Neuville rolls in shakedown
Jari-Matti Latvala sets the pace in final warm-up
Breen out: Craig Breen will not start on safety grounds after Stewards ruled he had not recovered from injuries sustained three weeks ago at Rally Finland. Breen hurt his back in a heavy landing but was hoping to compete here after passing a medical assessment in his native Ireland. He reported no pain during a pre-event test on Monday, but the FIA’s Medical Delegate said he risked aggravating the injury. Stewards were also concerned that the injury might cause Breen to lose control of his car. Breen said: “I followed the correct procedure leading up to this event. I have medical clearance to compete, I feel great and I haven’t any pain after our test. I’m bitterly disappointed but must respect the Stewards’ decision and move forward”
More WRC outings for Protasov? Yuriy Protasov says his World Rally Car debut this weekend could be the first of three appearances this season in the WRC’s top category. The Ukrainian will drive a Fiesta RS WRC here – a step up from the spec he is campaigning in this year’s WRC 2 championship. Beyond that, however, he’s after more top-level competition. “It really depends how it feels here in the WRC car, and what the results are, but maybe we can do France and maybe also Spain too,” he told wrc.com. Protasov is also eyeing a more comprehensive programme in 2015. “The plan is to do another season in WRC 2 and drive a World Rally Car on the other rounds,” he explained. Protasov is currently second in WRC 2, and will be back in the category for Rally Australia.
Plan bee for Prokop: Martin Prokop’s recce was interrupted by an emergency trip to hospital after he was stung by a bee. The Czech was on the Panzerplatte stage on Monday when the insect buzzed onto his left wrist, crawled into his driving glove and stung him on the hand. “It triggered a bad allergic reaction and 20 minutes later I felt terrible and my face and body were so swollen I couldn’t drive,” Prokop told wrc.com. “My co-driver phoned for help and I was taken by ambulance to hospital for treatment. It was four hours before I got back to normal. We were in the military area, so perhaps it was some sort of army-spec bee…” Event organisers later allowed Prokop to recce the stages he missed.