Sunday, April 30, 2006

Gigi Galli wins his first ever podium

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Gialuigi "Gigi" Galli, the "the Italian Flying", has scored his first ever podium finish in the WRC at the 2006 Rally Argentina. This year has been both a mix of success and frustration for the Italian driver. Earlier in the year, he was surprosed by a big blow to his career when Mitsubishi Motors announced that it would skip the 2006 and 2007 seasons of the WRC while the company focuses on matters internal to Mitsubishi Motors vehicle sales. Gigi was promised a full season drive and is to contest all the 16 events of the 2006 WRC.

Early at the start of the WRC 2006 season, Gigi was able to do Monte Carlo and Sweden. In Sweden, he finished fourth in a Lancer WRC05, just a few seconds behind Daniel Carlsson, who was also driving a Lancer WRC05. His third drive of the season in Corsica was met with a lot of challenges. Gigi was given official support by Pirelli to do Corsica, Argentina and Sardegna. And just after his second outing with his new car, a Bozian Racing prepared, yellow liveried Peugeot 307 WRC, Gigi scored his first ever podium in Argentina, placing 3rd in the overall standings. Gigi (3rd), together with Solberg (2nd) and Atkinson (8th), gave Pirelli 3 places in the points finish line-up.

Gigi did not win any stage in Rally Argentina 2006. I bet he was driving very cautiously, keeping in mind to finish the rally without any error. He would never risk an off or a mechanical failure in what turned out to be his best ever rally result. We will see more of Gigi at his home rally in Sardegna in two week's time (May 19-21).

Rally Argentina 2006 Results

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Rally Argentina Final Result (Top 8 Points Finish)
[Pos.] [Driver] [Vehicle] {Diff Ldr} (Diff Prev)
[1] [LOEB] [Citroen] <04:06:51.3>
[2] [SOLBERG] [Subaru] <04:07:35.9> {44.6} (44.6)
[3] [GALLI] [Peugeot] <04:10:15.6> {03:24.3} (02:39.7)
[4] [STOHL] [Peugeot] <04:10:31.3> {03:40.0} (15.7)
[5] [SORDO] [Citroen] <04:12:31.5> {05:40.2} (02:00.2)
[6] [ATKINSON] [Subaru] <04:12:35.1> {05:43.8} (03.6)
[7] [SOLBERG] [Peugeot] <04:16:20.0> {09:28.7} (03:44.9)
[8] [WILSON] [Ford] <04:17:25.9> {10:34.6} (01:05.9)

Rally Argentina Leg 2

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Photos during Leg 2 (click for larger images)












Rally Argentina Leg 1

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Photos during Leg 1 (click for larger images)













Friday, April 28, 2006

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Pirelli back on gravel

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Pirelli is looking to bounce back from the poor results in Corsica and Spain by attacking on their favoured surface - gravel. Pirelli Competizioni's standard bearer Gigi Galli, who will compete in Argentina as he will in Sardinia in a few weeks time with the Peugeot 307 WRC prepared in Lyon by Bozian, is very confident about next weekend's rally.

He said, "The experience gained in Corsica, even though on asphalt, was useful to get to know the car well, a car that showed itself to be extremely sensitive to even the smallest change in its set-up or any kind of detailed modification. Certainly, the approach is much different for the loose in relation to a race pure and simple, but I like the Argentina's Rally and with the latest evolutions of the P Zero developed by Pirelli Competizioni, it is undoubtedly fair to suppose that drivers on Pirelli will be able to aim for good results, certainly better than in Corsica."

Mario Isola, Rally Manager of Pirelli Competizioni said: "The results of our latest test driving auger well for a rally that will see us start in highly competitive form, as seen with Solberg and the Subaru in March in Mexico. With the latest P Zero we have developed for the loose surfaces of the Argentinean pampas, we have completed a range of tyres for WRC cars on Pirelli that should enable our drivers to battle on equal terms for the placing that count with all the competitors on our oppositions' tyres."

BF Goodrich goes for six

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The return to gravel also marks a change in tyre choice, and BF Goodrich is prepared to capture its sixth consecutive FIA World Rally Championship victory in as many events this season.

OMV-Peugeot Norway World Rally Team's Manfred Stohl explained the importance of tyres in the South American event: "Argentina will be my 100th WRC start," said Stohl. "It's an event I have already contested seven times in a Group N car, and this will be my second attempt in a World Rally Car. The stages tend to be fast, and sandier rather than rough, although you can come across some big rocks in places and you need take it extremely cautiously through those. Tyre durability is a key factor because, although the surfaces aren't all that abrasive, we will need to cover up to 80 kilometers with the same tyres. As far as set-up is concerned, I prefer the car to be nimble more than anything else."

"Rally Argentina is a cocktail of slippery ground if it rains on the higher ground, sandy roads in the valley bottoms and some particularly rocky stages, like Mina Clavero and El Condor," explained Aime Chatard, BF Goodrich's Rallies programme Manager. "Tyres need to be versatile and durable [as well] to cope with the groups of up to 80 kilometeres of stages."

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Peterhansel clinches 3rd victory for Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart in Rally of Tunisia

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Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart Team driver Stéphane Peterhansel and co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret clinched their third victory in the Optic 2000 Rally of Tunisia. The victory was the team’s 19th win out of 21 starts with the Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution – only defeats in Morocco in 2004 and South America’s Patagonia-Atacama Rally last March have blotted a clean sweep of international rally wins.

Peterhansel’s success marked Mitsubishi’s fourth win in Tunisia in the last five years and the Japanese manufacturer’s eighth triumph on the event since Frenchman Jean Da Silva’s first win back in 1987. Peterhansel and Cottret won the event together in 2002 and 2004 and ’Peter’ was twice a winner on factory motorcycles in 1990 and 1994.


The result also means that Stéphane Peterhansel joins his Mitsubishi team mate Luc Alphand at the head of the driver’s points standings in this year’s FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup. Alphand claimed 15 points for his victory in last month’s Patagonia-Atacama Rally. Peterhansel’s winning margin over Volkswagen’s Giniel de Villiers was 7m 13s, with third-placed Jean-Louis Schlesser 15m 33s adrift.

Colin McRae's Concept Rally Car

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Colin McRae's Concept Rally Car

With rising concern over the ever increasing costs of competing in rallying Colin McRae has decided to design and build his own rally car to try and address this problem.This unique car is designed for durability as well as performance. It will not require an army of engineers to work on the car during events and will be capable of very high mileages between rebuilds.

Tom Webster and Keith Burden who have both been involved with the Colin McRae Rally game have designed the body styling using computer generated images. Newark based engineering company DJM Ltd who built Colin's Mk 2 Ford Escort are building the 2.5-litre engine driven 4-w-d prototype with conventional mechanical transmission. For the past six months Colin has used his engineering skills to help with the development of this car, which he hopes to start testing later this summer."I hope the shake down goes well and we can then plan a serious gravel test programme.

The car should be available to the public during 2007 and the target is to ensure that the running costs of the car will be less than a Group N car and capable of winning a National Rally, "said Colin McRae.

Colin McRae will join the Pirelli National Rally

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Colin McRae, World Rally Champion in 1995 and two-time British Rally Champion, has signed up for the inaugural BRC Rallymasters series for an attack on the Carlisle-based Pirelli National Rally on Saturday May 13th.

McRae, famous the world over for his rallying achievements, will be joined on the event by co-driver Nicky Grist and will campaign his DJM / Colin McRae designed MkII Escort, powered by a 2.5 litre Millington engine.

"It's going to be good to get back into action on the Pirelli and be part of the BRC Rallymasters," says McRae. "The Pirelli National Rally is a fantastic event, and I'm looking forward to taking on the infamous Kielder Stages as part of Rallymasters. It looks like a good concept and represents great value for money.
Colin McRae, World Rally Champion in 1995 and two-time British Rally Champion, has signed up for the inaugural BRC Rallymasters series for an attack on the Carlisle-based Pirelli National Rally on Saturday May 13th.

McRae, famous the world over for his rallying achievements, will be joined on the event by co-driver Nicky Grist and will campaign his DJM / Colin McRae designed MkII Escort, powered by a 2.5 litre Millington engine.

"It's going to be good to get back into action on the Pirelli and be part of the BRC Rallymasters," says McRae. "The Pirelli National Rally is a fantastic event, and I'm looking forward to taking on the infamous Kielder Stages as part of Rallymasters. It looks like a good concept and represents great value for money.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Gigi Galli will be in Rally Argentina

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Gigi Galli and his Peugeot 307 WRC

After a successful rally at Tour de Corse, The "Italian Flying" will contest Rally Argentina this coming April 28-30, 2006. Gigi finished 10th in Corsica, just outside the points, losing 9th place to Stephane Sarrazin (Subaru WRT), but that position is better than expected. The car he drove, a yellow Peugeot 307 WRC, was all new to him. You just don't drive a different car at the WRC and expect to win. Gigi learned about the car "meter by meter", and he did Corsica at his own pace, not being pressured to beat Sarrazin. The goal at that time was just to finish, and finishing in 10th place in a different car is something of an achievement.

We see more action from the Italian duo at Rally Argentina this coming weekend. For us here in Asia, we get to see the action via cable on AXN a week after that. A points finish in Argentina is not impossible. Pirelli has been hard at work developing their P-Zero tires, and Gigi is there to showcase its potentials.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Harri Rovanpera in a Skoda Fabia WRC in Corsica

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Harri Rovanperä and Risto Pietiläinen has joined WRC once again in Tour de Corse (Rd 6 of WRC), this time running a Škoda Fabia WRC (car #11) of the Redbull-Škoda team. The car was prepared by BRR. Harri filled in for Gilles Panizzi, who abruptly decided not to do Corsica after personal issues with his brother and co-driver Hervé Panizzi, has lead to the split of duo. We won't see Redbull-Škoda in Argentina come the end of April because they opted out to do the long haul to South America. Harri finished 12th behind Petter Solberg of Subaru WRT.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

2007 Mitsubishi Outlander MMNA

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Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) unveils the U.S. version of its next-generation Outlander compact sport-utility vehicle at the 2006 New York International Auto Show. The all-new, larger Outlander, which will reach Mitsubishi dealerships in November, offers a compelling blend of driven-to-thrill dynamics, bold styling, five- or seven-passenger versatility, plus numerous user-technology firsts for the compact SUV segment.


The 2007 Outlander is based on a new performance-engineered global platform that will also form the foundation of the next-generation Mitsubishi Lancer and Lancer Evolution models. All Outlander models for 2007 will be powered exclusively by a new 220 hp aluminum MIVEC V-6 engine teamed to a six-speed Sportronic(R) automatic transmission with available magnesium Sportronic steering wheel paddle shifters - a segment first. In another segment first, the California-emissions V-6 will be the first in the compact SUV segment to be P-ZEV certified.


Two trim lines available for 2007, the well equipped Outlander LS and sport/luxury XLS, each will be available with standard front-wheel drive or an optional electronically controlled 4WD system -- All-Wheel Control (AWC). Mitsubishi's All-Wheel Control philosophy for Outlander combines electronically controlled 4-wheel drive with Active Skid and Traction Control and a tuned suspension, plus an aluminum roof that lowers the center of gravity for better handling response. Eighteen-inch alloy wheels are standard on XLS models. The result is an SUV that delivers handling dynamics, stability and a level of driver engagement uncommon in the class.

The 2007 Outlander's safety package is one of the most comprehensive in the segment and includes an advanced dual front air bag supplemental restraint system (SRS) with occupant sensors, standard front seat-mounted side-impact air bags and side curtain air bags (front and second row), plus energy-absorbing head protection interior pillars. All models include as standard an anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), as well as a tire pressure monitor system.

"The 2007 Outlander brings Mitsubishi's 'Driven to Thrill' performance and design to the compact SUV segment, where we believe its combination of style, performance, versatility and value will make it a standout choice," said Hiroshi Harunari, president and CEO, Mitsubishi Motors North America. "The Outlander also previews new design language for Mitsubishi and strongly hints at the performance potential of this new platform."