WRC Ireland Nov 15-18 *talk /results
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This is a discussion on WRC Ireland Nov 15-18 *talk /results within the Motorsports Talk forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; There are only 18,000 inhabitants in the small west coast town of Sligo, home to Rally HQ and the service ...

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    Post WRC Ireland Nov 15-18 *talk /results

    There are only 18,000 inhabitants in the small west coast town of Sligo, home to Rally HQ and the service park. It is located approx 200km from Belfast, which plays host to the event-opening Super Special in the grounds of Stormont castle. The last asphalt outing of the year, the stages are unusually bumpy, quite unlike any other sealed surface rally and will make for an unique challenge.

    Secondhand World Rally Cars are prolific in Ireland, and no fewer than 36 of these cars are on the entry list. Among them, Subarus have enjoyed great success, this year dominating the Irish Tarmac Championship and claiming the top four spots in the overall standings. As the WRC comes to town, thousands of enthusiastic spectators are expected to follow the action.

    The weather in November is as you might expect Ė unpredictable with the ever-present chance of rain. The surface is usually damp, and a mix of asphalt and gravel, meaning the cars are setup in a totally different way to any other asphalt event. Tyre choice will be critical with the changing conditions, and the very narrow routes and high speed mean it will be easy to make mistakes. Despite the fact that dusk will fall at around 1630hrs, the short spectator stage in Belfast will be the only stage that the lead WRC cars will start in the dark.

    A pilot event was run last year that featured stages winding through similar areas to this yearís route, however the exact stages have not been rallied before. Totally new is the spectator Super Special stage in Stormont, Belfast which starts the rally on Thursday evening. The second section of leg one, the trickiest of the rally, commences from Sligo on Friday.

    Although the total liaison distance is only 853.91km (excluding travel to Belfast for SS1), the event route takes in eight counties, both to the north and the south of the island, and crosses between Ulster and the Republic of Ireland, making it a very diverse event.

    Chris competed on Rally Ireland last year so has an idea of what the conditions can be like, but Petter and Xevi have no experience of Irish asphalt.

    Quotes:
    Car Number 7
    Petter Solberg: ďI have never rallied in Ireland before so it will be very new for me, but I am looking forward to it. The fans in Ireland are rally-mad which is really good. Itís always nice to drive in front of people who are really into it. It would have been good to do a few rallies earlier in the year to get a feel for the surface, but still we prepare and focus 110 per cent. It will be very interesting I think, especially with the chance that the 2007 championship can be decided there.Ē

    Car Number 8
    Chris Atkinson: ďRally Ireland is a totally different event, not just in terms of the bumpy surface. Being a new round itís very difficult to prepare for. Weíve driven the route in a Group N car, but the extra speed of the WRC car is bound to make it very different. When everything comes up faster, it becomes more difficult as you have to process the information faster, and when it is all new that is the hard part. The surface is half asphalt and half gravel, which means we have to use an unique setup. We actually set the car up for the wet to get the compromise between the two surfaces, and the high chance of rain. Rather than when the asphalt gets wet and slippery, itís when the asphalt is totally dry that you lose time.Ē

    Car Number 14
    Xevi Pons: ďI havenít been to Ireland before so itís another new weekend for me. Ok, it will be a hard rally and very slippery, so it will be easy to make a mistake but I will push as hard as I can. We havenít done any testing there so I donít really know what to expect from the conditions, but I still prepare in the same way as any rally, and learn as fast as I can from the recce days.Ē

    more reading here: http://www.swrt.com/news/viewarticle.html?id=1361

    follow it on:
    http://www.rallyireland.org/
    http://www.rally-live.com/wrc/en/
    www.crash.net/home~cid~4.htm
    www.swrt.com
    www.wrc.com
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    Quotes:
    Car Number 7
    Petter Solberg: ďI have never rallied in Ireland before so it will be very new for me, but I am looking forward to it. The fans in Ireland are rally-mad which is really good. Itís always nice to drive in front of people who are really into it. It would have been good to do a few rallies earlier in the year to get a feel for the surface, but still we prepare and focus 110 per cent. It will be very interesting I think, especially with the chance that the 2007 championship can be decided there.Ē

    Car Number 8
    Chris Atkinson: ďRally Ireland is a totally different event, not just in terms of the bumpy surface. Being a new round itís very difficult to prepare for. Weíve driven the route in a Group N car, but the extra speed of the WRC car is bound to make it very different. When everything comes up faster, it becomes more difficult as you have to process the information faster, and when it is all new that is the hard part. The surface is half asphalt and half gravel, which means we have to use an unique setup. We actually set the car up for the wet to get the compromise between the two surfaces, and the high chance of rain. Rather than when the asphalt gets wet and slippery, itís when the asphalt is totally dry that you lose time.Ē

    Car Number 14
    Xevi Pons: ďI havenít been to Ireland before so itís another new weekend for me. Ok, it will be a hard rally and very slippery, so it will be easy to make a mistake but I will push as hard as I can. We havenít done any testing there so I donít really know what to expect from the conditions, but I still prepare in the same way as any rally, and learn as fast as I can from the recce days.Ē


    A lot of confidence from the three of them, huh?
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    Shakedown News

    1. Marcus Gronholm BP Ford Focus RS WRC 07 1min 37.3secs M
    2. Chris Atkinson Subaru WRT Impreza WRC 2006 1min 38.3secs M
    3. Mikko Hirvonen BP Ford Focus RS WRC 07 1min 38.7secs M
    4. Andreas Mikkelsen Ramsport Ford Focus RS WRC 1min 39.2secs
    5. Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WRT C4 WRC 1min 39.6secs M
    6. Dani Sordo Citroen Total WRT C4 WRC 1min 40.0secs M
    7. Petter Solberg Subaru WRT Impreza WRC 2007 1min 40.3secs M
    8. Matthew Wilson Stobart Ford Focus WRC 06 1mins 40.7secs
    9. Guy Wilks Subaru Impreza 1min 40.9secs
    10. Henning Solberg Stobart Ford Focus WRC 06 1min 41.1secs M
    11. Jari-Matti Latvala Stobart Ford Focus WRC 06 1min 41.4secs M
    12. Manfred Stohl OMV Kronos Citroen Xsara WRC 1min 41.6secs M
    13. Kris Meeke Subaru Impreza 1min 41.8secs
    14. Tim McNulty Subaru Impreza S11 1min 42.6secs
    15. Xavier Pons Subaru WRT Impreza WRC 2007 1min 42.9secs

    more news:
    http://www.crash.net/motorsport/wrc/...0/content.html

    Rally Ireland now begins later on today at 19.00 hours local time, when competitors will tackle SS1 - the 1.82 kilometre Stormont Super Special.
    Last edited by Weasel 555; 11-15-2007 at 07:40 AM.
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    SS1 Overall - STORMONT SUPER SPECIAL

    1.Gronholm - Ford - 01'30"8
    2.Loeb - C4 - 1'31"7
    3.Meeke - Subaru - 01'31"8
    4.Atkinson - Subaru - 01'32"0
    5.P.Solberg - Subaru - 01'32"2
    6.Hirvonen - Ford - 01'32"5
    7.Latvala - Ford - 01'32"5
    8.Sordo - C4 - 01'32"7
    9.Stohl - Xsara - 01'33"3
    10.Pons - Subaru - 01'33"3
    Last edited by Weasel 555; 11-15-2007 at 02:35 PM. Reason: whoops typo!
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    1.Gronholm - Ford - 01'30"8
    2.Loeb - C4 - 1'13"7


    HUh? are those switched?

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    whoops typo --edited post
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    BP Ford number one driver Marcus Gronholm has crashed out of the inaugural Rally Ireland.

    Gronholm, who was running third overall following SS3 - just 4 seconds behind rally leader, Sebastien Loeb, went off towards the end of the 20.57 kilometre-run through Lough Gill 1.

    The Finn's Focus RS WRC car was heavily damaged in the incident and although he and co-driver, Timo Rautiainen were not injured, Marcus momentarily lost consciousness.

    The stage was subsequently stopped so that an ambulance could reach the two-time world champion.
    http://www.crash.net/motorsport/wrc/...4_stopped.html
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    Day 1

    Overall as of SS4:

    1.Sordo - C4 - 34'20"1
    2.Loeb - C4 - 34'22"3
    3.Hirvonen - Ford - 34'49"4
    4.Latvala - Ford - 35'02"9
    5.P.Solberg - Subaru - 35'21"0
    6.H.Solberg - Ford - 35'34"4
    7.Meeke - Subaru - 35'47"9
    8.Wilks - Subaru - 36'01"5
    9.Stohl - Xsara - 36'11"1
    10.Wilson - Ford - 36'57"0

    50.Lawless - Mitsu - 40'52"9 (USA)

    A word from our Subaru Drivers:
    The Subaru team drivers have been making their way through a problem-ridden Rally Ireland with Petter Solberg encountering a sensor malfunction related to his engine, Chris Atkinson spinning out, and a maneuver from Xevi Pons transforming into an engine-damaging off.

    "The conditions are incredibly difficult out there but the main problem we had was a misfire from the engine," explained Solberg. "I noticed it before the first stage; the engine was missing quite a lot, so I couldn't push as hard as I wanted to."

    "Apart from that it's been okay, our tyre choice was good and we won't be making any big set-up changes for the afternoon," he added.

    "It's very disappointing," declared Atkinson regarding his spin. "The accident happened at the 15km point of SS4, on a very slippery right hand bend. It was a fourth gear corner and I was going too fast, and the car understeered straight on into a fence and a mud bank.

    That's about it."

    "We were stuck there for a while, whilst we changed a wheel and made some repairs, but we were able to get going again and get the car back to service. The conditions out there are unreal," the Australian stated.

    The last word on the current rallying situation went to Petter Solberg: "You can see from the problems other drivers are having how tricky it is already, and it'll be worse for the repeat loop. When it's as bad as this there's no option but to drive like my grandmother."
    Last edited by Weasel 555; 11-16-2007 at 05:09 AM.
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    Day 1

    Overall SS6:

    1.Loeb - C4 - 56'53"9
    2.Sordo - C4 - 57'02"2
    3.Latvala - Ford - 57'49"6
    4.Hirvonen - Ford - 57'54"1
    5.P.Solberg - Subaru - 58'31"2
    6.H.Solberg - Ford - 58'42"6
    7.Wilks - Subaru - 59'19'7
    8.Stohl - Xsara - 59'41"0
    9.Meeke - Subaru - 1h00'29"5
    10.Wilson - Ford - 1h00'56"2

    48.Lawless - Mitsu - 1h08'30"1

    65.Pons - Subaru - 1h14'19"4

    76.Atkinson - Subaru - 1h20'08"4
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    Oh crap, you know what this means? If Loeb holds on he will be 6 points ahead of Marcus! Drat!
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    Quote Originally Posted by WRXelent View Post
    Oh crap, you know what this means? If Loeb holds on he will be 6 points ahead of Marcus! Drat!
    Still means it would all come down to Rally GB in a couple of weeks
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    Gronholm crash video

    Gronholm's accident!
    (some nsfw language)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6bwb_sZoRA

    http://www.crash.net/motorsport/wrc/...ig_impact.html
    BP Ford team leader, Marcus Gronholm has said that while his neck is a bit sore, he is otherwise 'OK' following his big crash this morning on the Rally Ireland.

    Gronholm had been running third overall, just 4 seconds off the lead going into SS4, when he lost control of his Focus RS
    WRC
    car under braking for a corner and crashed heavily into a stone wall.

    The incident occurred towards the end of the 20.57 kilometre-run through Lough Gill 1 and the earlier split times showed he was more than six seconds quicker than his nearest rivals.

    Although Gronholm and co-driver, Timo Rautiainen were taken to Sligo General Hospital by ambulance, after the former briefly lost consciousness, they have since been released and given the all-clear.

    "The accident happened near the finish on a wide, right corner," Marcus explained back in service. "I braked for the bend but it was extremely slippery and the car skated off the road.

    "I managed to turn it sideways before hitting a stone wall hard. It was a big, big impact because the car stopped immediately. Both wheels on my side of the car were ripped off.

    "We were taken to hospital where we were both given a scan but that showed no problems. My neck is sore but otherwise I'm OK."

    Gronholm's exit however is major blow for his championship aspirations. Indeed with arch rival Sebastien Loeb currently on course for the win, the Finn looks set to go to Wales Rally GB in two weeks time, the final round in the FIA World Rally Championship, six points behind.

    “It will be hard to lift the drivers' championship if S&#233;bastien Loeb wins, but there are a lot of kilometres remaining here and on the final round in Great Britain so I'm not giving up hope yet," Gronholm summed-up defiantly.
    Last edited by Weasel 555; 11-16-2007 at 10:37 AM.
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    End of Day 1 -News/Overall

    Overall SS10:
    1.Loeb - C4 - 1h33'15"9
    2.Sordo - C4 - 1h33'27"1
    3.Latvala - Ford - 1h34'44"3
    4.Hirvonen - Ford - 1h35'09"1
    5.P.Solberg - Subaru - 1h35'35"1
    6.Wilks - Subaru - 1h37'29"5
    7.Stohl - Xsara - 1h37'57"8
    8.Wilson - Ford - 1h40'01"3
    9.Mcnulty - Subaru - 1h41'11"8
    10.G.Machale - 1h41'15"7

    38.H.Solberg - Ford - 1h50'16"9

    48.Lawless - Mitsu - 1h52'45"2

    59.Atkinson - Subaru - 1h58'03"5
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    I really wanted to see Marcus take the driver's win this year. I hope that stone wall didn't seal it up for Loeb.

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    Day 2

    Overall as of SS13:

    1.Loeb - C4 - 2h02'01"1
    2.Sordo - C4 - 2h02'51"8
    3.Latvala - Ford - 2h03'39"3
    4.Hirvonen - Ford - 2h04'30"2
    5.P.Solberg - Subaru - 2h04'42"8
    6.Wilks - Subaru - 2h07'03"4
    7.Wilson - Ford - 2h10'20"9
    8.G.Machale - Ford - 2h10'54"1
    9.Higgins - Mitsu - 2h13'20"5
    10.Mikkelsen - Ford - 2h14'14"4

    24.Stohl - Xsara - 2h18'56"5

    30.H.Solberg - Ford - 2h20'37"0

    45.Atkinson - Subaru - 2h27'26"3

    59.Lawless - Mitsu - 2h36'20"4
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