Home' Motorsport Monday UK : Issue 189 Contents FLOENE BITTEN BY A SNAKE?
Mads Østberg’s co-driver Ola
Floene had medical attention
on the Saturday of Rally GB for
what may have been a snake bite.
Floene was helping his
driver work on their
Fiesta WR Car before
the second Dyfnant
stage on the Friday
when he thinks his
hand was bitten.
“We were working on
the car and we needed
stones to stop it roll-
ing back,” he told WRC.
com. “So I was trying
wall. I didn’t feel a bite.
But after that stage
I said to Mads that
things didn’t feel right.
I was getting cramp in my thumb
and it was getting worse. When
we got to Chester I wasn’t feeling
well and my hand was so big.”
He thought the swelling would
go down overnight but on
Saturday’s first test he still felt
a problem. “He didn’t behave
normally,” Østberg said. “Even
in the stages he struggled. He
just didn’t have any rhythm as
he was reading the pace notes
which isn’t normal. He tried to
adjust for the next stage but it
just got worse and he admitted
he wasn’t well. Then I saw two
bite marks on is hand.”
At the mid-day regroup a doc-
tor gave Floene, 47, some anti-
inflammatory tablets, which
relieved the symptoms. There
was no confirmation that the
cause was a snake bite but
Østberg believes it was.
FIA CHIEF NIXES WRC CONTROL TYRE
Control tyre plans for the
WRC have now been defi-
nitely shelved after a rul-
ing last week by the FIA.
Discussions over a Formula
1-style single supplier deal
were held earlier this year
and sources speculated that
the change was likely. But in
a new move FIA rally direc-
tor Jarmo Mahonen has dis-
missed that plan, following
the Michelin announcement of
their three-year WRC deal.
"A control tyre does have certain benefits, but
why would we try to fix something that's not
broken,” said Mahonen. “We are very lucky to
have several tyre manufacturers in the WRC,
something I see as a very good thing."
Michelin motorsport chief Pascal Cousanon
said the WRC was ideal for his firm. "Due to
the close ties that exist between the disci-
pline and everyday motoring,” said Cousanon.
“The WRC features roads and tracks that are
used by ordinary motorists"
Michelin currently supplies the factory teams
at present, while Pirellis are used by several
privateer WR Car entrants and DMACK fields
a team with M-Sport - coming close to victory
in Poland with Ott Tänak this year.
Still room for McCormack and his
DMACK tyres at the top level in WRC.
Floene had a lucky escape
if it was a snake bite.
TOYOTA BIG CHEESE SHOWS FAITH IN NEW FACES
Koei Saga admitted he had worries
over Toyota's WRC comeback.
In a public show of confidence the man who
oversaw Toyota’s last foray in the WRC said he
believes that Tommi Makinen’s team is ready for
its return. Koei Saga admits he had worries over
Toyota Gazoo Racing’s WRC comeback after a 16-
year absence, but now believes Tommi Mäkinen’s
squad can get strong results with the Yaris.
Many think, however, that Toyota will struggle
at first to match M-Sport, let alone the hugely
funded operations at VW, Citroën and Hyundai.
Some sources do not expect the Japanese team
to make much impression before 2018.
“The last time we had a victory at this competi-
tion was when I was the general manager of the
motorsport section,” Saga said nevertheless. “Of
course, things have changed and I had some con-
cerns, but I reassured myself that our staff are
doing a splendid job.
“We will confront many challenges but we all
share the “one team, one dream’” slogan. So I am
very much convinced we will have good results.”
The Yaris is developed ready for the 2017 WRC
regulations, bringing more powerful and sexy-
looking cars and has notched up over 10,000km
of testing. It debuts on the Monte Carlo Rally next
Saga, team vice-principal and senior managing
officer of Toyota Motor Corporation, told WRC.
com that designing a car from scratch brought
both pluses and minuses.
An advantage is that we are free of influences
from the past but it is difficult to have no bench-
mark,” he added. “However, we
are always determined to make
ever-better cars so we are al-
ways pursuing the best. We
have a very good team with a lot
In the past Toyota has been cen-
tral to the sport, with four driv-
ers’ titles and three manufactur-
ers’ alone in the 1990s; using
some of rallying’s star names
including Carlos Sainz, Juha
Kankkunen and Didier Auriol
The new Yaris WRC has done
over 10,000km of testing.
Will Makinen’s efforts replicate
the heady success of Sainz
(above), Kankkunen and Auriol?
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