Volkswagen Motorsport team principal Sven Smeets has urged World Rally Championship officials to take swift action to find an alternative energy solution for the series. Autosport understands the FIA is working through possible electric and hybrid options for the WRC, but so far there are no new rules in place for the beginning of the
Citroen is considering a significant set-up change to its C3 WRC ahead of next week’s Rally Finland. The French firm has been testing a new front geometry solution recently, but will take a final decision after Craig Breen, Mads Ostberg and Khalid Al Qassimi complete their pre-event running later this week. The team introduced new
Toyota’s Ott Tanak beat Hayden Paddon of Hyundai and Craig Breen’s Citroen to win Rally Estonia, a World Rally Championship warm-up event for Rally Finland. The event features fast and flowing stages – akin to Finland – albeit rougher in nature, and Tanak and co-driver Martin Jarveoja’s knowledge of their home rally paid dividends. It’s
World Rally champion Sebastien Ogier is set to contest September’s Red Bull Ring DTM round in a Mercedes, Autosport has learned. Mercedes has previously hinted it will take advantage of rules allowing DTM manufacturers to run a one-off seventh car alongside its six regular entries for a guest driver. Two-time DTM champion Mattias Ekstrom made
The M-Sport World Rally Championship team is analysing a revised aerodynamic set-up for its Ford Fiesta at this week’s Rally Finland pre-event test. Sebastien Ogier is on his second day of a two-day test, with team-mate Elfyn Evans already having reported his findings after driving the car in Finland earlier this week. The main element
Three of the four World Rally Championship manufacturers will contest Rally Estonia as part of their preparations for Rally Finland at the end of the month. Toyota, Citroen and Hyundai will send cars for Ott Tanak, Craig Breen and Hayden Paddon respectively to this weekend’s national-level event. The gravel rally was previously used by teams
The World Rally Championship is considering implementing Formula 1-style group tests in an attempt to curb rising costs. The majority of the teams are lobbying the FIA to reduce the number of test days available in the WRC, which was raised from 42 to 55 for 2017 when the latest generation of cars were introduced.
Japan and Chile are now both set to join the 2019 World Rally Championship calendar, meaning a European event will lose its place. Chile’s chances of joining the calendar were boosted in April after it hosted a candidate event that WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla said “really delivered”. That event was initially thought to
Rally Australia organisers have made significant changes to the event’s Coffs Harbour route ahead of the 2018 World Rally Championship season finale. Just eight of the 2017 route’s 24 competitive stages will remain unchanged, with new roads and reverse sections set to make up large parts of the 197-mile route. The biggest change is that
Volkswagen Motorsport team principal Sven Smeets believes the manufacturer’s Pikes Peak success has showed the World Rally Championship “what’s possible” with electric rally cars. Romain Dumas won last Sunday’s hillclimb in the manufacturer’s electric I.D. R car and set a new record of 7m57.148s in the process, beating Sebastien Loeb’s previous best – from 2013,
The Peruvian government has announced the country will host the Dakar Rally after all in 2019, ending doubt about next year’s running of the event. In May, Dakar Rally organiser ASO announced a route that would take place only in Peru after Bolivia pulled out of hosting the event and Chile decided against a return.
Toyota World Rally Championship team principal Tommi Makinen is ready to make a Yaris WRC available for Ferrari Formula 1 driver Kimi Raikkonen to test. Raikkonen’s F1 future is uncertain as Ferrari leans towards replacing him with Charles Leclerc for 2019. Though Autosport understands from well-placed sources that recent stories linking Raikkonen to a WRC
World Rally Championship points leader Thierry Neuville dominated the Ypres Rally, winning 15 of the 23 stages. Neuville made a one-off appearance at the classic Belgian rally for the second consecutive year in a Hyundai i20 R5, with a special charity livery. He crashed out of the event last year, but made few mistakes on
The return of the iconic Safari Rally to the World Rally Championship has taken another step closer, with a 2020 calendar slot the target. FIA president and former WRC co-driver Jean Todt has long pushed for the Kenyan event to return to the schedule for the first time since 2002. On Thursday WRC Promoter managing
The fate of the 2019 Dakar Rally appears to be hanging in the balance, with sole host country Peru reportedly threatening to pull out over financial concerns. Last month, Dakar organiser ASO announced a 2019 route taking place entirely inside Peru following Bolivia’s withdrawal and Chile dropping out of a planned return at the last
Mads Ostberg will take Kris Meeke’s vacant seat in the Citroen World Rally Championship line-up for the rest of the 2018 season. Meeke was dropped by Citroen ahead of the last WRC round in Italy following recent crashes. Ostberg is well known to Citroen, having driven for its factory team in 2014 and ’15 before
Carlos Sainz Sr is in talks with both the Toyota and X-raid Mini teams about a 2019 Dakar deal following Peugeot’s withdrawal from cross-country rallying. Sainz, 56, secured his second Dakar triumph in January in Peugeot’s swansong outing in the event, beating Toyota’s Nasser Al-Attiyah by 43 minutes. The two-time World Rally champion has been
Sebastien Ogier has hinted that he will either stay with M-Sport Ford for 2019 or retire from the World Rally Championship, rather than move to a rival team. Kris Meeke’s departure from Citroen has kick-started the WRC driver market earlier than usual, with only Toyota’s Ott Tanak and Hyundai driver Andreas Mikkelsen under contract for
A World Rally Championship team is trying to muster support for a letter to FIA president Jean Todt outlining plans to boycott Rally Italy 2019 if it stays on Sardinia. The WRC teams met during last week’s Alghero-based event and Autosport understands a letter to Todt was talked about, but ultimately dismissed by the group.
Jari-Matti Latvala believes Citroen acted incorrectly by sacking Kris Meeke halfway through the 2018 World Rally Championship and should have honoured his contract. Meeke, who had been hired to lead Citroen’s title challenge in its factory WRC return with the C3, was dismissed between the last two rounds in what the team called a safety-related
World Rally Championship events are building dangerous artificial jumps that should be outlawed, according to leading WRC drivers. Toyota’s Ott Tanak had to retire from third place on Rally Italy last week after an incident on what many felt was a badly built jump on the Monte Baranta stage. Tanak’s Yaris WRC slammed nose-first into
Thierry Neuville called his final-stage defeat of World Rally Championship rival Sebastien Ogier on Rally Italy a “precious” result and admitted it was hard to believe. A weekend-long battle between reigning champion Ogier and current points leader Neuville was only settled on the concluding powerstage in Sardinia, where Neuville’s fastest time gave him overall victory
Sebastien Ogier has been given a suspended World Rally Championship points penalty and a fine for receiving outside assistance on his way to second place on Rally Italy. The reigning WRC champion was beaten to the win by series leader Thierry Neuville, who snatched victory on the final stage. Moments before that turnaround, Ogier had
World Rally Championship title contender Sebastien Ogier‘s second place on Rally Italy is under investigation. The Frenchman left the end of the penultimate stage without the timecard, the vital paperwork which keeps a running record of the progress of the Ford Fiesta WRC through the controls, aboard his car. Autosport understands Ogier‘s co-driver Julien Ingrassia
Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville overhauled World Rally Championship rival Sebastien Ogier on the last stage in a dramatic conclusion to win Rally Italy by just 0.7 seconds. Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul began Sunday’s stages 3.9s behind their rival but won all four of the day’s tests to eclipse Ogier, in what was the equal third
The charging Hyundai of Thierry Neuville cut his World Rally Championship rival Sebastien Ogier’s Rally Italy lead down to only 1.3 seconds on Sunday morning, with just two stages remaining. Ogier started the day with a slim 3.9s advantage but his advantage was eroded further by two stage wins for Neuville. The second of those
Jari-Matti Latvala has lost third place on Rally Italy, after a technical problem forced him to retire his Toyota despite the World Rally Championship’s Saturday stages having already been completed. Latvala – last year’s runner-up on this event – had been engaged in a tight scrap for a podium place with his team-mate Esapekka Lappi.
Sebastien Ogier maintained a slim lead on Rally Italy ahead of World Rally Championship rival Thierry Neuville at the end of Saturday, taking a 3.9-second advantage into the deciding day. Reigning champion Ogier’s margin over Neuville had been cut down significantly before midday service, and he lost a further 2.0s with a startline stall on
Sebastien Ogier continues to lead Rally Italy after Saturday morning’s stages, but his lead has been slashed to 4.9 seconds by World Rally Championship title rival Thierry Neuville. Ogier held an 18.9s lead overnight in his M-Sport Ford Fiesta and had increased that gap by sixth tenths of a second after the second stage of
M-Sport’s Sebastien Ogier mastered muddy conditions to vault from fifth to first place on Rally Italy, eclipsing his main World Rally Championship rival Thierry Neuville in second. Reigning world champion Ogier made light work of his opponents through stage six, their first test following midday service. Amid slippery conditions with standing water throughout, Ogier went