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wrc News and Analysis

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Huttunen graduates to M-Sport WRC Puma at Rally Finland

M-Sport will hand Jari Huttunen a full World Rally Championship debut in a Rally1 Ford Puma at next month’s Rally Finland.

Three brands evaluating future WRC move if rules are changed

Alpine, Skoda and the Stellantis Group are understood to have signalled interest in joining the World Rally Championship’s top tier if regulations undergo a change for the future.

The Kenyan rally drivers breaking down barriers

While the World Rally Championship superstars took centre stage at the Safari Rally Kenya, a cast of home heroes emerged into the spotlight having celebrated their success on the biggest platform in rallying. Here are their stories and how they are changing perceptions

Friday Favourite: The Gronholm advice that helped Hirvonen take on Loeb

Mikko Hirvonen never won the World Rally Championship, but was among Sebastien Loeb's closest challengers, pushing the Frenchman hard and finishing runner-up to him four times in a glittering career that yielded 15 rally wins. In the latest of Autosport's Friday Favourite series, Hirvonen picks his favourite team-mate and explains how his advice helped to shape his approach

Pirelli content with WRC tyres after "positive" Safari Rally examination

Pirelli has no plans to make any alterations to its World Rally Championship tyres this season after it was deemed its rubber successfully tackled last weekend's Safari Rally Kenya.

Time running out for UK 2023 WRC calendar bid

The chances of a United Kingdom round on the 2023 World Rally Championship calendar appear unlikely, with the WRC confirming time is running out to reach an agreement.

Moncet: Hyundai WRC team still working through “complications”

Hyundai Motorsport is still “facing some complications” but deputy team director Julien Moncet is hopeful that the World Rally Championship team's structure will be resolved soon.

Why WRC's Safari tour is more than just a rally

OPINION: A source of national pride in Kenya, the Safari Rally is also a sporting, cultural and economic phenomenon. And as last weekend's World Rally Championship round reminded us, it's a key driver in establishing Africa’s place in world motorsport

WRC Safari Rally: The Good, The Bad and a history-maker  

The World Rally Championship’s visit to the Safari Rally was simply rallying at its purist. Kenya delivered a brutal, gruelling four-day slog for survival, but it was a familiar name at the top of the podium. Autosport reviews the highs, lows, turning points, close calls and heartbreak from a wild Safari Rally.

WRC legends Ogier, Loeb eyeing more outings in 2022

World Rally Championship legends Sebastien Ogier and Sebastien Loeb have set their sights on more WRC events this season following a challenging Safari Rally.

Autosport Podcast: WRC Safari Rally review

Toyota’s Kalle Rovanpera added yet another accolade to his growing list of World Rally Championship achievements by winning the famous Safari Rally Kenya.

How Rovanpera tamed a wild Safari Rally

The Safari Rally acted as a brutal test of driver and car resolve as multiple retirements opened the path for a historic Toyota 1-2-3-4 triumph, headed by star Kalle Rovanpera. But keeping things clean was only half of the challenge, as a well-timed charge when conditions worsened allowed the Finn to take control

Rovanpera: Safari Rally win the "hardest" of my WRC career

Toyota’s Kalle Rovanpera labelled his latest World Rally Championship victory at Safari Rally Kenya as the “hardest" of his career to date.

Wahome makes history as first female WRC3 winner at Safari Rally

Maxine Wahome has made history by becoming the first woman to win a round in the World Rally Championship’s WRC3 class at Safari Rally Kenya.

WRC Safari Rally: Rovanpera wins as Toyota scores 1-2-3-4 Rally Kenya
Video Inside

WRC Safari Rally: Rovanpera wins as Toyota scores 1-2-3-4

Kalle Rovanpera enhanced his World Rally Championship title credentials with victory at a gruelling Safari Rally Kenya, as Toyota locked out the top four positions.

WRC Safari Rally: Rovanpera closes in on victory

Toyota’s Kalle Rovanpera extended his Safari Rally Kenya lead over Elfyn Evans on Sunday morning as the World Rally Championship leader closed in on a memorable victory.

M-Sport boss puts WRC drivers to work to help repair Safari cars

M-Sport drivers Gus Greensmith and Adrien Fourmaux were put to work by team boss Malcolm Wilson to help repair their cars following crashes at Safari Rally Kenya.

Hyundai calls for reaction to “nightmare day” at Safari Rally

Hyundai Motorsport deputy team director Julien Moncet says the team must react to its reliability issues after a “nightmare day” realistically ended two shots at a Safari Rally Kenya podium.

WRC Safari Rally: Rovanpera stuns Evans in rain, Neuville crashes out

Kalle Rovanpera pulled clear of Toyota team-mate Elfyn Evans after conquering tricky wet conditions as rain hit Safari Rally Kenya on Saturday afternoon.

Greensmith angry by lack of marshal help after WRC Safari roll

Gus Greensmith was left angry after being forced to kick his M-Sport Ford Puma's windscreen out to exit his rolled car while Safari Rally Kenya marshals looked on. 

WRC Safari Rally: Evans closes in on leader Rovanpera, Tanak retires

Kalle Rovanpera maintained his Safari Rally lead on Saturday morning but is now being chased by Toyota team-mate Elfyn Evans, while Hyundai’s Ott Tanak retired on the loop's final stage.

M-Sport perplexed by "freak" incidents in disastrous Safari Friday

M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson says he cannot remember losing all of his points-scoring World Rally Championship cars in a single day before, following a disastrous start to Safari Rally Kenya.

Hyundai strengthens gear levers after bizarre Tanak failure

Hyundai Motorsport has strengthened its gear levers after Ott Tanak suffered a bizarre failure that prompted an impressive on the road fix to keep his Safari Rally Kenya hopes alive.

WRC Safari Rally: Rovanpera leads, punctures delay Ogier and Evans Rally Kenya
Video Inside

WRC Safari Rally: Rovanpera leads, punctures delay Ogier and Evans

Kalle Rovanpera leads Safari Rally Kenya after fellow Toyota drivers Elfyn Evans and Sebastien Ogier suffered punctures while leading during a dramatic Friday.

Loeb explains battery problem that caused WRC Safari Rally exit

Sebastien Loeb says a depleted battery following a small engine fire ultimately ended his Safari Rally Kenya victory bid just five kilometres from reaching the World Rally Championship service park.

WRC Safari Rally: Evans grabs lead, Loeb retires with engine fire

Toyota’s Elfyn Evans has emerged from an incident-filled Friday morning to lead the Safari Rally while Sebastien Loeb became the event’s first retirement.

Autosport Podcast: WRC Safari Rally preview

This weekend the World Rally Championship is set for arguably its toughest event of the season, courtesy of an annual trip to Safari Rally Kenya.

The quick fixes that averted a WRC cockpit crisis

When in-car temperatures spiked at potentially dangerous levels on Rally Portugal, a fast-track process was triggered for teams and the governing body to deal with the issue on the new-for-2022 WRC Rally1 cars

WRC Safari Rally: Ogier beats Loeb to lead after opening super special

Sebastien Ogier started the defence of his Safari Rally crown in fine form after edging nine-time world champion Sebastien Loeb in a duel at the super special opening stage.

Ogier: "More challenging" WRC Safari Rally will be all about survival

Sebastien Ogier believes this weekend’s Safari Rally will be all about survival with conditions “more challenging” compared to those experienced on the event’s World Rally Championship return last year.

Video: How Hyundai prepares for a WRC event
Video Inside

Video: How Hyundai prepares for a WRC event

The World Rally Championship is a travelling circus and unlike circuit racing where teams operate out of pitlanes, rally teams are required to set up camp in temporarily constructed service parks.

M-Sport: Permanent WRC cockpit heat solution shouldn't be rushed

The World Rally Championship and the FIA shouldn’t rush to find a permanent fix to address increased cockpit temperatures with Rally1 cars, according to M-Sport boss Richard Millener.

WRC Safari Rally: Everything you need to know

The World Rally Championship heads to Africa as Safari Rally Kenya hosts Round 6 of the 2022 season this weekend. Here's everything you need to know.

Loeb expecting "complicated" WRC Safari Rally return

Sebastien Loeb says a lack of experience of the revamped Safari Rally will make a long awaited return to the iconic World Rally Championship event complicated.

Sordo predicts Acropolis Rally WRC return for Hyundai

Dani Sordo has revealed the Acropolis Rally in September will most likely mark his return to the World Rally Championship at the wheel of Hyundai’s third entry.

Van Gisbergen to make WRC debut in New Zealand

Supercars star Shane van Gisbergen will make his World Rally Championship debut at Rally New Zealand later this year.

Skoda unveils all-new Fabia Rally2 car

Skoda has revealed its all-new Fabia RS Rally2 car that is set to feature in the World Rally Championship and European Rally Championship.

WRC Sardinia: The Good, The Bad and a smiling Ott Tanak

Sardinia regularly ranks among the toughest rallies on the World Rally Championship’s calendar given its rough gravel roads, long days and scorching temperatures. The 2022 edition will be remembered for Ott Tanak and Hyundai ending their victory drought. Autosport reviews the highs, lows, turning points, close calls and heartbreak from Sardinia

Pirelli to assess WRC tyres after Safari Rally

Pirelli will wait until after the World Rally Championship's visit to the Safari Rally before deciding if any changes to its tyres are required.

Rally legend Juha Kankkunen eyeing Rally1 WRC test

Four-time world rally champion Juha Kankkunen is eyeing an opportunity to test a 2022 Rally1 car this summer.

How Tanak turned the tables to deliver Hyundai a timely WRC triumph

The 2019 champion has been a bit-part player recently, but Ott Tanak ended a 15-month drought in fine style with a dominant win in Sardinia. On a weekend when championship leader Kalle Rovanpera struggled with cleaning the road, his Hyundai rival has made his belated arrival into the title race and given cause for those predicting a walkover from the Toyota star to pause

Gravel Notes Podcast: WRC Rally Sardinia review

Ott Tanak’s World Rally Championship victory drought is over after the 2019 world champion delivered a convincing win for Hyundai in challenging conditions at Rally Sardinia.

Rovanpera glad tough WRC Sardinia weekend is over

Kalle Rovanpera admitted he was glad to exit a tough Rally Sardinia having executed a clever strategy to extend his World Rally Championship lead.

Tanak: Hyundai "nowhere close to perfection" but WRC win provides hope

Ott Tanak says his World Rally Championship Hyundai is "nowhere close to perfection" but believes his Rally Sardinia victory has provided a much needed "extra boost" to the team.

Breen puts “important" WRC podium return down to new approach

Craig Breen believes a “letting the car do the work” approach helped get his World Rally Championship back on track after scoring an important podium in Sardinia.

Breakthrough WRC Rally1 victory a "great relief" for Hyundai

Hyundai’s first World Rally Championship Rally1 victory at Rally Sardinia has been described as a “great relief” by deputy team director Julien Moncet following a difficult start to 2022.

WRC Sardinia: Dominant Tanak ends victory drought, Rovanpera fifth

Ott Tanak ended his World Rally Championship victory drought with a convincing win at Rally Sardinia that marked Hyundai’s first triumph in the new Rally1 era.

WRC Sardinia: Tanak extends lead on final morning

Ott Tanak extended his Rally Sardinia lead on Sunday morning to edge closer to claiming his and Hyundai’s first World Rally Championship victory of the Rally1 era.

Lappi “pretty hard to take” losing WRC Rally Sardinia lead

Esapekka Lappi says crashing out of the Rally Sardinia lead was “hard to take” as the Toyota driver felt he “wasn’t taking any risks” on the tough gravel stages.

Tanak refusing to think about drought-ending WRC Sardinia win

Ott Tanak is refusing to think about a possible drought ending World Rally Championship victory at Rally Sardinia, despite holding a commanding lead after dominating Saturday’s stages.

Breen feels sorry for WRC marshal after Rally Sardinia red flag confusion

Craig Breen says he feels sorry for the marshal at the centre of a red flag mishap that triggered a confusing end to Saturday’s action at Rally Sardinia.

WRC Sardinia: Tanak holds commanding lead amid red flag confusion

Hyundai’s Ott Tanak moved into a commanding Rally Sardinia lead after dominating Saturday’s stages before a red flag triggered confusion on the final test.

WRC Sardinia: Tanak leads Breen as Neuville rolls into retirement Rally Italy
Video Inside

WRC Sardinia: Tanak leads Breen as Neuville rolls into retirement

Hyundai’s Ott Tanak has opened up a healthy Rally Sardinia lead over M-Sport Craig Breen after an eventual Saturday morning, headlined by crashes for Esapekka Lappi and Thierry Neuville.

WRC Sardinia: Lappi crashes out handing lead to Tanak

Esapekka Lappi has crashed out of Rally Sardinia handing the lead to Hyundai’s Ott Tanak in Saturday morning's opening stage at the World Rally Championship event.

Evans to rejoin WRC Rally Sardinia to salvage points

Elfyn Evans is set to rejoin Rally Sardinia after Toyota successfully completed a repair on a water leak that forced the Welshman to retire on Friday morning.

WRC Sardinia: Lappi leads Tanak as organisers cancel stages Rally Italy
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WRC Sardinia: Lappi leads Tanak as organisers cancel stages

Toyota’s Esapekka Lappi has moved into a slender lead from Ott Tanak at Rally Sardinia after World Rally Championship organisers were forced to cancel Friday’s final two stages.

Neuville: Rally Sardinia effectively “game over” after transmission issue

Thierry Neuville believes his Rally Sardinia weekend is effectively “game over” as Hyundai’s reliability woes struck the World Rally Championship title contender again.

WRC Sardinia: Tanak surges to the lead as mechanical issue strikes Neuville

Hyundai’s Ott Tanak has claimed the Rally Sardinia lead after an action-filled Friday morning that featured a retirement for Elfyn Evans and transmission issues for Thierry Neuville.

WRC Sardinia: Early leader Evans retires after water leak

Elfyn Evans’s World Rally Championship title hopes have suffered another blow as a water leak has forced the Toyota driver to retire from Rally Sardinia.

WRC drivers frustrated by “dangerous” hanging dust in Sardinia

World Rally Championship drivers have issued widespread criticism of the “dangerous” Rally Sardinia stage conditions caused by hanging dust.