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Sainz forced out of Dakar

Former champion rolled into ravine on brink of taking Dakar Rally 2017 lead.

Former champion rolled into ravine on brink of taking Dakar Rally 2017 lead.

 

 

Carlos Sainz has been forced to withdraw from the Dakar Rally after pushing too hard in the battle for the lead following early stage navigation problems.

The 2010 winner was just three miles from the end of the Jujuy-Tupiza stage in Bolivia when he suffered the ravine roll.Even though two-time World Rally champion Sainz and co-driver Lucas Cruz managed to get their Peugeot 3008DKR to the service bivouac, the damage proved too much to repair in time for Friday’s stage.

Sainz, who incurred pain in his lower back during the accident, explained: “It is obviously devastating to have to retire. We had been running at a good pace since the start of the rally in the PEUGEOT 3008DKR which is a real improvement over last year’s car.
“I am so disappointed that I won’t be able to reap the benefit of its potential.
“We had lost so much time at the start of the stage – we had to recover, and recover, and recover.

“And when you take so many risks, these things can happen.”

 

Sainz joins fellow high-profile casualties such as double winner Nasser Al-Attiyah and reigning motorcycle champion Toby Price of Australia.

Carlos Sainz (ESP) of Team Peugeot Total races during stage 03 of Rally Dakar 2017 from Tucuman to Jujuy, Argentina on January 4, 2017

Carlos Sainz (ESP) of Team Peugeot Total races during stage 03 of Rally Dakar 2017 from Tucuman to Jujuy, Argentina on January 4, 2017

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The Crew from RJN Motorsport tell us about how they got into motorsport

The crew from RJN Motorsport tell us about how they got into motorsport and their advice if you want a career with a pro racing team. Find out what the high’s and low’s are when working with a GT-R NISMO GT3 Supercar everyday of the week!

 

The crew from RJN Motorsport tell us about how they got into motorsport and their advice if you want a career with a pro racing team. Find out what the high’s and low’s are when working with a GT-R NISMO GT3 Supercar everyday of the week!

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The 12 days of the Dakar

Arguably motorsport’s most arduous course gets under way on January 2 in Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay, stage one’s 454 kilometres a mere dent in the marathon course that lies await.

From Red Bull:

 

A closer look at the numbers behind arguably motorsport’s toughest event.

 


 

 

Arguably motorsport’s most arduous course gets under way on January 2 in Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay, stage one’s 454 kilometres a mere dent in the marathon course that lies await.

Ahead of the illustrious race, we dissect the 12 stages over 13 days and the overall race in numbers…

1 – Bib No.1 will be adorned by Australian Toby Price, who last year became the first Australian to win the Dakar as he proved victorious in the motorbike category. He won five stages in all, was 40 minutes clear of his closest rival and is the only person to win the event on only his second attempt.

2 – Nasser al-Attiyah won two stages last year in the Dakar car category, one more than the number of medals he has won at the Summer Olympics, for which he has a shooting bronze from London. But sticking to twos, it is the number of times he has won Dakar and also his position in last year’s race come the finish.

3 – This year’s event will pass through a total of three countries in South America: Paraguay, where it starts, Bolivia and Argentina, where it reaches its climax.

4 – Jutta Kleinschmidt was the first and still only female winner of the Dakar proving victorious on four wheels in the car category in 2001. But her first forays along the route were on two wheels rather than four, making her debut in 1988 on a BMW motorcycle before switching to a car in 1994.

5 – Stage five of this year’s race is in the heart of the Bolivia Altiplano where the Andes are at their wildest. Outside Tibet, it is the most extensive high plateau on earth in which two hefty sand dune sections will provide an ultimate test for those still in the race.

6 – Last year, there were 18 Red Bull entries, or Desert Wings, who took to the start line. Come the race finish some two weeks later, six of that number were among the podium finishers.

7 – The entourage that now supports the Dakar is absolutely monstrous. The race is followed and filmed from above by a total of seven helicopters but that is not the only race back-up. In addition, there is a field hospital, an air ambulance and 60 nursing staff on hand in case of any emergencies.

8 – The 2016 running of the Dakar was the eighth successive year in which the rally was run in South America, the race moving there in 2009 because of safety fears in parts of Africa. Traditionally, its route – from its inception in 1979 – had been from Paris to Dakar although the French capital last hosted the depart in 2001.

9 – There are no shortage of motorsport royalty in the starting line-up for this year. Perhaps most notable among them is Sebastien Loeb, who is making his second entry in the race. Loeb is best known for his years in the World Rally Championship in which he won nine titles. He also finished ninth overall last year on his Dakar debut.

10 – The tightest ever margin of victory on the Dakar was just two minutes and 12 seconds back in 2010. That year, Carlos Sainz edged out al-Attiyah in a nail-biting finale to a gripping race-long contest.

11 – Red Bull athletes enjoyed a stunning Dakar in 2016. They won 11 out of 13 stages and 91% of the time they were on the podium.

12 – Stephane Peterhansel won the car event last year and boasts an astonishing 12 overall Dakar victories. He was once the dominant force in the motorbike class in which he won six times before switching to cars and emulating that number of wins.

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2017 World Rally Championship live on Red Bull TV

The daily show from Friday to Sunday will be available to watch entirely free of charge on www.redbull.tv, via your mobile, laptop or smart television, or on the dedicated Red Bull TV app, available both for iPhone and Android.

 

With non-stop action on snow, mud, tarmac and gravel, the FIA World Rally Championship radiates automotive adrenalin – and next year it will be seen for the first time live on Red Bull TV. The ground-breaking premiere takes place on Rallye Monte-Carlo in January, ushering in a new era of unique coverage from Red Bull TV.

Red Bull TV will be broadcasting live on Saturday from each event and will host three stunning new daily shows that feature all the action as it happens, including a unique highlights round up. Co-presenting the action will be some of the biggest personalities in motorsport, lending a unique perspective to every rally. The first guest will be former F1 and Le Mans driver Mark Webber in Monaco.

The daily show from Friday to Sunday will be available to watch entirely free of charge on www.redbull.tv, via your mobile, laptop or smart television, or on the dedicated Red Bull TV app, available both for iPhone and Android. Next year’s programmes promise a fresh and exciting approach to the World Rally Championship, as the sport itself enters a new era with more powerful and radical-looking cars, as well as new manufacturers entering the series.

The spectacle is going to be mind-blowing as the drivers fight for tenths of a second from Monte-Carlo to Australia over the 13 rounds of the championship. And Red Bull TV will be there to capture all the drama, from temperatures of minus 25 degrees centigrade in Sweden to plus 35 in Mexico. There will be dedicated presenters, news, interviews, features and gossip, setting new standards in WRC broadcasting.

Every Friday on each rally, a 20 to 30-minute highlight show will be broadcast at 10pm (CET) that rounds up all the action from the first leg of each event, with an intro and latest news direct from the service park – exclusive to Red Bull TV.

Saturday brings more live action than has ever been seen before, with two shows. The first will run at midday for 75 minutes, featuring a live stage for viewers to follow the action in real time from both inside and outside the cars. At 10pm (CET) there will be another 20 to 30-minute show, with all the highlights of the day.

Sunday evening hosts a comprehensive wrap-up show lasting 30-40 minutes, presented from the service park and recounting all the events that have taken place throughout the event. All these shows will also be available to watch on-demand on Red Bull TV once the rally has finished.

Nine-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb, a long-time Red Bull athlete since 2008, commented: “It’s really exciting to know that the WRC will be broadcast on Red Bull TV next year! So fans can have a chance to see the best coverage of some of the rallies when it suits them, which is really great. There’s always this exciting feeling around Red Bull because they do things differently and I’m sure that this will be the case for the new TV programme as well.”

The broadcast package put in place by Red Bull TV for the WRC will include a number of special features and ways of presenting that haven’t been seen before, making viewers feel closer to the high-octane action than ever.

The 2017 World Rally Championship gets underway in just five weeks with Rallye Monte-Carlo: the oldest and most prestigious event in the sport that forms a baptism of fire for the new generation of World Rally Cars – as well as a stunning premiere for Red Bull TV’s WRC coverage.

The first dedicated WRC programme to go out on Red Bull TV is scheduled for Friday 20 January 2017 at 10pm (CET), summarising the action so far on the Rallye Monte-Carlo.

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WRC – OGIER CONFIRMED AT M-SPORT FOR 2017

Four-time WRC World Champion Seb Ogier to drive for M-Sport in 2017.

Having tested the brand new Ecoboost-powered Ford Fiesta in Wales last month, the Frenchman was sufficiently impressed to agree terms with the British team.

Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia dominated the last four years in the all conquering Volkswagen Polo but were left without a drive when the German car manufacturer ended its commitment to the sport.

The pair are a force to be reckoned with and since starting their WRC assault in 2008, have secured four world championships, 38 victories, 56 podiums and an impressive 475 stage wins.

Ogier will lead the M-Sport team with Estonian 2016 Driver of the Year, Ott Tänak, and with just 39 days until the start of the Rallye Monte-Carlo, the defending champion cannot wait to get going.

“There will be a lot of new things this season, but I am definitely looking forward to it. We have a new generation of world rally cars, and a new team – it’s certainly an exciting time,” said Ogier.

“There’s not long before we line-up at the start of Rallye Monte-Carlo and we’ve not had a lot of seat time with the Ford Fiesta WRC, but we’ll give it our best to be ready. We’re aware of the challenges, and I can see how hungry Malcolm Wilson and his team are for success.

“It’s funny to think that just a few months ago I was sitting at a motorsport forum at Wales Rally GB saying how nice it would be to work with him one day. I had no idea at the time that it would come quite so soon, but here we are!

“I’m looking forward to working with M-Sport, and we’ll certainly be aiming to return them to the top-step of the podium!”

Wilson, M-Sport Managing Director, added: “We go to Rallye Monte-Carlo with the number one on the door of the Ford Fiesta WRC and the strongest driver line-up we have had in years. To say we’re excited about next season is an understatement. We believe that we have produced an exceptional car, and we are in the best possible position ahead of this exciting new era.

“I’ve made no secret of how much we wanted to work with Sebastien and Julien, and it is fantastic to welcome them to the team. We have worked extremely hard to secure them, and they believe that the Ford Fiesta WRC is the car with which they can best defend their championship.”

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Volkswagen to leave WRC

Volkswagen have confirmed from 2017 their commitment to the FIA World Rally Championship is coming to an end as they start realigning their motorsport programme.

Look back at Seb Ogier’s best wins as VW end WRC commitment from 2017.

Volkswagen have confirmed from 2017 their commitment to the FIA World Rally Championship is coming to an end as they start realigning their motorsport programme.

Last weekend, they won their fourth manufacturer’s title in a row with the VW Polo competing in 51 rallies, winning 42 of them, with 621 best times in the special stages. No other car in the history of the World Rally Championship has a better success rate.

Frank Welsch, Member of the Board of Management responsible for Technical Development, said: “We far exceeded our sporting goals in the WRC. I want to give our heartfelt thanks to our drivers and co-drivers for their outstanding achievements.”

Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets added: “Of course, we regret the departure from the WRC very much – as this was the most successful chapter in the Volkswagen brand’s motorsport history. The team has done great things.”

As the German giants confirm the end of an astonishing run for four-time champion Sebastien Ogier and his Polo R WRC, we look back and pick five of the best wins from the last four years.

1: Rallye de France, October 2013

For the first time ever at a WRC race, the Power Stage would run before the main event. Ogier had the chance of a lifetime, to be a world champion before the rally had even begun. All he needed was one of the three Power Stage points on offer and he did it by placing third around a Strasbourg street stage. What he did after was even more amazing – he won the rally proper! Distracted and head all over the place, Ogier ran as low as fifth for much of day one. Refocused and back in the fight, he drove magnificently through the weekend, despite some horribly wet, challenging conditions. Third with a day to go, he took a commanding win and celebrated all over again.

2: Rally Mexico, March 2015

This one Ogier definitely couldn’t win. Not a hope. In the words of the champ: “My rivals would have to be very bad for me to even come close to the podium.” This was the first hot gravel rally since the FIA changed the rules and told the championship leader he had to run first on the road for the first two days. Third after a typically spectacular opener around the streets and through the tunnels of Guanajuato, Ogier’s mood was particularly despondent on the eve of the rally proper. Not for long. Noticing a slight drop in overnight temperatures, Ogier gambled on soft tyres for the first morning. They worked a treat and his innate ability to drive the car straighter than anybody meant he returned to service with rubber to spare. Naturally, he won the rally he was never meant to win.

3: Rally Sweden, February 2013

An obvious one it might be, but it was also a very, very special one: Ogier’s first win with Volkswagen. A couple of weeks before, at the Monte Carlo Rally, the Polo R WRC had broken cover and set fastest time on its first ever competitive special stage in the World Rally Championship. Ogier was second in the principality. A good start turned great, however, when the Frenchman took a brilliantly controlled win on the snows in Sweden. “I knew the car was good, but I asked myself: ‘How good is it?’ Now I know,” said Ogier. The Polo was impeccable and Ogier just as good on the way to a very satisfying victory over Sebastien Loeb’s Citroen.

4: Rally Sweden, February 2015

Heavy snow on the second day was supposed to rule Ogier out of the fight this time. His Volkswagen was turned into a high-speed snow plough, clearing the road for his rivals behind him, but the championship leader refused to give in and clung to the coat tails of the guys ahead. Going into the final day, he pushed as hard as he’s ever pushed in a rally and arrived at the start of the last stage just three seconds behind his Volkswagen team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen. Aided by a minor Mikkelsen mistake, Ogier won. Fact is, given the conditions he’d had to drive through earlier in the rally, he shouldn’t have been anywhere near the fight for the win. A lesser driver would have thrown the towel in much earlier. “I’m really proud of this one,” beamed Ogier, once he’d finished bashing the steering wheel of his Polo to demonstrate the fact.

5: Rallye Deutschland, August 2015

Volkswagen’s first failure on its home rally raised a smile, even among the team. Ogier and his Polo R WRC had won pretty much everything before them. But coming to the birthplace of the all-conquering car, it went south on the first full day when Ogier damaged the steering and was forced to retire. Twelve months later it was much worse, with the champion hospitalized after two monster crashes in as many days. Still no home win for Volkswagen. When Ogier arrived in 2015, there was real and genuine pressure for him to perform. The Volkswagen board would be making the trip, as usual, from Wolfsburg to Trier and this time they wanted something to smile about. Ogier delivered in superb fashion, with the result never looking in doubt.

Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) performs during FIA World Rally Championship in Deeside, Great Britain on 27  November 2016

Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) performs during FIA World Rally Championship in Deeside, Great Britain on 27 November 2016

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Ogier clinches fourth Rally GB win

“The main target this weekend was to be manufacturers’ champion,” said Ogier.

Sébastien Ogier led from start to finish to triumph at the Dayinsure Wales Rally GB.

The Frenchman withstood final day pressure from Ott Tänak to win the penultimate round of the FIA World Rally Championship by 10.2sec and secure the manufacturers’ title for Volkswagen.

Ogier clinched a fourth consecutive drivers’ crown at the previous round in Spain.

Thierry Neuville finished third in a Hyundai i20, a further 1min 25.2sec behind. His fourth consecutive podium gives him a 14-point advantage over Andreas Mikkelsen in their fight for the runners-up spot heading into next month’s finale in Australia.

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It was Ogier’s first gravel road win of the campaign and the Frenchman has led for every single kilometre of the British fixture since the start of the 2013 event.

The fog and mud of the first two days eased to leave better conditions today, although the six forest speed tests in north Wales, covering 52.08km, were no less slippery.

Ogier, driving a Polo R, started with a 33.8sec lead but couldn’t match Tänak’s pace. The Estonian won all six stages in a Ford Fiesta RS to close in. A broken intercom and puncture earlier in the rally cost Tänak vital time, but second matched his career-best result.

“The main target this weekend was to be manufacturers’ champion,” said Ogier. “I’m not world champion without the team’s hard work and it was great to take the title with a victory once again. It wasn’t easy and I was able to ease off in the last few stages, but not so much.

“Ott was really flying. He was fast, very consistent and didn’t make any mistakes so it was a tough victory to get.”

Neuville overshot a hairpin this morning, but the Belgian held off team-mate Hayden Paddon by 19.5sec.

The normally aggressive Kiwi struggled in the mud, however overnight set-up changes made him more comfortable today.

Kris Meeke, driving a Citroën DS 3 for the final time, finished a subdued fifth with Dani Sordo completing the top six in another i20.

The championship concludes from November 17-20 with Kennards Hire Rally Australia, which is based in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales.

Sebastien Ogier (FRA) performs during FIA World Rally Championship in Deeside, Great Britain on 30 October 2016

Sebastien Ogier (FRA) performs during FIA World Rally Championship in Deeside, Great Britain on 30 October 2016

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Frentzen impressed after driving Electric GT Tesla Model S

Former Formula 1 driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen made his return to the cockpit to test the Tesla Model S – the car that is being developed for the Electric GT Championship – at the Circuit Paul Ricard this week.

LE CASTELLET (France)

Frentzen began his glittering motor sports career as part of the Mercedes junior team in the World Sportscar Championship before graduating to Formula 1, where he accumulated two pole positions, three wins and 18 podiums. The German finished runner-up in the World Drivers’ Championship in 1997 with Williams and a highly impressive third in the 1999 for Jordan, before concluding his top-flight career in 2003 and switching to the DTM.

The EGT Championship, which is the first 100 per cent zero emissions GT championship, was at the Le Castellet circuit to test the bespoke Pirelli tyres when Frentzen made contact.

After the tests Frentzen was very satisfied. The German was very impressed with the direction of the series and gave his full support.

“As a long time owner of this manufacturer it was great fun to drive one of the first race-prepared Teslas,” said Frentzen. “It was a fantastic opportunity to experience the potential of E-racing performance cars. Mark [Gemmell, CEO] and his EGT team are definitely heading in the right.”

The test showed a lot of promise, with the series’ organisers able to better understand the tyres, as well as get an idea of how the car itself will perform following the feedback from Frentzen.

“We were glad to have Heinz-Harald come to the track,” Electric Championship CEO Mark Gemmell said during the presentation of the race car at the Sportel TV fair in Monaco. “Other than the fact he’s a supremely talented driver, he is a fan of Teslas and owns two cars himself, which is great. We were able to meet up and talk him through the championship, before arranging a test drive for him later in the day. He gave us some great feedback.”

The Electric GT Championship is set to get underway in 2017, with Stefan Wilson, Vittoria Piria, Dani Clos and Lellani Münter already confirmed as part of the Drivers’ Selection Club.


Picture shows Heinz Harald Frentzen of Germany touching the screen e race version of a Tesla Model S P85+ after Frentzens race tests in Le Castellet, France, on 19-10-2016.

Picture shows Heinz Harald Frentzen of Germany touching the screen e race version of a Tesla Model S P85+ after Frentzen´s race tests in Le Castellet, France, on 19-10-2016.

 

About Electric GT Championship, a new zero emissions motorsport category promoting sustainable mobility:

The championship was announced on 9 March 2016, a year in advance of its first planned event, with the Tesla Model S P85+ chosen for the first season of the Electric GT Championship. There will be 10 teams and 20 drivers, who will compete across seven races during season one. The race weekends will consist of a 20-minute practice session, 30 minutes of qualifying, and a pair of 60 km races with one taking place in the daytime and one at dusk. Each round will be a weekend-long festival of technology and innovation for sustainability in and around the circuits. Fans will be able to stream races via Periscope, Twitch and YouTube, as well as interact directly with the teams using social media platforms.

Picture show from left Agustin Payá of Spain, technical director of Electric GT, Heinz Harald Frentzen of Germany and Mark Gemmell of the United Kingdom, CEO of Electric GT standing infront of the race version of a Tesla Model S P85+ after Frentzens race tests in Le Castellet, France, on 19-10-2016.

Picture show from left Agustin Payá of Spain, technical director of Electric GT, Heinz Harald Frentzen of Germany and Mark Gemmell of the United Kingdom, CEO of Electric GT standing in front of the race version of a Tesla Model S P85+ after Frentzen´s race tests in Le Castellet, France, on 19-10-2016.

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​Actionfyllt helg for Andreas Bakkerud i Tyskland

Mattias Ekström sikret seg VM-tittelen denne helgen, men kampen om de to andre pallplassene er fortsatt åpen mellom Andreas Bakkerud, Johan Kristoffersen, Petter Solberg og Sebastien Loeb.

Da Andreas Bakkerud passerte mållinjen til tredjeplass på Tyske Estering føltes det som en seier og en lettelse. Girspaken var knekt, og bilen var så fylt med røyk at Bakkerud måtte i ambulansen for å få oksygen og en sjekk etterpå. – Det ble litt heftig i finalen ja, så å ta med seg en pallplass hjem føles utrolig godt. Vi jobbet for den igjennom røyk og tårer, forteller Bakkerud leende.

Den tyske runden på Estering er kjent for mye action, og slik ble det også denne helgen.
Ikke minst for Andreas Bakkerud: Lørdag preget vått føre og regn litt av resultatene, men Bakkerud kjørte smart og var i toppen. I fjerde innledende satt endelig en perfekt start, men det ble trangt i første sving og han ødela det ene bakhjulsopphenget. Bakkerud klarte allikevel å kjempe seg inn til heatseier med bare tre hjul på fire runder. – Det var heftig, og selv om det ikke gikk fort på klokka ble det vel bra TV, gliser Bakkerud.

Etter en tett og hard semi tok han seg til finalen hvor det ble enda mer action:
– Jeg fikk ødelagt eksosen allerede i semifinalen, og i finalen gjorde varmen fra eksosen at bilen ble fylt med røyk. Det ble helt forferdelig å både se og puste – og for å gjøre kaoset komplett knakk også girspaken allerede på tredje runde. Dermed ble det litt kjemping for å komme seg til mål på tredjeplass, forteller Bakkerud som ble tatt hånd om av ambulansen etter målgang. – Det så nok mer dramatisk ut enn det var, jeg følte meg raskt ganske bra etter litt friskluft.

Mattias Ekström sikret seg VM-tittelen denne helgen, men kampen om de to andre pallplassene er fortsatt åpen mellom Andreas Bakkerud, Johan Kristoffersen, Petter Solberg og Sebastien Loeb.

– Jeg ligger som nummer fire nå, med 11 poeng opp til Johan. I fjor tapte jeg tredjeplassen med et poeng til han i Argentina, så det er klart jeg er sulten på å revansjere det. Allikevel, alt kan skje der – og vi har nok ikke delt ut noen medaljer før vi ser målflagget i Argentina konkluderer Bakkerud. 

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Mattias Ekström is the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Champion

Petter Solberg:
Congratulations to the new FIA World RX Champion Mattias Ekström and his team. Well done!

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ERIKSSON WINS GERMANY RX AS EKSTROM CROWNED 2016 CHAMPION

 

 

Sweden’s Mattias Ekstrom has been crowned the new FIA World Rallycross Champion after scoring enough points at today’s German RX round to secure him the title with one round of the World Championship still remaining. Olsbergs MSE driver Kevin Eriksson took the Germany RX win, claiming his first every victory in the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy. Petter Solberg finished second, while fellow Norwegian Andreas Bakkerud claimed the third podium spot.

Driving for his own EKS rallycross team, Ekstrom finished fifth this weekend and is now 30 points ahead of last year’s World RX Champion Solberg in the drivers’ standings. Even if Ekstrom does not complete the final round of the Championship in Argentina, a maximum score for Solberg would only draw the Norwegian level and Ekstrom would still win on countback of victories.

“This is probably the best day in my whole motorsport career – it feels like I have electricity running through my whole body,” grinned the new rallycross champion, Ekstrom.

He continued: “I have a lot of amazing memories: from winning the Swedish Touring Car Championship back in 1999, my first DTM title in 2004, my Race of Champions win against Loeb in Paris, and also against Michael Schumacher in 2007, then my second DTM title.  Now I’m the new World RX Champion and this feeling beats it all because when I started EKS from scratch less than three years ago, this was my dream.  I have always wanted to go to an FIA prize-giving ceremony and now I finally can.  This is a huge effort for my family, the team and all the guys who have worked to make this happen.  To become an FIA World Champion is what I have always wanted and it is the best feeling in the world.  Obviously, I owe a lot of gratitude to my employer, Audi Sport. My bosses gave me permission to compete at the Estering in order to maximise my chances of winning the title. That couldn’t be taken for granted, and I’m very thankful for this. I hope that by clinching the big trophy, I was able to put a smile on their faces.”

Today’s event was won by Sweden’s Kevin Eriksson who started on the second row of the grid of the final.  Solberg was fastest to the first corner which awarded him the Monster Energy Super Charge Award, but Eriksson stunned his competitors as he pulled off a sideways move from the outside and managed to take the lead, which he retained for the rest of the race.

“I am speechless,” explained Eriksson, who has become the seventh different winner in World RX this year.  “I saw Petter lead off the start and planned to stay behind him but then I saw an opportunity to go on the outside and hoped for the best. Somehow it worked! I felt I had really good speed throughout the weekend and to beat these guys you need to be driving at your very best. This weekend, everything came together and we got the consistency I needed to take the win.”

Second-placed Solberg was first to congratulate Eriksson on his debut World RX victory.  “I am very impressed by Kevin.  He won the Swedish Championship last weekend and now he has gone one better and take his first World RX victory, which was very well deserved – especially when I had a clear line into turn one and my car is very good on the gravel.”

Solberg continued: “To be honest, I am sad that the Championship is over for me.  I have been fighting all year for my third World RX title and I hoped it would go down to the final round and the team were really motivated. It is so important for me to thank my amazing team – I may be the guy driving the car, but the car was so fast this weekend, I think one of the fastest on the track. I can only say thank you for all the hours they have spent in the last two weeks, making small changes which could make a difference for us. They have worked so systematically; second here is a great win for the whole PSRX team. Finally, Mattias is a very worthy winner, he has won a lot of races this year and been very consistent – big congratulations to him and to EKS.”

 

Your 2016 FIA World Rallycross Champion, Mattias Ekström

Hoonigan Racing Division’s Andreas Bakkerud was relieved to make it home in third place, after suffering from smoke inhalation for the duration of today’s final.   He took up the story: “I had exhaust fumes and smoke in the cockpit for all six laps of the final – I have never wanted to see the chequered flag so much in my life! Then in the middle of the race, I also lost my gear lever which made life even more difficult.”

Reigning FIA European Rallycross Champion Kevin Hansen continued his fantastic form this season in the Peugeot 208 WRX Supercar to finish fourth overall in Germany. The 18-year-old commented: “It was nice to be back in the World Championship this weekend. The first day was a little difficult but I knew that our work had taken us in the right direction during Sunday morning’s warm-up. I don’t really know what happened in the final. The first turn was just crazy. Someone hit me and I ended up fourth, for the second time this year. With two fourth places and the European title in the bag, I am pleased with my season.”

Meanwhile, Volkswagen RX Sweden’s Johan Kristoffersson entered the event with a mathematical chance of taking the championship to the final round, which continued into the final, but a puncture on lap three while running fourth put him out of contention and he eventually finished the event fifth overall.  Solberg’s second-place finish has seen the Norwegian move back to second in the overall leaderboard – four points ahead of Kristoffersson.

Sixth place was taken by Ekstrom’s team-mate Topi Heikkinen.  The healthy points score taken by Heikkinen and Ekstrom this weekend has seen EKS extend its lead over Team Peugeot-Hansen in the Teams’ Championship by 17 points going into the final round of the season.

Elsewhere, America’s Tanner Foust started his second World RX event of the season with Volkswagen RX Sweden but was hampered by some minor problems on day one, which meant he did not qualify for today’s semi-finals.

Germany also marked the final round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship for both Super1600 and TouringCars, where both championships went down to the wire.  In the Super1600 Championship, Hungary’s Kirsztian Szabo won in his Skoda Fabia and took the 2016 title by one point over Denmark’s Ulrik Linnemann who finished third in Germany. Egor Sanin finished runner-up in today’s event.  In the overall standings, Kasparas Navickas ends the year third overall.

The TouringCar Championship proved just as close as Ben-Philip Gundersen triumphed over Sweden’s Magda Andersson by just one point. It was David Nordgard who won today’s event, followed home by Andersson and Anders Braten in third.  Third overall in the points at the end of 2016 is Fredrik Magnussen.

World RX Managing Director for IMG, Paul Bellamy, concluded: “Congratulations to Mattias Ekstrom who has become our new FIA World Rallycross Champion after forfeiting his first DTM race in over 15 years. Both Mattias and EKS have worked relentlessly since entering full-time in 2015 and for Mattias to have won in both DTM and now in rallycross proves what a natural talent he is behind the wheel.  To become World RX Champion is no easy feat – we have some of the best drivers in the world competing in our Championship. Well done to Kevin Eriksson and Olsbergs MSE who took the first win of the year, Kevin’s pace during today final was excpetional. Congratulations also to Krisztian and Ben-Philip who are our new Super1600 and TouringCar Champions – it was very exciting to see both Championships being won by just a point and just goes to show how competitive both these categories have become. On top of the exhilarating on-track action, we’ve also had a sell-out crowd in Germany this weekend and it’s always encouraging to see how popular our sport has become.”

The season-closer to this year’s World RX Championship will take place in Rosario, Argentina, at the end of November as rallycross returns to South America for the third year in a row.

Full results from Germany RX can be found on the following link:http://www.fiaworldrallycross.com/result/ger/2016


Championship Points

Driver PTS
Mattias EKSTRÖM 251
Petter SOLBERG 221
Johan KRISTOFFERSSON 217
Andreas BAKKERUD 210
Sébastien LOEB 194
Timmy HANSEN 174
Toomas HEIKKINEN 134
Timur TIMERZYANOV 104
Janis BAUMANIS 102
Robin LARSSON 95
Kevin ERIKSSON 91
Davy JEANNEY 86
Anton MARKLUND 66
Ken BLOCK 61
Kevin HANSEN 52
Niclas GRÖNHOLM 28
Tommy RUSTAD 4
René MÜNNICH 4
Peter HEDSTRÖM 1
Guerlain CHICHERIT 0
Gianluigi GALLI 0
Andreas STEFFEN 0
Cyril RAYMOND 0
Tanner FOUST 0
Joni-Pekka RAJALA 0
Alexander HVAAL 0
“M.D.K” 0
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BREAKING NEWS: Ogier claims fourth title

Sébastien Ogier clinched his fourth consecutive FIA World Rally Championship title with victory at RallyRACC Catalunya – Rally de España on Sunday afternoon.

 

The Frenchman secured his fifth victory of the year on the championship’s only mixed surface round to seal the crown in a Volkswagen Polo R with two rallies remaining.

Spain’s Dani Sordo, driving a Hyundai i20, led the four-day event initially but Ogier moved ahead once the rally switched from gravel to asphalt to win by 15.6sec. Thierry Neuville maintained his strong recent form to take third in another i20, a further 59.4sec behind.

Jari-Matti Latvala won the final live TV Power Stage to claim three bonus points in a Polo R. Ogier took two points for second while Sordo secured the final point.

Sebastien Ogier (FRA) performs during FIA World Rally Championship 2016 Spain in Salou , Spain  on 16 October 2016

Sebastien Ogier (FRA) performs during FIA World Rally Championship 2016 Spain in Salou , Spain on 16 October 2016

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This is some of the most impressing driving I have seen in a very long time

Martin J Brown Jr. on G+:
She’s known as the Queen of the ‘Ring and she shows why in this video driving a 911, in the rain no less.

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