A round-up of the stories that are making the news in the WRC today
- Top marks to Martin Prokop for his stylish preparations ahead of next week’s ADAC Rallye Deutschland. As he gears up for the first asphalt event in the WRC calendar, Prokop brought out the big guns including a former F1 driver, Austria’s Red Bull Ring circuit and two Lamborghini Gallardos.
Prokop [pictured] was at the circuit on Tuesday for an asphalt driving masterclass with former Prost Grand Prix driver Tomas Enge. The pair worked together on high-speed acclimatisation, late braking techniques and picking the best line through corners. The lessons were conducted first in a standard Gallardo, and then a GT3 racing version. Prokop’s testing will continue today (Friday) and Saturday on the vineyard roads around Trier when he switches back to his Ford Fiesta RS.
- Former Junior WRC competitor Thierry Neuville will give this year’s crop of young drivers his tips for success at a mentoring session before Rallye Deutschland. The Belgian, currently joint second in the WRC drivers’ standings, contested the Junior series in 2010, winning one round - the all-asphalt Rally Bulgaria - in a Citroen C2 S1600.
“When I competed in the Junior WRC it was always a benefit for me to hear from the top drivers,” said Neuville. “I hope my advice helps those drivers who will be competing here for the first time. Experience is always an advantage in rallying and that’s how the Junior series helped me. I was able to learn the stages, push my limits and settle into the WRC at a lower but still very competitive level.”
- One of the drivers keen to hear what Neuville has to say is Pieter Cracco who will make his Junior WRC debut at Rallye Deutschland. At just 18, Cracco, who also hails from Belgium, will be the youngest driver in the category. As he will contest only the second half of the season he will be ineligible to score points, but he will compete in one of the identical Ford Fiesta R2 cars.
“I’m doing the last three rounds of the Junior WRC this season to get as much experience as possible for next year and to get an idea of my speed compared to the other competitors,” said Cracco. “It’s just a bonus that I’ll get to meet Thierry in my first ever briefing. Being born in Belgium, he’s always been my rallying inspiration. It’s my target to drive like him in future.”