Andreas wrote:But Kimi is fast for someone who's done just 12 WRC rally's
And he drove very fast stage times this year.
Raikkonen linked to Monte Carlo debut
News26th November 2010
By Charlie Contadeli
Kimi Raikkonen is set to begin his second season of rallying by contesting January’s Monte Carlo Rally, according to reports.
The 31-year-old Finn, 10th in this year’s World Rally Championship standings, is being linked to a factory-assisted Peugeot 207 Super 2000 prepared by the French PH Sport outfit, which oversaw the running of Raikkonen’s Citroen Junior Team C4 in this year’s WRC.
Raikkonen would be making his debut on the Intercontinental Rally Challenge season-opener if the deal was firmed up. He said: “Actually I don’t have any plans fixed for next year yet but I would like to stay in rallying. Of course Monte Carlo is a really classic event for any rally driver but there’s nothing sorted.”
Raikkonen has some knowledge of the IRC: he attended Rallye International du Valais in Switzerland in 2008 to visit his friend Anton Alen, who was competing on the former IRC qualifier in an Abarth Grande Punto. Raikkonen even took time out of his schedule to have an impromptu seat fitting.
Will the Solberg effect come to Petter’s rescue?
Petter Solberg is a determined sort of man. He's not one to give up easily, not when, as it said on his Citroen Xsara WRC last year, the sport is his life.
When Solberg received the telephone call to let him know his services - along with everybody else in the Subaru World Rally Team - wouldn’t be required in 2009, Solberg was left shocked and stunned.
Not only was the WRC his life, but the Subaru team, where he had been since mid-way through 2000, was right up there as well. Let’s be honest, the relationship had been better than it was in the latter days, but still, the Norwegian had taken over from Colin McRae as Subaru’s all-action swashbuckling super rally hero. And then he was out. Everybody was out.
Plenty of other drivers in that position would have sat back and waited for the telephone to ring, not Solberg. In fact, anybody trying to call Solberg in early 2009 would undoubtedly have got the engaged tone. The 2003 world champion was never off the phone as he tried to sort deal after deal to source a car and a team in record time for the start of the WRC season.
He missed round one in Ireland, but, in typical fashion, hit the ground running in Sweden and won his first ever stage as the leader of the Petter Solberg World Rally Team. The fantastic story had begun.
And it’s the same now. He’s still on the telephone. Seriously, he is. As I try to call him today for this story, he’s on it. But now it’s the other project in his life, the Solberg Extreme Motorshow, which starts today (Friday) in Oslo, that’s taking up his time. Not content with being one of the world’s fastest rally drivers, or running his own team, Solberg also has to run his own three-day show - which is a sell-out, by-the-way.
But the big question is where is he going for next season. That’s the call Petter’s still waiting for. After two years of running his own team, sourcing his own cash, lifeing his own parts and driving his own stages, he’s tired and ready for somebody else to take up some of the slack. What chance?
Not the best, in all honesty. Solberg’s talking to Ford and hoping against hope that somebody in the big Blue Oval office might find a pot of gold with the ‘Solberg’ written on the top. Equally, he’s still in the middle of negotiations with Citroen, but when a French manufacturer has two French Sebastiens on its books, you can understand its reticence in funding a Norwegian called Petter. Or can you?
Possibly not. Not if you talk to anybody from Citroen Norway or in wider terms, Citroen Scandinavia. That Norwegian called Petter has had quite an impact on car sales in his homeland. Since he started driving a C4, sales of private cars has rocketed skywards by 67 per cent in Norway. It was those kind of figures which caught the eye of Automobiles Citroen managing director Frederic Banzet.
Banzet wasted no time in talking about the ‘Solberg effect’ in Scandinavia. And it’s possible that Solberg’s effervescent nature allied to his never-say-die attitude could be the things which keep him in the sport next season.
If he wants a DS3, there are still some small issues to overcome, like the naming of the team he drives for: Solberg’s backers want to back the Petter Solberg World Rally Team, not the Citroen Junior Team - or whatever it’s called next year.
But, as Citroen team principal Olivier Quesnel explains, he can’t out-source a car to Solberg because of confidentiality clauses with the new motor. Which would seem to rule out any deal.
But wait, there are rumblings along the corridors of power in the frozen north. The Scandinavians are speaking and they’re saying they want Solberg and they want him with the chevrons on his the front of his car.
Solberg hasn’t won a rally in a Citroen yet, but he’s directly responsible for selling more and more of them in northern Europe. And that’s something that might yet save his skin and his seat next season. Here’s hoping...
sleenster wrote:http://www.wrc.com/news/features/will-t ... &page=4400
Moominpappa wrote:sleenster wrote:http://www.wrc.com/news/features/will-t ... &page=4400
I remember also that Citroen has grown a lot in Norway. I can't understand why Citroen has not used Kimi on marketing in Finland. Here has been very low profile to holy WRC. Maybe they are thought that media itself gives visibility. In my mind the potential has not used as well as it could do.
Moominpappa wrote: I can't understand why Citroen has not used Kimi on marketing in Finland. Here has been very low profile to holy WRC.
Loiste wrote:Moominpappa wrote:In Finland most selling manufactors are VW, Toytoa, Opel and Skoda (I might be wrong, but I can check this if someone wants) Citroen is on position 13-14
Oh! When I was in Finland I noticed, that finns like Mercedes.
Dani Sordo to test the Mini WRC next week in Sardinia
The Spaniard has yet to decide his future for next season but it appears to run with the German firm
After breaking the news of a possible signing of Spaniard Dani Sordo by the Mini team to contest the World Rally Championship, the negotiations between both parties continue to advance, despite not yet reached a definitive agreement and next week the one of San Miguel Bridge will have two days of testing with the new car.
The Citroën option is one hundred percent discarded and too far from Ford's Malcolm Wilson asking price of one and half million euros to complete a season, Sordo is getting closer to the ranks of Prodrive to compete with Mini, although he still has not closed a deal, mainly because the Spaniard does not want to get along without the program running and the England team is only competing in six rallies in 2011.
Sordo, with the permission of Citroën, who still is under contract until Dec. 31, will test the new Mini WRC in Sardinia on the 29 and 30 of the present month of November, in the settings in which the car will make its debut in May.
This will help to know first hand what are the possibilities of the Mini, because it is not necessary to forget that there is been all the season development of the Citroën DS3, which more than likely will be its rival.
And it is that indeed in Citroën its director Olivier Quesnel has announced officially, that there will be two teams but the names of two of its pilots is still not known, who will compete next to Sebastien Loeb and Sebastien Ogier.
The Frenchman has spoken of his intention to secure the services of Petter Solberg, affirming that Dani Sordo has options to remain with the team but must contribute the necessary money, without any help from the brand.
After his strong performance this season, Petter Solberg, with his brother Henning, has launched a new edition of Extreme MotorShow Solberg in his homeland, Norway, an event that will feature several world champions and has invited Dani Sordo. The Spaniard will have the opportunity to be back behind the wheel of the Citroën C4 WRC after his recent victory in the Rally of Monza.
Loeb: 2009 F1 chance was a one-off
By Matt Beer Sunday, November 28th 2010, 12:05 GMT
Sebastien Loeb during his Red Bull F1 testWorld Rally legend Sebastien Loeb believes he missed his only chance to try Formula 1 when 2009's bid to contest an end-of-season grand prix failed to come to fruition.
Attempts were made last year to get Loeb into a Toro Rosso seat for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after the Frenchman had impressed in what was originally an informal Red Bull F1 test the previous winter. Loeb went as far as testing a GP2 car in preparation, but was unable to get the required superlicence.
In an interview for the Race of Champions, Loeb confirmed that once the Toro Rosso chance was denied, he decided not to keep pushing for an F1 opportunity.
"It's not a possibility. It was just an idea from Red Bull last year and finally we couldn't get to the end of the project. Now it's over," he said.
"If I have the opportunity to drive a car just for fun at a test, for sure I will do it. But I don't think I will do any races."
He reckons that any F1 outing would have been a struggle for him, predicting that his transition would have been just as challenging as Kimi Raikkonen's move to the WRC has proved this season.
"Like you see for Kimi also, it's hard work to get the experience and for sure the other way would be the same," said Loeb.
"When you see the young drivers coming into Formula 1, they are 20 years old and I am 36, so maybe I have to think of something else now."
Loeb is racing against F1 drivers Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel and Heikki Kovalainen at the Race of Champions this weekend.
While Loeb won the event outright in 2003 and '05, and took France to Nations' Cup honours with Jean Alesi in '04, he said this year's RoC was proving one of the toughest ever, partly due to the introduction of new machinery such as the Audi R8 LMS, VW Scirocco and stock cars.
Loeb and Team France partner Alain Prost were knocked out of the Nations' Cup in the semi-finals by Great Britain last night.
"We saw yesterday it was not so easy this year," said Loeb.
"The cars are very different from the cars I'm used to driving, so it's difficult, but we'll see. It will be a hard fight."
Claudie_Schnaudie wrote:So it´s almost for sure that he´s going to drive for Mini next year?!?! Feel sorry for him! He deserves better
Sordo is already a Mini-driver for the WRC.
He’s currently testing the new Countryman WRC in Sardinia and his contract with the BMW Group will be signed just after it.
by Pipo López | 30/11/2010
Dani Sordo is already testing the Countryman WRC in Sardinia and he will close this week his agreement to join Mini for the next WRC season. Only one last counteroffer from Ford could change things, since the Spanish driver has failed the secure the million euros the blue oval team is asking him to sit in one of their cars.
Sordo was in Paris last Thursday, saying goodbye to Citroën. The French team asked him for three million euros, a figure unattainable due to the circumstances and, even more, given that Dani also preferred to switch to Ford. But since he has also not gotten the funding he needed for that, although he tried with Banco Santander, he is heading to the only team that does not request any financial contribution and will even pay him 300,000 euros.
Yesterday, he already began working in Sardinia with the British firm belonging to the BMW Group. The Prodrive team, the same one that used to run the official Subarus and that has now taken over the Mini program, is working on the car since a week in the Italian island. It is precisely there where, if nothing changes, they will debut in the fifth round of the 2011 World Championship.
And this is one of the main reasons why Sordo did not want to race for Mini: they will only do a small program from six to eight rallies, to prepare their total landing in the championship in 2012. There is also some speculation that Marcus Gronholm didn’t sign with the team after testing the car in Portugal and not being satisfied by its competitiveness. Let’s see what Dani thinks, he has a lot of information about one of its rival cars for next year, the DS3 Citroën, with whom he worked until the French company left him out.
Another problem Sordo will face is his teammate, Kris Meeke. He is British and Prodrive is led by David Richards, famous for his favoritism towards Colin McRae when he competed alongside Carlos Sainz in Subaru. It remains to be seen whether BMW controls the controversial Richards and does not allow such outrages.