Setting a world record is no small feat, especially when you’re doing it in less-than-ideal circumstances.
That’s why WRC racer, Mads Ostberg, deserves a raucous round of applause after setting a new world-record for the longest ever jump on snow by a rally car. Driving a Ford Fiesta WRC, Ostberg managed to fly his little race car over 60 meters (196.85 feet) in Trysil, Norway.
The World Rally Championship corroborated the record, posting Ostberg’s record-setting jump on its official Twitter account.
While the record is in itself an impressive accomplishment, it still fell way short of the overall jump record of 82 meters (269 feet) that Travis Pastrana accomplished a few years back when he jumped into a barge in the middle of the sea back on New Year’s Eve 2010.
Still, Ostberg’s attempt is impressive in its own right, considering the circumstances he had to deal with in order to set the record. Like we said, give the man his due props.
Check out Pastrana’s record jump after the, well, jump
Over the weekend at Monaco, Volkswagen finally pulled the covers off of the latter, giving further indication that it’s ready to take the WRC by storm next year.
Judging by the overall look of the car, the high-performance sports hatch appears to have retained most of the design and performance characteristics of the concept. The rally-inspired lower front spoiler with large air inlets are still there, as is the spoiler on the rear edge of the roof and the rear diffuser. Some new additions on the body are purely aesthetic, including the “WRC” badging on the rear and the “R” logos on the front and rear.
The race version of the Polo R WRC also receives a set of 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 215/35R18 tires. Helping bring it to a halt are 16-inch disc brakes. Inside, the rally car comes equipped with a race-spec interior, highlighted by a black roof liner, race-style pedals, an Alcantara steering wheel, and the typical insanely long rally transmission stick.
Overall, the car only weighs 1,200 kg (2,645 pounds), which Volkswagen accomplished by using carbon and Kevlar on the doors, tailgate and wheel arch extensions. The svelte weight even accounts for the wider frame of 1,820 mm (71.65 inches), which is around 138 mm (5.43 inches) wider than the production model.
In terms of performance, the Polo R WRC Edition is powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged TSI four-cylinder engine that has been limited to only produce 315 horsepower. This engine mates to a six-speed sequential transmission with a 0-to-100 km/h (62 mph) time of just 3.9 seconds.
The Polo R WRC Rally Car will make its long-awaited debut at the Monte Carlo rally this coming January with Sebastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala taking the helm. The event should be a good barometer for the company and the team to gauge how ready the car is when it makes its WRC debut later that year.
Pending the final release of the 2012 WRC standings, the Citroën DS3 WRC is a two-time World Rally Championship champion, which just solidifies the fact that it knows a thing or two about racing. On the heels of this championship, Citroën is set to debut yet another racecar, but this time around, it is for private owners only.
This new model, dubbed the Citroën DS3 RRC, is designed to run at rally levels just below the WRC, like the European Rally Championship (ERC), WRC-2, Middle East Rally Championship (MERC) or other national championships. Citroën was very careful in its homologation of this model to make 100 percent certain it wasn’t stepping on its own tailpipe.
So can this baby-brother version of the championship-winning Citroën DS3 WRC be held up to the same relative standard as its big brother?
Click past the jump to read all about the Citroën DS3 RRC and find out.
Just days ago we let you know that Mini pretty much used FIA homologation rules to its advantage by finishing up the 2012 season and calling it quits, now another manufacturer is following suit. There have been rumors floating around since 2011 that Ford Europe was going to pull out of the World Rally Championship and that will become a reality following the 2012 season, as Ford Europe announced that it will pull its sponsorship following the 2012 season.
Unlike Mini, Ford has been a long-running sponsor, lasting 16 seasons. With that long of a history, it is more obvious that Ford’s pull out is mostly due to the crumbling automotive market in Europe. Despite pulling its sponsorship, Ford will provide M-Sport, its WRC partner since 1997, with the Fiesta R5 rally car, along with engineering and vehicle support following its departure. In addition, Ford Europe will still offer the Fiesta R2 rally car for grass-roots national and regional driver programs.
It looks like we are in for a drastically changed lineup for the 2013 WRC season, and we’re not even through the 2012 season yet. Hopefully no more manufacturers pull out this year.
Click past the jump to read Ford’s official press release.
The Mini Portugal team, along with its WRC partner, Prodrive, actually started off pretty well in the 2012 WRC season, but things turned sour for the MINI rally team following its breakup with said partner. Following the March split, Mini never reached the podium again. Though the 2012 season is not quite finished, Mini has announced that it will withdraw from the World Rally Championship following this season.
In all honesty this really comes as no surprise, as Mini is thought to have only raced as a factory sponsored brand this year to get WRC homologation. Why is that so important? Well, this means that Mini now can sell its rally cars to private racing companies, make profit, and have zero racing overhead. This was all backed up by Dr. Kay Segler’s statement “By the end of the season WRC Team Mini Portugal will have competed in every rally in 2012. As such, in accordance with FIA regulations, we will have achieved the WRC homologation for the Mini John Cooper Works.” Well, don’t make it too obvious that you played the system, fine Doctor…
In all honesty, this is just one of the necessary evils of the racing world, as car manufacturers simply want all of the free advertising at these events without any of the corporate responsibilities. So in all honesty, we can’t fault Mini for its obvious using the rather loose WRC homologation rules.
With the Mini John Cooper Works WRC car pumping a wild 300 horsepower and 400 Nm (295 pound-feet) of torque from its little 1.6-liter Bimmer engine, we doubt that MINI will have any issues selling it to private teams. Since 2011, the rally Mini Portugal team made it to the podium three times and had its biggest success in the January 2012 running of the Monte Carlo Rally when it finished 2nd.
We’ll keep an eye out to see if any private teams select Mini as its WRC car.
If you haven’t been following the world of rally racing for the past decade, you’re probably surprised that there seems to be a disproportionate level of buzz surrounding Hyundai’s return to the World Rally Championship?
Wait, did they ever leave? That’s one of the questions we’ve received from some folks and the answer, of course, is yes. Back in 2003, in fact.
That’s why when Hyundai opens their exhibit at the 2012 Paris Motor Show with the i20 World Rally Championship Rally Car, nobody should be surprised because it’s a really big deal.
As far as details are concerned, the Korean automaker is keeping that close to their chest, particularly because there could be more than just WRC-prepped model in attendance at Paris. What we’ve been informed, though, is that the car is expected to carry a turbocharged engine that hits all the right notes at 200 horsepower.
Keep it close here because Hyundai’s apparent interest in returning to the World Rally Championship could all be confirmed at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. After all, they wouldn’t go through all the trouble of building this rally prototype of the i20 if they weren’t that serious.
Ken Block has accomplished many things in his career, including being a professional rally driver with the Monster World Rally Team, one of the co-founders and recently appointed Chief Brand Officer of DC Shoes, and a major competitor in skateboarding, snowboarding, and motocross races. All of those accomplishments aside, the one thing Block is mainly known for is being the man behind Gymkhana.
For those living under a rock, Gymkhana is an automotive sport that requires drivers to skillfully maneuver using their car around obstacles using extreme acceleration, braking, and drifting. The definition on its own sounds cool as hell, but seeing it in action is way better, which is why Gymkhana has become such a viral phenomenon in recent years. As of 06/01/2012, the Gymkhana franchise has raked in 135 million views on YouTube, surpassing even the most watched TV broadcast ever - 2012 SuperBowl - which received 111 million views this year. Gymkhana even took the title of the most shared viral ad of 2011 with over two million shares of Gymkhana 4.
This infographic breaks down Gymkhana to explain why it has become such a phenomenon, including a few details about Ken Block, details behind the Gymkhana car, and an explanation of the Gymkhana livery. Take a look and learn how it took only seven seconds to burnout the tires during the final spin of Gymkhana 4. This will definitely not be a time-waster.
Hit the jump to check out the full Gymkhana infographic and stay tuned for the next installment in our Car Infographics series.
About 10 years ago, Hyundai Accent owners ever walked with their chests puffed out a little bit, as their daily driver econo-hatch was actually being raced in the World Rally Championship. Despite the impressiveness that Hyundai actually got this car into the WRC, it was a widely unsuccessful attempt because it never got a podium appearance and Hyundai cut funding in 2003.
It looks like Hyundai is ready to jump back into the WRC circuit, only this time with a more highly modified vehicle. It will also not be an Accent, but rather a heavily modified i20. However, don’t expect this Hyundai rally ride to look as much as the i20 in your garage as the Accent rally car did, as this model will sit on a chassis that is significantly wider and lower than the factory model.
In addition to the modified chassis, this i20 will ditch the 1.2- and 1.4-liter gasoline engines that it comes standard with and instead have the turbocharged 1.6-liter from the Veloster. There is no way that Hyundai would enter the WRC with a stock 201-horsepower 1.6-liter engine, so we assume that Hyundai will pump this engine to over 300 ponies to keep it competitive.
We definitely expect a much better performance by Hyundai this time around because the company has really come into its own when it comes to technology. Hyundai has also become one of those brands that folks can rally around, as it has really come from often being the butt of automotive jokes to a well-respected company that actually gives the big boys – Honda, Toyota and Nissan – a run for their money. So, don’t be surprised if to see the fancily written “H” on the podium at some point in the 2013 WRC series WRC.
The Lancia Stratos was once one of the most dominant forces in the World Rally Championship, as it took home the championship in three consecutive seasons – 1974, 1975 and 1976. After the 1976 campaign, however, the Stratos was pulled out of the WRC.
In 1979, the Stratos wound up with a private racing firm and dominated the 1979 Monte Carlo Rally. The legend of the Lancia Stratos continues amongst rally enthusiasts. The Stratos was not only a rally machine, as Lancia did manufacture a small number of street versions of its rally champ. Unfortunately, with its popularity in the Rally realm, many of the street-version, known as the “Straddles,” Stratos have been converted into rally cars or modified into replicas of the WRC Champion car.
Thanks to the folks at RM Auctions you may be able to own one of the few near-mint condition 1976 Lancia Stratos ’Straddles’ left in the world. This beautifully restored classic is set to go to auction on May 11th or 12th in Monaco.
You may be wondering how well restored is this classic car or maybe if it is worth its asking price? Maybe you haven’t even heard of this car and would like to know more about it before considering shoving off to Monaco.
Click past the jump to read our full review to get a better feel for this car.
In the shadows of all the auto shows going on around the world, Ford took to the Autosport International Racing Car Show in Birmingham, England to unveil the 2012 Ford Fiesta WRC Rally Car dressed in its new livery.
Heading into its sophomore season in the WRC, the Fiesta is looking to build on the surprising success it had last year when it won the season-opening and season-ending races as the successor to the Ford Focus WRC.
Just like last year, the Fiesta RS Rally Car comes with a 1.6-liter Ford Ecoboost turbo engine and has been designed with the Blue Oval’s acclaimed ’kinetic design’ styling language. The car was prepared for rally-spec use by Ford’s long-time partner M-Sport and as has been the case for years now, Castrol remains the team’s primary sponsor.
The Fiesta RS’ surprising showing at the 2011 WRC season has given the team high hopes for a better showing this year. If for nothing else, the team should give perennial title-holder, Citroen, a serious run for its money.