Datsun Ford Motorsports Video

VIDEO: 1979 Castrol International Rally

Colin Bond, 1979 Castrol International Rally, Canberra

Frustrated that you can’t watch Rally Finland without a Foxtel account and want to get your WRC fix? Here’s some footage from 35 years ago that will remind you what rallying is all about. It’s from the 1979 Castrol International Rally, held in the forests around Canberra.

This is the home territory of your AUSmotive editor and while I usually stick to the tarmac when heading for the forests this is an area I know well.

Clearly, this was a simpler time when all you needed was a Ford Escort or a Datto 1600 (a Stanza if you were really fancy pants) and the balls to have a crack. T-shirts were the only attire needed behind the wheel and long sleeves only ever came out if it was raining. Even the pacenotes are low key.

Familiar names such as Greg Carr, George Fury, Kevin Bartlett and Colin Bond all feature and long-time motorsport fans from Australia will notice a relatively slim Will Hagon behind the mic on the victory dais.

A quick shoutout, too, for the Southern District Motorsport Association who played a key role in hosting the event and is still active today.

The clip runs for 50 minutes and if you set aside the time you should enjoy this.

[Thanks to Tim for the tip]


MINI WRC Team: Ready to go


This time next week we’ll be reflecting on the return of MINI to the world rally stage at Rally d’Italia. Can drivers Dani Sordo and Kris Meeke make an impression in the John Cooper Works WRC?

Dave Richards, Team Principal, seems quietly confident, “The MINI has performed better than we dared hope in testing and the S2000 car’s debut in Portugal was very encouraging. However, we are all too aware of the challenges ahead of us and take nothing for granted, but whatever the outcome, Sardinia will be an historic event for the entire team and everyone who has supported us to get this far.”

After the break you can see the team’s latest video and press release.

Nissan Targa Tasmania

Targa Tasmania 2011: Day 4 & 5 update

Targa Tasmania 2011

Tony Quinn and Naomi Tillett today held on to win their second Targa Tasmania rally in three years. In their Nissan GT-R the 2009 champs carried a comfortable lead into the final day and drove well to secure victory by 3 minutes and 39 seconds.

Wet weather on the last two days certainly provided tough conditions for all competitors and many found their limits. Yesterday, especially, claimed many competitors with the heavy rain in the afternoon.

Second in the modern outright placings was Dean Herridge (Subaru WRX STi), almost two minutes ahead of Matthew Sims (Nissan GT-R).

Winner in the classic outright category was Rex Broadbent (Porsche 911 Carrera 911 RS), from David Cooper (Holden Torana A9X) and Nick Ellis (Porsche 911 Carrera). This makes it five wins on the trot for Broadbent in the classic competition.

MINI Motorsports

MINI All4 crashes out of Dakar

MINI All4 Racing

Word has come through via twitter that the MINI Countryman All4 has crashed out of the 2011 Dakar Rally. Ironically the race-ending incident happened during a test run on the rest day.

Despite suffering technical problems on the first day of racing and dropping to 78th, the MINI had been making good progress since then and had consolidated a top ten outright position.

It’s understood that while driver Guerlain Chicherit was kept under observation following head trauma, he was not hospitalised and no major injury was suffered.

UPDATE: Picture of the crashed MINI added—look at the state of it—courtesy of the Stage 7 Dakar update (see below).

[via MotoringFile]


MINI WRC team signs Dani Sordo


Further good news for Prodrive’s MINI WRC program with word coming through overnight that they have signed Spanish ace Dani Sordo.

Speaking about his new contract Sordo said, “There has been a great deal of excitement surrounding MINI’s return to the WRC, so to be part of this new team is a fantastic opportunity for me.”

He will join British driver Kris Meeke who signed on last September. Full details after the break.

Audi Motor Shows

Paris 2010: Audi quattro concept “Rallye”

Audi quattro concept 'Rallye'

Tucked away on the Audi stand at the Paris Motor Show, almost out of sight, is this “Rallye” version of the Audi quattro concept. Firstly, it looks sensational and clearly harks back to the all conquering Quattro rally beasts of the 1980s.

Secondly, what does it mean? There’s is nothing apparent on the usual Audi press portals that explain anything about this car. In fact, this picture isn’t even an official Audi image.

Is it simply a homage and nothing else, or is this even more extroverted concept a hint of something new to come? WRC perhaps? Or is that simply too much wishful thinking?

If you see anything that offers more than this World Car Fans article, please post a link in the comments section below.

UPDATE 7 October: According to a response from a representative of Audi AG this car is nothing more than a scale model produced to illustrate what a Group B rally car might look like today if the category was still alive. I still want one!

Citroen WRC

Citroën previews new DS3 WRC

Citroen DS3 WRC teaser

Citroën has offered a brief video tease of their new DS3-based WRC weapon. It’s not much, of course, just a 34 second YouTube clip. But you do get glimpses of the car’s twin deck rear spoiler and dashboard layout. The side profile above is shown for about one second, as well. The full reveal is set for 30 September, so stay tuned for more details then.

Citroen WRC

Citroën DS3 R3 – customer rally car

Citroen DS3 R3

This spunky looking machine is Citroën’s latest rally car. The DS3 R3 has been developed for the FIA’s R3T category and  features a 1.6 litre turbocharged engine pumping out 210 horsepower. There’s also a pretty healthy 350Nm on offer. Drawing on the technical knowledge of the immensely successful C4 WRC program the DS3 R3 is fitted with a 6-speed sequential gearbox.

The DS3 R3 is essentially a customer car and already has 10,000km of testing across all kinds of typical rallying surfaces under its belt. The R3 is scheduled to make its race debut towards the end of this year. Citroën Racing starts with a road going DS3 THP 150 and will make the racecars available in kit or ready-to-race form.

Motorsports Video

Top guns

Old skool rally compilation

If you were a fan of the video ‘This is rallying’, then you will love this clip as well. There’s eight minutes of thrills, spills and non-stop action. All your favourites are featured including Audi, Datsun, Ford, Lancia, Porshe, Toyota, many more. The video is all yours after the break.

[Thanks to Tom for the tip]


Walter drives down memory lane

Walter Rohrl, Audi Quattro

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Audi Quattro motor racing legend Walter Röhrl has stepped behind the wheel of a beautifully maintained 1984 Group B Quattro for the first time in 26 years. Fortunately the stretch of road chosen for this leisurly drive is the Col de Turini, from the Monte Carlo Rally. And, more fortunately, there were cameras there to catch the action.

Take the jump now to see the clip in full.

[Source: Autocar]

Citroen News WRC

Citroën jumps to Atkinson’s aid

Citroen offers Chris Atkinson lifeline

Australia’s Chris Atkinson received a nice Christmas present recently with news Citroën will offer him a drive in the opening rally of the 2009 season.

Atkinson will drive for Citroën’s Junior Team in Rally Ireland which runs from 30 January–1 February next year. While he has only been confirmed for the one race so far, a statement on Citroën Sport’s website offers hope of more to come, “we will be joined in Ireland by Australia’s Chris Atkinson who is already a familiar face in the sport. It is our belief that our association with Chris will not stop there.”

The 29-year-old Australian driver claimed five podium finishes during the 2008 WRC season and his drive at Rally Ireland will see him behind the wheel of the championship winning C4 WRC. This will provide a great opportunity for Atkinson to benchmark himself against five-time world title winner Sebastien Loeb.

Citroën Sport’s full statement can be read below.

Subaru Video

Look mum, no hands!

This clip from the Bettega Memorial, held during the Bologna Motor Show, captures a rather embarrassing moment for former WRC champion Petter Solberg. The event was run in mid-December, and the news was about to get a whole lot worse for Petter and Subaru.

(Thanks to Tiaan for the tip.)