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News in Brief:
Kubica / Neuville / Kruuda

A selection of stories that are making the news in the WRC:

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Kubica win: Robert Kubica warmed up for the asphalt rounds in the second half of the WRC season with victory at Italy’s Rally Internazionale del Casentino.

The Pole drove a Ford Fiesta RS WRC, run by Italian firm A-Style, to victory by 2min 38.6sec after 140.83km of asphalt stages near Bibbiena in Tuscany. The rally opened with a 1.45km street test in the town before eight more tests.

Kubica (pictured above) was partnered by Przemyslaw Mazur as regular co-driver Maciek Szczepaniak was unavailable. The win was his first in a World Rally Car and provided perfect practice for the forthcoming WRC asphalt in Germany, France and Spain.

Thierry Neuville - test crash

Neuville crash: Thierry Neuville’s Neste Oil Rally Finland test ended abruptly when he crashed his Hyundai i20. Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul were unhurt but the car was too badly damaged to continue. Hyundai reported that the team completed all its scheduled work before the accident.

Drivers’ view: Senior FIA officials will meet with leading drivers and co-drivers in Jyväskylä ahead of Neste Oil Rally Finland in the latest of a series of discussions to allow them to air their views on important issues.

The previous meeting at May’s Rally Argentina covered key areas including general safety on WRC rounds, use of the yellow flag warning system and the nature of the pre-event shakedown.

“For the last couple of years the FIA has canvassed the opinions of the WRC drivers and co-drivers about everything from safety to documents or any matter which could improve our sport,” said FIA WRC Manager Michèle Mouton.

“They have the opportunity to voice their thoughts in a recognised environment. From our side it is valuable feedback from competitors who are seeing things from another perspective, and it is therefore an integral part of the overall stakeholder dialogue,” she said.

Kruuda’s replacement: The Peugeot 208 T16 that Karl Kruuda crashed at LOTOS 71st Rally Poland has been reshelled. The WRC 2 frontrunner damaged the car badly after rolling end-over-end several times and Peugeot Sport has provided a new shell.

Kruuda will drive the car at this weekend’s Rally Estonia in preparation for his next WRC outing at Neste Oil Rally Finland later this month.

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