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This is a discussion on WRC Portugal Mar29-Apr1 talk/results spoiler** within the Motorsports Talk forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; SS14: Problems for Latvala,Sordo Dani Sordo and Jari-Matti Latvala have both hit trouble on stage 14 of Vodafone Rally de ...

  1. #16

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    SS14: Problems for Latvala,Sordo

    Dani Sordo and Jari-Matti Latvala have both hit trouble on stage 14 of Vodafone Rally de Portugal, round four of the FIA World Rally Championship powered by Nokia.

    Sordo had to stop when the inside of his MINI John Cooper Works WRC filled with exhaust fumes. The Spaniard said he removed part of the rear bumper and his co-driver’s side window to allow he and navigator Carlos del Barrio to breathe properly.

    Latvala’s Fiesta stopped approximately 17 kilometres into the stage with a reported fuel pressure problem. He eventually reached the stage finish following a lengthy delay.

    Petter Solberg has shot up from ninth to sixth position in his factory Ford following his fastest stage time. He said: “I went for the hard [compound] tyre, it’s dry and the road is cleaning quite a lot. I had a good run with no problems.”

    click: wrc.com/news/portugal ss14



    --------------------

    SS15: Araujo retires

    Armindo Araujo’s bid to score points in the FIA World Rally Championship powered by Nokia on Vodafone Rally de Portugal is over after the local hero ripped the front-right wheel off his MINI John Cooper Works WRC.

    Araujo, the double Production Car world champion, was in 11th overall when he stopped almost 14 kilometres from the start of the stage in his WRC Team MINI Portugal entry.

    Out front, Mikko Hirvonen maintains his healthy advantage aboard his Citroen DS3 WRC. The Finn was sixth quickest and now heads Mads Ostberg by more than one minute in the overall classification.

    “I had a good rhythm and it felt comfortable,” said Hirvonen. “I would like to push hard but you are avoiding mistakes the whole time. The car feels really good and the pace is fine.”

    Petter Solberg claimed the fastest stage time in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC following a charging drive. His performance puts him ahead of Nasser Al-Attiyah and Martin Prokop into fourth overall.

    “I don’t think I breathed through the whole stage! It was a fantastic stage - some bad rocks but I drove round them,” said Solberg. “The car is fantastic. It is really good fun now. I am so angry about yesterday.”

    click: wrc.com/news/portugal ss15



    --------------------

    SS16: More frustration for Solberg

    Petter Solberg has lost fourth position on Vodafone Rally de Portugal after his Ford Fiesta RS WRC suffered powersteering failure on Saturday’s final stage, the 22.57-kilometre Loule test.

    Solberg completed the run with his car’s rear sump guard missing. However, that was the least of the Norwegian’s worries after it took him a minute more than stage winner Dani Sordo to complete the test.

    “I’ve got no power steering,” said Solberg, who slips behind Nasser Al-Attiyah in the overall classification. “It happened just before the stage. I’ve probably lost my fourth place. It’s another day tomorrow.”

    Sordo’s fastest time came despite the build up of dust inside his MINI John Cooper Works WRC, which has been occurring since his co-driver Carlos del Barrio’s side window fell out on stage 14.

    “I tried to push really, really hard and do a good time,” said Sordo. “I’m happy with the car but I think we need to fix the window! It fell out on a fast section of a stage.”

    Martin Prokop completed the stage with the soft compound rear tyres on his Fiesta badly worn. “We had no traction at all, it was crazy,” said the Czech.

    Event leader Mikko Hirvonen completed day three with the fifth quickest time in his Citroen DS3 WRC. His advantage over Mads Ostberg out front increases to 1m11.9s.

    click: wrc.com/news/portugal ss16




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  3. #17

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    Saturday WRC Academy wrap: Portugal glory for Fisher



    Alastair Fisher has won the opening event of FIA WRC Academy season two, Vodafone Rally de Portugal, after a faultless drive at the wheel of his Ford Fiesta R2.

    The WRC Academy concluded on Saturday’s 13th stage, after Fisher had established a 40.3s lead over second-placed Brendan Reeves. An impressive drive from Sweden’s Pontus Tidemand awarded the category newcomer the final podium spot and put him in strong early contention for the new-for-2012 Rookie Award.

    “We’ve worked very hard and it’s paid off,” said 23-year-old Fisher at the finish at Faro’s Algarve Stadium this afternon. “We won the rally in the wet conditions yesterday and it worked really well. It’s a very positive start but I’m under no illusion: it’s going to be a very tough year. The quality of the entrants is even higher than last season.”

    A field of 10 WRC Academy crews tackled a superspecial in Lisbon followed by three stages to the south of the Portuguese capital on Thursday. Series debutant John MacCrone hit trouble on the second stage, when the Scottish driver was forced to retire after a heavy landing.

    During Thursday’s four stages Reeves, Tidemand, Fisher and Ahlin each claimed a stage win but it was Ahlin who carried an early lead by a slender 0.5 seconds going into day two.

    Ahlin’s hopes for a maiden victory were dashed when the Swedish driver slid off the road on Friday’s second stage. With Ahlin out of the picture, Fisher was on a charge; claiming two stage wins to haul himself into the top spot.

    Welshman Elfyn Evans - the son of former World Rally Championship driver Gwyndaf Evans - finished Friday’s opening stage second-quickest but lost nearly 14 minutes after he went off the road on stage six.

    Heavy rain meant the remainder of Friday’s stages were cancelled due to safety issues, and after only two stages, Fisher was leading the Pirelli-supported WRC Academy by close to a minute. Reeves remained second, with Tidemand in third.

    Saturday witnessed a return to form for Ahlin as the Swede claimed two further stage wins. Reeves claimed the fastest time on stage 12, but it was Fisher’s measured approach that rewarded the young British driver with the victory and an early championship lead.

    By contrast, American driver Chris Duplessis was forced into retirement from a strong fifth place on the penultimate stage after he ripped off a wheel.

    Dutchman Timo van der Marel finished fourth with Spaniard Jose Suarez fifth. Ahlin took sixth, Elfyn Evans finished seventh with Portugal’s Joao Silva eighth. John MacCrone was the final finisher in ninth position.

    The next round of the WRC Academy will take place in May, as the crews travel to Greece for the rough and hot Acropolis Rally from 25-27 May.

    click: wrc-academy/saturday-wrap

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  4. #18

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    Saturday SWRC wrap:



    Yazeed Al Rajhi has enjoyed a trouble-free day in his Ford Fiesta RRC, further extending his advantage at the front of the Super 2000 World Rally Championship field on Vodafone Rally de Portugal.

    With one day remaining, the Saudi Arabian driver is now close to eight and a half minutes ahead of second-placed Maciek Oleksowicz.

    Fiesta driver Oleksowicz moved up into second place on the day’s opening test, easing his way past Pedro Meireles (Mitsubishi).

    Hayden Paddon, who restarted under Rally 2 regulations following his retirement on Friday, also demoted the local star on the penultimate stage of the day, but Meireles wasn’t concerned about dropping from second to fourth - his sights were firmly set on the end of the day.

    “The Portuguese championship round ends this evening,” said the Lancer driver. “So I am happy to make the service park for points in this championship, this is most important for me.”

    Ahead of him, Al Rajhi was delighted with his day, saying: “We have driven very carefully today, not taking any major risks at all - and we have been able to build an even bigger lead. Tomorrow, we have a clear strategy: to make it to the finish, that is the only thing we have to do.”

    Al Rajhi, who is co-driven by Briton Michael Orr, starts tomorrow desperate for his first SWRC win, which would make him the third different winner in the three rounds run so far, following on from Craig Breen’s round one win on Rallye Monte-Carlo and PROTON ace’s P-G Andersson’s star drive in Sweden.

    Oleksowicz’s only concern was running soft tyres through the afternoon’s dry stages, but the Polish driver is likely to come under threat from Paddon’s flying Skoda on tomorrow’s final day.

    Paddon’s charge back through the field continued, but the Kiwi’s pace was also slowed by being forced to run soft compound tyres all round after he punctured one of the hard covers mid-way through the afternoon loop.

    click: swrc/news/saturday-wrap


    --------------------------

    Saturday wrap:

    Mikko Hirvonen is six stages and 115.08 competitive kilometres away from his first victory in the FIA World Rally Championship for the factory Citroen team after he completed the penultimate day of the event leading by more than one minute.

    Hirvonen began day three of Vodafone Rally de Portugal with an advantage of almost 40 seconds in the Citroen DS3 WRC he shares with co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen. With the fog, mud and rain that lashed the Algarve stages on Friday subsiding today, Hirvonen’s main focus was on avoiding making any mistakes as he consolidated his healthy margin.

    “It’s been good today,” said the Finn. “We managed to take some time out of the others. The lead is a little bigger after a very steady and safe drive. We need to make sure we’re still there at the end of the rally because there is still a long way to go. I’ve been listening to every sound and every knock the car has made.”

    Mads Ostberg is second in his Adapta Fiesta after moving ahead of Evgeny Novikov on stage 11. However, his efforts to make more progress and catch Hirvonen were hampered when his car developed an engine problem on stage 13 and he lost precious power and time.

    “We hoped to take some time off Mikko but we haven’t been able to do that,” said Norwegian Ostberg. “We will concentrate on second position and just try to continue with a steady run.”

    Novikov is third overnight after another strong performance in his M-Sport Fiesta. The 21-year-old was slowed by an engine misfire this morning but holds a comfortable advantage over fourth-placed Nasser Al-Attiyah, who has impressed in his Qatar World Rally Team Citroen.

    Petter Solberg had fought his way up to fourth courtesy of four stage wins after restarting this morning in 13th position following his exit on Friday but dropped down to fifth when his factory Fiesta suffered powersteering failure on today’s final stage.

    click: wrc.com/news/saturday-wrap


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  5. #19

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    Sunday

    SS17: Solberg takes fourth




    Petter Solberg has reclaimed fourth place on Vodafone Rally de Portugal after going faster than Nasser Al-Attiyah through Sunday’s opening stage.

    Driving a Ford Fiesta RS WRC, Solberg is now more than 20 seconds in front of the Qatar World Rally Team ace in the overall classification.

    “It was a good stage, very muddy in places,” said the Norwegian. “There were no risks, there’s a long stage next. The tyres should be good for the next stage. I’ve got two new ones on the front and two worn ones on the back. I’ve got two spares.”

    Al-Attityah is on course for a career-best fifth in his Citroen DS3 WRC. He said: “I’m happy with what I’ve done, but I need to finish the rally with no risks. The hard tyres weren’t right for this stage, but they’ll be good for the next.”

    Factory Citroen pilot Mikko Hirvonen was sixth fastest to his extend his lead on round four of the FIA World Rally Championship powered by Nokia to 1m14.7s.

    click: wrc.com/news/portugal ss17



    ---------------------

    SS18: Latvala flies

    Jari-Matti Latvala has won the longest stage of Vodafone Rally de Portugal following a charging drive in his Ford World Rally Team Fiesta RS WRC.

    The Finn was 10.2s faster than team-mate Petter Solberg as he continues to battle back from the various delays suffered during round four of the FIA World Rally Championship powered by Nokia.

    “It’s hard work but a great stage,” he said. “The car is fantastic to drive and I’m really enjoying it.”

    Mads Ostberg has suffered a scare in his bid to finish second overall after his Adapta Fiesta dropped on to three cylinders. “For the last three kilometres we were in road mode, it happened early in the stage and we had to reset everything.”

    Ostberg’s delay means Citroen Total World Rally Team driver Mikko Hirvonen’s overall lead increases to 1m22.8s. The Finn was fifth quickest on the stage.

    click: wrc.com/news/portugal ss18



    ---------------------

    SS19: Neuville survives

    Thierry Neuville remains on course for his first points in the FIA World Rally Championship powered by Nokia despite reporting a “very, very big moment” in his Citroen Junior World Rally Team DS3 WRC.

    The Belgian was seventh fastest through the stage as a result but holds on to 10th position in the overall standings on Vodafone Rally de Portugal.

    “It was a very, very big moment,” said Neuville. “We went off the road. I went much too fast in a corner, but I managed to get the car out.”

    Petter Solberg was fastest through the run, which will form the rally-closing Power Stage later today, in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC. The Norwegian was 0.1s quicker than Dani Sordo in a MINI John Cooper Works WRC.

    The power loss problem that slowed Mads Ostberg on stage 18 continues to plague the Norwegian, who had to complete Sambro in road mode. He is now 1m40.1s behind overall leader Mikko Hirvonen, who was fourth quickest.

    Jari-Matti Latvala was third fastest in his Fiesta with Jari Ketomaa fifth and Patrik Sandell impressing in sixth in his Prodrive-run MINI.

    click: wrc.com/news/portugal ss19



    ---------------------

    Sunday midday wrap:



    Mikko Hirvonen is three stages away from winning Vodafone Rally de Portugal after completing Sunday morning's three stages with a lead of 1m40.1s over Mads Ostberg.

    Hirvonen, in a Citroen DS3 WRC, has driven without error as he chases down win number 15 in the FIA World Rally Championship powered by Nokia.

    “I don’t think I have ever driven a rally as slow as today,” said Hirvonen. “It is difficult to keep the concentration. It feels like we are losing minutes but it is okay. We just need to get to the end.”

    Ostberg completed stage 19 on road mode after a suspected electrical problem struck his Adapta Fiesta. “The car started misfiring and I had to switch to road mode, there was no power at all,” said the Norwegian. “It would be a disaster if the car broke down but we hope we can fix it. The engineers are confident.”

    Evgeny Novikov maintains his grip on third position in his M-Sport Fiesta with factory Ford driver Petter Solberg demoting Nasser Al-Attiyah for fourth on Sunday’s first stage.

    “I don’t want to push so we are driving for the podium,” said Novikov. “Everything is fine with the car.”

    Solberg, who was quickest through stage 19, said: “It was a good morning, no problem. I had worn tyres on the back compared with other drivers but that’s what I had left! It was a little difficult with the dry surface but we will see this afternoon.”

    more: wrc.com/news/sunday-midday-wrap


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  6. #20

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    SS20: Drama for Novikov



    Evgeny Novikov’s hopes of a maiden podium finish in the FIA World Rally Championship powered by Nokia have suffered a potentially disastrous setback after the Russian reached the end of stage 20 with a throttle cable problem.

    Novikov completed the stage in third position overall and must now wait to see if emergency repairs carried out at the stage finish will enable him to reach the next run and complete Vodafone Rally de Portugal in the final podium spot aboard his M-Sport Ford Fiesta RS WRC.

    “It happened after 500 metres but I think we have fixed it,” said Novikov.

    There were no such problems for Petter Solberg who has claimed his eighth stage victory on the gravel event in his Ford World Rally Team Fiesta as rain at the start of the stage and during the middle of the run increased the challenge facing crews.

    Jari-Matti Latvala, who was second fastest, 8.0s off Solberg’s pace, said: “I just tried to be sensible because there was a little bit of rain in the first couple of kilometres and in the middle of the stage.”

    click: wrc.com/news/portugal ss20



    -------------------

    SS21: MINI drivers in trouble



    The drama continues on Vodafone Rally de Portugal with MINI John Cooper Works WRC drivers Armindo Araujo, Patrik Sandell and Dani Sordo hitting trouble during the rain-hit penultimate stage.

    Araujo and Sordo both managed to complete the stage following delays but Patrik Sandell has retired following reports that he has gone off the road in his Sweden World Rally Team-backed MINI.

    “I had a spin at a junction and hit a small bank,” said Sordo. “I got a puncture after this and had to stop and change the rear left wheel.”

    Araujo said: “I had a puncture on the front and had to stop and change the wheel.”

    Jari-Matti Latvala, running at the head of the field, was fastest through the stage in his factory Ford Fiesta RS WRC, more than 20 seconds up on team-mate Petter Solberg.

    “In some places, it was a bit slippery especially at the beginning,” said Latvala. “I tried to save the tyres for the Power Stage. There were some showers but short, mainly at the end of the stage.”

    Solberg said: “It was very heavy rain and the stage is muddy and slippery. I drove the whole stage very cautiously.”

    click: wrc.com/news/portugal ss21



    -------------------

    SS22: Power Stage glory for Sordo

    Dani Sordo has won the Vodafone Rally de Portugal Power Stage, which has brought the action on round four of the FIA World Rally Championship powered by Nokia to a close.

    Driving a Prodrive-run MINI John Cooper Works WRC, Sordo was 0.3s faster than Ford pilot Jari-Matti Latvala to secure his first Power Stage victory and three bonus points. Latvala scored two bonus points with Ott Tanak claiming the final point with the third best run in his M-Sport Fiesta.

    “At the beginning there was a lot of rain and it was really difficult but afterwards I was pushing a lot,” said Sordo. “I am really happy with the performance of the car. I’ve had some good moments on this rally, I have a lot of confidence and also the car is fantastic.”

    Petter Solberg had hoped to end his troubled rally with victory on the Power Stage but lost out in the deteriorating weather conditions. “It was raining very hard before we started and unfortunately we didn’t get any points,” said Solberg, who was 10.3s slower than Sordo. “It was so slippery I tell you. But I got a lot of points and I am still third in the championship. The Ford has been fantastic, very fast. We should be happy with the situation after Friday.”

    click: wrc.com/news/portugal ss22




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  7. #21

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    Sunday SWRC wrap: Paddon takes unlikely win



    There was joy and despair on round three of the FIA Super 2000 World Rally Championship, which finished at Faro's Algarve Stadium today.

    Despite building a lead of almost nine minutes in his Ford Fiesta RRC, Yazeed Al Rajhi’s bid to win the WRC support category on Vodafone Rally de Portugal ended in despair when a broken cross member forced him to retire on Sunday morning.

    It handed first place to a shocked Hayden Paddon who scored his maiden win in the class at Al Rajhi’s expense as Maciej Oleksowicz and Pedro Meireles completed the podium.

    Paddon had seemingly dropped out of contention on Friday when an electrical fault grounded his Skoda Fabia. But he fought back to seal an unlikely win, despite an alternator wire fault on Sunday’s third stage giving him a fright.

    “We wanted to come here to win, but we didn’t win it like we wanted to,” said the New Zealander, Production Car world champion in 2011. “We’re happy though and I’ve always said to finish first, first you have to finish. There’s a lot more to come from the car and from me. We’re looking forward to New Zealand for the next round.”

    Al Rajhi’s co-driver Michael Orr said: “Not even a nine-minute lead is enough. It was incredible, it was a small dip in the road. It was unbelievable, the cross member just snapped. Ironically we weren’t even trying to build the lead, we were just trying to drive slowly, even though the time kept coming.”

    For Oleksowicz, in a Fiesta S2000, the event provided the Polish driver with his best finish in the SWRC, while Portugal’s Meireles was competing as a wildcard entrant in a Mitsubishi Lancer R4.

    click: swrc/news/sunday-swrc-wrap

    --------------------

    Sunday wrap: Hirvonen lands first Citroen win



    Mikko Hirvonen has claimed his first victory in the FIA World Rally Championship powered by Nokia driving for Citroen following a faultless performance on Vodafone Rally de Portugal, which ended in the Algarve region of the country this afternoon.

    The Finn’s victory alongside co-driver and countryman Jarmo Lehtinen means he now heads Citroen team-mate Sebastien Loeb by nine points in the race for the WRC drivers’ title. It was Hirvonen’s 15th world championship rally victory, while Loeb failed to score after crashing out on Thursday night.

    Hirvonen took the lead on Friday’s second stage and has maintained a healthy advantage throughout, eventually taking the laurels by 1m51.8s over Mads Ostberg as heavy rains returned during the final afternoon.

    “I’m relieved more than anything because this has been a very difficult rally,” said Hirvonen, whose victory came despite the fact he failed to land a fastest stage time during the event. “The conditions were very tough so it’s great to come through with no problems and win for Citroen.”

    Ostberg and third-placed Evgeny Novikov both overcame late dramas to secure the next steps on the podium. Ostberg’s engine dropped onto three cylinders on Sunday morning, while Novikov’s Fiesta suffered a throttle problem on stage 20.

    Fortunately, both cars were repaired to enable their respective drivers to finish, with Novikov securing his maiden podium and co-driver Denis Giraudet landing his first top-three since he navigated Thomas Radstrom to third place on the Safari Rally in 2002. Giraudet, 56, becomes the oldest co-driver to finish on the podium in the WRC.

    “I was waiting for this moment for a long time so I am very happy with this result,” said the 21-year-old Novikov.

    Petter Solberg brought his total of stage wins to eight with two further fastest times in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC. However, his failure to complete Friday’s second stage meant he languished in fourth overall. His bid to win the Power Stage was hampered when it rained heavily prior to his run.

    more: wrc.com/news/sunday-wrap

    --------------------

    WRC Standings: wrc.com/results/

    --------------------

    Next Round 5 - WRC Argentina 27-29 Apr




    Argentina, which first hosted a round of the World Rally Championship in 1980, is regarded as one of the toughest events on the WRC trail and the revised competitive route for 2012 will make it the longest since the Safari Rally in 2002 at 503 kilometres.

    Based in Villa Carlos Paz north of the capital Buenos Aires, the town lies on the banks of the spectacular San Roque Lake in the south of the Punilla Valley close to the city of Cordoba.

    The event is popularised by its jumps, water splashes and the lunar landscape of the high altitude El Condor stage, not to mention the tens of thousands of fans who line the route, and who are considered some of the most enthusiastic on the planet.

    Official Website: rallyargentina.com/en/


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  8. #22

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    Hirvonen exclusion hands Portugal victory to Ostberg

    Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen have been excluded from the results of Vodafone Rally de Portugal, round four of the FIA World Rally Championship powered Nokia, elevating Mads Ostberg and Jonas Andersson to their maiden WRC wins.

    The No. 2 Citroen DS3 WRC of Hirvonen and Lehtinen was subjected to various technical checks during post-event scrutineering at the Algarve Stadium in Faro earlier this evening.

    A report prepared by the FIA Technical Delegate issued to the event stewards stated the car’s clutch was “not in conformity with the Homologation Form A5733.” As a result the event stewards took the decision to exclude car No. 2 from the event classification.

    The report also stated “the turbo (turbine wheel) fitted to car No. 2 appears not to be in conformity”. However, a stewards’ decision on this matter has been delayed pending the outcome of further examination and reports.

    Evgeny Novikov and Denis Giraudet and Petter Solberg and Chris Patterson climb up to second and third places in the overall results respectively following the exclusion of Hirvonen and Lehtinen.

    The exclusion also means that Hirvonen and Lehtinen’s Citroen their team-mates Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena remain at the top of the drivers’ and co-drivers’ standings respectively, albeit just four points in front of Solberg and Patterson. Citroen’s lead over Ford in the manufacturers’ standings is reduced to 12 points.

    Team principal Yves Matton has confirmed Citroen will be appealing the decision of the stewards, meaning the results remain provisional.

    click: wrc.com/news/hirvonen-exclusion

    . !

    -----------------------------

    Citroen says it will appeal against the decision to strip Mikko Hirvonen of Rally of Portugal victory due to technical irregularities.

    The stewards judged that Hirvonen's Citroen DS3 was running with a non-homologated clutch and an oversized turbo component.

    But the team's technical chief Xavier Mestelan-Pinon insisted that the parts offered no performance advantage.

    "The scrutineers identified differences in between the homologation sheet and two components: the clutch and the turbocharger," he said. "The Citroen DS3 WRC's clutch mechanisms are homologated with lightening holes. Our supplier recently provided us with a batch of parts that were not perforated and one of them was fitted to the #2 DS3 WRC.

    "These parts don't provide any gain in terms of performance, as they are heavier than those which are homologated.

    "Regarding the turbocharger, which is a standard part on all World Rally Cars, the wheel turbine dimension exceed the maximum authorised. This difference comes from dilatation, as the wheel is subject to extreme temperature and rpm factors."

    Team boss Yves Matton felt the ruling was unfair.

    "We had no intention whatsoever to cheat and the decision appears out of proportion," he said. "Given the fact that the reported differences didn't bring us any advantage, we've decided to appeal."

    Matton also apologised to Hirvonen and co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen for the situation.

    "At the moment, most of all I feel sorry for Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen, who produced a superb performance on a particularly difficult rally," said Matton.

    "They really deserved their first win with us. All I can do, on behalf of the entire team, is offer my sincere apologies for this situation. I hope that Mikko and Jarmo will have the chance to top the podium again very soon."

    Hirvonen's exclusion made Mads Ostberg the rally winner for Adapta Ford.

    click: autosport.com/news/98555

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  9. #23

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    Citroen Racing will not appeal against Mikko Hirvonen's exclusion from last week's Rally of Portugal - despite initially stating it intended to.

    The French firm says it was investigated the matter independently and elected not to pursue a case through the FIA's International Court of Appeal.

    Following the stewards' decision on Sunday night, in line with the WRC's sporting code, Citroen had a one-hour window to decide if it would appeal or not. It then had 48 hours to confirm the appeal, but has now decided against the action.

    A statement from Citroen said: "As further analysis of the matter and discussions with experts did not uncover any new technical elements that might have been used to alter the harsh penalty handed out by the Stewards, Citroen decided not to pursue what would have been a long and costly procedure."

    Team principal Yves Matton said: "We had stated our intention to appeal in order to give us time to analyse the matter in more detail. As regards the clutch, our supplier has sent us a letter of apology acknowledging the existence of a batch of parts which were different from those on the homologation documentation.

    "This letter confirms that it was never our intention to cheat. At the same time, this situation forces us to look again at our procedures, since these parts were not picked up during our own checks.

    "On the second point identified by the scrutineers, the sole supplier of turbocompressors approved by the FIA for all manufacturers, has confirmed to us the plastic expansion of the wheel turbine.

    "Additional analysis will undoubtedly confirm that this was due to wear on the part. We accept this harsh penalty but are determined to learn the lessons and ensure that we will be even better in future.

    "We still lead both World Championships, but the gaps have been reduced. We now go into the upcoming rallies more determined than ever to get back to winning ways."

    click: autosport.com/news/98587


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