Shakedown times Råda

1 Sebastien OGIER 1:59.0
16 Robert KUBICA 1:59.2
4 Mads OSTBERG 1:59.2
3 Kris MEEKE 1:59.3
9 Andreas MIKKELSEN 1:59.5
2 Jari-Matti LATVALA 1:59.9
17 Yurii PROTASOV 2:01.9
5 Elfyn EVANS 2:02.1
6 Ott TANAK 2:02.5
8 Hayden PADDON 2:03.2
14 Henning SOLBERG 2:03.9
2 0Kevin ABBRING 2:04.7
7 Thierry NEUVILLE 2:04.8
39 Pontus TIDEMAND 2:06.3
38 Anders GRONDAL 2:06.4
40 Jari KETOMAA 2:06.4
37 Lorenzo BERTELLI 2:06.8
21 Martin PROKOP 2:07.4
41 Valeriy GORBAN 2:08.0
31 Yazeed AL RAJHI 2:09.6
71 Eyvind BRYNILDSEN 2:10.6
36 Fredrik AHLIN 2:12.0
44 Jaroslaw KOLTUN 2:14.1
42 Oleksii KIKIRESHKO 2:14.3
18 Michal SOLOWOW 2:14.4
53 Ole-Christian VEIBY 2:17.6
43 Radik SHAYMIEV 2:20.5
81 Simone TEMPESTINI 2:21.6
33 Max RENDINA 2:27.2
45 Gianluca LINARI 2:34.5
82 Eamonn BOLAND 2:38.6

Mikkelsen signs for Volkswagen

The interest from media was high when Volkswagen Motorsport presented it’s WRC concept in Monaco. The press conference was attanded by motorring- and motorsports journalists from all over the world.

One thing they learned was that Norwegian Andreas Mikkelsen, age 23,  (photo 2) will be driving the teams third Polo R WRC 2013.

When the 2013 season starts, Volkswagen are ready to go after the titles in WRC. After having prepared for almost two years everyone is really keen to see what the Germans can achieve in their comeback to WRC. Many believe that ”Das Auto” can be a contender for the gold from the start.

Officially Volkswagen Motorsport have set the goals as follows: podium positions in 2013, victories in 2014 and contending for the championship title in 2015.

But things might happen faster…

The fact that Sébastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala will compete in all 13 events 2013 has been known a while. At the press conference in Monaco Volkswagen made public that Andras Mikkelsen will be driving the third team car in 2013.

The Norwegian will however have to wait for his premiere. He will start in the WRC in the fourth event of the season, in Portugal.

– This is a great opportunity for me and one I will take very good care of. I couldn’t imagine a better christmas gift, says Mikkelsen, who will be doing the reconnaissance in Rally Sweden.

During the big media event in Monaco Volkswagen also presented a VW Polo limited edition for street use. There will be only 2.500 cars made and and it will carry WRC branding and comes with a 220 bhp engine.

Something for all of us who won’t get the chance to park a VW Polo R WRC in the garage.

Photo 1.

Photo: Volkswagen

The presentation in Monaco.

Photo 2.

Photo: Volkswagen

Andreas Mikkelsen – signed for Volkswagen.

Loeb wants to win Rally Sweden again

Sébastien Loeb will be competeing in four WRC events next year. One of them will be Rally Sweden, February 7-10.

– I would really like to win the Swedish Rally once more, says the nine-time World Champion.

Sébastien Loeb has competed his last full season in the WRC. His commitment with Citroën for 2013 will only be for four events. The rest of the time he will be preparing for his coming career in the WTCC.

That the classic Monte Carlo Rally will be Loebs first WRC event for 2013 has beenj known for a while. Now Loeb reveals two more of the events he will be competing in: Rally Sweden and, of course, Rally France.

– Naturally we’re very happy that Loeb has decided to compete in the Swedish Rally in 2013. It will give our spectators a chance to see and celebrate him one last time, says Clerk of the Course for Rally Sweden, Bertil Klarin.

Loeb was the first – and so far only – non-Scandinavian to win Rally Sweden, which he did in 2004. Then, the snow conditions were’nt the best and there was much gravel on the stages.

– I would love to win Rally Sweden one more time and this time in perfect winter conditions, says Loeb, who apart from his win in 2004 has been in second place  in the event on three occasions.

Citroëns will compete in the WRC 2013 with four drivers. Alongside Loeb (who likely will make his fourth event Argentina), Mikko Hirvonen will compete in all 13 events while Spanyard Dani Sordo will compete in at least 11.

Fourth driver Khalid Al-Qassimi will compete in 8 events and starts his season i Rally Sweden.

The Citroën WRC team for 2013, which  will compete under the name Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team, resently presented the new look for the DS3 WRC. The presentation was made with the slogan: New colours – same desire to win!

Photo 1.

Photo : McKlein

Photo 2.

Photo : Citroën

WRC 2013 without Petter Solberg

Petter Solberg will not be competing in the WRC in 2013. He made his decision public in a press statement today.

– Of course, it’s sad. I would have loved to continue competing, but I see now that it won’t happen next year, he says.

Petter Solberg started his WRC careeer in Rally Sweden in 1998. Five years later he became world champion. His impressive career also holds 188 starts and 13 winns in WRC events. One of those was in Rally Sweden. The year was 2005 and the car was a Subaru Impreza (photo).

– I am very grateful and humble for my experiences during the 15 years I’ve been part of the rally world, he says.

The season just past he competed for the Ford Manufacturers team. After a good start of the season he hit a rough patch and ended the season in fifth place.

A continued cooperation with Ford and M-sport is not going to happen.

- I’ve said that I can drive for free, but I won’t be paying to drive. As it stands right now, I won’t be doing any rallying, says Petter, and adds:

- I know I’m good enough to compete at the highest level for many years yet, but I do understand that the financial situation for M-Sport for 2013 is tough. I can only wish Malcolm Wilson good luck for the future.

What Solberg will be doing during next season he won’t say today, but it’s obvious that it will be in motorsports and many believe he might turn up in the new European Rallycross Championship.

Photo: McKlein