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— Automotive

Valentino Rossi becomes the world's hottest property on 2 and 4 wheels

By - January 23, 2010 55 Pictures
It is interesting to note that the three biggest stories in Formula One right now concern a driver who competed in 2010 but not in 2009 (the Michael Schumacher comeback), a driver who competed in 2009 but not 2010 (Raikkonen loses his drive and goes WRC) and a driver who has never competed in F1 and quite possibly never will – Valentino Rossi. Indeed, Rossi has only ever driven an F1 car six times, but his status as one of motorcycling’s all-time greats and one of the most popular and media-savvy sportspeople of all time make the possibility an incredibly enticing prospect. For Ferrari, Rossi brings a global army of fans and the possibility of a rare Italian driver-car title combination that hasn’t happened since Alberto Ascari in 1953, despite 15 drivers titles and 16 constructors titles for the marque since then. This week Rossi tested in a Ferrari F1 car again, and was so fast that the possibility might now be approaching a probability. Read More
— Automotive

Raikkonen hoping for a late Christmas present

By - January 22, 2010 7 Pictures
Just two years ago, Finn Kimi Raikkonen was the reigning (2007) World Champion in the world’s most prominent television sport, and the number one driver for the world’s most famous racing marque, Ferrari. Forbes rated him the 26th highest paid celebrity in the world, the fifth highest paid sportsperson and the highest paid driver in the world with a weekly pay cheque of US$1,000,000. Late last year he lost his job in the cutthroat game of musical chairs played by the top half dozen drivers in the world and decided to sit out 2010 by driving rally cars. This weekend he starts his new job in a town made famous by none other than Father Christmas – could there be a belated Christmas Gift in the offing? Read More
— Automotive

Close-up look at the Proton Satria Neo S2000 rally car

By - May 4, 2009 14 Pictures
With the World Rally Championship (WRC) switching over to S2000-based cars next year, we thought it may be a good time to have a closer look at what has proved to be the fastest S2000 rally car so far, the Mellors Elliott Motorsport (MEM) build Proton Satria Neo Super 2000. In the hands of Irish driver Niall McShea, the Proton caused quite a stir on the first WRC event earlier this year, Rally Ireland, when it stormed into a podium position on day one, ahead of a full field of WRC machinery. Read More
— Automotive

Citroen tests the world’s first hybrid WRC rally car

By - April 10, 2009 14 Pictures
Citroen Racing has started testing its Citroen C4 Hybrid World Rally Car, proving that its technological showcase is much more than just a motor show model and that it is paving the way for low consumption, low emission, low noise motor sport cars of the future. Just hours after winning its fourth World Rally Championship event of the season, Citroen driver Dani Sordo took the new car testing in Portugal. Read More
— Automotive

TH!NK FROST: AWD, all-wheel-steer electric sports car concept

By - March 11, 2009 4 Pictures
While World Rally Championship cars travel at incredible speed on ice covered roads using studded tires, something with a little more surface area is needed for an Arctic Off-Road vehicle. Taking cues off four track snowmobiles Norwegian designer Anders Gloslie designed the FROST as a concept proposal for TH!NK, an electric car company based in Norway. The layout of the FROST is a 2-seat sports car platform based on a tubular space frame chassis with double wishbone suspension front and rear teamed with push-rod actuated in-board coil over shock and spring units. The suspension features hydraulic wheel extenders to increase the track when required and the proposed electric drivetrain features All Wheel Drive (AWD), all-wheel-steering and radical tracks instead of conventional wheels that should offer superior traction when driving on snow, ice and slush. Read More
— Automotive

WRC's ban on run-flat tyre foam forces a search for new solutions

By - June 2, 2007 2 Pictures
June 3, 2007 The success of tyre mousse, a special compound that expands to replace the air in a punctured tyre, has meant that over the last 20 years flat tyres have ceased to be a factor in World Rally Championship races. The high-tech foam inserts have been so effective that many drivers don't even notice they're running on punctured tyres, and it's not uncommon for race wins and best times to be set after the system is deployed. With new cost-saving FIM regulations being introduced to ban tyre mousse from the 2008 WRC season onwards, teams are searching for ways to minimize the risk and repercussions of the dreaded tyre puncture, which not only knocks cars out of race contention, but can cost upwards of $10,000 in recovery and associated damage costs. One such mitigation strategy is to closely monitor tyre pressure and temperature through a race by using sophisticated sensor systems to detect small leaks and enable the drivers to compensate for them. Read More
— Automotive

Subaru's new Impreza WRC contender

By - March 3, 2007 11 Pictures
March 4, 2007 The Subaru World Rally Team (SWRT) has released details of the latest evolution of its rally challenger, the Impreza WRC2007, which will make its competitive debut in the fourth WRC round of 2007 next weekend at Rally Mexico in the hands of Petter Solberg and Chris Atkinson. Although outwardly similar to its predecessor, a number of key engineering improvements have justified the production of a new car for the remainder of this season. As the basis of a rally winning machine, few cars can match the competitive pedigree of the. First launched in 1992, the Impreza road car has developed in tandem with its rallying counterpart and over the last 13 seasons, has scored 46 WRC victories and lessons learned on the rally stages have been fed back into the production model. The targets were to produce a car with a more responsive front end with better traction and more balanced tyre wear, particularly on longer stages. To achieve that, SWRT applied a different philosophy into areas such as weight distribution, suspension geometry and differential set-ups. Read More
— Automotive

Ford sweeps Norway WRC and enlivens the title chase

By - February 18, 2007 11 Pictures
February 19, 2007 With Sebastien Loeb’s almost total dominance in recent years, the World Rally Championship (WRC) has taken on a pall of inevitability, but as we all know, nothing lasts forever on the sporting field. Ford has been forging a dynasty of reliability and competitiveness at WRC level for decades, but had not won a manufacturers championship for 26 years until sheer weight of points finishes overcame Loeb and Citroen last year. This year the BP-Ford World Rally Team has started the season so well that it could be poised to challenge for the dirvers title in 2007 too. The team took a decisive lead in the WRC after dominating Rally Norway with the Focus RS World Rally Car to finish first and second yesterday. Mikko Hirvonen (driver first) and Jarmo Lehtinen (navigator second) led from start to finish to claim their second WRC victory, finishing 9.5sec ahead of team-mates and fellow Finns Marcus Gronholm and Timo Rautiainen. It was BP-Ford's second win in consecutive weeks after Gronholm triumphed in Sweden seven days ago and powered the reigning manufacturers' world champions into a 16 point lead after three of the 16 rounds. Gronholm moved to the head of the drivers' series, four points clear of Hirvonen. As always, the Scandinavian rounds with their spectacular yumps (high speeds on ice and snow with sudden dropaways lead to 100 mph flying cars) make for another awesome image library. Read More
— Automotive

Sebastien Loeb becomes the world’s most successful rally driver

By - September 5, 2006 11 Pictures
September 6, 2006 When Sebastien Loeb narrowly held out Marcus Gronholm to win the Rally of Japan last Sunday, he became the most successful rally driver in history. His 27th career victory edged the double World Rally Champion past former Citroen driver Carlos Sainz and into the record books once again. Unbelievably Loeb only made his WRC debut in 2002 and has taken just four seasons to overtake the success of rally legend Sainz. Along the way, it’s been a tour de force, as he now holds the record for the most consecutive victories, and last year performed what many people consider to be his most astounding feat – winning every stage in a World Championship Rally. This year the Frenchman has demonstrated his versatility winning the Race of Champions (December) and finishing in second place in the Le Mans 24 Hour Race. Read More
— Automotive

Citroen and Loeb in WRC Rally of Corsica

By - April 9, 2006 12 Pictures
April 10, 2006 Citroen’s World Champion, Sebastien Loeb has extended his lead in the 2006 World Rally Championship after another commanding win, notching up his 23rd WRC win at the weekend in the French round, the Rally of Corsica, with Loeb joined on the podium by fellow Citroen driver Dani Sordo. What makes the result even more remarkable is the fact that Citroen is dominating the 2006 World Rally Championship with a two year old car, built for the previous rule regime and modified for the ’06 season, while its rivals are running their latest designs. Second in the event and now a clear second in the title chase, BP-Ford World Rally Team drivers Marcus Gronholm and Timo Rautiainen claimed their fourth podium finish in five rallies by finishing second on the Rallye de France Tour de Corse. Read More
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