Rally Car – Otago Rally http://otagorally.net/ Mon, 21 Nov 2022 15:04:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://otagorally.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-1-150x150.png Rally Car – Otago Rally http://otagorally.net/ 32 32 Croft Circuit with Swift Signs and Shirts Winter Stages Rally https://otagorally.net/croft-circuit-with-swift-signs-and-shirts-winter-stages-rally/ Mon, 21 Nov 2022 10:32:57 +0000 https://otagorally.net/croft-circuit-with-swift-signs-and-shirts-winter-stages-rally/ SOME of the biggest names in British rallying converge on the Croft Circuit for the Swift Signs and Shirts Winter Stages Rally, taking place at the North Yorkshire circuit this Sunday.

Organizers Northallerton Automobile Club Ltd and Darlington and District Motor Club have put together a nearly 90 car entry for the first rally at Croft in almost three years, the last being the Jack Frost Stages Rally in February 2020 ahead of the Covid pandemic.

After winning the equivalent 2019 Christmas Stage Rally, rising star Frank Bird from Penrith and his Hexham co-driver Jack Morton are back to defend their title in the world championship specification Ford Fiesta Rally 2. Bird, whose father Paul won the event twice, has clinched a win in his last two events this year so is a hot favorite for another Croft win as he starts from car number one.

In second place is Willington driver David Henderson, who has enjoyed a successful season in his Ford Fiesta R5 and will have his wife Katie on the cards alongside him as they attempt to repeat his Croft Christmas stage win from 21 years ago add to. Car three is Leeming’s Joe Cunningham and Scruton co-driver Josh Beer, another pair who could be fighting for victory in their Ford Fiesta as they aim for an inaugural win.

Eight-time event winner Kevin Procter is hoping to add to his tally from car four onwards. The local Leeming Bar businessman also won the Jack Frost Rally in 2020 in his Procter’s Luxury Coaches backed Ford Fiesta S2000 and will return to see if he can take ten Croft wins with regular Welsh co-driver Patrick Walsh alongside him.

The rest of the entry list oozes class and includes veteran British Asphalt Championship leader Lyndon Barton (Ford Fiesta R5) seeded fifth, followed by local hero Paul Swift from Great Smeaton to finish the event in his 2.5- Liter Ford Escort will contest Mk2 alongside Ms. Jessica.

Rounding out the top ten are Scottish ace Joe McKeand (Subaru Impreza), the mighty Ford Escorts of Harrogates Dane Walker and Durham driver Barry Renwick and the Lotus Exige of former Scottish Champion Greg Inglis.

Others to watch out for are Northallerton’s Dave Bellerby (Ford Sapphire), who will also be front and center, while Mickleton’s Alistair Hutchinson (Renault Clio), Witton Gilbert drivers Andrew Fawcett (Vauxhall Nova) and Edward Todd (Darrian) Stephen Sawley from Spennymoor (Ford Escort) is one of the favorites for class wins.

They will be challenged by the likes of Scottish marauder Des Campbell (Peugeot 206) and Ben Wilkinson (Peugeot 106 Maxi) and Sunderland ex-British Touring Car Championship driver Harry Vaulkhard will compete in a Suzuki Swift.

The Richmondshire based Constantine family will be attending the event en masse. Mark and brother Andrew will be strong contenders for a class win in their Vauxhall Corsa, while Mark’s two sons, Tom and Luke, will make their rally debuts, each driving a newly built MG3. Andrew’s twin sons, Luke and Oliver, will share a Suzuki Swift at the event, with Mark and Andrew’s sister Nicky being one of the senior officials responsible for running the rally.

Other interesting cars include Bishop Auckland’s Bob Dennis’ Subaru Legacy, John Nicholson and Chris Rock in their historic Austin Minis, Darren Wilson’s Ford Escort Cosworth and Phil Bruce’s Ford Ka.

Entry is £15 per person and accompanied children under 15 are admitted free. Gates open at 8:00am, first car starts at 9:00am with the first leg.

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Grieving family holds justice rally honoring St. Augustine men https://otagorally.net/grieving-family-holds-justice-rally-honoring-st-augustine-men/ Thu, 17 Nov 2022 04:54:00 +0000 https://otagorally.net/grieving-family-holds-justice-rally-honoring-st-augustine-men/ On November 16, 2016, Charles Durden and Steffan Larry were found shot to death in a burning car on Fred Waters Way in St. Augustine.

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — First Coastal News Cameras have captured the heartbreaking screams of a grieving mother during a justice rally for her son.

Charles Durden’s mother spoke First Coastal News On November 16, 2022, it will be six years since her son and another young man, Steffan Larry, were found shot to death in a burning car in St. Augustine.

“All I want is closure,” said Annette Burden, Charles’ mother.

Those words are really all Annette Durden could say as she reflects on six years without her son.

“All I saw was the left arm of a skeleton bone with the MK watch and I just screamed and my sister came and got me… I said that’s him and I don’t know what happened,” said Charles’ mother.

Durden identified her son’s body on November 16, 2016.

She was beginning to think someone would be arrested for her son’s murder, but that’s not the case.

“Please come forward and please give me closure because if you are not judged on this earth, your punishment will be much worse when you face God,” Durden said.

The family marched Wednesday chanting “No justice, no peace.”

They say they hope their rallies will keep the case in people’s minds.

Investigators with the St. John’s County Sheriff’s Office say they need more tips from the public.

“This case file is huge and there is a lot of information that has come in from the public, but unfortunately we don’t have the one piece of evidence that we need,” said Gene Tolbert, the St. John’s County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators say they were hoping someone close to where the men were found had surveillance footage or might have heard something.

If you know anything, call the St. John’s County Sheriff’s Office or the St. Augustine Police Department.

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Toyota unveils Rally2 concept car at Rally Japan https://otagorally.net/toyota-unveils-rally2-concept-car-at-rally-japan/ Sat, 12 Nov 2022 12:28:35 +0000 https://otagorally.net/toyota-unveils-rally2-concept-car-at-rally-japan/

The Japanese brand has been developing a GR Yaris with Rally2 specification for more than a year in order to establish a rally customer program in the future.

Developed by the FIA, the four-wheel drive Rally2 formula has proven to be a popular and affordable class, forming the basis of the second-tier WRC2 category of the World Rally Championship.

In addition to several national championships, Rally2 vehicles also form the premier class in the European Rally Championship.

With the unveiling of the GR Yaris Rally2, Toyota joins Hyundai, Ford, Skoda, Citroen and Volkswagen already active in the Rally2 arena.

Four-time World Rally Champion Juha Kankkunen was invited to demonstrate the vehicle in its first official public appearance on Saturday at the Super Special Stage in Okazaki City.

The GR Yaris Rally2 will undergo an extensive testing and development program next year. It is unclear when the car will be available for purchase.

Toyota Rally2 concept car

Photo by: Toyota Racing

“It’s very exciting. It’s great that Toyota is looking at a customer program for the future and will be testing this car next year and hopefully we’ll have it in the hands of customers in the future,” said Toyota WRC boss Jari-Matti Latvala.

“I think we have a very good base car to start with with the GR Yaris. I’m confident that we can build a good car.”

“If you think back to those days, Rally1 is a very expensive car and many privateers can’t afford it.

“I think Rally2 is something that is affordable and nowadays that’s the place for the younger drivers.

“That’s the class where you want to show your potential to move up to Rally 1 and that’s why it’s a very important class.”

Also read:

Alongside the unveiling of the Rally2 concept car, Toyota also unveiled its GR Yaris hydrogen-powered rally car, driven by four-time world champion Tommi Makinen.

The car made its public debut at the Ypres Rally Belgium in August with Kankkunen at the wheel.

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Bugatti Divo will join other supercars in this year’s Gumball 3000 Rally “The Middle East”. https://otagorally.net/bugatti-divo-will-join-other-supercars-in-this-years-gumball-3000-rally-the-middle-east/ Sat, 05 Nov 2022 18:06:54 +0000 https://otagorally.net/bugatti-divo-will-join-other-supercars-in-this-years-gumball-3000-rally-the-middle-east/

The limited edition Bugatti Divo, one of just 40, will join other supercars in this year’s annual Gumball 3000 Rally “The Middle East”.

The Chiron-based Bugatti Divo was first unveiled at the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California.

Organizers noted that the Bugatti Veyrons and Chirons had previously made a surprise appearance at the show.

This year’s 23rd Annual Gumball 3000 Rally “The Middle East” begins in 7 days on November 12, 2022.

The annual gumball rally, which starts in the futuristic city of Dubai, will end in Abu Dhabi on November 20th.

The limited edition Bugatti Divo will join a host of other supercars and superstars including the Nigerian Disc Jockey, DJ Cuppyto celebrate this year’s 23rd Annual Gumball 3000 Rally “The Middle East” which starts 7 days from now on November 12th.

In announcing the show’s new entrant, organizers noted that the Bugatti Veyrons and Chirons had previously made surprise appearances at the show.

“We had Veyrons. We had Chirons. We’ve never had a Divo…until now. A 1 of 40 Bugatti Divo joins us for Gumball 3000 ‘The Middle East’ 🏎💨

Come and see the car in full Gumball livery at the start in Dubai, in just 8 days 🏁⁠”

Bugatti Divo to join other supercars in this year's annual Gumball 3000 “The Middle East” rally - autojosh

Bugatti Divo to join other supercars in this year's annual Gumball 3000 “The Middle East” rally - autojosh

Bugatti Divo to join other supercars in this year's annual Gumball 3000 “The Middle East” rally - autojosh

Bugatti Divo

The limited edition Bugatti Divobased on the Chiron, was first presented in 2018 at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California.

Only current Bugatti Chiron owners were eligible to purchase the Divo. As expected, all 40 hypercars were even sold out before launch, priced at $5.8 million and twice the price of the Bugatti Chiron.

Bugatti President says

“The feedback from our customers was overwhelming”

“We showed the Divo to a small group of selected Chiron customers. All 40 cars were sold immediately – that was a great endorsement for the Bugatti team, which put so much dedication and passion into the project.”

The Divo has the same 8-liter quad-turbo W16 engine that puts out around 1,500 hp. Its top speed is limited to 236 mph (compared to Chiron’s 261 mph) and it accelerates from zero to 62 mph in just 2.4 seconds.

Bugatti Divo to join other supercars in this year's annual Gumball 3000 “The Middle East” rally - autojosh

Bugatti Divo to join other supercars in this year's annual Gumball 3000 “The Middle East” rally - autojosh

Bugatti Divo to join other supercars in this year's annual Gumball 3000 “The Middle East” rally - autojosh

chewing gum 3000

Founded in 1999 by British entrepreneur Maximillion Cooper, Gumball 3000 is a car rally that has taken thousands of supercars and participants on an epic journey across the globe.

This year’s annual gumball rally, which begins on November 12th in the futuristic city of Dubai, takes a circuit through the amazing country of Oman and ends on November 20th in Abu Dhabi.

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How Pellier kick-started his Covid-hit career https://otagorally.net/how-pellier-kick-started-his-covid-hit-career/ Thu, 03 Nov 2022 10:49:39 +0000 https://otagorally.net/how-pellier-kick-started-his-covid-hit-career/

Like many up-and-coming rally stars, Pellier aimed for one-make cups from the start. At the age of 18 he competed in the Twingo R1 Trophy before moving on to the Citroën Racing Junior Trophy – for DS3 R1 cars – which he won in 2015.

Everything seemed to be going well for the Frenchman. Spirited performances in the DS3 R3T series earned him a one-off appearance in the 2016 Tour de Corse, where he shocked by winning the Junior WRC category, while glory in the Volant Peugeot Cup led to a works-supported four-wheel drive ride in the Peugeot 208 R5 in ERC 2018.

But when the pandemic hit, Pellier, like many other drivers, was left without a drive. He had to think fast—even if that meant starting from scratch again.


Pellier went from driving this Peugeot 208 T16 R5…


“I drove for Peugeot Sport four years ago and then stopped rallying because of Covid 2020,” Pellier told FIAERC.com.

“After 2020 I had nothing left to compete in the big categories or the big championships, so I restarted my career in the Opel e-Rally Cup – the first electric rally car – with Saintéloc Racing.”

The Opel e-Rally Cup is a one-make cup for identical electric Corsas. Each car produces around 100 kW (130 hp), with the power going to the front wheels. After testing the heights of R5 machines – the next step below a World Rally Car – it was something of a step backwards for Pellier.

Nonetheless, he dominated – winning all six rounds against tough competition to secure a seat with Opel Motorsport in a Rally4-spec Corsa for this year’s ERC.

…to this Corsa-e Rally


“It was a big step backwards,” Pellier admits. “Although it was a very good car, it was an entry-level car. It was almost like starting rallying again in my freshman year!

“But in the end it was a very good move because we won the e-Rally Cup and were able to return to the ERC with Opel Motorsport.”

Pellier, along with co-driver Marine Pelamourgues, has continued that dominance into 2022, winning five out of six rallies to clinch the Junior ERC title with one lap to go. It could would have been a clean win had it not been for a role in the Tet Rally Liepāja.

Arguably the highlight was the finale at the RallyRACC Catalunya – Costa Daurada, where Pellier and Pelamourgues finished fifth in the ERC contingent, beating a number of Rally2 cars. Their achievements, he says, were helped in part by an opportunity to participate in the development of Stellantis Group’s Ross.

Latvia was an outlier in an otherwise flawless 2022 season


“This year has been absolutely incredible for us but we certainly finished very well in Spain and our performance there was a lot of fun for everyone involved. Finishing with a top 5 overall makes it even crazier.

“I drove a bit for Stellantis. I’m not an official driver but I’ve been driving their cars for a number of years. Before the start of [Peugeot] 208 Rally4 I did a few days of development in 2020 so I discovered the car two years ago now.

“As you know, the 208 and the Corsa are exactly the same – mechanically it’s the same, just the bodywork and looks are different.

“In fact, this year I took some time to attend more days of development. Okay, you drive kilometers these days, but you also drive a different car than the one you drive in competitions. It’s a lot of fun to take part in days like this.”

P5 in the general classification in Spain was a highlight


Next up for Pellier is the 2023 Junior WRC, which will use Ford Fiesta Rally3 cars supplied by M-Sport Poland. He owes his participation in the championship to his prize for winning this year’s Junior ERC

“It’s a bit of a dream for me to go into Junior WRC,” he added. “I tried to compete there with my sponsors a few years ago, but it was impossible because it was just too expensive. Now I’m finally able to race for the championship and I’m working hard to prepare with my co-driver.

“We are also working on something to maybe have a presence in both the ERC and WRC next year but nothing is confirmed. We will see.”


]]> Future WRC roadmap 70% complete, says FIA https://otagorally.net/future-wrc-roadmap-70-complete-says-fia/ Fri, 28 Oct 2022 10:57:30 +0000 https://otagorally.net/future-wrc-roadmap-70-complete-says-fia/

The world motorsport governing body expressed in January its wish to finalize by the end of this year the regulations that will shape the future path of the WRC from 2025 onwards.

This season, WRC has introduced new Rally1 Hybrid regulations, which represent a significant change from the previous rule set and a first step towards a more sustainable future. The regulatory cycle is scheduled to run until the end of 2024.

Toyota, Hyundai and M-Sport-Ford have committed to building all new cars based on a stronger and safer space frame chassis, powered by a 1.6 liter internal combustion engine rated at 100 kW -Hybrid unit is combined and produces 500 hp in short bursts.

The vehicles use 100% sustainable fuel and also feature a reduction in aerodynamics and suspension travel, while trick center differentials have been removed.

The regulations were originally developed to attract new manufacturers to the discipline, but the rulebook has yet to bring a new brand to the fray.

FIA Vice-President Robert Reid stressed in Monte Carlo in January that it was important for the WRC to chart its future direction, which had led to the FIA ​​consulting with manufacturers currently involved in rallying and those who are out of order this year out its new menstrual cycle.

Rally Director Wheatley has been heavily involved in the deliberations and says the FIA ​​is still aiming to present its roadmap for the future by the end of the year.

“I would say 70% as a percentage,” Wheatley told Autosport when asked for an update on how close the FIA ​​is to their plan for the future.

“We’ve interviewed a lot of manufacturers involved in WRC, we’ve spoken to a few manufacturers involved in the rally in general.

“We have also had some discussions with manufacturers who are not involved in the WRC to try and understand the direction the automotive world is going when we are talking about WRC relevant vehicles.

“There’s a lot of feedback and opportunity, it’s clear nobody has a very firm view or idea of ​​what the future will be like.

“So what we are aiming for at the moment is to put to the World Motor Sport Council a proposal for a vision of how the WRC will look in the future to make sure we have a clear view.

“Definitely everyone [we have spoken to] looks forward to the future because there are so many chances and opportunities.”

Gus Greensmith, Jonas Andersson, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team Ford Puma Rally1

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

It seems that the most pressing issue, and possibly the biggest change to the current rules, concerns the method of propulsion, with the FIA ​​currently being generally happy with the performance of the new Rally1 car.

This year, WRC witnessed prototypes of future rally car concepts with demonstrations of an all-electric Hyundai Kona, developed by former Hyundai WRC works driver Hayden Paddon in Rally New Zealand, and the hydrogen-powered Toyota Yaris in Ypres Rally Belgium.

Also read:

“What we do know is that the core of a Rally1 car, that’s the safety cell, the aerodynamics, the suspension, the brakes, 75% of that car isn’t going to do anything else,” added Wheatley.

“We know these parts work really well. What could change is either the fuel that goes into the engine, or whether it’s an electric motor or a thermal engine.

“The flexibility that we have with the current format, whether it’s through scaling to make the car competitive in an environment or it’s the flexibility that the safety cell gives us, I think we have at the moment some basics covered.

“Now the task is to find out what the cylinder looks like.

“If you look at the fossil-free hybrid car that we have now, the electric Hyundai and the hydrogen car from Toyota, the future is somewhere in that area. The question is where?”

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Johns Hopkins students march for fair wages, launch union card campaign – Baltimore Sun https://otagorally.net/johns-hopkins-students-march-for-fair-wages-launch-union-card-campaign-baltimore-sun/ Tue, 25 Oct 2022 22:50:07 +0000 https://otagorally.net/johns-hopkins-students-march-for-fair-wages-launch-union-card-campaign-baltimore-sun/

Student workers at Johns Hopkins University rallied Tuesday afternoon to demand fair wages and boost their union organizing campaign.

The group, called Teachers and Researchers United, arrived at the Keyser Quad on the Homewood campus along with supporters from outside the university, including a representative from the Baltimore Teachers Union.

Graduated working students have several demands. They want to earn a living wage and want safe and reliable jobs and transportation. They work to ensure timely payment, improved support for international students and effective grievance procedures. At the event, organizer and graduate student Andrew Eneim said hundreds had turned in signed union cards.

“Johns Hopkins University respects the right to organize and has a long history of positive and productive relationships with campus union representatives,” university spokeswoman Megan Christin said in a written statement.

“For our graduate students, the decision to join a union or not is a personal choice that is entirely up to each eligible voter. The university will not seek to influence this decision or the outcome of the process,” Christin said. “As always, we encourage graduate students to seek facts and information, and to listen to the diverse perspectives that enrich our academic community.”

Eneim, who works and studies at medical school, said his scholarship is about $35,000. Others in his school may make $2,000 less depending on their research area.

“Everything is really different, which is part of the problem,” Eneim said.

He said they are asking that graduates be paid about $40,000 or possibly more. This figure is based on the MIT Living Wage Calculator and rising inflation.

The evening sun

Daily

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The crowd listened to a number of speakers supporting the union. Emcee and graduate student Caleb Andrews said it was the biggest event since 2019, when the organization successfully campaigned for dental and eye insurance. Hopkins students began lobbying for a union in 2018.

“You have a right to a union and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise,” Andrews said.

Another graduate student, Jodie Baris, discussed how the decentralized nature of Johns Hopkins allows for disparities in pay and difficulties with grievance procedures. She said low wages meant students struggled to buy groceries or pay for expenses like car repairs.

“Equal pay is a university issue that affects all students at Hopkins,” Baris said.

Martin Yepes, a Hopkins graduate student, said late payment exacerbates such problems for college graduates. He said missed paychecks make people choose between paying medical bills or buying groceries. He also said graduate students with scholarships have a higher chance of being paid late.

Yepes said late payment could be considered a mistake if it happened once, but he said about 150 students have come forward with the same problem.

“Why not [Hopkins] meet the deadline that keeps the roof over your head?” Yepes said.

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Community Mourns Al Dantes Jr. | News, Sports, Jobs https://otagorally.net/community-mourns-al-dantes-jr-news-sports-jobs/ Sat, 22 Oct 2022 05:43:41 +0000 https://otagorally.net/community-mourns-al-dantes-jr-news-sports-jobs/

It may seem like those who work in the news business are becoming desensitized to the terrible things that are happening in the world.

After all, we see and report on it every day, right?

But nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, we understand all too well that death, especially sudden death, leaves a hole in the life of that person’s family, friends, and community.

And at no time do we understand this more clearly than at the time that person lived and worked in our community.

That’s how it is with Allan “al” Dantes Jr., who left six daughters.

He died when an articulated lorry pulled into the Holiday station in L’Anse, where Al was filling up.

Pointless, tragic, frustrating…no words can really describe what it feels like to lose someone so suddenly.

Especially someone like Al.

By all accounts, he was an accomplished rally racer and a simple stand-up guy. According to his obituary, Al’s motto, “do it for the kids” excelled in his volunteer work.

He helped found L’Anse High School’s first robotic team and coached baseball at the high school – as a volunteer, of course.

Al also founded a chapter of fathers of great students known as Watch DOGS

The organization has two main goals: to provide positive male role models for students who demonstrate the importance of education and have an extra pair of eyes and ears at school to increase safety and reduce bullying.

As far as we can tell, those goals fit right in with what Al stood for.

Al was also a member of the L’Anse School Board.

It seems he has worked tirelessly to improve life in Baraga County, with accomplishments and activities too numerous to list here.

He was also well known on the rally circuit where he was a member of the Tower City Race Team. Al was known for his passion for rallying. He drove his #50 RX-7 Rally Car, which he dubbed Rexine, to the limit in rallies across the country.

But his one true love, his passion, was his family.

A Go Fund Me for Al’s six daughters had raised nearly $130,000 as of Friday, if anything could measure a community’s support, let’s assume it does.

We suspect more pain is yet to come and our hearts go out to all involved.

Especially as a family.

In the end, the community rallies around Al’s loved ones just as he championed his community. It only seems fitting.



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Class win for Thompson at Mull Rally for AMD Motorsport https://otagorally.net/class-win-for-thompson-at-mull-rally-for-amd-motorsport/ Wed, 19 Oct 2022 10:27:43 +0000 https://otagorally.net/class-win-for-thompson-at-mull-rally-for-amd-motorsport/

Another branch of AMD Motorsport was back on track after a fantastic season on two wheels, which saw their driver Richard Kerr claim back-to-back wins en route to fifth overall in the Pirelli National Superstock Championship, which culminated at Brands Hatch last weekend four wheels in action at the Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally 2022.

Stephen Thompson, General Manager at AMD Contract Services, the Dumfries-based company owned by Fraser and Mary Dykes, where they run an equipment hire and contracting business serving the construction and forestry sectors across the UK, attended the three day event on the Scottish island again.

The Tobermory-based event, with closed road stages across the island, got underway on Friday night, where Stephen from Kirkcudbright and co-driver Larry Higton from Newton Mearns were immediately on track to finish the six-day stage eighth overall of the 150 starters and leading her class by almost a minute in her two-litre AMD Ford Escort Mk2.

The action reunited in daylight on Saturday with a further eight stages in which the pair climbed to an amazing fifth overall while extending their class advantage to almost four minutes. The traditional blow to the rear of the event however was the tough final four stages in the early hours of Sunday morning but unlike last year when they suffered a gearbox problem they brought the car home to an amazing fifth place overall.

With a lead of almost seven minutes, they achieved a slight class victory and, as the second two-wheeler, achieved their best result to date.

Results

1 Paul MacKinnon/Paul Beaton Hyundai Rally 2 2:13:05.7
2 Daniel Harper/Chris Campbell Mini JCW WRC +0:08.4
3 John MacCrone/Peter MacCrone Ford Escort Mk2 +1:49.9
4 David Wright/Paula Swinscoe Ford Fiesta R5 +4:43.6
5 Stephen Thompson/Larry Higton AMD Ford Escort Mk2 +9:48.9
6 Neil Roskell / Andrew Roughhead Ford Fiesta R5 +13:49.5
7 Wayne Sisson/Peredur Davies Mitsubishi Evo X +14:34.4
8 Craig Rutherford/Michael Hendry Subaru Impreza +15:26.7
9 Stewart Morrison/Jason MacPhail Ford Escort Mk2 +16:42.2
10 Alan Gardiner/Dave Robson Ford Escort Mk1 +16:45.7

Pictures attached, please accredit if used as a watermark:

Larry (left) and Stephen (right) with their awards and also in action in their AMD Ford Escort Mk2 (Lindsay Photo Sport)

END

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Lamborghini Urus Performante (2022): more power, more control https://otagorally.net/lamborghini-urus-performante-2022-more-power-more-control/ Mon, 17 Oct 2022 09:49:22 +0000 https://otagorally.net/lamborghini-urus-performante-2022-more-power-more-control/
  • New Super Urus tested on the racetrack and off-road
  • 657 hp, 627 lb ft, 3.3 seconds 0-62 mph, £209,000
  • Steel suspension and “rally mode”

With 641 hp and a top speed of 300 km/h, the Lamborghini Urus is already at the top end of the super SUV scale. However, there’s always headroom and demand for something faster: meet the Lamborghini Urus Performante.

What distinguishes the Lamborghini Urus Performante from the normal Urus?

Numerous powertrain, suspension and aero (and price) upgrades. There are also recalibrated driving modes (plus a new Rally mode) as well as interior and exterior design changes. It is also slightly lighter than the normal car.

Incidentally, the performer should not be confused with the also new Lamborghini Urus S; this is the recently revealed evolution of the standard Urus, which will soon go into production and become the new base model Urus (although it will share the same 657hp engine as the Performante). You can read more about this car here.

Here’s a rundown of the Performante’s major upgrades:

Price
The Lamborghini Urus Performante costs around £209,000 on the road in the UK, versus £188,000 for the Urus S (and £165,000 for the original standard Urus).

perfomance
Compared to the original Urus, the twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 was mapped to 657 hp (or Ol’ Nick’s business card-worthy 666 hp) versus the original Urus’ 641 hp. Torque remains at a hefty 627 lb ft. The power increase comes from software tweaks rather than mechanical changes, although there’s also a small benefit from the new titanium exhaust system.

suspension and steering
The biggest change is the introduction of steel springs instead of the air suspension of the normal Urus. The Performante still has adaptive dampers that have been recalibrated in conjunction with the new springs. It sits 20mm lower than the regular car on 16mm wider tracks.

The rear wheel steering has also been reprogrammed for more agile steering.

driving modes
The familiar Strada, Sport and Corsa modes have been recalibrated to match the changed suspension, and there’s also a new Performante-specific mode: the rousingly named Rally mode.

This allows more wheelspin from the traction control and angles from the stability control systems, and softens the dampers to make the most of weight transfer and allow the car to glide on loose surfaces in a controlled manner.

It’s not “drift mode” with rear-wheel drive oversteer like some other cars. The Urus Performante still features a permanent all-wheel drive system with a Torsen center differential and torque split on the rear differential (with additional planetary gears with clutches on either side of the differential to influence the direction of the torque) plus a small amount of vectoring through top braking.

Inner
It’s a festival of Alcantara, with most surfaces lined with the tactile, anti-glare, suede-like material. There’s more use of black trim than on the regular Urus, with various interior trim pieces finished in matte black and black anodized. Carbon fiber is also used extensively for the interior trim parts.

Outside
Lots of carbon fiber on the outside too. The hood, arches, spoilers and optional roof are all made of carbon fiber. Cumulatively, they contribute to a weight saving of more than seven kilograms.

Engine and brake cooling were improved over the regular Urus, and aerodynamics were also a focus. A revised air curtain embedded in the front bumper provides clean airflow around the front wheels and is designed to make the already steely Urus look even better. Longitudinal vents cut into the hood help evacuate hot air and a tailgate spoiler significantly reduces lift at the rear, offset by spoiler panels at the front. Overall, the high-performance car has around 8 percent less lift than a normal car at top speed.

tires
The Performante is available with soft, track-focused Pirelli Trofeo R tires with a compound specially developed for the car that performs well in both low and high temperatures. It’s a bit incongruous to see the two-tonne SUVs with semi-slick tires lined up in the pit lane. The regular P Zeroes are also available, with your choice of 22- or 23-inch wheels. The Trofeo Rs are only available on the 22-inch rims.

diet
The Performante weighs 47kg less than the standard Urus, thanks in part to the aforementioned carbon body panels and interior trim, as well as lighter wheels and a titanium exhaust system.

It’s a third of a second faster to 100 km/h, in a supercar-worthy 3.3 seconds.

How does it feel to drive?

Unfortunately we can’t tell you what it’s like to drive on the road. All the rides in the Performante took place at the Vallelunga circuit near Rome (and a gravel track in the same place, more on that later).

Driving a street car on a race track – any street car – is usually an underwhelming experience: all soggy brakes and wallowing suspension. A car that feels dance-like nimble on the road often feels like it has two left feet on a race track. And many SUVs feel that way on the road anyway, let alone on a racetrack. But on the twisty Vallelunga circuit, the Performante’s handling is really impressive. Nimble indeed.

Take the tricky bobby pins towards the end of the round. Normally, in a four-wheel-drive car, including the regular Urus, they would require patience when accelerating. Hit the power too early and you’d expect an armful of understeer. The Performant picks up its inside rear wheel like a hot hatch on its way into the corner, then unerringly follows its front wheels when you throttle back, going exactly where you want to go. Test rider Giacomo explains that he and his colleagues have worked hard on tuning the rear steering and differentials to make this possible.

It’s also very fast in a straight line. When testing street cars on a wide racetrack with no furniture, they often feel slower than they really are, but the Performant feels incredibly fast. Torque is great, but more importantly, it’s spread over a wide rev range from 2300 to 4500 rpm, so it’s very flexible. When you’re busting out of slow hairpins or hurtling down Vallelunga’s long straights, you never feel like he’s running out of steam. Unless you snag the rev limiter in manual mode, where manual really means manual.

Not only can the performer change direction well and maintain its line under acceleration in the slow corners, but it also exhibits decent high-speed stability through those discouraging fifth-gear sweepers that open the lap.

Of course, the semi-slick Trofeo R tires owe a good deal to the impressive dynamics of the Performante.

Braking is the Achilles’ heel in view of the 2150kg curb weight. We manage things by braking earlier than the limit, and to the Urus’ credit, the brakes don’t fade mid-run. Senior engineers assure its performance is repeatable; The cars at the start ran all day and although the instructors closely monitored their condition and temperatures, they seemed to be coping.

Can you go off-road?

It’s not a Land Rover, and of course it’s not meant to be, but the rally-stage-like gravel track built across the hill beside the circuit has some tough ruts and potholes that the Performant coped with admirably on a regular P Zero will tire.

The drive mode switch is set to the new Rally mode and feels good – enough slip allows the wheels to spin to maintain momentum and the rear end to hang out of first and second gear corners, while an electronic safety net to lean on remains .

It’s a lot of fun, and while some of the more vicious bumps thump through the steel springs, the overall composure of the car is impressive.

How does it compare to competitors?

Lamborghini doesn’t specifically refer to competitors, but says the Urus Performate has the best power-to-weight ratio in its class and the most carbon-fiber body panels in its class, so it clearly has a competition checklist.

Its Bentley Bentayga stablemate, with a shared platform and engine, is more luxurious and less sporty, even if it handles superbly (instructionally less sporty, since the Lamborghini broke the Bentayga’s production SUV record at the Pikes Peak hillclimb).

The Urus is more memorably styled than its other platform pals, Audi’s RS Q8 and BMW’s X6 M. Jaguar’s F-Pace SVR is smaller and less powerful, but a lot of fun and a former CAR Giant test winner.

Its closest rival on paper is certainly the Aston Martin DBX 707, one of the most compelling super SUVs we’ve driven on the road. Although the Aston tops the Performante at 697bhp, it costs a little less – if around £19,000 matters to buyers in this market. It’s difficult to compare without driving the two cars on the road, but the Urus might even have licked the impressive DBX for on-road handling.

Lamborghini Urus Performante: verdict

It doesn’t feel right to come to a final judgment on this car without driving it on the road, but on the track the performer is thoroughly impressive and handles far better than you would expect from a car of this height and would expect this weight.

On the road it will be just as practical as the Urus S and the only question mark is the ride quality and refinement of the steel springs. Due to the slick tarmac of Vallelunga it’s not possible to judge, but the way the performer fares on the rally stage bodes well.

The titanium exhaust makes it sound a little more rumbling on the outside than the regular Urus – the Performantes storming through Vallelunga sound like a stock car race in progress – but on the inside it’s more muffled and shouldn’t pose a problem in long-distance driving.

While it’s not a car to everyone’s liking, there’s certainly an appeal here. Lamborghini expects customer demand to be split 50:50 between the Performante and the new Urus S. Demand could easily outstrip supply, however: the logistics of making the Performante, with its extra carbon fiber parts and whatnot, means the production volume is split roughly 40:60 in favor of the Urus S.

If you want the super-super SUV, the Performante is for you. While few are racetracked, it more than performs – a bit like a dive watch that’s never taken to deep underwater depths, it’s appealing to know it can. If you want the fanciest SUV, you might as well have the fastest, fanciest version, and the Performante does the job perfectly.

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