ 04:20 AM - Loeb is out of the rally! He spun off onto a bank and although damage to the car is not as severe as first indicated, he lost over 10 minutes. Märtin had to change a tyre after a mild off, he is as well out of contention now.

WRC F SS8 - Rain HAVOC @ 04:07 AM - Everything changed!!!!! Loeb out! Markko Märtin had to change tyre after off. Burns should now have had the perfect tyre, but as the rain increased with every car going through, Miko Hirvonen celebrates his first WRC stage win. Duval leads the Rally. Unofficial, provisional positions after SS8: 1. Duval 1:38:17.7, 2. Sainz +10.6 3. Solberg +15.3 4. Grönholm +16.8 5. Mc Rae +27.1 6. Burns +33.2 7. Bugalski +50.8 8. Panizzi +52.3 9. Mäkinen +1:16.2 10. Robert +1:38.4

WRC F SS7 - Gamble in the damp @ 03:33 AM - And Peugeot is the big loser in the gamble. Overnight rain means the stages are damp. Only Richard Burns choose intermediate tyres over slicks, which very much was a big mistake. Grönholm also posts a bad time. Märtin and Solberg move up. Sensational Bengué goes bang, he crashed out of the rally. Unofficial, provisional positions after SS7: 1. Loeb 1:27:05.8, 2. Märtin +9.6 3. Duval +10.4 4. Sainz +14.3 5. Grönholm +29.9 6. Solberg +39.3 7. Mc Rae +42.2 8. Burns +54.2 9. Bugalski +1:22.7 10. Panizzi +1:23.0

Fri October 17, 2003

Duval 2nd as Focus RS wins Four Ford Duval 2nd as Focus RS wins Four Ford BP Rallye Sport drivers Francois Duval and Stéphane Prévot and team-mates Markko Märtin and Michael Park lie second and fifth respectively after their Ford Focus RS World Rally Cars dominated today's opening leg of the Rallye de France – Tour de Corse. The Ford BP pair s...

Solberg's Shakedown Crash Report Subaru Solberg's Shakedown Crash Report After two weeks of meticulous preparation at the 555 Subaru team's headquarters in Banbury, Petter Solberg's Impreza WRC2003 was in bad shape yesterday after an accident at shakedown threatened to end his rally before it had even begun. Solberg was negotiating a right-hand ...

Solberg Eigth after Leg 1 Subaru Solberg Eigth after Leg 1 After a determined effort that saw the team work through the night to repair Petter Solberg’s damaged car, both 555 Subaru World Rally Team entries took the start in Ajaccio this morning. Both Solberg and Tommi Mäkinen enjoyed a trouble free day. Solberg put in a strong performan...

Bad day for Didi but Toni progresses Skoda Bad day for Didi but Toni progresses Toni Gardemeister said today that the recent development work on the Škoda Fabia WRC has been turned into an improvement in the car’s handling and overall performance. He finished today's six stages in 13th position. Toni said: “The engine feels much smoother than in San Re...

Ford meat in PSA sandwitch Peugeot Ford meat in PSA sandwitch Indeed, from a manufacturer championship point of view, Peugeot’s situation could hardly be worse. The good news is that Marcus Grönholm is only 5.3s off the lead. The attention in the championship battle is clearly between Peugeot and Citroen. It seems that the battles concentra...

Peugeot Peugeot Quotes after SS3


WRC F SS6 - End of leg1 @ 10:15 AM - Unofficial, provisional positions after SS6: 1. Loeb 1:01:24.7, 2. Duval +3.9 3. Grönholm +5.3 4. Sainz +10.2 5. Märtin +18.5 6. Burns +19.5 7. Mc Rae +29.4 8. Solberg +43.4 9. Bengué +1:00.7 10. Bugalski +1:05.7

WRC F SS5 - Panizzi not happy @ 09:36 AM - Panizzi's times are just hopeless, but it is unclear what the problem might be. Loeb extends lead slightly, but Ford are the pace setters. French Championship leader Alexandre Bengué is an amazing 4th fastest on the stage! Unofficial, provisional positions after SS5: 1. Loeb 50:39.4, 2. Grönholm +5.0 3. Duval +5.5 4. Sainz +10.2 5. Burns +15.2 6. Märtin +20.6 7. Mc Rae +24.4 8. Solberg +33.7 9. Bengué +51.0 10. Panizzi +58.3

WRC F SS4 - Märtin slows... @ 08:59 AM - ... and loses the lead of the rally after he spun in style close to the end of the stage. Hope for Peugeot in shape of Grönholm posting a good stage time and closing in on the lead by less than 3 seconds. Unofficial, provisional positions after SS4: 1. Loeb 40:33.2, 2. Grönholm +2.9 3. Sainz +4.3 4. Duval +5.1 5. Burns +10.4 6. Mc Rae +18.9 7. Märtin +23.2 8. Solberg +23.7 9. Panizzi +36.7 10. Bugalski +48.5

WRC F SS3 - everything very close @ 06:01 AM - Märtin extends his lead, Panizzi suffers from a gear selection problem, the top2 Citroens and top2 Peugeots, which is very much the makes title battle, are only seperated by 5.5s! Unofficial, provisional positions after SS3: 1. Märtin 30:40.2, 2. Loeb +3.4 3. Sainz +5.1 4. Grönholm +7.0 5. Burns +8.9 6. Duval +12.8 7. Solberg +16.0 8. Mc Rae +20.8 9. Panizzi +36.7 10. Bengué +41.2

WRC F SS2 - Loeb finds rythm @ 05:19 AM - Märtin takes lead by .1 of a second ahead of Sainz. But this might change even before the start of the next stage, Sainz/Marti forgot time card at stage finish, had to return and are now running in danger of incuring a time penalty. Watch out for French Championship leader Alexandre Bengué, in his 206 he made it into the top10 on SS1. Unofficial, provisional positions after SS2: 1. Märtin 19:56.6, 2. Sainz +0.1 3. Loeb +0.3 4. Grönholm +1.4 5. Duval +3.1 6. Burns +4.5 7. Solberg +7.6 8. Mc Rae +8.3 9. Panizzi +19.3 10. Bengué +21.4

WRC F SS1 - promising start @ 04:49 AM - Burns faster than Loeb. Who would have thought that after San Remo? Was Robert Reid driving? Marcus Grönholm said there was a lot of gravel washed onto the road in corners. This would explain an advantage for Burns, but similar advantage should count for Loeb, they are 1st & 2nd on the road. Auriol retired before start of stage, reason unknown. Unofficial, provisional positions after SS1: 1. Sainz 9:49.6, 2. Burns +0.9 3. Märtin +1.6 4. Mc Rae +1.9 5. Grönholm +2.2 6. Duval +2.4 7. Loeb +2.7 8. Solberg +6.6 9. Panizzi +7.1 10. Bengué +9.1

WRC Solberg Starts Leg 1 @ 04:33 AM - After a heavy accident in shakedown he's competitive on SS1.

Thu October 16, 2003

Petter Crashes Out in Shakedown Subaru Petter Crashes Out in Shakedown Petter Solberg's Impreza rally car was damaged in an accident during the pre-event Shakedown....

Didier and Toni ready to go Skoda Didier and Toni ready to go Škoda Motorsport Team driver Didier Auriol heads into the Tour de Corse knowing that he is the most successful driver in the event’s WRC history. The Frenchman has won this event a record six times and no other driver has had better success on a round of the World Rally Champions...

WRC WRC Commission Decisions


WRC Solberg Crashes in Shakedown @ 07:33 AM - Subaru's Petter Solberg has heavily damaged his car in pre-event shakedown for the 2003 Tour de Corse, the team will now attempt to repair the car for the event. Two of the fastest at shakedown were Ford's Markko Martin and Francios Duval.

Tue October 14, 2003

Skoda aim to build on San Remo lessons Skoda Skoda aim to build on San Remo lessons This weekend’s Tour of Corsica is widely acknowledged as the most famous and challenging pure asphalt rally of the entire World Championship. As such it will be a perfect proving ground for the all-new Škoda Fabia WRC and an awesome demonstration of every driver’s skill. Škoda Mo...

Interview: Citroen Team Drivers Citroen Interview: Citroen Team Drivers Citroën's drivers answer per-Tour de Corse questions....


Skoda Engine mod for Skoda @ 00:22 AM - Skoda will run with a modified wastegate on the engine of their Fabia WRC from this weekends Tour de Corse. The improved part will give better engine response. Meanwhile, it is rumoured a totally new engine will debut in the car in 2004.

Mon October 13, 2003

Citroen Playing the Odds in Corsica Citroen Citroen Playing the Odds in Corsica Odd years have a habit of being kind to Citroën in Corsica. The DS 19 triumphed on the Mediterranean island in 1961 and 1963, while more recently Philippe Bugalski/Jean-Paul Chiaroni and Jesus Puras/Marc Marti secured an emphatic one-two for the Xsara Kit Car in 1999. Two years l...

WRC Statistics - The Season So Far

Scooby Tour de Corse Preview Subaru Scooby Tour de Corse Preview The 555 Subaru World Rally Team will be entering two Subaru Impreza WRC2003's in the Tour de Corse, driven by Petter Solberg and Tommi Mäkinen. Having participated in the event seven times previously, last year Tommi retired from fourth place overall. Petter finished in fifth ...

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