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Roma gives new ‘Racing Lancer' a first fastest Dakar stage time
Dakar : Mitsubishi Motors - Leg 13
Team Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart's Joan 'Nani' Roma and Lucas Cruz Senra (both Spain) gave the new turbo diesel-engined 'Racing Lancer' its first Dakar stage victory on the shortened 13th special stage between La Rioja and Cordoba on Friday afternoon.

The pair began the special from 21st position, but surged through the ... [ more ]
Three questions for Volkswagen team physician
Dr Markus Preuth
At the "Dakar” the drivers and co-drivers have to deliver top athletic performances in the cockpit. Howe did the Volkswagen factory drivers prepare themselves for this?
"In addition to special medical care, which is assured throughout the year, we conducted an altitude training programme with all the teams focused on both power and concentration. ... [ more ]
Volkswagen consolidates lead with de Villiers and Miller
Dakar : Volkswagen Motorsport - Leg 13
Volkswagen consolidated its one-two lead with Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz (ZA/D) and Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford (USA/ZA) on the 13th and penultimate leg of the Dakar Rally.

On the leg from La Rioja to Córdoba, which had been shortened from 753 to 631 kilometres, the advantage of the two Race Touareg vehicles ... [ more ]
Comfortable lead for Coma
Dakar : KTM Racing - Leg 13
KTM factory riders Marc Coma and Cyril Despres continued their dominance in Stage 13 of the Dakar 2009, with Coma in overall lead with an impressive margin over Despres, who notched up another stage win just before riders head for Buenos Aires.

Heavy overnight rain in the La Rioja and Cordoba region caused organizers to slim ... [ more ]
Consolation prize for Roma
Dakar - Cars - Leg 13
With nothing to lose, Nani Roma stormed his Lancer forward today and took the penultimate stage win of this year's Dakar Rally.

It is a first stage victory and a consolation prize of sorts as well, not only for himself and co-driver Lucas Cruz, but also for the Mitsubishi team – which has been watching over its sole remaining contender ... [ more ]
One more for Despres
Dakar - Motorbikes - Leg 13
Cyril Després led from one end to the other of today's stage, taking his fourth win on this event. The Frenchman might have some regrets after a bad start to the race due to tyre problems, but he has put all his energy into gaining lost ground despite Marc Coma's unrelenting hold at the front.

Only a mechanical problem for the ... [ more ]
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Miroslav Zapletal moves to seventh overall
With his Mitsubishi into La Rioja
Miroslav Zapletal (Czech Republic) benefited from delays and time penalties for numerous competitors into Copiapo, by moving up the overall leader board to 11th overall at the start of the 12th stage into La Rioja.

He held 26th on the stage at the first passage control and had gained sufficient time over the demanding ... [ more ]
From the Andes to the Pampas
Dakar : Team Dessoude - Leg 12
The 11th special stage, due to be held yesterday from Copiapo to Fiambala, was cancelled. With heavy fog forecast for the whole route, and an unchangeable timetable due to the crossing of the Andes and the border between Chile and Argentina, the organisers opted to cancel the timed stage. The competitors finally reached Fiambala ... [ more ]
Roma loses fourth place on perilous stage
Dakar : Mitsubishi Motors - Leg 12
Team Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart's Joan 'Nani' Roma and Lucas Cruz Senra (both Spain) lost the final podium place in the 2009 Dakar Rally, after stopping with electrical problems 165km into the 220km special stage between Fiambala and La Rioja on Thursday.

Mitsubishi's sole-surviving turbo-diesel 'Racing Lancer' crew ... [ more ]
Race Touareg with 30th stage victory
From the Volkswagen bivouac
Almost unnoticed amidst dramatic sporting events on the twelfth leg, Volkswagen achieved a historic best mark. With the win clinched by Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz (ZA/D) today, the Race Touareg celebrated its 30th "Dakar” stage victory in five "Dakar” competitions since its 2004 debut.

The South African-German duo ... [ more ]
Volkswagen leads “Dakar” with Giniel de Villiers
Dakar : Volkswagen Motorsport - Leg 12
Volkswagen maintained a one-two lead on what proved to be the Dakar Rally's most turbulent day so far. On the twelfth of 14 legs Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz (ZA/D) in the Race Touareg took the lead in front of their team-mates Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford (USA/ZA).

Carlos Sainz/Michel Périn (E/F), who had ... [ more ]
Coma continues victory charge
Dakar : KTM Racing - Leg 12
KTM's two leading factory riders, Marc Coma and Cyril Despres, both veterans and winners of previous Dakar rallies, were again in a class of their own in Stage 12 of the 2009 race.

Coma continues his charge to overall victory with a commanding lead of one hour 29'48"and Despres, as stage winner, dislodged Frenchman David Fretegne ... [ more ]
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One Volkswagen can hide another
Dakar - Cars - Leg 12
The Dakar Rally is over for Carlos Sainz and co-driver Michel Périn: the Volkswagen crew fell off the edge of a cliff and tumbled several metres, breaking Périn's shoulder blade as their Touareg settled on its roof.

The road book did not appropriately indicate the danger in their opinion, and the situation brought about furious comments ... [ more ]
Despres moves to second place
Dakar - Motorbikes - Leg 12
After transfering from Copiapo to Fiambala on Wednesday, when heavy fog saw the stage cancelled, the Dakar Rally got back to business Thursday morning as the contenders raced towards La Riojas, Argentina.

The 518-kilometre distance included a timed run of 261km, leading the competitors from green mountains to sandy dunes, with ... [ more ]
Sainz prevented further accidents
Broken shoulder blade for Perin
In the moments following Carlos Sainz's and co-driver Michel Périn's roll earlier today, further accidents were prevented thanks to the former World Rally champion.

While Périn was sitting on the ground a few metres away from their topsided VW Touareg, clenching his teeth at the pain of a broken shoulder blade, Sainz had ... [ more ]
Carlos Sainz retires from Dakar Rally!
A roll takes out the leader...
As the Dakar Rally resumed following yesterday's cancelled stage, rally leader Carlos Sainz took to the routes of Argentina with a 27-minute lead on his nearest rival, Volkswagen teammate Mark Miller.

About 80 kilometres into today's Fiambala-La Rioja stage, Sainz's Race Touareg went through a heavy roll and landed on its ... [ more ]
Mouton is taking part in the Dakar...
As a press corps driver!
Michèle Mouton, the 1982 World Rally Championship runner-up, remains in the collective memory even if time passes by... This year, she is making her mark on the Dakar Rally – not as a competitor, but as a driver on one of the vehicles transporting the media representatives.

Mouton is happy to be back in Argentina, a part of the ... [ more ]
Migraine-Bourgnon and Joyeux holding fast
Quite a ride it is at the Dakar
Nothing so far has been able to stop the all-women crew of the #443 entry: Florence Migraine-Bourgnon and Clémence Joyeux are still in the Dakar Rally game but it is proving to be quite an effort!

Everyone participating in the event easily recognises their big white Toyota as it crosses the deserts and dunes, especially ... [ more ]
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Fog foils Stage 11 as 2009 Dakar heads back to Argentina
Cancellation at dramatic time of the rally
Just as the 2009 Dakar was about to leave Peru, cross the Andes and re-enter Argentina for the eleventh stage of the rally, organisers announced they were forced to cancel due to heavy fog forecast for the whole route.

The desert coastal areas of Chile and Peru are often subject to fog when cool air comes in from ... [ more ]
Dakar Leg 11 cancelled
Foggy weather suspends the rally
There will no stage running today at the Dakar Rally. The leg has been cancelled by the organisers, but there still remains a 680-kilometre distance to cover in order to reach Fiambala.

The decision was taken by the organisers when weather forecasters announced that the heavy fog conditions which delayed Tuesday's start ... [ more ]
Dunes and more dunes in the Atacama...
Dakar : Team Dessoude - Leg 10
Today's loop around Copiapo was, quite simply, majestic. The competitors were surrounded by magnificent scenery. Unfortunately, Jean-Pierre Strugo was not able to share their enthusiasm, as his return to the bivouac yesterday evening saw his retirement from the event. As for the duo of Chavigny-Singery, they had another good stage.

First ... [ more ]
Three questions for Andreas Lautner, Technical Director
In the Team Volkswagen Motorsport
Even before the « Dakar », today's special stage around Copiapó was considered the pinnacle of all the legs.

What made it so special from a technical point of view ?

« Today's leg led through huge dune fields with special characteristics. For one, the dune crests here are very sharp-edged and unpredictable, and ... [ more ]
Volkswagen continues running in front at Dakar
Dakar : Volkswagen Motorsport - Leg 10
Volkswagen has kept the upper hand with three cars leading the event, even on the extremely demanding tenth leg of the 2009 Dakar Rally. Carlos Sainz / Michel Périn in the Race Touareg extended their advantage in the overall classification by another 7.39 minutes, to 27.31 minutes. On the loop around Copiapó in Chile, which ... [ more ]
Roma survives marathon Atacama special stage
Dakar : Mitsubishi Motors - Leg 10
Team Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart's Joan « Nani Roma » and Lucas Cruz Senra survived what should have been the longest and potentially most difficult special stage of the entire 2009 Dakar Rally on Tuesday. They completed the 670km loop through the Atacama desert, that was shortened to 476km by event officials, in fifth place ... [ more ]
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Stage victory for KTM's Viladoms
Dakar : KTM Racing - Leg 10
Line victory in Stage 10 of the 2009 Dakar went to KTM factory rider Jordi Viladoms with factory teammate Alain Duclos coming home second. Marc Coma made it a perfect KTM day to maintain his commanding overall lead as the rally re-enters Argentina.

While Marc Coma maintains his overall lead on the Frenchman Fretigne (second ... [ more ]
Four wins in a row for Sainz
Dakar : Cars - Leg 10
The loop around Copiapo was a feared notion by the majority of Dakar Rally contenders: a long grueling 490-kilometre-long challenge across hot sand and dunes. To many a competitor's relief, the itinerary had been previously cut down from the orginal 670-kilometre distance.

Carlos Sainz did rather well on this unknown terrain, considering ... [ more ]
Viladoms victorious in the dunes
Dakar : Motorbikes - Leg 10
Heavy fog delayed the start of today's Dakar Rally leg by over two and a half hours as the conditions prevented medical and tracking helicopters from safely flying.

Once the fog lifted and everyone had spent the extra free time either enjoying sleep or talking, the racing resumed under slightly cloudy skies for a 490-kilometre ... [ more ]
A full house for BFGoodrich
After the first week on Dakar Rally
Following the gruelling first week of the 2009 Dakar, Volkswagen and BFGoodrich dominates the provisional podium which is monopolised by three Race Touaregs. Despite the combination of searing heat and the extremely varied terrain, the BFGoodrich Rock T/A and the new BFGoodrich All-Terrain have performed excellently on the ... [ more ]
Ogier, the surprise Monte Carlo competitor
''It was a dream I had been nurturing!''
Only ten days before the start of the Monte Carlo Rally, Sébastien Ogier learned that he too would be taking part in the legendary event.

Indeed, a panel of French journalists chose the recently-crowned 2008 Junior World Rally Champion from a shortlist of five drivers to fly the BFGoodrich Drivers Team flag on the ... [ more ]
Vouilloz eager to take on the Monte
IRC champion expecting ten potential winners
French manufacturer Peugeot has entered a fleet of eight 207 Super 2000s that will line up for the start of the 2009 Rallye Monte-Carlo in a few days.

Last year's IRC champion, Nicolas Vouilloz, will be there to once again defend the colours of a Kronos Racing-prepared Peugeot Belgium-Luxemburg car.

"Given ... [ more ]
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Monte Carlo Rally: a history
One of the world's most famous motorsport challenges
No other event in the world conjures up the same level of heritage, challenge and spectacle as the Monte Carlo Rally. Run for the first time in 1911, it remains one of the most renowned tests of man and machine the sport offers.

On January 21, the event will form the opening round of the Intercontinental ... [ more ]
Wittman looks forward to Monte Carlo
Eight IRC rounds on the programme
Mitsubishi will be represented on the Intercontinental Rally Challenge this year by Austrian driver Franz Wittman Jr, who will be co-driven by Bernard Ettel. The duo are currently completing the recce for this legendary event, which gets underway on January 21st.

For the 25-year-old Wittmann, this milestone is the beginning ... [ more ]
Peugeot returns to Monte Carlo
With Sarrazin as its official driver
After securing consecutive Intercontinental Rally Challenge titles and 12 outright IRC wins in 2007 and 2008, French manufacturer Peugeot stands out as favourite for top honours again in 2009 with the 207 Super 2000.

Its rivals have not been inactive, however, and the new season promises to be another thriller. The ... [ more ]
Stobart relishing the 2009 challenge
Taking on another WRC season
The world's leading private rally team, Stobart M-Sport Ford, is looking forward to tackling another full campaign in the FIA World Rally Championship in 2009.

Kicking off its season at Rally Ireland over January 30-February 1, the UK-based squad will field three cars in the globe's premier rally series, with the team's Ford ... [ more ]
Atkinson samples the C4
French test ahead of Rally Ireland
Chris Atkinson had his first taste of the Citroën C4 world rally car after a full day's test in the north of France on Monday.

The 29-year-old completed 180 kilometres in daylight and darkness where road conditions were both wet and dry as temperatures floated from a chilly -10 centigrade, in the early morning, to positive ... [ more ]
Williams all set to roll out the FW31
Algarve debut with Nico Hulkenberg
Williams Toyota will on Monday unveil its latest challenger, the FW31, in Portugal. Like many this year, the Grove-based squad are not conducting a full blown 'launch' of the new car.

The team revealed that team test driver and F3 Euroseries winner Nico Hulkenberg will conduct the first test and that the FW31 will feature ... [ more ]
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Haug leaving door open to Honda
New season a massive challenge
Speaking at the launch of the new McLaren Mercedes MP4-24 yesterday at Woking, Mercedes Motorsport VP Norbert Haug was asked about the possibility of supplying the former Honda team with engines this year.

Haug had gone on record saying that the German manufacturer would be happy to do so but admitted yesterday that time ... [ more ]
Dennis is ''very definitely not'' retiring
Statements from Dennis, Whitmarsh and Haug
This morning, at the launch of the McLaren Mercedes MP4-24, Ron Dennis (McLaren Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Team Principal) announced that he would pass the role of Team Principal to Martin Whitmarsh (Chief Operating Officer, McLaren Group) on March 1st.

Martin will therefore ... [ more ]
Kovalainen aiming high for 2009
''I think the new breed of cars will suit me very well''
Heikki Kovalainen spent last year settling in to his new team. Now entering his second season with McLaren Mercedes and with one Grand Prix victory to his name, the Finn is looking forward to another season alongside teammate Lewis Hamilton - and hopefully more wins will appear on his record.

Following ... [ more ]
Hamilton excited by new rules
''This year it will be even more intense''
The McLaren Mercedes team unveiled its new contender, and thanks to Lewis Hamilton's championship-winning performance last year, the MP4-24 will be carrying the much-coveted Number One.

The 2008 titleholder speaks of the changes and responsibilities which come with being a World Champion, and looks forward to ... [ more ]
The new McLaren bares the Number One
''This year's World Championship is open''
The McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 team today launched the car it will campaign in the 2009 FIA Formula 1 World Championship at its headquarters in Woking, England.

Unveiled by 2008 World Champion Lewis Hamilton and his team-mate Heikki Kovalainen, the new MP4-24 bears little resemblance to its world championship-winning ... [ more ]
McLaren present the MP4-24
A new car based on new rules
With an unprecedented series of rule changes introduced ahead of the 2009 season, the new Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-24 represents a significant departure from its world championship-winning predecessor.

Incorporating new bodywork regulations and the much-heralded return of slick tyres, the team's new challenger not only ... [ more ]
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Williams sponsor inks new deal
Randstad increases team involvement
Williams confirmed today that it had entered into an extended and increased sponsorship agreement with Randstad, a specialist in human resources.

Randstad has been a team sponsor since 2006. Following agreement to enter into a three year partnership with Williams in January 2007, Randstad has decided to consolidate its ... [ more ]
Raikkonen happy at Ferrari
Expecting to end career with Italian squad
Today was this season's debut of Kimi Raikkonen: not on the track because the Finnish driver will have his first appearance in the F60 next Monday on the Portimao circuit, but in front of the media at the traditional Ferrari 'Wrooom' PR event.

"This is my third season with Ferrari and I'm motivated and I want ... [ more ]
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