Sunday | 16 Feb 2014

WRC news in brief

A round-up of the stories that are making the news in the WRC:

Benito Guerra will drive an M-Sport-prepared Ford Fiesta RS on his home event in Mexico next month.

Guerra (pictured) made his first appearance in a World Rally Car at Rally Mexico last year when he finished eighth in a Citroen DS3. More recently he finished 14th in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X at Rallye de Espana.

The 2012 PWRC champion will be co-driven by regular partner Borja Rozada.

Robert Kubica and co-driver Maciej Szczepaniak received a strong reprimand from Rally Sweden stewards after failing to follow safety procedures when they went off the road during the third day.

Mads Ostberg sped by Kubica’s stranded Ford Fiesta RS as the crew and spectators struggled to lift the car out of a snow bank during SS14, the second pass through Rämmen. Ostberg later said he had no warning that a car was off the road.

After viewing footage of the incident and interviewing the crew, stewards found that the RK M-Sport World Rally Team pair failed to display a safety triangle to warn following competitors.

The crew told stewards they delegated a person, whom they believed to be a marshal, to warn following drivers.

In addition to the reprimand, Kubica and Szczepaniak must attend two safety briefings at the direction of the FIA.

Gilbert - WRC 3 winner in Monte-Carlo

Quentin Gilbert, who won the WRC 3 category at Rallye Monte-Carlo, will step up to WRC 2 at Rally Mexico in a Ford Fiesta R5.

The rally will be the first of four outings in WRC 2 for Gilbert and co-driver Renaud Jamoul. They will also tackle Rally Argentina, Rally Italia Sardegna and Wales Rally GB, and hope to find the budget to compete in Australia and Spain.

Gilbert, who will be backed by M-Sport, will be a familiar face in this year’s WRC. He will also drive a Fiesta R2 in the new Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy which takes in rounds in Portugal, Poland, Finland, Germany and France.

Max Rendina has joined forces with triple PWRC champions Ralliart Italy to challenge for the Production Cup within WRC 2. The 38-year-old Italian previously ran his own team and topped the category at Rallye Monte-Carlo, but withdrew from Rally Sweden due to a hand injury. He will return to action at Rally Mexico.