Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Andreas Aigner

Andreas Aigner [born 24 September 1984 in Leoben] is an Austrian rally driver. He won the Production World Rally Championship in the 2008 season.


Aigner on his way to winning the P-WRC class at the 2008 Acropolis Rally.

Aigner made his World Rally Championship debut in 2005, finishing 19th on the Cyprus Rally driving a

In 2007 he began competing in the Production World Rally Championship (P-WRC), finishing 13th in the standings, driving a Red Bull-backed Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX. In 2008 he won the P-WRC class on Rally Argentina (where he finished eighth overall), Acropolis Rally and Rally of Turkey, winning the P-WRC crown.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII. He competed in three further WRC events that year.[1] For 2006 he signed for Armin Schwarz's Red Bull Škoda team, with Harri Rovanperä as teammate, driving a Škoda Fabia on ten WRC rounds. He scored his first WRC points on Rallye Deutschland, with a sixth place finish.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Thierry Neuville

Thierry Neuville (born 16 June 1988 in St. Vith) is Belgian rally driver. He is currently competing in World Rally Championship. His co-driver was Nicolas Klinger from his debuts to the end of 2010. Klinger was replaced by Nicolas Gilsoul for the first 2011 IRC rally, Monte Carlo.

Neuville drove a self-entered Citroën C2 at the 2010 Junior World Rally Championship, collecting a win, a 3rd and three retirements to finish 7th in the standings. He also competed at six rounds of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge with a semi-works Peugeot 207 S2000, resulting 3rd at Ypres and 4th at Sardinia.

In 2010, Neuville competed full-time at the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, again driving a semi-works Peugeot 207 S2000. He took his first two victories in the Tour de Corse[1] and Sanremo, resulting 5th in the standings with further 2nd, 3rd and 4th race finishes.

Citroën signed Neuville for the 2012 World Rally Championship, driving all races on a Citroën DS3 WRC for the Citroën Junior Team except two for Qatar World Rally Team. The Belgian scored in five races, including a 4th at Alsace and two 5ths at Argentina and New Zealand, and finished 7th in the championship.

Neuville joined Qatar for the 2013, now driving a Ford Fiesta RS WRC. He retired for the third time in Rallye Monte-Carlo, after going off track on the third stage. He managed to get some good points in Rally Sweden, scoring a 5th place, in a surface where he is not very comfortable. Then, in Mexico, he was one of the men of the rally, getting his maiden podium finish (3rd place). Round 4, Portugal, was disappointing, since he finished out of the points, after returning to the rally in Rally 2 after retiring from 5th place. 5th place was again for Neuville, in Argentina. Then came a streak of podiums which turned Neuville into the surprise driver of the season: third place in Greece and second place in Italy, Finland, Germany and Australia.

At Rallye Deustchland, which Neuville considers his home rally, the Belgian was in second place during the second day, trailing Jari-Matti Latvala just for a few seconds. But in a surprise twist, Latvala left the road and Neuville did the same thing right after him. Thierry led the rally for a stage, but eventually, and in the second to last stage of the day, he lost the lead to Dani Sordo. The last stage of the day was canceled, so the drivers entered the final two stages separated by just 0.8 seconds. The second to last stage was won by Sordo, which left the Spaniard three seconds ahead of Neuville in the overall classification. Both gave everything in the PowerStage and Thierry eventually had a small off in the very last section of the stage, therefore losing the chance to win. He ended in second place, 53 seconds behind Sordo.

At Rallye Australia, Neuville was in third place, 25.2 seconds behind Mikko Hirvonen, before the PowerStage. With Sébastien Ogier comfortably in the lead, he needed to finish in second place overall and in the PowerStage in order to still have a mathematical chance at the title. Hirvonen punctured in the stage, allowing Thierry to finish in second overall and second in the PowerStage. After this dramatic finish, a frustrated Ogier and Neuville were the only ones still with a chance for the title, although Ogier only needed to score a single point in the remaining three rounds.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Jari-Matti Latvala

Jari-Matti Latvala (born April 3, 1985) is a Finnish rally driver competing in the World Rally Championship. His co-driver has been Miikka Anttila since the 2003 Rallye Deutschland. He is well known for his aggressive driving style, which earns him many plaudits, and comparisons to the late Colin McRae.

Rally Career

Latvala began driving when he was eight years old, after receiving a Ford Escort from his father Jari Latvala, also a rally driver and 1994 national champion in the Group N class. At the age of ten, Latvala started practicing with an Opel Ascona on a frozen lake.


Latvala's first world rally was the 2002 Rally Great Britain at the age of 17. He finished in 17th position with a Mitsubish Lancer Evolution VI. In 2003, Latvala competed in four WRC events with a Ford Focus WRC, finishing tenth at the Acropolis Rally, 17th at the Rallye Deutschland, 14th at the Neste Oil Rally Finland and tenth at the Rally Great Britain.
In 2004, Latvala mostly competed with an S1600 class Junior World Rally Championship car. His best overall result in the World Rally Championship was 21st with a Group N Subaru Impreza WRX STI at the Tour de Corse. In the 2005 season, Latvala competed in nine world rallies; six with the Group N Impreza and three with a World Rally Car. His best overall result was 16th, which he managed three times; at the Swedish Rally with a Toyota Corolla WRC and at the Tour de Corse and the Rally d'Italia Sardegna with the Impreza.
2006–2007: Stobart Ford
Latvala driving his Ford Focus RS WRC 06 at the 2007 Rally GB.

In 2006, Latvala competed in 11 world rallies. He drove the Subaru Impreza WRX STI in six, a Ford Focus WRC in four and a Toyota Corolla WRC at his home event, the Neste Oil Rally Finland. His best results came in the last three rallies. At the Telstra Rally Australia, he won the Production Car World Rally Championship (PCWRC) class, and finished sixth overall. At the Propecia Rally New Zealand, he finished eighth overall and also won the PCWRC. With the Focus WRC, he recorded his career-best result by finishing fourth at the last event of the season, the Rally Great Britain. Points from these rallies then placed Latvala 13th overall in the drivers' championship.
In 2007, Latvala competed a full 16-event programme for Stobart M-Sport Ford with Matthew Wilson and Henning Solberg as teammates. He started the season with retirements in Monte Carlo and Sweden. At the Rally Norway, Latvala was in contention for his first podium place, but had to settle for fifth after a 90 seconds time penalty. He did, however, take his first stage win on SS5. Latvala later took his first podium at the 2007 Rally Ireland. At the last rally of the season, Rally GB, he lost 10 minutes on the last stage of day one due to windscreen wiper failure, but went on to win ten of the remaining 11 stages under the SupeRally rules, finishing 10th overall.
2008: Ford's factory team
Latvala at the 2008 Monte Carlo Rally.
Jari-Matti Latvala in official opening – Bulgaria 2010

In 2008, Latvala joined Ford's factory team as a number two driver, partnering Mikko Hirvonen and replacing Marcus Grönholm who had announced his retirement from the WRC at the end of 2007. The opening round of the season wasn't lucky for the young Finn – he suffered a puncture after cutting a corner too deep on the very first stage and lost even more time because of a non-fully operative pneumatic wrench. Latvala continued to fight and was ninth overall before SS12, but he made another mistake there and heavily damaged the front left suspension in his Focus, forcing himself to retire for good. At the second rally of the season, 2008 Swedish Rally, he had good pace from the beginning – he won all regular special stages on day one, pulling away from the runner-up spot slowly, but consistently. He later had some problems and wasn't the fastest on any of the remaining stages, but managed to keep his position throughout the rally. The 22-year-old therefore took his first WRC win to become the youngest winner in the history of the World Rally Championship. The previous record was held by Henri Toivonen who was 24 years and 86 days old when he won the 1980 RAC Rally. For his performance during the Swedish rally Latvala was given the Abu Dhabi Spirit Of The Rally award. At the first gravel event of the season, the 2008 Rally México, despite officially claiming no intentions to win the event, he was the fastest driver on the first two stages and was leading the rally throughout the first day, pulling out from the current World Rally Champion, Sébastien Loeb. Unfortunately for the young Finn, the turbo in his Ford Focus was malfunctioning during the second day, making his car uncompetitive. This, along with having to be the opening driver on the stages 9–16, having to sweep the track of the loose gravel, cost him a substantial amount of time and Latvala finished the rally third.
2009 Season
Jari-Matti Latvala in SS7 "Lyubnitsa" – Rally Bulgaria 2010

For 2009 the expectation was for Latvala to progress in his performance as number two driver for Ford's factory team. However the start of the season became a big disappointment for the team, as Latvala went off the road in three of the first four rallies of the year. In Portugal, he and his co-driver Miikka Anttila were lucky to escape injury in the most serious crash in Latvala's career. They went off the road on a left-hand bend and rolled 17 times, 150m down a steep hill, and finally came to rest against a tree. Latvala had specifically been focusing to combat his driver weaknesses going into this rally, so the accident put some extra pressure on him for the future, although he also admitted that he would fully understand if the team did not require his services because of his erratic reputation. However, after a consistent, steady drive in Argentina, Latvala went on to take his second WRC win of his career on Rally Sardinia ahead of teammate Mikko Hirvonen. He led from beginning to end, hence driving as first car on the road on both day two and three.
2010 Season
Jari-Matti Latvala, winner of the Neste Oil Rally Finland 2010, driving his car in Muurame shakedown.

Latvala remained with the Ford factory team for 2010. Following his many crashes in 2009, he now had the official position of number two driver whereas in the previous year there was no official distinction between him and team mate Hirvonen. After Round 1 in Sweden, Latvala came 3rd. In Mexico, Jari-Matti came 5th and in Round 3 - Rally Jordan, he came 2nd. He crashed on stage 10 in Turkey and he took a dramatic win in New-Zealand. In Round 6, Rally of Portugal, he crashed out and in Bulgaria he was 6th. In this year's 8th round, the Finnish Rally, he claimed his second win of the season, while his team-mate Mikko Hirvonen crashed out. Latvala was now ahead of his team mate by 19 points in 4th. After his fourth place in Germany, the third place in Japan and the two fourth places in France and Spain, Latvala managed to finish the season on the podium in Wales. His third place brought him the second place in the overall classification behind record-champion Loeb.
2012 Season

For 2012 Latvala was promoted to Ford's number one after the departure of Hirvonen to Rival's Citroen Total. For the first round in Monte-Carlo Jari-Mati-Latvala took the first stages wins before going off the road at the last stage of day 1, without having rally 2 rules in the event(a.k.a. formidably known as superrally rules) he retired. Round 2 in Sweden and Latvala took his first win of the season and the first as Ford's number one. Mexico saw another retirement of Latvala, and it continued to round 4 in Vodafone Rally de Portugal. Recently Latvala was injured during the testing for the 5th round in Argentina, he is due to be replaced by Prodrive's Dani Sordo, but should be able to compete by the next round in Greece.
2013 Season and beyond

For 2013, Latvala signed a contract with the new Volkswagen WRC team, announced on Oct 17. No statement has been made as to whether Latvala or Ogier will be considered the No. 1 driver for the team, which will be significant given Ogier's recent tantrums about his position vs. Loeb's in the Citroen team. The day after the announcement, Ford announced the withdrawal of the factory WRC effort, which will leave M-Sport to continue as a private team. While Latvala discussed having offers from both Ford and VW for next year. earlier in the month Ford's decision to cut back their motorsport participation not only in the rally arena (but also in the Australian V8 competition) probably had some considerable bearing on his change of team.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sébastien Ogier

Sébastien Ogier (born 17 December 1983) is a French rally driver for Volkswagen in the World Rally Championship. He won the Junior World Rally Championship in 2008 and previously drove for the Citroën World Rally Team alongside Sébastien Loeb in 2011. His co-driver is compatriot Julien Ingrassia. With 13 victories in the World Rally Championship, he is the third successful French driver after Sébastien Loeb and Didier Auriol. He is considered to be the successor to Sébastien Loeb, whom dominated the sport until his departure in 2013.

Rally Career

Ogier at the 2008 Tour de Corse

Ogier was born in Gap, Hautes-Alpes. He won the French Peugeot 206 Cup in 2007 and moved to compete a full Junior World Rally Championship programme in the 2008 season, driving a Super 1600 -class Citroën C2 for the Equipe de France FFSA team. Ogier debuted in the World Rally Championship at the 2008 Rally Mexico, winning the JWRC class. After home country's Ricardo Treviño was disqualified for using non-homologated driving gloves, Ogier became the first JWRC driver to take a WRC point and eighth place overall. Ogier went on to take further junior category victories in Jordan and Germany.

At the penultimate round of the championship, the 2008 Rally Catalunya, Ogier was leading and about to secure the JWRC title when he hit a bank and broke his C2 S1600's radiator, forcing him to retire. Ogier then clinched the title by placing second at his home event, the Tour de Corse. After winning the JWRC title, Ogier was rewarded with his first World Rally Car drive in a Citroën C4 for Rally GB. He surprised the more experienced drivers by winning the first stage and taking a shock lead, but crashed out from eighth place on day two.
Ogier at the 2009 Monte Carlo Rally

In January 2009, Ogier made a one-off appearance in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, contesting the Monte Carlo Rally in a Peugeot 207 S2000. He took the lead when Škoda's Juho Hänninen picked up a puncture, and went on to win the event ahead of the 207s of Freddy Loix and Stéphane Sarrazin. For the 2009 WRC season, Ogier was signed by the debuting Citroën Junior Team, a satellite team of the Citroën Total works squad. He started his season with a career-best sixth place in Ireland and took his second points-finish with seventh in Argentina. At the Acropolis Rally, Ogier drove to his first podium place, finishing second to Ford's Mikko Hirvonen. This result also marked the first-ever podium for a non-works Citroën C4 WRC.
Ogier at the 2010 Rally Finland

In the 2010 season, Ogier continued in the Citroën Junior Team with the 2007 Formula One world champion Kimi Räikkönen as his new teammate. Ogier took his second podium in Mexico, completing a Citroën 1–2–3 by finishing narrowly behind Sébastien Loeb and Petter Solberg. At the Rally New Zealand, he led from Ford's Jari-Matti Latvala by 6.2 seconds before the final stage, but spun three corners before the finish and lost the win to Latvala by 2.4 seconds. Ogier went on to take his debut WRC victory in the next event, the Rally de Portugal, by leading from stage four to the end and finishing 7.9 seconds ahead of Loeb. Citroën then promoted Ogier to the factory team for the remaining three gravel rounds of the series. Subsequently, Dani Sordo replaced Ogier in the manufacturer's junior team, and after 2010 went on to leave Citroen to join the Mini WRC Team.
Ogier at the 2011 Acropolis Rally

Ogier was given a drive with Citroën's factory team for the full 2011 season and started off by finishing fourth in Sweden. He finished as the highest Citroën driver behind the Fords of Mikko Hirvonen, Mads Østberg and Jari-Matti Latvala, and became the first driver to win a Power Stage. After retiring in Mexico Ogier went on to win the next two rallies at Portugal and Jordan, with podiums at Argentina and Finland coming either side of a victory on the Acropolis Rally. Then, Ogier went on to claim victory in Germany. This was Ogier's maiden tarmac success in the WRC and the first time that his team mate Sébastien Loeb had been beaten in Germany.

Following a season in which relations between the two drivers deteriorated significantly, Ogier departed Citroën at the end of the 2011 campaign. He subsequently signed up to spearhead Volkswagen's WRC assault and contested the 2012 championship in a Škoda Fabia S2000 whilst developing the new Polo R WRC, before competing in the Polo R full-time in 2013. In December 2011, Ogier debuted in the Race of Champions at the Esprit Arena in Düsseldorf, Germany. He took the top step of the podium in the finals against Tom Kristensen, winning both heats and becoming the fourth Frenchman to win the title Champions of Champions.

In the 2013 season, Ogier became the second non-Nordic driver to win the Rally Sweden, after Loeb's victory in 2004. His win in Sweden was also the maiden win for the Polo R WRC.

In April 2013 Ogier won the Rally of Portugal, extending his lead at the top of the world championship standings.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Gilles Panizzi

Gilles Panizzi (born September 19, 1965) is a French rally driver on the World Rally Championship circuit.

Gilles was born in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, Alpes-Maritimes. Like many of his fellow rally racing countrymen, Gilles spent a great deal of his developmental driving years participating in asphalt rally events throughout his native land.
Panizzi driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution at the 2005 Cyprus Rally.

In 1996 and 1997, Gilles won the French Championship title in a Peugeot-backed (funded) 306 kit car. It was at that point that he was nominated to drive for Peugeot as their resident asphalt (tarmac/sealed-surface) expert.

Between 1999 and 2003 Panizzi had great success in his role as Peugeots tarmac expert. He won a total of seven World Rally Championship rounds in this period - all on tarmac. However, Panizzi's inability to match his rivals pace on gravel precluded him from challenging for the world title while at Peugeot.

He is the only WRC driver to do a (famous) 360 spin at the 2002 Rally Catalunya. He was leading by around 45 seconds and decided to give the fans a little treat.

In 2004, Mitsubishi Motorsports recruited Gilles and his co-driver and brother, Hervé, to lead the company's charge back in the World Rally Championship.

In the 2005 season, Gilles was replaced in the lead car by Harri Rovanperä, and guested in the second car with Gianluigi Galli. He finished 3rd at the Monaco rally, the first event of the season, but only scored points in one other event.

In 2006, he was signed by the semi-privateer Red Bull Skoda team. Despite a strong performance in the opening rally of the season in Monte Carlo, he expressed his dissatisfaction at the performance of his car, and after a disappointing showing in Spain, he announced his departure from the team, and was replaced by his former Peugeot teammate Harri Rovanpera.

Monday, July 8, 2013

N. Leelakrishnan

N. Leelakrishnan, also known as Leela in Indian motorsport circles, is a six-time INRC Motor Rally Champion and one time Formula 3 (India) champion from Coimbatore, India. He is also a Rally and Race car tuner and is currently the Chief Technical Director of Red rooster racing.[1] His rally tuned cars have won 15 National Championship titles driven by himself, V. R. Naren Kumar and Vikram Mathias, thus winning the tuners trophy several times.

Early career

N. Leelakrishnan was born in Coimbatore and did his education in Coimbatore. His family had an engineering firm involved in manufacturing electric motors. N. Leelakrishnan having keen interest in motorsports during his school days, started his career as a race car tuner even while in college, preparing Mopeds, Premier Padmini’s, Sipani Dolphins for the All India Grand Prix races held at Sholavaram and other motorsport events in Coimbatore. He was also one of the principle tuners for S. Karivardhan’s Team Super Speeds in late 80’s. He also participated in some of the Dirt and track events between years 1983 and 1988.[2]

Rallying career

Popular Rally Team

In 1987, N. Leelakrishnan was a tuner for the Cochin based Popular Rally Team, owned by Popular Automobiles, Cochin. For the Coffee 500 rally in Chikmagalur, N. Leelakrishnan substituted the regular driver Upendra Narayanan who had fallen ill and won that event. In the same year he also entered and won the Charminar Challenge Rally in Hyderabad. After a hiatus in 1988, he entered the McDowell Rally D ’Endurance and won a second place after a terrific duel with the then reigning INRC champion (newly introduced in 1988).

MRF years

For 1989, N.Leelakrishnan quit Super Speeds team as tuner and joined MRF Racing with a deal to set up his own rally team for MRF racing, while another unit of MRF Rally team was set up by J. Anand, who would also tune and prepare the Rally Car for Leela’s rallying rival Farad Bathena. Leela’s first championship title came in 1990 and continued till 1993, winning 4 consecutive titles with the former two-time champion Farad Bathena as runner-up.
From 1994 to 1997, JK Tyres in partnership with S. Karivardhan set up the JK Rally team and with Hari Singh as their principal driver won four consecutive titles. During these years FMSCI outlawed the then highly modified Group II (A) IND category due to high speeds and cost budgets and reverted to Group (A) IND category. Also till then both MRF and JK Tyres were running on Tuned Electronic Fuel Injection, which had earlier replaced the multiple Webber and SU carburetors, when EFI were not available in any of the vehicles manufactured in India at that time.
With the introduction of Group (A) IND in 1996, most teams switched from Maruti Gypsy’s to Maruti Esteem. In 1995 V. R. Naren Kumar joined Leela’s unit of MRF Rally team. Leelakrishnan won his fifth title in 1998 in a Group A Maruti Esteem and won his sixth and last title in 2001 in a Group A Honda City 1.4 litre V-TEC. During the MRF years Leela also won the tuners trophy 11 times when his Rally tuned cars won 4 titles for V. R. Naren Kumar and Vikram Mathias, and himself winning the title 6 times.

JK Rallying years

For the 2005 season Leelakrishnan and his outfit quit MRF Rallying to help restart JK Rally team which had earlier quit in 2000 and ran the JK Rally team winning 2 more titles for V. R. Naren Kumar in a Group A Maruti Baleno.[3][4]

Racing career

Tough Leelakrishnan is widely associated with Rallying, Leela’s motorsport career started with Racing and is also notable for engine and suspension tuning for competition events.

Super Speed years

Leelakrishnan worked for S. Karivardhan’s team Super Speeds in late eighties, tunning Formula Maruti and Formula McDowell 1000 two seater racing cars.

MRF Track Racing

During his MRF years, apart from his successes in Rallying events, Leela won a few races in McDowell 1000 races in the All India Grand Prix at Sholavaram and also won the Formula 3 title in 1992 in a Dallara Mugen Honda with stiff competition from J. Anand, R. Gopinath and Akbar Ibrahim who were all one time title winners.

JK Track Racing

With the introduction of Formula Rolon to the JK National Racing Championship series in 2006, Leela partnered with Vicky Chandok’s WSRF racing team, now listed as “Team WSRF with Leela” to help win the first Formula Rolon title for Gaurav Gill. Leelakrishnan continued his race car setup and tuning activities for Formula LGBas well as Formula LGB Hyundai.

Red Rooster Racing

In 2007 Leela’s outfit merged with the newly created Red Rooster Racing in Bangalore by Dinesh Reddy. Leelakrishan and his team of engineers and crew relocated from Coimbatore to Bangalore, and with help win two more INRC titles for Vikram Mathias in 2008 and V. R. Naren Kumar in 2010 and one Championship title in Formula Rolon for Gaurav Dalal in 2008.[5] In 2010 Red Rooster Racing pulled out from all form of motor racing (citing lack of sponsorship) and focused on tuning production cars and performance kit development.[6] Currently they have partnered with Toyota Racing Development in India for Toyotas Motorsport activities.[7][8]

V. R. Naren Kumar

V. R. Naren Kumar is a seven-time INRCRallyChampion and Two time runner-up and Asia Zone Champion from Coimbatore, India.
Kumar started his career as a privateer in 1993 and was quickly picked-up by Team MRF, operated by another Rally driver N. Leelakrishnan. Naren Kumar is also the first Indian from India to compete in the WRC championship (in Groun N Category) driving a factory supported works Subaru Impreza World Rally Car for Team Sidvin India (supported by Four time WRC Rally Champion Tommi Makinen. After a 4 year gap he entered the 2010 INRC championship in its second season and winning his last title. He announced his retirement from Rallying in 2011.

National Championship

In India, he won four championships for Team MRF,including an Asia Zone Championship in Honda Civic then switched to Team JK, who themselves reappeared into the rallying scene after a seven-year gap, just to sponsor Naren and won another two championships. Yet Naren won the 2005 crown for JK in a rally tyre pulled out of their old stock.

He won the National Championships in the years 2006, 2005, 2003, 2002, 2000, 1999 and Runner-up in 2001 and 2004 which was mainly due APRC Commitments.International Championships

Asia Pacific

Currently (2007) Naren is participating in the 2007 FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship, and is within top 5 places. His entry as a privateer with part support from Sidvin and Red Rooster Racing made him the top title contender among the other privateers, while all his close rivals are factory teams. He however finished fourth in the championships and with a podium (Second overall) and by the end of the season he was invited for a test drive by Subaru World Rally Team.

World Rally Championship

Team Abarth offer

In 2005 the Italian team and Fiat/Lancia tuning specialist Abarth offered a drive for Naren. But he could not raise the required sponsorship at that time and opted for APRC.

Subaru WRC Testing

During the end of 2007 APRC season where Team Subaru impressed with his driving skills offered him a test drive session .The early month of October 2007 saw Naren in Wales, England testing for the new Subaru Impreza Group N World Rally for Subaru World Rally Team.[1]

Production Car World Rally Championship (P-WRC)

In Early February 2008,Team Sidvin was launched technical and vehicle support from four-time world rally champion Tommi Makinen's Racity Oy Limited. Naren Kumar will start in the Production Car World Rally Championship (P-WRC) series run alongside the regular WRC series. Naren Kumar will be driving a Subaru Impreza.His main sponsor will be the Bangaluru based oil and gas company Sidvin Core-Tech. During mid-season Naren was replaced by Gaurav Gill from India who added more Did-Not-Finish to the team.

Return to Indian National Rally Championship (INRC)

After a 2 year hiatus Naren returned to a full season of INRC in the newly formed team Red Rooster racing. Tuned by ace tuner and rallyist N.Leela Krishnan, Naren actually joined the second rally in the season and easily winning the 2010 title, thus making him the most successful Four Wheeler Rally champion in India.


For the 2011 season Team Red Rooster Racing withdrew from motorsports,thus leaving only team MRF and some privateers in the title bid. Naren Kumar on 22 July 2011, finally announced his retirement from Rallying just few days short of his 37th birthday.

Gaurav Gill

Gaurav Gill (born December 2, 1981) is an Indian race car driver who started his motorsport career by rallying on 2 wheels in the Indian National Rally Championship. He is based out of Delhi. He is India’s leading rally driver. He is a past winner of India’s National Rally Championship, National Road Racing Championship and FIA APRC Rally Indonesia 2008.
Born on 2 December 1981, Gaurav got into motorsport at a young age racing motorbikes in the National Motocross Championship in 1999. He won his debut event at Cochin.
Encouraged by his uncle, Dicky Gill, Gaurav was soon showing astounding adaptability as he moved to 4-wheels and was soon winning national car rallies, karting championships and endurance races, he even signed up for the Raid-de-Himalaya in 2000. He has won a few national racing titles while he was with JK Tyres and MRF Tyres racing teams. Currently he is with the MRF Tyres team. He finished 2nd in the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) 2010 season.

Gaurav’s love affair with motorsport continued and his first major break was in 2003 when he was runner-up in the National Road Racing Championship, a feat that he bettered the following year in 2004 when he became National Champion.
The love for dirt rallying was hard to subdue and he was back behind the wheel of factory rally car in 2005, this time there was no stopping Gaurav as he demolished the status-quo and was consistently the fastest driver on the track. He finished the 2006 season, second overall.
While he was not smashing stage records, he was winning on the road racing circuit, Gaurav also won the National Road Racing Championship - Formula Rolon in the same year!
In 2007, Gaurav was untouchable as blazed the National Rally Championship with Team MRF, he was National Nally Champion but would remember 2007 more for his exploits on the APRC circuit where he was having an impressive rookie year with MRF behind a Ralliart Mitsubishi.
In 2008, Gaurav was determined to repeat his domestic success on the international circuit and show that Indian drivers are second to none. Focus, training and hard work paid off handsomeley as he won the FIA APRC Indonesian Rally 2008 for MRF and India! This had to be a golden moment in Indian motorsport, the versatile boy who started out racing motorbikes had finally done it!
Aiming for glory, Gaurav is competing in the Production Car World Rally Championship with Team Sidvin India and he continues to drives for Team MRF leading India’s challenge in the FIA APRC
  • Started go-karting with JK tyres in 97', 98' Won regional and north Indian championships.
  • 1999 - Rode bike rally and motorcross for Team Factory TVS Suzuki.
  • 2000 - Drove for Team Jk Tyre, Won the south India rally, became the youngest ever rally winner in India @ 18yrs.
  • 2003 - 2nd runners up in Formula Maruti in chennai.
  • 2004 - Racing National Champion. Formula Maruti.
  • 2005 - Overall 2nd in Auto Gymkhana in Taiwan.
  • 2006 - Racing National Champion, Formula Chevorlet Rolon, Runners up in INRC with team JK Tyre.
  • 2007 - National Rally Champion, Motorsport MAn of the Year Award by Overdrive and ICICI bank automotive awards. Participated in the APRC with a 4th overall finish in Rally Indonesia.
  • 2008 - Winner Rally Indonesia APRC, runners up in INRC, participated in World Championship round in Wales Rally GB.
  • 2009 - First Indian to achieve points in WRC-Rally Portugal, Winner INRC. One of the first person across the world to drive the new Mitsubishi EVO X rally car.
  • 2010-Winner Rally Australia APRC. Runners up in APRC. 2nd place finish in International Formula Challenge F-1600.
  • 2012-Won the Indian National Rally Championship.

Sandro Munari

Nationality Italian
World Rally Championship record
Active years 1973 - 1984
Teams Lancia
Rallies 36
Championships 1 (1977)
Rally wins 7
Podiums 14
Stage wins 91
Total points 7
First rally 1973 Monte Carlo Rally
First win 1974 San Remo Rally
Last win 1977 Monte Carlo Rally
Last rally 1984 Safari Rally

Born at Cavarzere, Veneto, Sandro Munari began rallying in 1965 and won the Italian Rally Championship in 1967 and 1969, adding the European Rally Championship title in 1973. In 1972 he won the Targa Florio sports car endurance race, partnering Arturo Merzario in a works Ferrari 312PB. Also in 1972 Munari claimed his first major rally victory, winning the Monte Carlo Rally in a works Lancia Fulvia.
He was to become synonymous with another of Lancia's rally icons, the Lancia Stratos, and the partnership of Italian car and Italian driver scooped a further Monte Carlo Rally hat-trick in the mid-1970s, among a total of seven World Rally Championship victories. Munari also won the 1977 FIA Cup for Rally Drivers title. Later in his career he competed with a Fiat 131 Abarth, finishing third at the 1978 Tour de Corse and sixth at the 1980 Rallye Côte d'Ivoire. His last WRC appearances were at the Safari Rally, which he contested from 1981 to 1984, but retired each time.

WRC victories

# Event Season Co-driver Car
1 16º Rallye Sanremo 1974 Mario Mannucci Lancia Stratos HF
2 3rd Rally Rideau Lakes 1974 Mario Mannucci Lancia Stratos HF
3 43ème Rallye Automobile de Monte-Carlo 1975 Mario Mannucci Lancia Stratos HF
4 44ème Rallye Automobile de Monte-Carlo 1976 Silvio Maiga Lancia Stratos HF
5 10º Rallye de Portugal Vinho do Porto 1976 Silvio Maiga Lancia Stratos HF
6 20ème Tour de Corse 1976 Silvio Maiga Lancia Stratos HF
7 45ème Rallye Automobile de Monte-Carlo 1977 Silvio Maiga Lancia Stratos HF

Björn Waldegård

Nationality: Swedish
Active years:1973–1992
Teams: Lancia, Ford, Toyota,
Rallies: 95
Championships :1 (1979)
Rally wins :16
Podiums: 35
Stage wins: 217
Total points: 428
First rally: 1973 Monte Carlo Rally
First win: 1975 Swedish Rally
Last win: 1990 Safari Rally
Last rally: 1992 Safari Rally

Björn Waldegård (born 12 November 1943 at Solna) from Rimbo is a former Swedish rally driver, and the winner of the inaugural World Rally Championship for drivers in 1979. His Swedish nickname is "Walle".
Waldegård's career spans four decades; he debuted in 1962 and, after winning the Swedish Rally Championship in 1967 and '68, continued to compete at the top level until 1992 when a broken arm suffered during a crash in the 1992 Safari Rally forced his retirement. His first international victory, at the wheel of a Porsche 911, came on the 1969 Monte Carlo Rally, while his last came for Toyota on the 1990 Safari. It made him the oldest driver to win a World Rally Championship event, a record he still retains.
In the mid 1970s Waldegård took part in the newborn European Championship for Rallycross Drivers with a privately entered Porsche Carrera RSR. His best overall result was to become the Runner-up to Austrian Franz Wurz, father of Alexander Wurz, of the 1974 Embassy European Rallycross Championship.
The Alitalia-backed Lancia team of the 1970s frequently choose between star drivers Waldegård and Italian frontrunner Sandro Munari. Waldegård and Munari came head to head in the 1976 Rallye Sanremo. Waldegård had a four-second lead over Munari entering the final stage, only to be forced to squander that advantage in keeping with the team's hopes for an 'equal' shootout. Waldegård, however, emerged as victor by four seconds, having disobeyed team orders and overtaken Munari – as a result, Waldegård left Lancia and joined Ford in late 1976.
Driving Ford Escort RS models, Waldegård won three of the world's most punishing rallies in 1977; the East African Safari Rally, the Acropolis Rally, and the RAC Rally.
He was later victor in the inaugural World Rally Championship series in 1979 for Ford and Mercedes-Benz, beating Hannu Mikkola in the final round at the Rallye Côte d'Ivoire in the Ivory Coast, by finishing second behind his rival.
In September 2008, Waldegård took part in the Colin McRae Forest Stages Rally, a round of the Scottish Rally Championship centred in Perth in Scotland. He was one of a number of ex-world champions to take part in the event in memory of McRae, who died in 2007. On the event he drove a Porsche 911.

Philippe Bugalski

Nationality France FrenchBorn June 12, 1963Died August 10, 2012 (aged 49)World Rally Championship recordActive years 1984–2004Teams Citroen, RenaultRallies 40Rally wins 2Podiums 4Stage wins n/aTotal points 37First rally 1984 Monte-CarloFirst win 1999 Rallye CatalunyaLast win 1999 Tour de CorseLast rally 2003 Rallye CatalunyaPhilippe Bugalski (June 12, 1963 – August 10, 2012) was a French rally driver.By the mid 90s he was a regular top-choice tarmac specialist for Citroën along with team mate Jesús Puras. However, as the Citroën Total World Rally Team became a big name for Group A employing such drivers as Sébastien Loeb he was frequently entered as Citroen's 3rd driver for tarmac rallies. His top performances have been on home soil on the Tour de Corse, but he has also shown great potential in the Rallye San Remo, Monte-Carlo Rally, and Rallye Catalunya. Since his breakthrough to the Group A category, he has struggled to secure a firm place in Citroen's World Rally Championship team; he has always been a solid reserve driver. By 2003, he had stopped rallying professionally.Bugalski died on August 10, 2012, aged 49, reportedly from injuries sustained when he fell out of a tree.

Bruno Thiry

Nationality Belgian
Born 8 October 1962 (age 49)
World Rally Championship record
Active years 1989 - 2002
Teams Ford, Subaru, Skoda
Championships 0
Rally wins 0
Podiums 5
Stage wins 39
Total points 173
First rally 1989 Acropolis Rally
Last rally 2002 San Remo Rally

Bruno Thiry (born 8 October 1962) is a Belgian rally driver. He was born in St. Vith, Province of Liège.
He began his career as an amateur in 1981, driving a Simca, and quickly became very successful in the Belgian Rally Championship. In 1994, he joined the Ford team to contest the World Rally Championship, driving a Ford Escort RS Cosworth. In these years, he managed several third places; on the RAC Rally in 1994 and on Rally San Remo and the Rally Catalunya in 1996. He finished 5th overall in the WRC standings in 1994.
In 1997, he won the Rally of the Azores in a privately entered Escort Cosworth. The following year saw Thiry continue in the Ford, then in 1999 he campaigned a Subaru Impreza in his role as third driver for the Subaru World Rally Team.
2001 saw Thiry join the Skoda team and he had a disappointing year in the Octavia WRC. His highest placings that year were 8th place on the Monte Carlo Rally, the Cyprus Rally and Rally Great Britain.
In 2002 and 2003, the Peugeot 206 WRC was Thiry's vehicle of choice. He won the Ypres Rally both years, and became European Champion in 2003 after five victories. In 2004, he was runner-up in a Citroën C2 S1600.
Since 2005, Thiry has more or less retired from motorsport and only occasionally competes on events. A notable recent result was second place on the Rally of Condroz in 2006, driving a Peugeot 307 WRC. His co-driver for most of his rallying career was fellow-Belgian Stéphane Prévot.

Stig Blomqvist

Nationality: Swedish
Active years: 1973 - 2006
Teams: Audi, Ford, Saab, Talbot
Rallies: 122
Championships :1 (1984)
Rally wins : 11
Podiums: 33
Stage wins: 486
Total points: 573
First rally: 1973 Swedish Rally
Last rally: 2006 Swedish Rally

"Stig" Lennart Blomqvist (born 29 July 1946 in Örebro, Sweden) is a Swedish rally driver. Blomqvist won the Swedish Rally several times, and was the 1984 World Rally Champion.
Stig Blomqvist acquired his driving licence at the age of 18, and immediately took 2nd place in a 1964 local rally event near the Swedish town of Karlstad, behind the wheel of a Saab 96. He proceeded to drive with the Saab team, and achieved his first international victory at the 1971 British RAC Rally.
He won the Swedish Rally in 1971 (Saab 96 V4), 1972 (Saab 96V V4), 1973 (Saab 96 V4), 1977 (Saab 99 EMS) and 1979 (Saab 99 Turbo). He won the 1976 Boucles de Spa Rally, in the Saab 99 EMS. His long-time association with Saab ended when the Saab Sport department hung up their spurs, in 1982 but he had enjoyed much success with the team. In 1971 alone, he started 16 rallies and scored 11 wins.
He continued with top performances with Lancia and Talbot Sunbeam Lotus and, in the early 1980s, he became one of the first to drive a four-wheel drive rally car, with an Audi Quattro. Competing alongside such other rally greats as Walter Röhrl, Markku Alén, Michèle Mouton and Hannu Mikkola, he achieved five victories in 1984, becoming the World Rally Champion.
His rally career was at its peak during the Group B rally car era of the mid-1980s, when he excelled with the Nissan, Ford and Peugeot teams. In the 1990s he used his experience of two-wheel drive cars and helped the Škoda Motorsport team to develop the Felicia Kit Car. During a guest appearance at the 1996 Rally of Great Britain, the 50-year-old veteran finished 3rd overall with a Skoda Felicia Kit Car 1,6.
In 2001, Stig Blomqvist, together with co-driver Ana Goñi, competed in the World Rally Championship with a group N Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI, finishing in 5th place overall in the 2001 FIA group N classification.
In September 2008, Blomqvist took part in the Colin McRae Forest Stages Rally, a round of the Scottish Rally Championship centred in Perth in Scotland. He was one of a number of ex-world champions to take part in the event in memory of McRae, who died in 2007. On the event he was co-driven by Ana Goñi in a Ford Escort RS 1600.
There has been a rumour that Blomqvist was intended as the first test driver for the 2002 relaunched version of the BBC series Top Gear, but when he declined the anonymous driver The Stig was created. Blomqvist has denied this story.

Michèle Mouton

Nationality: French
Active years:1974–1986
Teams: Fiat ,Audi, Peugeot
Rallies: 50
World Championships: 0
Rally wins : 4
Podiums: 9
Stage wins: 160
Total points: 229
First rally: 1974 Tour de Corse
First win: 1981 San Remo Rally
Last win: 1982 Rally Brazil
Last rally:1986 Tour de Corse

Michèle Mouton (born 23 June 1951 in Grasse, Alpes-Maritimes) is a former French rally driver. She is the most successful and well-known female rally driver of all time, as well as arguably the most successful female in motor racing as a whole.
She was the first (and so far the only) woman to win a round of the World Rally Championship, the Rallye Sanremo in 1981. She went on to finish a close second overall in the 1982 WRC after wins in Portugal, Brazil and Acropolis, with only the unreliability of the Audi Quattro that she was driving ultimately enabling Opel rival Walter Röhrl to snatch the title.
In 1984, she was the first woman to win the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb race in the United States. She won again in 1985, breaking the record of the race. Mouton effectively quit rallying after the Group B category was banned in late 1986, both unwilling to take part in a new, slower championship under Group A rules, and eager to start a family. However, she was to be a key figure in the organization of the rallying Race of Champions in 1988, in memory of Henri Toivonen.
She also has taken part in the 1975 24 Hours of Le Mans, in an all-female team.
In 2000, she finished 2nd driving a Porsche 911 in the London-Sydney Marathon with co-driver 1993 winner Francis Tuthill, behind ex-teammate Stig Blomqvist.
In 2010, she became the first President of FIA's Women & Motor Sport Commission.

Armindo Araújo

Nationality:Portuguese Date of Birth:01 Sep 77 Car:MINI John Cooper Works WRC Team:WRC Team MINI Portugal Co-driver:Miguel Ramalho FIA Championship Titles:2009-2010 FIA Production Car World Rally Champion WRC Debut:Portugal 2001 Website:www.armindoaraujo.com Career Highlights 2011: Twenty-third in World Rally Championship 2010: Production Car World Rally Champion with three wins 2009: Production Car World Rally Champion with one win 2008: Eighth in Production Car World Rally Championship 2004: Portuguese Rally Champion and Portuguese Rally Champion for Drivers of 1600cc Cars 2003: Portuguese Rally Champion and Portuguese Rally Champion for Drivers of 1600cc Cars 2002: Portuguese Rally Champion for Drivers of 1600cc Cars Career Summary With several Portuguese national titles under his belt, Araujo made the step up to the Production Car World Rally Championship in 2007. He created an immediate impression with a fourth-place finish on his debut in Sweden, which was only his second start on snow. Remaining at the wheel of a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX, Araujo built on that early promise by finishing eighth overall in 2008 to lay the foundations for a successful title bid in 2009, which included a maiden win on home soil plus podiums in Cyprus, Italy and Greece. Now reliant on a Lancer Evolution X, which he helped to develop, Araujo became the first driver in PWRC history to successfully defend his title by virtue of a dominant performance. He was a winner in Mexico, Germany and France and never failed to finish outside of the podium places on the three other events he contested. As well as winning the PWRC crown for a second time, Araujo continued in his role as Ralliart Italy’s test driver, making the most of his technical knowledge to help develop the R4 version of the Lancer, which broke cover in 2011. Having dominated the PWRC for the best part of two seasons, Araujo graduated to World Rally Car competition in 2011 and finished eighth overall on ADAC Rallye Deutschland in a MINI John Cooper Works WRC run by the Motorsport Italia operation. He will continue in the car in 2012, albeit under the Armindo Araujo World Rally Team banner when he will be eligible for Manufacturers’ championship points for the first time.

Kenneth Eriksson

Nationality Swedish
Born May 13, 1956 (age 55)
World Rally Championship record
Active years 1980 – 2002
Teams Subaru, Mitsubishi, Hyundai, Škoda
Rallies 138
Championships 0
Rally wins 6
Podiums 21
Stage wins 214
Total points 489
First rally 1980 Swedish Rally
First win 1987 Rallye Côte d'Ivoire
Last win 1997 Rally New Zealand
Last rally 2002 Rally Great Britain

Kenneth Eriksson (born May 13, 1956 in Äppelbo, in the kommun of Vansbro) is a now retired World Rally Championship rally driver. He drove for several manufacturer teams, including the Subaru World Rally Team, Mitsubishi, Hyundai and Škoda. He was the 1986 Group A Champion in the competition's only year, his best performance, overshadowed by the fatalities that occurred in that season.
His finest showing in the top-tier World Rally Championship was third place overall for Mitsubishi in 1995. He controversially won the Swedish Rally that year under pressure on the road from second-placed young team-mate Tommi Makinen, as well as winning directly ahead of the Champion-elect, Subaru World Rally Team's Colin McRae in Australia. He then switched to Subaru for the 1996 season to drive the Impreza WRC alongside McRae. He excelled for them as a second points-scorer on the championship's loose-surface rounds. Conversely, Italian Piero Liatti often took on the same responsibility for asphalt rounds. By the end of the 1997 season Eriksson and regular co-driver Staffan Parmander had collected six individual World Rally victories. These included a famous win aboard the Impreza in New Zealand in 1997, on which occasion he took advantage of the altercation with a sheep that befell long-time leader, Ford's Carlos Sainz. Between 1995 and 1997, he also notched up a hat-trick of Asia-Pacific rally titles.
After finishing fourth on the 1998 Swedish Rally, Eriksson was released from his contract at Subaru in order to pursue a kit-car and latterly a World Rally Car chance with Hyundai. He was joined as factory driver of both the Hyundai Coupe and eventual Hyundai Accent WRC by fellow eventual one-time Subaru driver, Alister McRae. 6th on the 2001 Rally Great Britain marked his solitary points finish for the team, on his very last outing with them. He then enjoyed his final season with Škoda, in 2002, alongside female navigator Tina Thörner in the light of Parmander's retirement and with his team-mate in the sister Octavia WRC being the young Finn Toni Gardemeister.
Eriksson departed the 'works' world rally scene at the end of 2002. He has since been competing in the Race to the Sky hillclimb event held in Cardrona Valley, New Zealand. He finished second in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

Matthew Wilson

Nationality:British Date of Birth:29 Jan 87 Car:Ford Fiesta RS WRC Team:Go Fast Energy World Rally Team Co-driver:Scott Martin WRC Debut:Rally GB 2004 Website:www.m-sport.co.uk Career Highlights 2011: Seventh in World Rally Championship 2010: Seventh in World Rally Championship 2009: Seventh in World Rally Championship 2008: Tenth in World Rally Championship 2007: 11th in World Rally Championship. Scores career-best fourth in Japan 2006: Makes full-time WRC switch. Scores first point in Argentina 2005: Joins the British motorsport federation’s Rally Elite training scheme. Recovers from leg injuries to finish Rally GB in 15th overall 2004: Third in British Rally Championship. Finishes 13th on WRC debut in Great Britain Career Summary Matthew Wilson started his competition career in circuit racing, firstly in the T-Cars saloon training series before he switched to Formula Renault alongside a certain Lewis Hamilton. He won his first rally, albeit as a co-driver to father Malcolm Wilson, in 2003 before he took his turn behind the wheel in 2004 as a 17-year-old. After finishing third in the British championship that year, Wilson looked set to achieve more success in 2005 only for a huge accident on the Rally of Wales to leave him and co-driver Scott Martin with serious injuries. Wilson’s return on the Trackrod Rally netted an emotional win and served as the launchpad to a full world championship campaign in 2006 in a 2005-spec Focus run by his father’s M-Sport team. With backing from the Stobart Group as part of a five-year development programme, Wilson, having just turned 20, became the youngest driver to score points in a WRC event (eighth overall in Argentina). He also became the youngest driver to win a stage at world level (the Cordoba Stadium Super Special, also in Argentina). His 2007 campaign ended with a flurry of points finishes including a career-best fourth in Japan, seventh in Ireland and sixth in Great Britain. Wilson maintained his consistency during the 2008 season but also wound up the pace, ending the year 10th in the final drivers’ standings with 15 points. Wilson finished 11 out of the 12 rallies he started in 2009 to claim seventh in the championship. He was fifth in Cyprus, Argentina and Poland and would have been fifth in Portugal too, had it not been for a penultimate stage retirement in Portugal when his clutch broke while he tried to rejoin the road after going off. He was seventh again in 2010 when he divided his time between competing on all 13 rounds and helping to develop Ford’s new-for-2011 Fiesta RS WRC, a role he performed on the Fiesta R2 and Super 2000 examples in previous seasons. A regular point-scorer in 2011, Wilson emulated his career-best finish of fourth on Rally Australia.

Armin Schwarz

Nationality: German
Active years: 1988–2005
Teams: Toyota, Mitsubishi, Ford, Škoda, Hyundai
Rallies: 119
World Championships: 0
Rally wins : 1
Podiums: 7
Stage wins: 100
Total points: 179
First rally: 1988 RAC Rally
First win: 1991 Rally Catalunya
Last rally: 2005 Rally Australia

Schwarz was born in Neustadt an der Aisch in Franken in 1963 and debuted in rallying in 1983. After having won the German Rally Championship for two years in a row, he made his debut in the World Rally Championship in 1988 and was signed by Toyota Team Europe, Toyota's factory WRC team, for the 1990 season.
Driving a Toyota Celica GT-Four, Schwarz led a world championship rally for the first time at the 1990 Rally Portugal, took his first podium finish at the 1991 Rally Australia and his first and only win at the 1991 Rally Catalunya.
In 1996, due to Toyota's 12-month ban from the WRC, Schwarz drove for the team in the European Rally Championship. He won the Manx International Rally and the Cyprus Rally and captured the overall title. Later that same year, he drove to victory in the RAC Rally, then part of the 2-Litre World Championship ("Formula 2").
In the 1999 season, after stints with Mitsubishi and Ford, Schwarz started his long partnership with the debuting Škoda works team. His best result with the team was third place at the 2001 Safari Rally. Schwarz retired from the world championship after the 2005 season, during which he took his first points finish in over a year at the season-ending Rally Australia.
Schwarz now lives in Austria and still participates in motorsport, not only as a driver but as a team manager for a Škoda rally team and as a TV commentator. He is married with two children.

Timo Salonen

Nationality : Finnish
Active years:1974 - 1992, 2002
Teams: Fiat, Datsun, Nissan, Peugeot, Mazda, Mitsubishi
Rallies: 95
Championships: 1 (1985)
Rally wins : 11
Podiums : 24
Stage wins: 256
Total points:524
First rally:1974 1000 Lakes Rally
First win:1977 Rally Canada
Last win: 1987 Swedish Rally
Last rally:2002 Neste Rally Finland

Timo Salonen (born October 8, 1951) is a Finnish former rally driver and the 1985 world champion for Peugeot. It was commented of him that he stood out from other drivers, because he was overweight, wore thick glasses and smoked heavily, but still remained one of the fastest and most competitive drivers in the sport. He was also known for his relaxed attitude and for his habit of steering his rally car with one hand only. These factors led to the nickname Löysä ("Slack").
Salonen achieved his first podium place in the World Rally Championship by driving his Fiat 131 Abarth to second place at the 1977 1000 Lakes Rally. He went on to win the next rally, the 1977 Critérium du Québec, which was only his fifth WRC event and his first outside his home country.
Salonen's factory team career at World Championship level began with Nissan, mainly on long-distance events. In 1984, however, he achieved a string of top-ten finishes, resulting in Jean Todt inviting him to drive for Peugeot in the 1985 season. He began that year playing a supporting role to Ari Vatanen but quickly proved capable of being in a leading role, especially after Vatanen's near-fatal accident in Argentina. Salonen set a record by winning four world rallies in a row – unmatched and unbroken until Sébastien Loeb's six wins in a row in 2005 – and went on to win the World Championship with a record 52-point margin ahead of second-placed Stig Blomqvist. Salonen then remained at Peugeot for the 1986 season, and finished third in the drivers' championship, behind his new team-mate Juha Kankkunen and Lancia driver Markku Alén.
In the turbulent world of post-Group B rallying, Salonen starred for Mazda, taking a popular win on the 1987 Swedish Rally. His last WRC event in action was the 1992 Rally Portugal in a Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 until he made a one-time comeback at the 2002 Neste Rally Finland. He managed his Peugeot 206 WRC to 14th place overall.
Salonen was mainly co-driven by Seppo Harjanne, who would later go on to achieve even more success with Tommi Mäkinen. After retiring from rallying, Salonen has worked as a CEO for his car sales company Autotalo Timo Salonen.

Federico Villagra " Coyote "

Federico Villagra (born May 21, 1969) is an Argentine rally driver competing in the World Rally Championship for the Munchi's Ford World Rally Team. His co-driver is Jorge Perez Companc.

After experiencing success in his native championship (including winning the group N4 class every year between 2001 and 2005), Villagra came to the attention of a wider stage by winning the group N class of Rally Argentina in 2006 and 2007. This led to his employment by the Munchi's Ford World Rally Team halfway through the 2007 season. He scored his first points with an attrition aided seventh place in Japan.
In 2008 he will again drive for the Munchi's team in the ten events that they are competing in. He was off the pace in México, which was his first event of the season, but still managed to finish seventh and pick up two drivers points. He improved again at his home event in Argentina, finishing a career best sixth despite reliability issues, and matched this performance again in Jordan.
In 2009 Villagra scored more points than year before and finished best at 4th place at his home-event 2009 Rally Argentina and also at 2009 Acropolis Rally.
At season 2010 Villagra changed his livery and continued in scoring points, he scored at least point 7 times out of his 8 rallies this year. Villagra got 36 points and 9th place overall. He also tried IRC with Ford Fiesta S200 at 2010 Rally Argentina. Finishing 6th.

Patrik Sandell

Date of Birth:21 Apr 82
Car No:52
Car:MINI John Cooper Works WRC
Team:MINI WRC Team
Co-driver:Staffan Parmander
FIA Championship Titles:2006 FIA Junior World Rally Champion
WRC Debut:Sweden 2005

Career Summary
Sandell marked himself out as a star of the future by winning the Junior world title at his first attempt in 2006 alongside fellow Swedish youngster Emil Axelsson. He stepped up to the Production Car world championship in 2008 and by 2009 had won two rounds of the hugely competitive series driving a Skoda Fabia Super 2000.
Unfortunately an accident on the third event of the year in Portugal put him on the back foot and he was unable to emulate his early-season form, settling for fourth in the final table instead.
When the S2000 category got its own championship for 2010, Sandell was one of the first to sign up. A strong run of form mid-season put him in contention for the title but he ultimately lost out on a final-round decider.
With options to continue in the WRC limited, Sandell switched to the Intercontinental Rally Challenge for 2011 with the intention of learning new events. With new co-driver Staffan Parmander by his side, he scored a podium on the final event of the year but it was otherwise a frustrating year for the Swede and made him more determined than ever to secure a return to the WRC. As the Sweden World Rally Team’s first recruit Sandell has a three-year plan to make it to the top of the sport starting on his home round of the world championship in a factory MINI.
As well as competing on the world stage, Sandell has been a regular in the Chinese championship in recent seasons where he has claimed a number of victories.

Piero Liatti

Nationality Italian
Born 7 March 1962 (age 49)
World Rally Championship record
Active years 1990 - 2004
Teams Subaru, Ford, SEAT, Hyundai
Championships 0
Rally wins 1
Podiums 9
Stage wins 72
Total points 164
First rally 1990 San Remo Rally
First win 1997 Monte Carlo Rally
Last rally 2004 Rally Sardinia

Piero Liatti (born 7 March 1962) is an Italian rally driver. His speciality was driving on Tarmac rallies like Monte Carlo, Catalunya, Corsica and the San Remo Rally.

His WRC career began as a private entrant, driving a Lancia Delta Integrale, then a Subaru Impreza. His exploits in the Subaru in 1994 caught the eye of the Prodrive Subaru team and he was signed by then for 1995 through to 1998. A year each with SEAT, Ford and Hyundai team followed before, in 2002 he found himself without a works drive. 2003 saw him return to the WRC, albeit as a private entrant in a Super 1600 class Peugeot 206.
The highlight of his career was in 1996 when he came 5th in the World Rally Championship with the Subaru 555 team gaining no less than 56 points. Other highlights were wins in the Sanremo rally in 1995 (although that year, the event was not a round of the WRC) and the Monte Carlo rally in 1997.

Richard Burns

Date of Birth:17 Jan 71
FIA Championship Titles:2001
World Championships:1
WRC Rally Starts:104
WRC Rally Wins:10

Born in 1971, Burns started driving rally cars 15 years later at a private rallyschool. His first competition came in a borrowed Toyota in 1989. That was his first rally. He won his second event.
He then won the Peugeot Challenge in his first full season, 1990, and backed that up with another Peugeot win a year later. For 1992, he hunted the British national title, and bagged it. By then, the big time was calling, with Subaru offering a British Rally Championship contract in a team alongside Alister McRae. Burns took the Scot - and Ford’s Malcolm Wilson - on and beat them both out of sight, becoming the youngest-ever British champion.
He remained with Subaru and learned his craft in the WRC until the end of 1995. After a three-year stay at Mitsubishi, he switched back to Subaru to lead the team from 1999. Much has been made of Burns’ methodical approach to the sport. But to dwell on that detracts from his speed. He was utterly comfortable when caning his rally car down the road on the limiter in top. But Burns’ came at the sport from a different angle to those who proceeded him. Burns was a pioneer in the ways of driving a modern rally car. He took the principles of race driving, adapted them for the stage and became one of the fastest drivers in history, winning 10 of the 104 WRC rounds he started.
Rally GB, 2001, was his crowning glory, though. Four drivers went to Wales with a shot at the title, but only Burns demonstrated the speed and dexterity in the most dangerous of conditions to come home as a world champion.
Unfortunately, his biggest moment in blue was also his final act for the Subaru squad. He moved to Peugeot for the following season and would not win again. Had it not been for the onset of a brain tumour, he would have won the 2003 title - he’d led the championship from the third round until the penultimate rally in Catalunya.
Burns withdrew from a final-round showdown at home in Britain to take on an even bigger battle. Unfortunately, England lost its first World Rally Champion to cancer on November 25, 2005.

Walter Röhrl

Date of Birth:07 Mar 47
FIA Championship Titles:1980, 1982
World Championships:2
WRC Rally Starts:75
WRC Rally Wins:14

Double world champion Walter Rohrl is the only German to have won the WRC drivers' title - let alone twice - and was one of the sport's biggest names during Audi's Group B domination in the 1980s.
His driving career got off to an unorthodox start, when as a teenager he worked as a chauffeur for the Bishop of his home town of Regensburg, clocking up thousands of kilometres on the roads of Bavaria. But having proved himself a useful driver, he started his first rally in 1968 at the age of 21, and won his first WRC rally, the 1973 Acropolis, in an Opel Ascona.
In 1977 Rohrl became a factory driver for Fiat and was part of the 131 Abarth driving squad which earned the Italian company the manufacturers' title in 1977, 1978 and 1980 - the year he also secured his first drivers' title. In 1981 he returned to Opel, and in 1982 took a second world title in a rear-wheel drive Ascona 400 after a sensational David and Goliath style battle with the more sophisticated four-wheel drive Audi Quattro of Michele Mouton.
A successful spell with Lancia in 1983 was followed by a switch to Audi in 1984 where Rohrl became one of the few drivers to tame the ultimate evolution of the Sport Quattro, the 550bhp E2; a car which the usually calm and reserved Rohrl described as the most mind-blowing of his career.
Following Audi's withdrawal from the WRC in 1986, Rohrl continued to work with the German company in an advisory role and as a driver on other events, like the Pikes Peak hill climb, which he won with a 600bhp Sport Quattro S1 in 1987.
Nowadays, far from leading a quiet retirement, Rohrl spends much of his time pounding the famous Nurburgring Nordschleife in his role as senior test driver for Porsche road cars.

Dennis Kuipers

Date of Birth:23 Nov 85
Car:Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Team:FERM Power Tools World Rally Team
Co-driver:Frederic Miclotte
WRC Debut:2008 Deutschland

Career Highlights
2011: Twelfth in World Rally Championship
2010: Nineteenth in World Rally Championship
2009: Wins Euregio Rally. Second on Hellendoorn Rally
2008: Wins Lausitz Rally. Second in Euro Rally Challenge
2007: Makes rally debut

Career Summary
Schooled in the competitive Dutch scene, Kuipers followed his father Rene’s footsteps by becoming a rally driver. While 2011 will mark only his fifth season of competition, he’s piloted an eclectic mix of cars ranging from a BMW Compact to a Porsche 996 GT3 and a Subaru Impreza WRC.
But it was at the wheel of a Ford Fiesta Super 2000 that Kuipers made his mark on the world stage when he finished ninth overall on Rally of Turkey in 2010 to open his point-scoring account. He contested a further seven events in the car and just missed out on a top 10 finish on RallyRACC-Rally de Espana, ending the season 19th in the final drivers’ classification.
Co-driven by the experienced Belgian Frederic Miclotte, Kuipers contested 11 rounds of the WRC in 2011 and claimed a career-best fifth overall in France.

Mohammed ben Sulayem

Nationality UAE
Born 1961
World Rally Championship record
Active years 1988, 1990, 1991 – 1995
Teams Ford, Toyota
Championships 14
Rally wins 61
First rally 1984 Acropolis Rally
First win –
Last rally 2003

Mohammed Ahmed bin Sulayem or Mohammed ben Sulayem (born 1961) is a UAE champion rally driver who lives in Dubai and is one the Arab world's most famous sportsmen.
He has won more FIA regional championships, and more international rallies, than any other racer in history. His premier event has been the FIA Middle East Rally Championship. Since first winning in 1986, he has gone on to win the event a record, 14 times, never having been defeated and making him the most successful FIA title holder in the world.
This successful career includes 61 international outings in the European, African, Middle East and World Rally Championships (WRC). During his career he drove for Opel, Toyota and Ford. Though he has not raced competitively since the 2003 season, Sulayem has yet to officially announce his retirement from rally sport. While his official name is Mohammed bin Sulayem he is commonly referred to as "Mohammed ben Sulayem".

Sulayem is an alumnus of the American University, located in Washington D.C., where he majored in political science.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem is the President of the Automobile and Touring Club of the United Arab Emirates (ATCUAE), FIA Vice-President for Sport, and Chairman of the Institute for Sport Research UAE.
Sulayem has been appointed by the FIA and FIM as the official representative to oversee all motorsports events in the UAE. He is also Chairman of the Organising Committee for the ppAbu Dhabi Desert Challenge ``, formerly the UAE Desert Challenge, a rally raid race that he founded in 1991. The event has since become the first round of the FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup.
He is a founding member of the Arab Council of Touring and Automobile Clubs, which aims to unite the FIA Clubs of Arabic-speaking territories.
In 2008 he was appointed Vice President of the FIA and a member of the World Motor Sport Council. The FIA is the global sporting authority for motorsport and represents 100 million car owners in almost 200 countries.
Apart from motor sport, Mr. Ben Sulayem is actively involved with social causes lending his name to fund-raising events and endorsing brands where the proceeds are forwarded to pre-selected foundations and institutes. Despite his passion for motor sport, Mr. Ben Sulayem is very conscious of the dangers of speeding and has been in the forefront championing the cause of road safety not just in the region but worldwide.
Ben Sulayem is a keen advocate of education and the creation of knowledge in sport. In 2010 in conjunction with the University of Ulster he established the Institute of Sports Research which allows people working in motorsport and other sports to pursue post graduate degrees by research. Currently the Institute has a number of candidates for both Masters and PhD degrees mainly in the broad of motorsport management. He is also co-editor of Sports Management in the Middle East the first academic book to be published on the subject where Ben Sulayem also wrote the chapter on Governance and Ethics in sport.
In recognition of his contribution to the sport and for serving as a role model for Arab youth, Mr Ben Sulayem was declared the UAE’s Sportsman of the Century by the respected international news agency, Agence France-Presse in 1991.

As the owner of Ben Sulayem Performance, he and his team have been noted for creating super-high performance modifications to a variety of sports and luxury cars. In 2005, he received press in motorsports' circles for having a Mercedes SLK 55 AMG modified to accept a Modified SLR engine, providing the car with over 740 hp and 1200 Nm (885 ft·lb) of torque. The modified SLK has a higher top speed (350 km/h estimated) than the production SLR due to differences in weight and was noted for a video depicting it out-performing an unmodified Enzo Ferrari.
On April 9, 2009 while demonstrating a Renault R28 F1 car – in a drag race against 2008 GP2 Asia Series champion Romain Grosjean, who was driving a Ford GT – at an exhibition at the Dubai Autodrome, Sulayem lost control of the vehicle under acceleration and crashed into the pit wall, causing extensive damage to the car. He was uninjured in the incident. He is featured in Dirt 2 and a cameo appearance in Dirt 3.

Major rally wins and championships

Middle East Rally Championship (14): 1986–91, 1994, 1996–2002
UAE International Rally (5): 1996–99, 2001
Bahrain International Rally (3): 2000–02
Qatar International Rally (9): 1988, 1990–91, 1996–98, 2000–02
Jordan International Rally (12): 1984, 1987–88, 1990, 1994, 1996–2002
Rally du Liban (4): 1987, 1997–99
Syrian International Rally (3): 2000–02
Dubai International Rally (15): 1985–88, 1991–95, 1997–2002
Oman International Rally (6): 1986–87, 1990–91, 1994, 1998
Kuwait International Rally (4): 1985, 1988–89, 1996
Saudi International Rally (1): 2000
India International Gundo Rally (34):2003

Nasser Al-Attiyah

Nasser Salih Nasser Abdullah Al-Attiyah (born 21 December 1970 in Doha) is a Qatari rally driver and sport shooter. He participates in the Production World Rally Championship (PWRC), which he won in 2006, and the Dakar Rally, which he won in 2011. In shooting, he came in fourth place in the 2004 Olympic Games in clay pigeon shootingand 15th overall in the 2008 Olympic Games, missing out on qualification for the final round by 2 points.
Al-Attiyah won the PWRC in 2006, his third year in the championship, with co-driver Chris Patterson. In that season Al-Attiyah entered with a Subaru Impreza. He gained the championship lead after finishing second in the PWRC class in the Rally Mexico and afterwards he won the following two rounds, Rally Argentina and Acropolis Rally. He was also in a 7-event campaign in the 2007 World Rally Championship season. He is has been competing on the Middle East Rally circuit.
He also drove in a BMW with Swedish female co-driver Tina Thorner in the 2009 Dakar Rally in Argentina. He was among the frontrunners until he got disqualified on 8 January 2009 after he had missed 9 checkpoints, the rules stating that 4 missed checkpoints are the maximum.
In the 2009 World Rally Championship season Nasser scored his first point in Argentina, the fifth stage. Nasser finished second the Rally dos Sertões from Goiânia to Natal in Brazil (24 June-3 July 2009) behind Carlos Sainz of Spain.
In the 2010 Dakar Rally, he finished second, 2'12 behind Carlos Sainz, the smallest gap in the history of the race. On January 15, 2011 Nasser Al Attiyah won the legendary Dakar race as one of four Volkswagen drivers, making him the only Arab to ever win the difficult race.
He was a driver for Barwa Rally Team in the 2010 World Rally Championship season.

Marcus Grönholm

Date of Birth:05 Feb 68
FIA Championship Titles:2000, 2002
World Championships:2
WRC Rally Starts:152
WRC Rally Wins:30

World Rally Champions rarely appear overnight and Gronholm - the last Finn to win the title - is a classic example of how practice makes perfect.
Gronholm’s first WRC rally was his home event, the 1000 Lakes, in 1989. Over the next ten years he contested 27 more World Championship rallies, in a variety of cars, without getting a podium. Luckily, however, things were going better for him in his domestic series, and four Finnish Group A titles (in 1994, 1996, 1997 and 1998) brought him to the attention of a number of WRC manufacturer teams.
The turning point for Gronholm came relatively late, in 1999, when he was signed to the Peugeot team and settled into the agile Peugeot 206 WRC. His first WRC win came in 2000 on one of his favourite events, the Swedish Rally, and after four more victories that year he was crowned World Champion. In 2002 he did it again, winning in Sweden, Cyprus, Finland, New Zealand and Australia.
In 2004 Peugeot switched to the bulkier 307 WRC, in which Gronholm scored only three victories throughout 2004 and 2005. In 2006 he joined Ford and embarked on another successful period, this time with the Focus RS WRC.
Over the next two seasons he won twelve more WRC rallies, enabling Ford to take the manufacturers title in both years. In the Drivers’ Championships, however, he was narrowly beaten by Sebastian Loeb on both occasions; in 2006 he lost out by a single point while in 2007 he was just four adrift.
Gronholm retired at the end of the 2007 season, saying he wanted to stop while he still had the speed to win rallies. But he has since started two Word Championship rallies - both on a one-off basis.
He was first lured out of retirement in 2009 to drive a Subaru Impreza WRC in Rally Portugal. On that occasion he crashed out while in fourth place. He fared better on the 2010 Rally Sweden when he was reunited with a Ford Focus RS WRC. While an electrical problem and a lack of testing dropped him outside the top-20, he produced some Gronholm magic to set a fastest time on the 14km Sagen - his favourite stage of the championship.

Marcus Grönholm, nicknamed 'Bosse' was born in Kauniainen, Finland, on February 5, 1968 to a rally-driving father, Ulf: a two-time Finnish champion.

But it wasn't really Ulf who led him into rallying: instead it was his cousin, yet another multiple Finnish Rally Champion – they obviously run in the family – Sebastian Lindholm.

With most of Finland's scant five million population concentrated in the capital of Helsinki, Marcus's rural upbringing gave him access to miles and miles of gravel roads and farm tracks: the basic reason why such a small nation has dominated rallying since the sport was invented.

Before he could reach the gas pedal, Marcus knew how to drive a car – and the machines around the farm meant that he got to regularly exercise his mechanical skills as well.

Tragically, Ulf was killed practising for the Hankiralli in 1981, when Marcus was just 13. At the time, Marcus was obsessed with motocross, even though his gangly frame was hardly suited to it. As it happened, his promising motocross career was cut short by a knee injury – which he still feels twinges from even now.

So Marcus only turned to cars comparatively late in life, finally getting his international break in the 1990s, when he had occasional outings as part of the Toyota factory team in Finland.

On his first factory drive, in 1992, he was fastest on the first stage – and then went off. That became a recurring theme in the early years. His best result in Finland with a Toyota would be fourth in 1996, although he was heading for third with the new Corolla WRC in 1997 before a wheel broke. He set the most fastest stage times of anyone in Finland the following year, although he only finished seventh after losing some time in a ditch.

He's made amends since: with seven victories there to his name, Marcus is still the most successful driver in the history of Rally Finland, jointly with Hannu Mikkola.

The one thing that was never in doubt was Marcus's raw speed, and that was what led Peugeot to sign him in 1999, as the French squad returned with the game-changing 206 WRC halfway through the season. Team boss Corrado Provera famously described him as their "Koh-I-Noor": once the largest and most precious diamond in the world. Marcus repaid their faith by winning the title in his first full year of the WRC: 2000, when he was already 32.

The next season wasn't quite as successful due to mechanical problems, but he was back on championship-winning form in 2002, cementing his unique relationship with the 206 WRC. "When I get into the car on a gravel rally, I know that if nothing goes wrong, we'll win," is how he described it.

The 206 was replaced by the 307: a rally car that was based on a coupe cabriolet road car with which he developed a love/hate relationship. He regarded the engine as sublime, but the gearbox not quite of the same pedigree. Such was his superstition he actually talked about changing his hotel room on one occasion that he was allocated room number 307, on the grounds that the room would probably break...

But even the wayward 307 gave Marcus some of his finest hours. He won Rally Finland in 2004 (one of just three victories for the car in two years) despite Peugeot's controversial four-speed gearbox losing one of its ratios. "Tell them to forget the four-speed box: we just need three gears now to win," quipped Marcus darkly afterwards.

In fact, Marcus's quotes out of the car are just as famous as his flamboyant skills inside it. The most memorable soundbite was almost certainly Turkey 2004, following a bizarre incident when he ran over the remains of a road sign. The metal post went straight through the floor of the Peugeot and into co-driver Timo Rautiainen's seat.

"We had to stop because some stone or something came through the seat and up into the arse of Timo," Marcus earnestly told the crowd of waiting journalists at service, accompanying his explanation with a particularly graphic hand gesture...

Or there was the time, of course, when Marcus was stopped by a particularly officious policeman on Rally Great Britain in Wales, who wanted to inform him that he couldn't drive on the public highway with just three wheels. "But I can drive," Marcus pointed out, with irrefutable logic. "I've just driven here. And I'm having the last word."

Marcus believes that anything is possible, and that's why Ford pounced when Peugeot announced that it was pulling out of rallying at the end of 2005. The partnership with Ford got off to a fairy tale start. At the start of the 2006 season, Marcus won the legendary Monte Carlo Rally: the oldest and most prestigious rally in the WRC, which he absolutely hates.

By the end of the year he had lost the drivers' title to Sebastien Loeb by just one point. But Ford had won the manufacturers' title for the first time since 1979 – a success they went on to repeat the following year.

In 2007, the intense battle with Loeb continued, with the Frenchman – the most successful driver in the history of the sport – saying that he had never come across a rival who was so fast and committed as Marcus Grönholm. In fact, Marcus is second only to Loeb himself when it comes to the record for the highest number of world rally wins. That's just one of the remarkable achievements that Marcus's speed has brought him: he's also set more fastest stage times than Colin McRae, for example.

The only big mistake that Marcus made, by his own admission, was retiring from the WRC too early, at the end of the 2007 season. His last victory for Ford in New Zealand that year was electrifying: at the time the closest winning margin in the history of the sport, with just 0.3 seconds separating first and second.

The next chapter in Marcus’ career opened when he moved from making occasional appearances in rallycross to a fully committed season in the emerging US series, Global Rallycross, in 2012. As a lead driver for the Best-Buy Mobile backed Ford Team, run by fellow Scandinavian Andreas Eriksson and the Olsberg MSE squad.

Marcus took the series by storm, winning everything he started from heats to finals in the first two events at Charlotte and Texas. However, fate cruelly intervened at one of the moments he might have relished when his friend but competitive nemesis, Sebastien Loeb, made a one-off appearance at the X-Games rallycross event in Los Angeles. In a practice accident, Marcus suffered significant injuries and spent a week in hospital in LA recuperating and was unable to test his series leading pace against his WRC rival.

Since this time, Marcus has focused less on competitive racing and rallying, and more on developing a portfolio of other related interests, including filming work with motoring television programmes, working with automotive manufacturers testing cars, and advising manufacturers on their sporting strategies for utilising motorsport effectively in their marketing programmes.