News in Brief:
Hänninen / Recce / Solberg
A selection of stories that are making the news in the run-up to Rally de Portugal:
Hänninen for Argentina: Juho Hänninen will join Thierry Neuville in Hyundai Motorsport’s two-car line-up at next month’s Rally Argentina.
Following Chris Atkinson’s debut in an i20 WRC at Rally Mexico there was speculation the Australian would get the nod for the south American event. He has tackled the rally on four occasions and claimed a career-best second place there in 2008.
However, the Korean manufacturer has confirmed that Hänninen, who has competed in Argentina just once in 2007, will start his third rally for the team following Rally Sweden (pictured above) and Rally de Portugal.
Portugal recce: The recce for Thursday evening’s Rally de Portugal super special stage in Lisbon will unusually be held after the rally start.
The start will take place in Estoril’s Casino Gardens, after which drivers will complete a 20km liaison section to Praco do Imperio, in the shadow of the Jerónimos Monastery.
Crews will then have eight minutes to complete two passes over the 2.65km test at normal recce speed, before checking into a regroup. The stage will be run competitively later in the evening.
The other stages, almost 300km south in the Algarve holiday region, will be practised as normal ahead of the rally. The recce begins tomorrow (Tuesday) and ends on Wednesday lunch time before the afternoon shakedown.
Solberg adds sting: Henning Solberg will use Pirelli’s latest Scorpion gravel tyre on a World Rally Car for the first time in Portugal.
The Scorpion has not been seen at the top level of WRC since Pirelli left the series in 2010. However, the latest version, the hard compound XR5 and the softer XR7, will be available for the Norwegian’s privately-entered Ford Fiesta RS.