Well here is this weeks Sunday Service Park all be it a day late. Some good news circulating around the various series with the IRC really gearing up for Monte Carlo which is now a few weeks away. So lets take a look at what happened in rally this week.
Ken Block up for WRC award
That’s right! America’s very own Ken Block is up for the Personality of the Year award. You can vote today and today only on WRC.comfor the Rally America/Gymkhana star. There is no doubt in my mind that he should get the award based off of the American attitude we so often talk about on this site. I mean the guy brought Monster girls to a FiA function and giant H2 Hummers. Regardless of his performance during the rallies he participated in, the crowd was always on their feet for him. Among other things, Block was the first American to score points in the WRC since the mid 80’s. Ken will attack the full WRC calender in his Monster World Rally car in 2011 with rumor that Kimi Raikkonen may be his teammate.
We reported earlier this week that Kimi Raikonnen may be about to switch from the Red Bull sponsored Citroen to a Monster Ford. This coming after Peter van Merksteijn secured one of the two open Citroen seats. News also continues to swirl with rumor that Petter Solberg is on the brink of securing the second seat. That would leave Kimi no place to go but a different series or a different brand. It appears that a group of American investors on hoping for the latter. Rumor only has it that a group of Americans is willing to float the money to the 07 F1 champion and even offering him a chance to try his hand at NASCAR. Raikkonen has made it clear that his intentions are to stay at the top flight of rallying, and with the Citroen seat all but spoken for, it looks as though the Monster team will be his next best option. Things are about to get expensive!
Some weeks back we had made reference to Dani Sordo probably signing with the new Prodrive MINI for this season. Apparently, Spanish media is now confirming that a deal is in place for Sordo to run in 2011 and 2012. Sordo however has denied the reports but says there is a very high chance this is the direction he is going. Other details are not readily available at the moment and we still have to wait for the team to confirm probably sometime after the new year. However, it looks as though the time has run out and Ford will not be making an offer. Then again, why should they? Sordo is not a must have guy like a Petter Solberg or Sebastien Ogier. I think Dani has time to grow and could perform well for MINI, but he is not the kind of driver that I would entertain demands from.
Rally Italia Tweaks
The Italian round of the WRC makes a comeback in 2011 but will not start in Rome as was originally planned. Also, the rally will not be mixed surface and will indeed stay an all gravel event. There are a number of stage changes as the rally continues further south. There will be however a power stage on Sunday afternoon that will be televised and will offer three points to the fastest time. Rally Italia has always been a beautiful setting for an event and it is good to have back on the calendar for 2011.
IRC Prepares for Monte Carlo
The Intercontinental Rally Challenge is in full preparation for its season opener in Monte Carlo. A number of cars have been out testing in advance for what many are calling the toughest rally of the season. Be sure to head on over to RallyBuzzand take a look at the embedded videos. Still wagering a Solberg win in this one.
Brazilian S2000 MINI
The first MINI S2000 customer car will be sold to a Brazilian team that will run the 2011 SWRC. The team has ambitions to then move up to the full WRC with the car. Prodrive has signed off with full support of the team and will provide logistical and technical support. Driver for the team is set to be Daniel Oliveira. Daniel has competed in the IRC previously and will be looking to perform well for the Brazilian World Rally team.