WRC'14 Rally Sardinia June 5-8 talk/results spoiler **
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    Cool WRC'14 Rally Sardinia June 5-8 talk/results spoiler **

    Rnd6 Rally Italia Sardinia June 5-8 2014



    Official Website: rallyitaliasardegna.com/en

    Listen Live: wrc.com/live_popup_radio

    What’s new for 2014

    West coast town of Alghero replaces Olbia as the base and location for the service park.
    The island’s capital, Cagliari, welcomes the rally for the first time. Thursday’s start and opening stage will be held there after which cars will be transported back to Alghero.
    Oschiri hosts a remote service during the opening leg.
    Two stages have been combined to form the massive 59.70km Monte Lerno. Could this be the longest stage of the 2014 season?

    Don’t miss

    The spectacular Micky’s Jump in the Monte Lerno test. The road literally falls away beneath the car and it’s one for the brave and fully committed…….



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    Kubica quickest in Italy shakedown



    Robert Kubica was the surprise pacesetter through this morning’s shakedown stage at Rally Italia Sardegna.

    It was the first fastest time on a WRC gravel stage for the Pole who comes into the rally fresh from a weekend test in Sardinia.

    “I had quite a good feeling straight away and the grip was better than I expected,” said Kubica. “It helped that we waited to let the others go because I’ll be at the back of the start order tomorrow so there was no point in running at the front on a fresh road.

    “The stage had a bit of everything, but was maybe lacking high speed corners which we will get during the next days. There were narrow parts and bumps but generally it was a lower speed stage rather than a high speed one,” he added.

    Kubica’s Ford Fiesta RS was one tenth of a second quicker than Sébastien Ogier’s Volkswagen Polo R through the sun-baked 4.30km Putifigari test. Jari-Matti Latvala was a further two-tenths of a second back in the second VW.

    Most drivers tackled just the minimum two runs but Henning Solberg, who did not have a pre-event test in his Fiesta RS, completed four and set fourth fastest time on his final pass, 0.5sec slower than Kubica.

    Andreas Mikkelsen stopped for a minute during his first run with an electrical problem in the engine of his Polo R, but was fifth quickest in his second pass. Kris Meeke rounded off the top six in his Citroen DS3.

    click: wrc.com/news/italy-shakedown/



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    Mikko Hirvonen emerged fastest
    from the opening super special stage at Rally Italia Sardegna tonight after carving out a narrow 0.2s lead on the streets of Cagliari.

    The M-Sport World Rally Team driver kicked off his event in confident form, beating VW’s Jari-Matti Latvala in his heat by 1.7s. It was enough to topple Thierry Neuville from top spot on the time sheets.

    “That was an okay stage,” Hirvonen said. “It’s good to get the rally started and I feel in a good place right now.”

    Neuville admitted he couldn’t have done much more to make his Hyundai i20 WRC go any faster on the 1.3km asphalt stage that sat beside the harbour in Cagliari. “I tried to do my best,” he said. “I was maybe a little too slow over the first jump but it’s good to keep the car safe.”

    Reigning world champion Sebastien Ogier eventually tied in second place with Neuville after defeating Citroen’s Kris Meeke in his heat. He was also 0.2s slower than Hirvonen.

    Fourth place went to Hyundai’s Juho Hanninen, while fellow Finn Jari-Matti Latvala was fifth after losing some time when he slid wide at the final corner before the finish line.

    Meeke – who appeared to crack the radiator on his DS3 WRC after landing heavily on a jump – shared fifth place with Latvala, 1.7s off the benchmark pace, and Elfyn Evans steered his Ford Fiesta RS WRC to seventh.

    Eighth place went to VW’s Andreas Mikkelsen, just ahead of Henning Solberg and Mads Ostberg who completed the top ten.

    Immediately after the Cagliari super special, the crews made the long return journey north to the host town of Alghero for Friday’s stages.

    There are eight stages in total, totaling 159.58km. The loop of four stages that is run in the morning is repeated in the afternoon. The longest stage of the day is the ‘Loelle’ test at 27.30km.

    click: wrc.com/ss1-italy/



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    Friday

    SS2

    Hyundai fill the top-two places in the overall classification after the opening test. Thierry Neuville and Juho Hanninen benefitted from their lowers starting position and the road cleaning effect. Both complained about a strange vibration inside their cars at the stage end. Neuville explains: “There was a noise inside the car that was distracting. I tried to follow the lines and get an advantage from that.”

    As predicted, world championship leader Sebastien Ogier, suffers as he runs as the first car on the gravel-strewn road. The VW driver is slower than many of the cars running behind and is pretty despondent at the end of the stage. He says: “That was terrible. I’m going to lose a lot of time. I’ll do what I can but there is really no grip.”

    There was drama for Rally Argentina winner, Jari-Matti Latvala as he suffers a problem with the brakes on his VW Polo R WRC 5km from the end of the stage. He drops a chunk of time and is 15.2s off the pace at the end of the stage – and 2.6s behind his team-mate. “The brake pedal started to go soft,” he says.

    Kris Meeke took the start of this morning’s loop after suffering a nervous moment at last night’s super special in Cagliari. The Citroen driver landed his DS3 WRC heavily on a jump and broke a radiator pipe on his car. However, his team changed the entire unit last night and he is able to secure eight place after the opening stage.

    WRC 2 frontrunner Nicolas Fuchs retires before he gets to the first stage this morning after the engine on his Ford Fiesta R5 cuts out 300 metres after leaving service in Alghero. The Peruvian, who was sixth fastest on last night’s super special, is distraught. “I have no words,” he says.



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

    SS3

    Juho Hanninen’s morning gets even better as he takes the lead of the rally on the second test at ‘Terranova Sud 1’. The Finn is 4.3s faster than his team-mate Neuville to take the lead by a narrow margin of 0.4s. The left-rear tyre on Hanninen’s i20 WRC is completely devoid of any tread at the end of the stage. “If we can set fastest times in these conditions then we’re fine,” he says with a smile.

    Jari-Matti Latvala carries out some roadside repairs before the start of the stage to address the brake issues that stunted his speed on the morning’s opening stage. He’s fifth fastest on the stage. “We lost the fluid from the system in the front right,” he explains. “It looks like one of the screws was a bit lose – not sure if that was the problem. We’ll see how it goes.”

    Ford privateer, Martin Prokop, completes the top three in his Fiesta RS WRC. The Czech driver complains about some imperfections in his pace notes but he still manages to find enough speed to sit only 9.1s off the rally lead.



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

    Breaking News ...Mikko & Jarmo's Fiesta caught fire on road section between SS3 & SS4 ...both are fine



    Mikko Hirvonen’s Rally Italia Sardegna came to a fiery and spectacular end this morning as he and co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen drove to the fourth stage.

    The M-Sport World Rally Team duo were looking to progress from their sixth place overall at the 20.29km ‘Coiluna-Crastazza 1’ stage, but after stopping to change the tyres on their Ford Fiesta RS WRC, the 2012 Rally Italia winners noticed flames licking up from the rear of their car as they get back underway to travel to the stage start.

    They quickly stopped the car to inspect the problem, but the flames quickly took hold. They tried to use their fire extinguishers but their efforts were in vain. The car was destroyed in minutes.

    click: wrc.com/en/wrc/news/june/italy-update-3/

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

    SS4:

    Kris Meeke lost time on SS4 at ‘Coiluna-Crastazza 1’after the battery warning light on his Citroen DS3 WRC came on in the 20.29km stage. He wasn’t able to push as hard as he wanted and was 12.1s behind his team-mate Mads Ostberg at the finish and ninth overall. “The battery alarm has gone off and we were losing power through the whole stage. I don’t know what it is or if it’s serious,” he said.

    The lead of the rally changed again on SS4, with Thierry Neuville overhauling his team-mate Juho Hanninen after going 3.3s faster on the stage. Neuville admitted that he could have pushed harder, but didn’t want to take any risks. For Hanninen, it was a bit more uncomfortable inside the cockpit. He said: “That stage was very, very slippery. I was struggling to find a rhythm.

    Nasser Al-Attiyah continued to lead in the WRC 2 category. The Qatar driver held a 12.1s lead over Karl Kruuda in the brand-new Peugeot 208 T16 R5. But it wasn’t all plain sailing for Al-Attiyah. “We’ve had an issue with the car cutting out,” he said. “I changed the plugs and all the wires and everything. I think it was one of the switches that was not connected properly. I hope we can carry on okay.”



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

    SS5:

    Rally leader Thierry Neuville was cool, calm and collected in SS4. But in SS5, things unraveled spectacularly. The Hyundai driver stopped 4.1km into the 27.30km ‘Loelle 1’ stage and spent an eternity working on a mechanical problem that had struck his i20 WRC. He did eventually get to the end of the stage, but he had lost the rally lead after dropping 23 minutes.

    Under normal circumstances, Neuville’s impressive team-mate Juho Hanninen would have inherited the rally lead. But he also hit trouble in the same stage. Hanninen rolled his i20 WRC and was unable to get to the end of the stage. His rally was over.

    Jari-Matti Latvala was the man that benefitted more than anyone else on SS5. The Finn had cured his earlier brake problems and promptly went fastest by some distance. And with all the drama at the head of the field, he unbelievably leapt into the rally lead after holding sixth place at the stage start. "There has been a lot of drama in the Loelle stage," he said. "It's a bit of a surprise that I am in the lead now but this is the rally; it's very difficult with the grip levels."

    Kris Meeke was also another casualty in SS5 as he stopped 5km from the end of the test. The suspicion was that the battery warning light that came on at the end of SS4 had turned into some more serious and had brought his rally to a premature end after he failed to make the stage finish line.




    ...
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    Al Rajhi heads WRC 2 after Italian drama

    Yazeed Al Rajhi snatched the WRC 2 lead in the final kilometres of a dramatic opening leg at Rally Italia Sardegna.



    The Saudi Arabian leaped from third to first in the last stage and holds a slender 4.1sec advantage over Nasser Al-Attiyah. Portugal’s Bernardo Sousa is almost 1min 40sec back in third. All three drivers are in Ford Fiesta RRCs.

    Yuri Protasov led after last night’s curtain-raising street stage in Cagliari, but Al-Attiyah moved to the front once the action headed into the sun-kissed gravel stages in the north of the Mediterranean island.

    He headed Karl Kruuda, who is debuting the new Peugeot 208 T16 in WRC 2, despite a misfire. But when Al-Attiyah was trapped in the dust of Thierry Neuville’s Hyundai i20 WRC, the Estonian moved into a 26.2sec lead after the first of two loops of four stages.

    With his car restored to health, Al-Attiyah closed in and reduced the gap before Kruuda stopped with mechanical issues early in the last stage. Al Rajhi then completed a hat-trick of consecutive fastest times to overhaul Al Attiyah and move ahead.

    More: wrc.com/en/wrc-2/italy-day-1/

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

    A Hard-earned lead for Latvala

    VW Motorsport’s Jari-Matti Latvala will take a healthy 22.4s lead into day two of Rally Italia Sardegna after a bruising first day on the island’s rough gravel stages.

    However, he didn’t have things his own way. Running second on the road behind team-mate Sebastien Ogier, he too had the unenviable task of sweeping the slippery gravel and sand from the road ahead.

    It was therefore little surprise that the cars running further down the start order showed the quickest pace on the opening loop of four stages.

    The Hyundai pairing of Thierry Neuville and Juho Hanninen – running seventh and 12th respectively – traded places at the top of the leaderboard on the first three stages.

    But their hopes of victory were dashed on the final stage of the morning at ‘Loelle 1’ when they both hit trouble. Neuville suddenly stopped 4.1km into the 27.3km stage with damaged front-right suspension. He repaired the damage by the roadside, but dropped 23 minutes. He was out of the hunt.

    Hanninen meanwhile, lost his place at the top of the leaderboard in more spectacular fashion. The Finn rolled his i20 WRC into the undergrowth on SS5 and the damage was too severe to continue.

    More: wrc.com/italy-friday-wrap/

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

    Videos: wrc.com/en/wrc/media/videos/



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    Saturday
    SS10:




    SS11:




    Saturday mid-leg: Ogier fights back



    Sébastien Ogier reduced the deficit to Rally Italia Sardegna leader Jari-Matti Latvala when the Finn’s engine overheated in extreme temperatures this morning.

    Ogier started the third day of action 22.4sec behind his Volkswagen team-mate. Latvala stretched that by more than six seconds in the opening test, but conceded 11.0sec when his engine temperature soared in the marathon 59.13km Monte Lerno stage.

    The gap plunged to 17.7sec, but Ogier felt it could have been even lower after confusion in the cockpit of his Polo R. He understood from a message sent to the car that Latvala had retired due to his problems and eased his pace, only to find later in the stage it wasn’t the case.

    Latvala believed he would have to stop. “The temperature went to 132C and we had a warning. I turned the anti-lag system off and went into road mode. We expected we would have to retire but I saw the temperature go down and it was OK. Very stressful,” he said.

    Citroen’s Mads Ostberg stretched his advantage over Andreas Mikkelsen to 9.4sec in their fight for third, the duo almost a minute behind the lead. Robert Kubica is another minute back in his Fiesta RS, with Elfyn Evans completing the top six over three minutes behind Latvala.

    Next up are Martin Prokop, Henning Solberg and Hayden Paddon, with WRC 2 leader Nasser Al-Attiyah rounding off the top 10.

    Al-Attiyah took top spot in the support category when leader Yazeed al Rajhi rolled in Monte Lerno. That incident caused the stage to be neutralised, so the WRC 2 places have yet to be clarified.

    click: wrc.com/saturday midday/italy

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

    SS12: Update

    Those that survived the morning’s 59.13km ‘Monte Lerno 1’ stage had to tackle it again in the afternoon. The test featured the legendary ‘Micky’s Jump’ that never fails to disappoint as the cars are launched high into the Sardinian sky. This test followed the shorter ‘Monte Olia 2’ stage.

    As soon as Jari-Matti Latvala returned to the midday service in Alghero at the end of SS11, the VW Motorsport engineers jumped on his Polo R WRC in a bid to identify the reason why its engine appeared to overheat on the previous 59km stage at ‘Monte Lerno 1’. After lengthy investigations, they concluded that there was no problem to be found, just a faulty engine sensor to be replaced. Latvala was a happy man and got back on his way.

    When the competitive action resumed on SS12, the gap at the top of the leaderboard shrunk for the second stage in succession as the hard-charging Sebastien Ogier took another 5.4s out of Jari-Matti Latvala’s advantage. The gap for the lead was reduced to 12.3s heading into the second run through the 59.3km ‘Monte Lerno 2’ test. Ogier admitted he had been pushing hard, while Latvala attributed his time loss to an engine stall. “I don’t know why it happened,” he said.

    After working so hard to pull his Ford Focus RS WRC up in to fifth place on the previous 11 stages, Robert Kubica’s rally came to a grinding halt on SS12. He stopped just over 1km from the end of the stage after ripping the right-front wheel off his car. Britain’s Elfyn Evans gratefully took over fifth place in his M-Sport World Rally Team Fiesta.



    SS13: Update

    Jari-Matti Latvala’s afternoon went from bad to worse on SS13. Having lost time to Sebastien Ogier on the previous stage, SS13 was where he lost the rally lead. The Finn stopped 8km into the stage to change a rear wheel and lost 1m 58s to his rival. He eventually finished the stage 2m 13s slower than Ogier and dropped to third place overall.

    Latvala said: “It was my mistake. The rear of the car jumped out of the ruts and we damaged the wheel on a rock. I had to stop.” To compound Latvala’s misery, his progress towards the end of the stage was then hampered by the re-emergence of the brake problem that had scuppered his early progress the day before.

    ‘Monte Lerno 2’ was very kind to Citroen driver Mads Ostberg. Not only did he leap into second place after Latvala his trouble, but he also extended his advantage over Andreas Mikkelsen after his rival had to carry a broken damper from the previous stage into SS13. “We had to drive carefully through this one to avoid all the rocks,” Mikkelsen explained.

    Hayden Paddon started the day as Hyundai Motorsport’s highest placed car, after Juho Hanninen’s crash and Thierry Neuville’s broken front suspension on Friday. But the Kiwi dropped 28 minutes on SS13 when his i20 WRC developed a serious engine misfire and stopped 10.1km into the test. He did get going again but Hyundai decided to stop him permanently to avoid any further engine damage.

    The lead in the WRC 2 category changed hands again in SS13 when Nasser Al-Attiyah threw away his 2m 22s advantage 42kms into the stage. Ironically, the Qatar driver crashed his Ford Fiesta RRC in the same place that previous category leader Yazeed Al Rajhi surrendered his lead earlier in the day.





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    Ogier pushes into Rally Italia lead



    Sebastien Ogier will take a 1m 40s lead into the final day of Rally Italia Sardegna after he forced his way past team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala on Saturday’s final stage.

    With top championship points at stake, the VW team-mates were determined not to concede any time to one another. But Latvala fired an early warning to Ogier on the very first test as he went 6.3s faster. That extended his lead to 28.7s.

    However, Ogier wasn’t thinking about giving up. He immediately struck back on the next two stages. He snatched 11s on the first run through the 59.13km ‘Monte Lerno’ stage, before taking another 5.4s on the penultimate stage of the day. Heading into the final test, Latvala’s lead stood at an increasingly fragile 12.3s.

    Ogier’s unrelenting pressure then paid the ultimate dividend on the second run through Monte Lerno as Latvala made a mistake. He allowed his VW Polo R WRC to stray off line and slam into a rock.

    “It was my mistake,” he admitted afterwards. “The rear of the car jumped out of the ruts and we damaged the wheel on a rock. I had to stop and change it.”

    Latvala’s unscheduled wheel change cost him almost two minutes and he eventually reached the stage finish 2m 13s down on his team-mate after battling with a long brake pedal for the rest of the stage.

    Ogier’s job was done. He was the new rally leader.

    With Latvala hitting trouble, Mads Ostberg inherited second place. He was 1m 40s behind Ogier’s Polo WRC at the final time control.

    More: wrc.com/italy-saturday-wrap/

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

    Bertelli bounces back to lead WRC 2

    Lorenzo Bertelli leads WRC 2 at Rally Italia Sardegna after an action-packed third day in which his two main rivals crashed out of the lead at the same corner.



    The Italian, driving a Ford Fiesta RRC, heads Bernardo Sousa by 1min 24.3sec. Just 4.6sec behind is Sébastien Chardonnet, the Frenchman enjoying a fine debut in Citroen’s new DS3 R5.

    Overnight leader Yazeed Al Rajhi was overhauled by Nasser Al-Attiyah in the opening stage. In his efforts to regain his advantage, the Saudi Arabian rolled his Fiesta RRC in the next test and retired.

    It left Al-Attiyah with a handsome 2min 50sec lead over Bertelli at the mid-leg service. However, the Qatari rolled his Fiesta RRC at the same bend as Al Rajhi during this afternoon’s repeat pass to put Bertelli in the clear.

    Bertelli’s cause was helped when stewards credited him with almost 90 seconds – the time lost yesterday when he was stopped mid-stage to allow Thierry Neuville to restart after repairing his damaged Hyundai.

    More: wrc.com/wrc-2/italy-day-2/


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    Sunday

    SS14:


    The crews only tackled one stage this morning, the 8.98km ‘Cala Flumini’ test, which is completely new for 2014. This was the shortest stage on the rally and the only one where the sea can be viewed from the road.

    If Jari-Matti Latvala wanted to put his second day disappointment firmly behind him and fight for second place, he didn’t show it on Sunday’s opening stage. The VW driver was 3.2s slower than Mads Ostberg, the man he was trying to catch.

    The Norwegian’s fastest stage time increased his advantage in second place to 24.5s. Latvala, who was using hard compound tyres, said: “We were a little too careful in the beginning, I should have gone faster to be honest.”

    Ostberg meanwhile, who used a couple of soft tyres on his Citroen DS3 WRC, was in confident mood when he saw the times at the stage end. “I want second place and I’m going to take it,” he said.




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

    SS15:




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

    SS16:

    After a refuel, the crews entered the final three stages of the rally. The first was the 14.0km run at ‘Castelsardo’ and this was quickly followed by the slightly longer ‘Tergu-Osilo’ stage that measured 14.88km. The last stage of the rally was the ‘Cala Flumini Power Stage’ where extra championship points were awarded to the fastest three drivers.

    Privateer driver Martin Prokop had to drive through the pain barrier to protect his sixth place at ‘Castelsardo’. The Czech driver was suffering with a back problem that first manifested itself on Saturday afternoon and only got worse on the final morning. But he did a fine job in the 14.0km stage, though. He was faster than Henning Solberg's identical Ford Fiesta RS WRC to extend his advantage from 45.2s to 53.7s.

    “I have big pain in my back and I’m glad that the stages are shorter this morning,” he said. “I’ve had some physio but it still hurts like hell.”

    Jari-Matti Latvala finally showed some signs of positivity on SS15 as he got the better of Mads Ostberg in the battle for second place. The former rally leader took advantage of Mads Ostberg’s soft tyres going off on the stage and reduced the Norwegian’s advantage by 1.4s. It wasn’t a massive step forward and the overall gap still stood at 23.1s but at least he was now heading in the right direction with two stages still to run.

    There was drama in the race for WRC 2 podium honours as third-placed Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari stopped in SS15. The Puma Rally Team driver was hoping to fend off the attack from Bernardo Sousa on the final day, but his mid-stage problem put paid to his chances. Sousa was therefore promoted to third place.




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

    SS17:



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

    Bertelli wins WRC 2 in Italy



    Lorenzo Bertelli secured a maiden WRC 2 win at his home event in Italy to take the championship lead.

    The 26-year-old drove his Ford Fiesta RRC to victory by 2min 11.6sec at Rally Italia Sardegna. Second was reigning WRC 3 champion Sebastien Chardonnet, with Portugal’s Bernardo Sousa taking third, a further 1min 43.2sec behind.

    Bertelli’s win gives him a nine-point championship lead, relegating Yuriy Protasov to second. The Ukraine driver finished fourth in Italy.

    “It couldn’t be better, it’s fantastic,” said Bertelli. “First place here on my home rally is amazing.”

    More: wrc.com/en/wrc-2/italy-day-3

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

    Ogier extends lead with Rally Italia win



    Sebastien Ogier will leave Rally Italia Sardegna with a 33-point series lead after a hard-fought victory at the seventh round of the FIA World Rally Championship.

    The reigning champion took the lead of the event on Saturday’s final stage after his constant pressure appeared to force team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala into making a costly mistake. The Finn had to stop to change a rear wheel after clouting a rock at the side of the road.

    With a 1m 40.2s lead heading into the final day, Ogier only had to keep out of trouble on the remaining quartet of rough gravel stages to take maximum points. He did exactly that and completed the event with a 1m 23.1s advantage over second-placed Mads Ostberg.

    Ogier’s haul of championship points was swelled by another bonus point when he finished third fastest on the rally-ending Power Stage at ‘Cala Flumini’.
    He will head into the upcoming Rally Poland with a 33-point lead over Latvala in the championship. “I had a very tough beginning on this rally and had to put pressure on Jari (Matti Latvala) yesterday. Luckily that paid off and this is a really good feeling,” he said.

    More: wrc.com/italy-sunday-wrap/

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

    Next Rnd7 Lotos Rally Poland June 26-29





    What’s new for 2014

    Everything!
    Lithuania features on WRC itinerary for the first time – the 32nd different country to feature in the championship.
    Poland and Lithuania have different time zones but the rally will use Polish time.

    Official Website: rajdpolski.pl/en

    Listen Live: wrc.com/live_popup_radio


    ....
    Last edited by Weasel 555; 06-08-2014 at 12:27 PM.
    ScoobyDMC #000,HawkEyeAlliance#000,Blobeye Syndicate #000, SQC-NY #009, "Dragon Slayer"
    "All We'll Drive"

    I <3 boobies: rallyarmor/keepabreast/mud flaps limited edition

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