Rally / 18 March 2008
IRC 2007: WELL DONE CIVIC TYPE-R!!
IRC 2007: WELL DONE CIVIC TYPE-R!!
Positive first outing of the new Type R Gr.A in the first IRC European round. Betti wins A7 class. Sol? on the pace of works Super 1600.
First Rally on gravel for the new-born Civic Gr.A, wich anticipates the Gr.R version due in 2008, and first satisfactions for the JAS Motorsport Team fully committed to do well in the FIAT Rally 2007 in Istanbul, valid for the Intercontinental Rally Challenge 2007.
Dani Sol? completed 13 of the 19 special stages before stopping for a little but decisive failure of the lubrification circuit, while he was cruising to a well deserved 13th position overall, ahead of a fleet of 4-wheel-drives Group N, and second of front wheel drives cars.
The talented Spanish driver was ready to attack the leadership of Simon Jean Joseph, at the wheel of a works Citroen C2 Super 1600, when was betrayed by a loosen oil coupling, stopping the car at the very end of the SS13.
?What a shame? Dani commented ?we took a very prudent pace on leg 1, as our first objective was to cross the chequered flag and build up experience with the car. In spite of that we had accumulated only 30? in 140 km to the C2, and I was ready for the final rush when the failure happened. The gap could be even smaller, as I had to drive one SS without notes due to a problem with the intercom equipment. However we are all quite satisfied, this was almost the first outing on the gravel and the car showed not to suffer serious reliability problems while being already very fast. The potential is definitely very high, and I look forward to the next rally on asphalt?.
Luca Betti, at the wheel of the other JAS car, took a conservative pace aiming to complete the full distance, and the mission was brilliantly achieved celebrating the win in the A7 class, ahead of the Ford Fiesta driven by Kabatepe.
?I did not push the car too hard? Luca reported ?as the main goal for the team and me was to complete the rally distance and grow experience in such tough ambient conditions. Unfortunately I have been penalized by an incredible series of unlucky circumstances, including two punctures and road-crossing cows which in total took me almost 6 minutes. That?s rally, but I?m happy as the pace of the car is amazing in spite of the very short mileage of tests done on gravel. It?s out of question that from the last 1000 Miglia Rally the car has progressed by leaps and bounds?.
The FIAT Rally was the first of the seven European rounds of the IRC, two of which on gravel (Turkey and Russia).
?The Civic Gr.R is supposed to be a general-purpose-rally-car for customers, and it has to be properly developed either for gravel and for tarmac? explains Stefano Fini, Technical Director at JAS Motorsport ?The turkish rally is very selective for all components of the car, and has highlighted the areas where the development needs to be directed, however we are quite satisfied of the reliability and the performance achieved. There is a big margin for improvement but there are no major concerns, just little things which need to be corrected and refined to further improve the durability and the speed. From the last Millemiglia Rally the car has progressed by leaps and bounds?.
"These results are really encouraging" says William De Brekeleer, Motorsport Manager, Honda Motor Europe Ltd." They show that we are on the right track to provide our numerous rally customers with a very competitive package, ensuring they can live their passion with a high level of satisfaction".
Next IRC round, the Rally of Ypres (Belgium) on June 23rd
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