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First Official Look On M-Sport’s Factory-Backed 2018 Ford Fiesta WRC 11
Jan
Posted by Michael Karkafiris in Ford, Ford Fiesta, Motorsport, racing, rally, Rally Cars, Reports, WRC on 01 11th, 2018


Ford has officially announced its financial and technical support to the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team for the 2018 season.

Following an earlier report on the matter, Ford officially returns to WRC through M-Sport after withdrawing its factory team back in 2012.

Having Ford’s official backing helped M-Sport keep Sébastien Ogier in its ranks, who won the 2017 driver’s championship, with the second driver to be Elfyn Evans.

“Ford’s 20-year relationship with M-Sport has delivered unparalleled success at all levels of rallying, something we’re very proud of, and has also established Fiesta as the standard for rally competitors around the globe,” said Mark Rushbrook, Ford’s global director of Motorsport. “Last year we supported M-Sport with the development of the all-new Fiesta that went on to campaign to an FIA championship win. For 2018, we’re excited to be able to provide even greater support.”

“We’ve enjoyed a fantastic relationship with Ford over the years and it’s great to see that support increase as we look to defend our FIA World Rally Championship titles in 2018,” said Malcolm Wilson OBE, M-Sport managing director.

The 2018 Ford Fiesta WRC is powered by a turbocharged 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine with 380hp and 331lb-ft (450Nm) of torque. The six-speed sequential gearbox was developed by M-Sport and Ricardo while the four-wheel drive system utilizes mechanical front and rear differentials, with the central one being an active unit.

PHOTO GALLERY



Enjoy The Sight And Sound Of A Rally-Spec Porsche 911 Carrera 25
Dec
Posted by Brad Anderson in Film, Porsche Videos, Porsche-911, rally, Rally Cars, video on 12 25th, 2017


Although this rally-spec Porsche 911 Carrera isn’t an official ‘Safari’ variant produced by the German car brand, watching it being built and driven is hugely satisfying.

The off-road story of this Carrera started when it arrived at Emotion Engineering in Newport Beach, California. From there, the sports coupe has been transformed into a punchy rally car with a competition-spec suspension system, reinforced chassis, and roll cage, plus a beefed-up 3.2-liter flat-six engine.

Rounding off the rally specifications meant fitting this 911 with a set of large off-road tires, skid plates, front push bar, roof rack, and off-road lamps. So, not only does it look the part, but it is actually right at home on precarious gravel paths.

Only those with a lot of money could ever think about transforming an air-cooled 911 into an off-road toy, but we’re glad this owner did just that.

VIDEO



Few Things Are More Satisfying Than Rally Car Launches 24
Dec
Posted by Brad Anderson in Film, Lancia, Lancia Videos, rally, Rally Cars, video on 12 24th, 2017


There’s something remarkable about rally cars and those who drive them.

Equipped with short-ratio gearboxes, top-level rally cars are among the most accelerative vehicles on the planet. One could also say they’re among the most versatile race cars too, capable of rocketing through gravel stages lined by trees, thick snow, mud, and tarmac faster than almost anything else on four wheels.

With Christmas just around the corner, we thought it’d be a nice idea to treat you, our readers, with some of the finest rally sounds around, as filmed by YouTuber Marchettino at the 15° Rally Legend 2017 in San Marino.

The clip features some exceptionally potent rally machines at the start of the stage, including the likes of various Peugeots, Lancias, and even an Audi ur-Quattro.

VIDEO



Few Things Are More Satisfying Than Rally Car Launches 24
Dec
Posted by Brad Anderson in Film, Lancia, Lancia Videos, rally, Rally Cars, video on 12 24th, 2017


There’s something remarkable about rally cars and those who drive them.

Equipped with short-ratio gearboxes, top-level rally cars are among the most accelerative vehicles on the planet. One could also say they’re among the most versatile race cars too, capable of rocketing through gravel stages lined by trees, thick snow, mud, and tarmac faster than almost anything else on four wheels.

With Christmas just around the corner, we thought it’d be a nice idea to treat you, our readers, with some of the finest rally sounds around, as filmed by YouTuber Marchettino at the 15° Rally Legend 2017 in San Marino.

The clip features some exceptionally potent rally machines at the start of the stage, including the likes of various Peugeots, Lancias, and even an Audi ur-Quattro.

VIDEO



Sebastien Loeb Returns To The WRC With Citroën – For A While 22
Dec
Posted by Carscoops Staff in Citroen, Motorsport, rally, WRC on 12 22nd, 2017


Remember Michael Schumacher retiring from Formula One in 2006 and returning in 2010? Well, the World Rally Championship is about to experience a similar comeback, as Citroën has announced that Sebastien Loeb, by far the most successful rally driver in history, is returning next season, albeit only for just three rounds.

Now 43 years old, Loeb left the WRC after 2012 having clinched his ninth world championship and nothing left to prove. He has since contested only five world rallies (four in 2013 and the Monte Carlo in 2015), but hasn’t been present at all these past two seasons.

Instead he’s been trying his hand at other forms of motorsport. He set the Pikes Peak hillclimb record in 2013 with the Peugeot 208 T16, contested the Dakar Rally twice with Peugeot (coming in a close second last time), won six races with Citroën in the World Touring Car Championship, and competed in various other series like the World Rallycross Championship, Porsche Supercup, and FIA GT Series.

He’ll be back at Dakar and the WRX again this season with Peugeot, and will contest three rallies with sister company Citröen, with which he won all nine of his world titles. Having already tested the new C3 WRC, he’ll be back behind the wheel in Mexico come March, then Corsica in April and Spain in October – all rounds which he’s won previously.

“The feeling you get in rally is one of the most thrilling feelings I have ever experienced, and I was excited about driving one of these new WRCs in a race,” said Loeb. “I don’t have any expectations, I just want to enjoy myself.”

With 13 rounds on the calendar next season, he won’t be able add another championship to his cabinet if he sticks to racing in only three events, but it’ll be interesting to see if he can compete after all these years out of the scene.

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1974 Lancia Stratos HF Stradale Is A Rare, And Pricey, Italian Legend 16
Dec
Posted by Brad Anderson in Classics, Galleries, Lancia, Lancia Stratos, rally, Rally Cars, used cars on 12 16th, 2017


An absolutely jaw-dropping 1974 Lancia Stratos HF Stradale has appeared for sale on Bring A Trailer and, at the time of writing this article, had a highest bid of $311,000.

This particular Stratos HF Stradale is the 44th of just 492 examples homologated for World Rally Championship Group 4 competition and has had just two owners from new. While many classic Lancias are garage queens, this Stratos was driven frequently during its early years and currently has 71,008 km (44,122 miles) under its belt.

Still, the Italian sports car retains its original engine, transmission, chassis and the beautiful body styled by Bertone.

The car rolled out of the factory on July 1, 1974 and was first registered on July 8, 1977 and driven roughly 20,000 km during the next three years. The second owner acquired the car on June 18, 1980 and drove it roughly 50,000 km before putting it in storage in 1984.

Alongside its original powertrain and exterior, this Stratos has a highly-original interior, apart from the renewed seat bolsters. To give the car a new lease on life, the factory coilover suspension has been rebuilt and restored, and the brakes fitted with rebuilt calipers, new lines, and Karp’s rotors. Additionally, a set of period-correct Michelin XWX tires have been installed.

PHOTO GALLERY



VW Polo GTI R5 Rally Car Rockets From 0-62 MPH In 4.1 Seconds 4
Dec
Posted by Michael Gauthier in Motorsport, rally, Rally Cars, VW, VW Polo on 12 4th, 2017


Volkswagen has unveiled the all-new Polo GTI R5 following a preview last month.

Introduced earlier today in Spain, the Polo GTI R5 is a turn-key rally car that was designed to compete in the R5 class alongside rivals such as the Citroën DS3 R5, Ford Fiesta R5, and Skoda Fabia R5.

As part of the transformation from street car to rally car, the Polo has been outfitted with an aggressive body kit includes a sportier front bumper, extended fender flares, and a large rear spoiler. The model has also been equipped with lightweight wheels, a roll cage, and an assortment of safety equipment.

Motivation is provided by a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine which produces 272 PS (200 kW) and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) of torque. It is connected to a five-speed sequential racing transmission that sends power to permanent four-wheel drive system. This enables the 1,320 kg (2,910 lbs) rally car to rocket from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in just 4.1 seconds.

The Polo GTI R5 will be homologated next summer and the first deliveries are scheduled to occur shortly thereafter. If everything goes according to plan, the car should celebrate its racing debut next fall.

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MINI John Cooper Works Buggy Revealed For The Dakar Rally 21
Nov
Posted by Michael Gauthier in Dakar, MINI, Motorsport, racing, rally, Rally Cars on 11 21st, 2017


MINI has introduced the new John Cooper Works Buggy which will compete in the 2018 Dakar Rally.

Set to be driven by the X-raid team, the JCW Buggy is a rear-wheel drive model that is powered by a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder diesel engine that produces 340 PS (250 kW) and 800 Nm (590 lb-ft) of torque.

The model rides on a tubular steel frame and features unique bodywork that was developed in “close cooperation with MINI Design.” While the model doesn’t look like anything in MINI’s lineup, the rally car is extremely lightweight as its body is constructed out of Kevlar and carbon fiber reinforced plastic.

The rally car has already undergone an extensive testing program which has seen the model tackle tough terrain in places such as Morocco and Hungary. X-raid team manager Sven Quandt says these tests have been quite successful as the “buggy never had to stop once due to a technical problem.”

The JCW Buggy will be joined by the familiar JCW Rally. Despite looking virtually identical to last year’s model, the latest JCW Rally has “targeted advancements” including a new chassis which is lighter and allows for more suspension travel.

MINI will be bringing seven vehicles to this year’s race and the three JCW Buggies will be driven by Mikko Hirvonen, Bryce Menzies, and Yazeed Al-Rajhi. The four JCW Rally models will be piloted by Orlando Terranova, Jakub Przygonski, Joan “Nani” Roma, and Boris Garafulic.

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WRC Fans Risk Death At Rally Australia 21
Nov
Posted by Brad Anderson in Australia, Motorsport, racing, rally, Rally Cars, Reports, WRC on 11 21st, 2017


During the early 1980s, Group B rallying redefined the motorsport world but due to its dangers, was dismantled after just a few years.

In its heyday, rally stages were often packed with thousands of spectators risking their lives to get as close to the cars as possible. Nowadays, stages of the World Rally Championship feature dedicated viewing areas, often many meters away from the road. To most, these safety measures are tolerable.

However, during the recent Rally Australia, a number of spectators were filmed getting way too close to the road, lying down in a ditch just inches away from where the drivers go, Jalopnik reports.

These screenshots taken from the broadcast of the Welsh Creek stage, show at least four men putting themselves in harm’s way to try and get the best picture possible.

If any of the drivers had misjudged the apex of the right-hand corner, the men angling to get the best possible shot would have been killed. No question.

Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to the joint-recipients of the 2017 Darwin Award.

PHOTO GALLERY



WRC Fans Risk Death At Rally Australia 21
Nov
Posted by Brad Anderson in Australia, Motorsport, racing, rally, Rally Cars, Reports, WRC on 11 21st, 2017


During the early 1980s, Group B rallying redefined the motorsport world but due to its dangers, was dismantled after just a few years.

In its heyday, rally stages were often packed with thousands of spectators risking their lives to get as close to the cars as possible. Nowadays, stages of the World Rally Championship feature dedicated viewing areas, often many meters away from the road. To most, these safety measures are tolerable.

However, during the recent Rally Australia, a number of spectators were filmed getting way too close to the road, lying down in a ditch just inches away from where the drivers go, Jalopnik reports.

These screenshots taken from the broadcast of the Welsh Creek stage, show at least four men putting themselves in harm’s way to try and get the best picture possible.

If any of the drivers had misjudged the apex of the right-hand corner, the men angling to get the best possible shot would have been killed. No question.

Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to the joint-recipients of the 2017 Darwin Award.

PHOTO GALLERY



Matt Farah Drives The Iconic Lancia Stratos 18
Nov
Posted by Brad Anderson in Classics, Lancia, Lancia Stratos, Lancia Videos, rally, Rally Cars, video on 11 18th, 2017


The last Lancia models weren’t anything special, but if you wind the clock back a few decades, you’ll find that the automaker produced some of the most iconic road and race cars ever built.

Although it is impossible to pinpoint one as being better than the other, the Stratos is considered by many to be the quintessential Lancia. Matt Farah from The Smoking Tire recently had a chance to test out one and discover if it lives up to the hype.

For his test, Farah jumped into the driver’s seat of a red example and mentions a few unique quirks about the car.

For starters, this Stratos has been geared to max out at roughly 55 mph (88 km/h). What’s more, the driving position is also very curious, as the pedals are offset a few inches off to the right.

However, as you’ll see in the video that follows, these quirks do not detract from the Stratos’ character one bit.

VIDEO



This Classic Beetle Is Running The Baja 1000 With VW’s Blessing 9
Nov
Posted by Carscoops Staff in Classics, Motorsport, rally, Rally Cars, VW, VW Beetle, VW Videos on 11 9th, 2017


To compete in an event as punishing and exhausting as the SCORE Baja 1000, you need a vehicle that’s as rugged and robust as it is powerful and capable. Something like… a 1970 VW Beetle?

That’s what the team at ProjectBaja.com has in store for this year’s rally raid, and it’s doing it with backing from Volkswagen itself.

The vintage bug packs its original 1.6-liter boxer four, air-cooled, with a type-1 transaxle. Fortunately the rest of the vehicle has been beefed up for the rigors of the famously grueling cross-country rally.

The cabin’s been stripped out, for starters, and fitted with a full roll cage, buckets, and harnesses – along with essential communication and navigation equipment. The gas tank was also replaced by a 22-gallon safety cell, and the tires with BFGoodrich all-terrain rubber, mounted to 15-inch wheels and a beefed-up suspension with external-reservoir Fox dampers, stiffer springs, and a heavy-duty rear torsion bar.

The modified Beetle will compete in Class 11 when the 50th running of the Baja 1000 kicks off a week from now in Ensenada, Mexico, before finishing 1,134 miles later in La Paz on the other side of the Baja California peninsula.

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Video



This Classic Beetle Is Running The Baja 1000 With VW’s Blessing 9
Nov
Posted by Carscoops Staff in Classics, Motorsport, rally, Rally Cars, VW, VW Beetle, VW Videos on 11 9th, 2017


To compete in an event as punishing and exhausting as the SCORE Baja 1000, you need a vehicle that’s as rugged and robust as it is powerful and capable. Something like… a 1970 VW Beetle?

That’s what the team at ProjectBaja.com has in store for this year’s rally raid, and it’s doing it with backing from Volkswagen itself.

The vintage bug packs its original 1.6-liter boxer four, air-cooled, with a type-1 transaxle. Fortunately the rest of the vehicle has been beefed up for the rigors of the famously grueling cross-country rally.

The cabin’s been stripped out, for starters, and fitted with a full roll cage, buckets, and harnesses – along with essential communication and navigation equipment. The gas tank was also replaced by a 22-gallon safety cell, and the tires with BFGoodrich all-terrain rubber, mounted to 15-inch wheels and a beefed-up suspension with external-reservoir Fox dampers, stiffer springs, and a heavy-duty rear torsion bar.

The modified Beetle will compete in Class 11 when the 50th running of the Baja 1000 kicks off a week from now in Ensenada, Mexico, before finishing 1,134 miles later in La Paz on the other side of the Baja California peninsula.

Photo Gallery

Video



Volkswagen’s Returning To Rallying With New Polo GTI R5 7
Nov
Posted by Carscoops Staff in Motorsport, rally, Rally Cars, VW, VW Polo on 11 7th, 2017


Volkswagen disappointed rally fans when it withdrew from the World Rally Championship at the end of last season. Now, less than a year later, the German automaker has announced its return to the rally scene, just in a very different capacity.

Instead of fielding its own Polo R WRC in the top-tier rally series, VW is preparing to offer another version of the Polo to customer teams.

Previewed for the first time in this teaser sketch, the new Polo GTI R5 is being built by the same people behind the previous version – including VW Motorsport technical director François-Xavier “FX” Demaison and Sebastien Ogier‘s race engineer Gerard-Jan de Jongh.

Full specifications haven’t been announced, but the R5 is being based on the new Polo GTI with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine employing direct injection to channel 270 horsepower to all four wheels through a five-speed sequential gearbox.

“With the Polo GTI R5 we are hoping to transfer our expertise from four WRC titles to customer racing successfully, and offer a first-class racing machine for countless rally championships from national series to the WRC,” said Volkswagen Motorsport director Sven Smeets. “Before the first race outing next year, we will subject the Polo GTI R5 to rigorous testing to make sure it is prepared for the extremely varied track conditions around the world.”

Once it’s released in the second half of next year, the Polo GTI R5 will join the Golf GTI TCR touring car in Volkswagen’s growing customer racing portfolio. It’s a well-trodden path for the VW Group, with other divisions offering customer racing cars like the Lamborghini Huracan GT3, Bentley Continental GT3, Audi RS3 LMS, Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport, Seat Leon Cup, and (most pertinently) the Skoda Fabia R5 that competes in the same class.

Photo Gallery



Volkswagen’s Returning To Rallying With New Polo GTI R5 7
Nov
Posted by Carscoops Staff in Motorsport, rally, Rally Cars, VW, VW Polo on 11 7th, 2017


Volkswagen disappointed rally fans when it withdrew from the World Rally Championship at the end of last season. Now, less than a year later, the German automaker has announced its return to the rally scene, just in a very different capacity.

Instead of fielding its own Polo R WRC in the top-tier rally series, VW is preparing to offer another version of the Polo to customer teams.

Previewed for the first time in this teaser sketch, the new Polo GTI R5 is being built by the same people behind the previous version – including VW Motorsport technical director François-Xavier “FX” Demaison and Sebastien Ogier‘s race engineer Gerard-Jan de Jongh.

Full specifications haven’t been announced, but the R5 is being based on the new Polo GTI with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine employing direct injection to channel 270 horsepower to all four wheels through a five-speed sequential gearbox.

“With the Polo GTI R5 we are hoping to transfer our expertise from four WRC titles to customer racing successfully, and offer a first-class racing machine for countless rally championships from national series to the WRC,” said Volkswagen Motorsport director Sven Smeets. “Before the first race outing next year, we will subject the Polo GTI R5 to rigorous testing to make sure it is prepared for the extremely varied track conditions around the world.”

Once it’s released in the second half of next year, the Polo GTI R5 will join the Golf GTI TCR touring car in Volkswagen’s growing customer racing portfolio. It’s a well-trodden path for the VW Group, with other divisions offering customer racing cars like the Lamborghini Huracan GT3, Bentley Continental GT3, Audi RS3 LMS, Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport, Seat Leon Cup, and (most pertinently) the Skoda Fabia R5 that competes in the same class.

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