news in brief
Musical chairs is the name of the game for some leading co-drivers in next week’s Rally Sweden. The entry list shows some familiar pace note experts reuniting with former drivers or sitting alongside new partners in the headline WRC category.
The vastly experienced Chris Patterson, who partnered Petter Solberg in 2012 and Kris Meeke for his two Citroen outings in Finland and Australia last season, will join Khalid Al Qassimi (pictured above) in the French squad’s third DS3.
He replaces Scott Martin, who has joined Craig Breen for 2014 and will guide the Irishman through his World Rally Car debut in a Ford Fiesta RS.
As Robert Kubica continues to settle in with Maciej Szczepaniak in his Fiesta RS, former partner Maciej Baran is back.
Baran announced his shock retirement shortly before last year’s Wales Rally GB, leaving Kubica to find a new co-driver for his World Rally Car debut.
However, Baran will return alongside fellow Pole Michal Solowow, a Rally Sweden regular, in an M-Sport run Fiesta RS. And so he will share the M-Sport service area with his former pilot……
Ilka Minor, who partnered Evgeny Novikov last year, is reunited with Henning Solberg and Ott Tanäk, who is back in a World Rally Car for the first time since 2012, has Raigo Mölder reading the notes. The pair worked together from 2007 to 2009.
Norway’s Eyvind Brynildsen (pictured), who was entered in a Citroen DS3 with Anders Fredriksson, has withdrawn his entry after being unable to find sufficient budget.
Also not starting is the Porsche 997 GT3 of Richard Tuthill and Calvin Cooledge which was entered in the GT category. Tuthill, whose British-based company runs classic Porsche 911s on historic events like the East African Safari Classic Rally, has not been able to complete the homologation documentation in time.