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 Post subject: New car manufacturers in WRC 2011
PostPosted: 27 Apr 2010, 17:49  
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Text by Marko Mäkinen/Vauhdin Maailma
April 2010

NEW CAR MANUFACTURERS TO WRC

Next year they will be racing in WRC with WRC-cars based upon Super 2000 -cars and 1,6 L turbo engines.

VM tells who is coming to the serie, who is still planning on coming and who will not grab this FIA's new engine-bait.

Ford is in for sure...

Ford is in of course. The WRC-status is next year given to Fiesta and it will be known as Ford Fiesta RS WRC.

M-Sport which takes care of Ford's racing business has already tested the new WRC-car with Focus 2 L turbo engine. M-Sport has also stated that the first WRC-car with an 1,6 L engine will be ready in the end of July and they start testing it fulltime a month later in August.

... as is Citroen Sport too

Citroen will also continue in the WRC-serie and their C4 WRC is replaced by DS3 WRC.

Citroen has also tested the new car with a 2,0 L turbo engine in France and in Spain. Sébastien Loeb, Daniel Sordo, Sébastien Ogier and surprisingly also Kris Meeke, who drives in IRC-serie with Peugeot, have all tested the new car.

Mini comes, BMW doesn't?

The poorest guarded secret in the rally-world is the legendary Mini's comeback to WRC. The rally-project co-ordinated by Prodrive was going to be announced in March at the latest in Geneve's car show but Mini's owner, BMW Group, didn't give permission for it.

Mini's future WRC-car is built on the Countryman-car with a 1,6 L turbo engine and it's civilian version saw the daylight in Geneve's car show.

Mini WRC's prototype is ready but it's presentation is delayed because BMW Group, Mini's owner, didn't go into the project with the input that was originally planned. Therefore Prodrive has been forced to look for partners and additional funding from elsewhere and it takes it's own time to put these blocks together.

Sources close to Prodrive tell that the project is going to happen and Mini WRC will stand on the starting line in the beginning of next year.

Prodrive has asked to their project Marcus 'Bosse' Grönholm among others. Bosse himself admits it but he hasn't yet made any decision one way or another. Possible driver candidates are Australia's Chris Atkinson, Ireland's Kris Meeke and Sweden's Per-Gunnar Andersson.

Skoda is not going to WRC

They have rumoured for a longer time about Volkswagen-consern coming to WRC and if the consern decides to go to WRC it won't happen with Skoda.

Skoda Motorsport is at the moment investing on their Super2000-car to IRC and other national series and the car manufacturer is going to do so in the future too.

Skoda's team manager Michal Hrabanek wasn't pleased over FIA's technical desicions: Skoda would have wanted to continue with their current turboless S2000-car in the future also.

- We aren't satisfied with the new decisions since we just developed the turboless Fabia S2000 -car. If and when you want to build a new 1,6 L turbo engine it doesn't only require strenght and twisting, it also requires the development of a new engine plus building a new car and tuning everything around the new engine and that takes time and is extremely expensive business.

From VW Dakar Rally to WRC?

They have also rumoured for a longer time about Volkswagen going to WRC and the rumours have always grown stronger when they have seen the manager Kris Nissen in WRC-events - like for instance last year in Finland's WRC-rally. Should Volkswagen decide to go to WRC it will happen with the new Volkswagen Scirocco GT -model and in year 2012 at the earliest.

VW will participate one more time in Dakar-rally while emptying their storage of VW Touareg's spare parts.

Seat to rally, tracks or both?

The last time the Spanish Seat was in WRC was in 2000. During their three season they didn't even once get higher positions than 3rd after which the team decided to switch from gravel to tarmac into the WTCC-serie.

The rumours about Seat's comeback grew stronger after the Spanish manufacturer announced that they will withdraw from the WTCC-serie. Seat might well be one of the car manufacturers who is building FIA's new engines and racing cars to both series. Either the factory itself drives the cars or then privateers working close to the factory.

The return or Audi is wishful thinking

Audi presented their new A1-model which was decorated with the familiar Quattro-rally stripes from the 80's in Geneve's car show in March. This made the papers write that this is probably Audi's future WRC-car.

I doubt it is so. Rally doesn't fit in Audi's boulevard-image anymore, they will probably focus in the future too on racing in the DTM-serie and Le Mans in Europe and USA.

Subaru is an open card

Subaru withdrew from WRC after season 2008. The Japanese car manufacturer would have the readiness to get in again but a decision about it does not exist.

At the moment their main focus is on N-group's development work and the company is actively trying to get FIA to make changes in the N-group's classifications so that the N-group's competitiveness especially in tarmac-rallies against S2000-cars could be improved.

Mitsubishi is developing their 10

Mitsubishi said goodbye to WRC after season 2005 after which the car manufacturer concentrated on desert rally -projects and developing N-serie's Lancer Evolution.

Mitsubishi told FIA two years ago that the car factory will concentrate only on developing their N-group car and isn't looking for a place in WRC anymore.

There is no decision over manufacturing Lancer Evo 11 so therefore the development work and new classifications will continue around the current N-group Evo 10 in the future too.

Proton could be the wild card

Proton is a car factory owned by the state of Malaysia and it's partly owned by Mitsubishi. Proton has been in rally for over ten years, mostly with licence-models borrowed from Mitsubishi. The company's latest rally car is Proton Satria Neo S2000 which has been built and designed by the British team Mellors Elliot Motorsport (MEM).

Yet Proton isn't in the rally-project: MEM is Proton's official partner who can build race cars from the car factory's civilian cars. It is very likely that MEM will also build a new WRC- rally car but it doesn't yet guarantee that the car will be seen in WRC. A WRC-project requires a big amount of money from the outside.

How will Renault market Dacia?

The last time Renault participated in WRC as a factory team was in 1987. Every now and then rally-rumours circulate around Renault and they got stronger last year when Renault decided to sell a part of it's F1-activities. Renault is active in rally with their Twingo R2- and Clio R3- cars.

A few years ago Renault-Nissan-alliance had a market survey done concerning the Dacia-car and it was rumoured back then that Renault would start to market Dacia to WRC. The project, which is only a rumour, got more stronger when F1-legend Alain Prost participated in France's icetrack-serie with Dacia's car.

Toyota's headquarters in Köln deserted

Toyota ended rallying on factory-level in 1999 and moved on to F1. When Toyota left F1 last autumn the rumours of them moving to rally got stronger, especially after it was clear that only a third of the employees stayed in their headquarter in Köln after the decision.

The joy was premature since Toyota Motorsport's headquarter in Köln is now emptied of cars and personnel so one can forget about Toyota's comeback to WRC.

Peugeot has rallied their rallies?

Oliver Quesnel from PSA-corporation has stated several times that their manufacturers Citroen and Peugeot won't ever again compete against each others in the same motorsport-serie.

At the moment Peugeot still participates with their 207 S2000 -car in both national rallies as well as in IRC-serie but news from Paris tell that Citroen is designing their own C3-model car to the S2000-serie which will end Peugeot's rally career should it come true.

Citroen has good justifications for their plans: Citroen is racing in every rally-serie whereas Peugeot will focus now and in the future on tarmac-races with sport cars plus using and developing alternative forms of energy and diesel-technique.

Opel isn't going as a factory team

MSD (Motor Sports Development) -team is one of the private teams who every few year build of some car manufacturer's car a rally car that is suited for the British rally serie. A few years ago MSD built and designed the MG S2000 -car and now the team uses Opel Corsa S2000 rally car.

Opel isn't going to the WRC-serie but MSD might well build on the current basis of Opel S2000 a WRC-car that the team could drive with the help of outside funding later in the season.

Fiat will hardly come back in the near future

Two years ago the comeback of Fiat to WRC in 2011 was considered a done deal but it isn't going to happen. Fiat's racing activity and success in IRC was a huge disappointment to the car manufacturer so as far as rally is concerned the international activity has been run down and the Italian manufacturer is concentrated of racing with S2000 Grande Punto in Italy's national rally.

Abarth's development work again has been focused on Fiat 500 R3T rally car with a 1.4 L engine. This novelty was presented this year.

Lada might surprise - or not

Lada has a S2000-car for both rally and track so the Russian car manufacturer has the blocks ready to build a car for the WRC-serie if they want to do so.

Lada competed last year in WTCC-serie and this year their logo is seen on Renault as the F1-team's sponsor. Co-operation with Renault might well bring the required 1,6 L ME-engine which would make Lada a surpriser in WRC.

It's quiet around KIA now

We've heard all kinds of rumours of the Korean KIA ever since 2000, especially after Hyundai, the owner of KIA, withdrew from WRC after season 2003.

The rumours took an extra spin a couple of years ago when KIA succeeded well in the Andros Trophy icetrack-serie. They won the serie three times in a row from 04-06. Now there's a more quiet phase going on around KIA.

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 Post subject: Re: New car manufacturers in WRC 2011
PostPosted: 27 Apr 2010, 18:36  
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Absolutely superb news for the future of this sport

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 Post subject: Re: New car manufacturers in WRC 2011
PostPosted: 27 Apr 2010, 19:34  
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luieluv wrote:
Absolutely superb news for the future of this sport


Luie, what did you think of Kris Meeke? For some reason he has been testing the new WRC-car Image

Replacing Kimi or Sordo?

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 Post subject: Re: New car manufacturers in WRC 2011
PostPosted: 27 Apr 2010, 19:37  
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Wolfie wrote:
luieluv wrote:
Absolutely superb news for the future of this sport


Luie, what did you think of Kris Meeke? For some reason he has been testing the new WRC-car Image

Replacing Kimi or Sordo?


Kimi will be doing something for sure. Thats given so if Meeke was to replace kimi, then Kimi is returning back to F1 probably

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 Post subject: Re: New car manufacturers in WRC 2011
PostPosted: 28 Apr 2010, 09:05  
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luieluv wrote:
Wolfie wrote:
luieluv wrote:
Absolutely superb news for the future of this sport


Luie, what did you think of Kris Meeke? For some reason he has been testing the new WRC-car Image

Replacing Kimi or Sordo?


Kimi will be doing something for sure. Thats given so if Meeke was to replace kimi, then Kimi is returning back to F1 probably


One might think that the more information you get, the clearer things get. But in this case with all the amount of possible teams and all the information about them only left me with a growing confusion - where does Kimi fit in :fear:

Had there been Tommi Mäkinen Racing it could have implied that Kimi is continuing with him.

Me not know ''hmm''

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 Post subject: Re: New car manufacturers in WRC 2011
PostPosted: 28 Apr 2010, 10:43  
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Wolfie wrote:
Me not know ''hmm''

same here
:confused:

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 Post subject: Re: New car manufacturers in WRC 2011
PostPosted: 28 Apr 2010, 13:00  
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luieluv wrote:
Absolutely superb news for the future of this sport


How so? Of all major car manufacturers only Ford, Citroen and Mini/BWM(?) seem to confirm their participation..

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 Post subject: Re: New car manufacturers in WRC 2011
PostPosted: 28 Apr 2010, 14:17  
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ReAlien wrote:
luieluv wrote:
Absolutely superb news for the future of this sport


How so? Of all major car manufacturers only Ford, Citroen and Mini/BWM(?) seem to confirm their participation..


But look how many candidates they have :cool:

We might be in for a big surprise :thumbsup:

Mini is in and that's what's most important - my sister is a mini-fanatic, she once drove to UK with her white Mini for the meeting - but it's good to have them in the serie too!

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 Post subject: Re: New car manufacturers in WRC 2011
PostPosted: 28 Apr 2010, 15:27  
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Wolfie wrote:
ReAlien wrote:
luieluv wrote:
Absolutely superb news for the future of this sport


How so? Of all major car manufacturers only Ford, Citroen and Mini/BWM(?) seem to confirm their participation..


But look how many candidates they have :cool:

We might be in for a big surprise :thumbsup:

Mini is in and that's what's most important - my sister is a mini-fanatic, she once drove to UK with her white Mini for the meeting - but it's good to have them in the serie too!


As I understood, the move to the new WRC was designed to attract new teams into the series. With less than a year to the start of the new series even the real potential Mini are yet to officially state their entrance. Other teams are silent about their plans. Alas, imho the picture looks pretty far from "absolutely superb news".

I drove Mini of a friend once and it was the best handling car I've ever driven. :thumbsup:

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 Post subject: Re: New car manufacturers in WRC 2011
PostPosted: 28 Apr 2010, 16:33  
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ReAlien wrote:
Wolfie wrote:
ReAlien wrote:
luieluv wrote:
Absolutely superb news for the future of this sport


How so? Of all major car manufacturers only Ford, Citroen and Mini/BWM(?) seem to confirm their participation..


But look how many candidates they have :cool:

We might be in for a big surprise :thumbsup:

Mini is in and that's what's most important - my sister is a mini-fanatic, she once drove to UK with her white Mini for the meeting - but it's good to have them in the serie too!


As I understood, the move to the new WRC was designed to attract new teams into the series. With less than a year to the start of the new series even the real potential Mini are yet to officially state their entrance. Other teams are silent about their plans. Alas, imho the picture looks pretty far from "absolutely superb news".

I drove Mini of a friend once and it was the best handling car I've ever driven. :thumbsup:


I am sorry to have mislead you here. Agreed it would be a superb news only if the participation is confirmed. But none the less as Wolfie said, there are plenty of candidates so its reason enough to be optimistic. :)

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 Post subject: Re: New car manufacturers in WRC 2011
PostPosted: 28 Apr 2010, 19:56  
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Wolfie wrote:
But look how many candidates they have :cool:

We might be in for a big surprise :thumbsup:

Mini is in and that's what's most important - my sister is a mini-fanatic, she once drove to UK with her white Mini for the meeting - but it's good to have them in the serie too!

Your sister should test new Citroen DS3 :zz:

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 Post subject: Re: New car manufacturers in WRC 2011
PostPosted: 29 Apr 2010, 10:25  
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luieluv wrote:
ReAlien wrote:
Wolfie wrote:
ReAlien wrote:
luieluv wrote:
Absolutely superb news for the future of this sport


How so? Of all major car manufacturers only Ford, Citroen and Mini/BWM(?) seem to confirm their participation..


But look how many candidates they have :cool:

We might be in for a big surprise :thumbsup:

Mini is in and that's what's most important - my sister is a mini-fanatic, she once drove to UK with her white Mini for the meeting - but it's good to have them in the serie too!


As I understood, the move to the new WRC was designed to attract new teams into the series. With less than a year to the start of the new series even the real potential Mini are yet to officially state their entrance. Other teams are silent about their plans. Alas, imho the picture looks pretty far from "absolutely superb news".

I drove Mini of a friend once and it was the best handling car I've ever driven. :thumbsup:


I am sorry to have mislead you here. Agreed it would be a superb news only if the participation is confirmed. But none the less as Wolfie said, there are plenty of candidates so its reason enough to be optimistic. :)


It's ok, no need to be sorry, really. I just wondered if you have the full picture. :) And I agree about the optimistic list of the potential candidates. Let's hope new teams will join the club. :)

Another sad news, though, is that Monte Carlo Rally decided to stick with IRC for the third year in a row. :<>:

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 Post subject: Re: New car manufacturers in WRC 2011
PostPosted: 04 Oct 2011, 13:45  
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Gonna bump this old topic instead of making a new one, is there any new manufactures for the 2012 season? Rumours or otherwise?
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 Post subject: Re: New car manufacturers in WRC 2011
PostPosted: 04 Oct 2011, 15:54  
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ETNiES wrote:
Gonna bump this old topic instead of making a new one, is there any new manufactures for the 2012 season? Rumours or otherwise?

Well, Mini first real season is 2012.
VW will jump into the series, but it will happen in 2013.
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 Post subject: Re: New car manufacturers in WRC 2011
PostPosted: 07 Oct 2011, 08:34  
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@ Wolfie, thank you very much for the article! :hug: :thumbsup:
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