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400HP VW Polo rally prototype from Poland

VW Polo racing prototype

A Polish racing team led by Paul Dytko has created this Volkswagen rally prototype, in preparation for the upcoming 2012 FIA European Hill-Climb Championship season. This is a custom built car and has nothing to do in common with the Volkswagen Motorsport’s Polo R WRC. The rally prototype features an impressive turbo engine that develops 400 hp (405 PS / 298 kW) and it allows the car to do the 0-62 mph sprint in approximately 4 seconds.

VW Polo racing prototype

As you would imagine, the costs for developing such a car are quite huge and Dytko’s team is still looking for sponsors who are willing to sponsor the evolution of the car, the next step being the introduction of a full steel tube chassis.

Source: germancarscene.com

Funny rally accident in Poland

In racing there’s a saying that you never know what is waiting for you around the next corner because from one moment to another your perfect drive can end in disaster. This is what happened to a Mitsubishi Colt hatchback driver during a rally in Poland when he was coming fast on a very narrow road when some of the spectators started cheering him when he passed by.

Nothing out of the ordinary until now but a split second later his rally came to an instant end after he hit the car into a brick fence. He says in the video that he had a problem with the car’s brakes so the accident didn’t occurr because he was distracted by the cheering audience.

Video: Mini Countryman WRC proves its worth on gravel

Last week, the Mini Countryman WRC rally-spec prototype was officially revealed to the public, albeit fitted with the swirly camouflage, on the private test track of rally team Prodrive.

Now, a new video depicting the Countryman WRC in action has been revealed.

The footage showcases the Mini crossover taking on the tough gravel roads of Portugal in a very speedy manner. Don’t forget, though, that this is just a prototype, and the final version will be revealed in spring of 2011. Until then, check out the video after the jump.

Mini Countryman WRC rally prototype showcased

A few months ago, the Mini Countryman crossover was officially confirmed by the both the British car brand and by British rally team Prodrive that it will be entering the 2011 World Rally Championship.

Now, the two companies decided to showcase the first few pics of a camouflaged Mini Countryman WRC tearing it up on the private Prodrive test track.

According to Mini, the Countryman is still in the primary stages of testing, and the body kit that you can figure out behind the funky camouflage is just a mock-up, until Prodrive tweaks everything. Also, the Countryman WRC is preparing for a trip to Portugal, where it will experience the tough gravel courses the country has to offer.

While the Countryman is still being tested, it is rumored that for the 2011 WRC season, British driver Kris Meeke will be at the helm of the Countryman WRC. He is currently the reigning champ in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, running a Peugeot 207.


Motorsport Weekend: Formula 1 Belgian GP, MotoGP Indianapolis GP and IRC Czech Rally race results

Motorsport Weekend: Formula 1 Belgian GP, MotoGP Indianapolis GP and IRC Czech Rally race results

Welcome to a new edition of Motorsport Weekend, our own feature where we talk about the most exciting motorsport events from the last three days.

This weekend was filled with all sorts of races. We had the Formula 1 Belgian GP at the lovely Spa Francorchamps circuit, the MotoGP Indianapolis GP, as well as the IRC Barum Czech Rally Zlin.

Curious to see how Lewis Hamilton, Dani Pedrosa or Freddy Loix faired in their own races? Then hit the jump and find out.

Volkswagen Race Touareg 3 ready for Dakar duty

Volkswagen pretty much hammered the competition in the Dakar rally with the Race Touareg 2, winning both the 2009 and 2010 editions. Now, with the 2011 Volkswagen Touareg already in showrooms, the German company decided to upgrade its rally-spec version.

As you can see above, the new Race Touareg 3 shares a few cues with the new, regular Touareg. These include LED daytime running lights (because you need extra lighting while in a desert rally), a new front grille and a new rear end.

More importantly, the twin-turbo 2.5-liter TDI diesel engine has been further tweaked for better fuel economy. It still is capable of 296 HP and 442 lb-ft of torque, which guarantees 0 to 62 mph in 6.1 seconds and a top speed of 117 mph.

You’ll be able to check out the new Volkswagen Race Touareg 3 in the next Dakar rally, set to take place right at the beginning of 2012.


Motorsport Weekend: IRC Rally Madeira and Nascar Watkins Glen race results

Motorsport Weekend: IRC Rally Madeira and Nascar Watkins Glen race results

Welcome to a new edition of Motorsport Weekend, our own feature where we talk about the most exciting motorsport events from the last three days.

Unlike previous weekends, this time we were treated quite just a couple of big events. We had the IRC Rally of Madeira take place in the lovely Portugal, while Nascar‘s Sprint Cup saw the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen race take place at the Watkins Glen International road course.

So, curious to see how Freddy Loix, Kris Meeke, Juan Pablo Montoya or Kurt Busch faired in their respective races? Then hit the jump and find out.

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Saab might enter the WRC in 2012 with the new 9-2 model

After Mini announced that it will be entering the World Rally Championship with the new Countryman crossover, Swedish company Saab has also been linked with the prestigious motorsport competition.

According to a report from Autosport, Saab and Spyker officials have been in talks with the WRC, and might prepare a special version of the upcoming 9-2 compact for rally duty.

According to previous rumors, the new 9-2 is set to use the front-wheel drive compact platform from Mini, coupled with the same 1.6-liter turbocharged gasoline engine. In case you forgot this same assembly will also underpin the Mini Countryman WRC model, so we may be in for quite a balanced fight.

Nothing is certain as of yet, and seeing as how the new 9-2 is still a bit far away, we’re going to have to wait a bit for an official announcement.


Video: Ken Block takes care of everyday errands with his Ford Fiesta rally car

Video: Ken Block takes care of everyday errands with his Ford Fiesta rally car

Ford is kicking its marketing campaign for the new Fiesta compact into overdrive, just as the model is appearing in Blue Oval dealerships around the USA.

In order to highlight the sporty nature of the new Fiesta, Ford went to famous rally driver and stunt man Ken Block, and tasked him with completing a few everyday errands such as taking out the trash, going grocery shopping or delivering mail.

As you can imagine, he isn’t using a regular Fiesta for all these tasks, instead relying on his custom Ford Fiesta rally car. Needless to say, hilarity and awesomeness followed.

Still, the ad doesn’t just promote the new Fiesta, but also a novel competition, entitled ‘Rock it like Block’. Fans will need to access this special website, and enter for a chance to win a special Fiesta, customized by Block himself. While it most definitely won’t be the Gymkhana Three Fiesta, it will still be awesome.

Hit the jump to check out the new Ken Block ad, and then enter in the competition.

Lancia Stratos prototype spied on the track

Almost all Italian car fans, as well as rally enthusiasts, fondly remember the iconic Lancia Stratos sportscar, which broke records and won hearts in the hectic 1970s. Sadly, it was discontinued, and models are now worth quite a lot of money.

Enthusiasts were treated to a huge surprise with the Fenomen Stratos concept, which was revealed back in 2005. Sadly, nothing came out of it, not even a limited series.

Now, it seems things might have changed. According to ItaliaSpeed, these two spy photos depict a Lancia Stratos prototype being tested out on a private Fiat track.

While the model does share most of its design with the Fenomen Stratos, a few things have been changed, for a better functionality, including the front fascia. Not much else was revealed, so do take these shots with a mighty huge grain of salt.

If it will revive the Stratos, we’re pretty sure Lancia is going to strike gold in the deep pockets of enthusiasts all over the world.


Motorsport Weekend: Formula 1 Hungarian GP, WRC Rally of Finland, Nascar Pocono race results

Motorsport Weekend: Formula 1 Hungarian GP, WRC Rally of Finland, Nascar Pocono race results

Welcome to a new edition of Motorsport Weekend, our own feature where we talk about the most exciting motorsport events from the last three days.

This weekend, we were treated with quite a few interesting races. First off, the Formula 1 Hungarian GP was held at the Hungaroring track. Then the WRC Rally of Finland was organized in the Scandinavian country, while Nascar‘s Sprint Cup had the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 take place at the Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.

So, curious to see how Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber, Mikko Hirvonen or Greg Biffle faired in their own races? Then hit the jump and find out.

Video: See Hirvonen’s huge crash during the WRC Rally of Finland

Without a doubt one of the most expected stages of the 2010 World Rally Championship season is the Rally of Finland.

The Scandinavian special stages are spectacular in nature, boasting a tough gravel surface with big jumps and perilous corners.

Even though he was racing on his home turf, the first day of the rally got the better of Ford driver Mikko Hirvonen, who crashed during one of the stages. Even though the accident was spectacular, the driver, together with his teammate, managed to escape without a scratch.

Check out the footage of the Hirvonen’s big crash after the jump.

Ken Block edition Ford Fiesta might appear in the future

Ken Block is by far one of the most renowned rally drivers currently active in the USA, even though his performances aren’t ground breaking. Instead, he relied on the Gymkhana drifting videos to make sure that his name is known across the world.

Want proof? The upcoming Gymkhana Three video is already hyped beyond critical mass, with people eagerly anticipating what Block will do with his tuned Ford Fiesta rally car.

Seeing the amount of publicity that Block makes for the Blue Oval’s compact model, radio station KROQ interviewed the rally driver and asked about the possibility of a Ken Block special edition Fiesta.

Surprisingly, Block admitted that such talks exist, but nothing is concrete at this moment. For the moment though, he will continue to focus on his Rally of America efforts, as well as planning the next Gymkhana and preparing for more races in the World Rally Championship.

What do you think? Would a Ford Fiesta Ken Block edition achieve impressive sales? Share your thoughts below.


Mini officially announces WRC entry with Countryman model

Mini fans, it’s official! The British brand has revealed that it will be entering the 2011 World Rally Championship competition with UK-based Prodrive team.

The model they will be racing will be a customized Countryman crossover, probably with an upgraded 1.6-liter turbocharged engine.

After plenty of months of speculation, it seems that the two British entities will work together, marking the return of Mini into rallying and the return of Prodrive into WRC. For those who don’t remember, the team left the competition at the end of 2008 after Subaru stopped its rallying efforts.

The Mini Countryman WRC model will race just in select stages of the 2011 season, and will undergo a series of tests by Prodrive. It is, however, scheduled to race in the full 2012 season of the WRC competition. As such, get ready to once again see a Mini model braving tarmac, gravel or snow.


Mini and Prodrive to announce WRC entry this week, report says

British carmaker Mini and British rally team Prodrive are expected to announce their entry into the World Rally Championship this week, according to a new report coming from Autosport.

After many batches of rumors and speculations from various ‘inside sources’, it seems that the two entities will finally announce their partnership this week.

As most of you know by now, Prodrive will be preparing a rally-spec version of the Mini Countryman crossover, outfitted with a more hardcore version of BMW’s 1.6-liter turbocharged engine. Testing is set to begin in the following weeks, but the formal entry into the WRC circuit is still quite far.

According to the same report, the official reveal of the Mini Countryman WRC model will be made next year, in Rome, ahead of May’s Rally of Sardinia (Rally d’Italia-Sardegna). This means that the Mini model won’t attend the first four races of the 2011 WRC season.

Up until now, both parties have remained tight lipped so an official announcement would definitely help clear things up.

Source: Autosport

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