Veiby Wins Canberra

Team MRF has taken out the top two spots in the second round of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship, the Australian National Capital Rally, with Jari Ketomaa taking out third place and a stage win.

“Really nice win, of course yesterday was a little bit tight, but we showed some good speeds today. The stages suited us well today, we managed to take some good time on the others and the last two stages was just cruising in and securing it in,” Ole Christian Veiby said today.

This is Veiby’s second event in the Asia-Pacific Championships and first round win. Veiby was joined by team MRF teammate Gaurav Gill on the Canberra International Airport podium in second spot.

Gaurav Gill, Rally of Canberra 2017
Jari Ketomaa, Rally of Canberra 2017
“Today it did rain quite a bit and a little slippery, the grip was constantly changing every few kilometres. It was good experience to see how the car and how the tyres are reacting. Lucky for us we had no dramas with the tyres just searching for the right setup. I’m happy with the weekend, learnt a lot and taking it to the next rally” Gaurav Gill said.

Jari Ketomaa was very happy with his third placing in his MPart Mistubishi AP4 Mirage. “We managed to do some fastest stage times today, the performance of the car and the tyres has been very good. In the end I am disappointed, we could be fighting to win this rally, we had some mistakes yesterday but that is what happens when you are pushing. When everything goes clear we can definitely win these stages. When you get everyone around you doing the best you can then we will only go forward,” Ketomaa concluded.

Team-mate Blomberg was 4th, delayed by punctures and a broken suspension but happy with his experience of the Australian roads.

Top Australian was Brad Markovic in his AutoOne Subaru Impreza, followed home in 6th by the father and daughter team of Andrew and Kirra Penny.

Next up was Indian driver PG Abhilash gradually getting more confidence in his ex-Cody Crocker Subaru Impreza. Peter Dunn was 8th just over a minute ahead of Japanese driver Fuyuhiko Takahashi in Ahresty Subaru. Rounding out the top-ten was West Australian John O’Dowd.

The event has seen record attendance numbers from the Canberra community, eager to check out what the international cars have had to offer.

2017 National Capital Rally, Final APRC Results
1. Ole Christian Veiby, Skoda Fabia R52:15:11.2
2. Gaurav Gill, Skoda Fabia R5, +00:49.3
3. Jari Ketomaa, Mitsubishi Mirage AP4, +02:05.6
4. Robert Blomberg, Mitsubishi Mirage AP4 , +14:19.0
5. Brad Markovic, Subaru Impreza WRX, +15:36.6
6. Andrew Penny, Subaru Impreza WRX, +17:33.7
7. PG Abilhash, Subaru Impreza WRX, +23:48.7
8. Peter Dunn, Subaru Impreza WRX, +24:13.7
9. Fuyuhiko Takahashi, Subaru Impreza WRX, +25:26.0
10. John O’Dowd, Subaru Impreza WRX, +25:56.8

Veiby, Gill fight it out in Canberra

Ole Christian Veiby, Rally of Canberra 2017It has been a battle all day between the two Team MRF Skoda’s as day one of the National Capital Rally draws to a close with Norway’s Ole Christian Veiby leading Gaurav Gill from India by 11 seconds.

The teams will tackle the Todbinbilla forest tomorrow for the final day of round two of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championships.

“I have to say today has been really good, I have enjoyed the day a lot it’s something special,” Veiby has said today. “We had our issues as well today, with a small puncture at the end of a stage but all is going well. The stages are different and not so fast tomorrow and a little bit different. It should work fine for us. We have made some adjustments for tomorrow.

“This rally has been a big fight with Gaurav and hopefully it will be our time tomorrow. We will have a good night’s sleep and prepare for tomorrow,” Veiby concluded.

Reigning champion Gill sits behind Veiby by 11 seconds.

“It’s been a short day but it has been really good, really fast stages I have loved the stages,” Gill said today. “We have had some small issues with our intercooler having a hole in it, we did lose some power. We have been trying to change the set up as well through the day.

“It’s been a great day and a great battle with Ole and Yari, tomorrow is another day and we will give it our best shot,” Gill concluded.

Jari Ketomaa, Rally of Canberra 2017

Just 25 seconds off the lead and in third place is Jari Ketomaa in the MPart AP4 Mitsubishi Mirage. The Finn was 30 seconds off the lead at mid-day service but clawed back time in the afternoon with some on the limit driving. “I really was pushing hard, too hard sometimes but the car just felt so good on the afternoon loop”, said Ketomaa at evening service.

Ketomaa’s team-mate Robert Blomberg, while the leading Group N driver is Australian Brad Markovic in AutoOne Subaru Impreza.

A leading retirement from the National Capital Rally was Japan’s Atsushi Masumura who got a puncture, then when he stopped to change the car fell off the jack. By the time they’d managed to repair the jack and get a spare tyre on the car he and co-driver Akiko Nakagawa were over time and out of the rally.

The crews have 121 kilometres of competitive stages on Day 2, before the finish ceremony located at Canberra International Airport.

Competitor Update – 27 May 2017

For your information, I am contactable on my Australian mobile +61 410 289 266
+61 410 289 266

China Rally Zhangye

  • This is to advise that China Rally Zhangye has been withdrawn from the 2017 Asia Pacific Rally Championship, owing to logistical considerations.
  • Official confirmation of this is expected to be advised by the FIA in due course.
  • If you require further information please contact me directly.

New challenges for Team MRF in Australia

A new challenge awaits Team MRF drivers Gaurav Gill and Ole Christian Veiby this weekend when they tackle Australia’s National Capital Rally for the first time.

Based in Canberra, the event is the second round of the 2017 Asia Pacific Rally Championship, and comes following Team MRF’s dominating 1-2 finish in the opening round in New Zealand in late April. The Australian round of the series has previously been held in Queensland, but returns to Canberra this year, ensuring that no driver will have the advantage of having contested the event before.

Gill, from India, is currently on a winning streak of seven consecutive APRC events, and is fully in sync with the team’s Skoda Fabia R5. He and Belgian co-driver, Stephane Prevot, were in hot form in New Zealand, and will be looking to continue that winning form this weekend.

For 20-year old Norwegian star Veiby, the rally is yet another step up the ladder in a rapid learning curve that has already seen him take two top five placings in the World Rally Championship’s WRC2 category.

Both drivers completed a successful test session near Canberra on Wednesday morning, and after heavy overnight rain they both found a good set up with their cars.

Gill will start the event as the first car on the road, with Veiby in third position. “The rally will be an enthralling battle between Gaurav and Ole, as neither of them has contested this event before,” Team MRF boss Lane Heenan said.

“Canberra has a reputation for being an event that is hard on cars, with stages that can cut up, particularly on the second pass of stages. It will be a test of both drivers to find that fine line between maximum speed and being conservative. It promises to be a great battle.”

The weekend’s weather forecast is for frosty mornings followed by clear, blue skies and a maximum temperature of around 15 degrees celcius – perfect conditions for rallying.

The National Capital Rally covers 14 competitive stages, with eight on Saturday’s Heat One across 111.48 competitive kilometres, and six on Heat Two across a further 120.92 kilometres. Team MRF’s biggest competition over the two days is expected to come from Finnish star, Jari Ketomaa in a Mitubishi Mirage AP4.

Source: Team Release

Young Crashes Out of Canberra

Mike Young, Rally Canberra 2017A bitterly disappointed Mike Young has been forced to withdrawal from this weekends National Capital Rally after a mechanical failure resulted in a high speed crash in testing yesterday.

Young and co-driver Malcolm Read were undertaking a test session in the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X they were to use in the event when sudden brake failure occurred.

“We were starting our third run of the test and approaching the first 90 right corner in fourth gear when we had no brakes,” stated Young. “I tried to scrub some speed off and put the car sideways into the corner but the car dug in and rolled twice. Unfortunately the damage sustained to the Evo is not repairable in time to start the rally.”

It’s a disappointing start to the season for the defending Asia Pacific Production and Junior Rally Champion who after missing the opening round in New Zealand, was looking forward to starting his 2017 campaign in Australia. “It’s one of those things that happens in this sport, it could happen on the last corner of the rally as well. It’s not how we hoped this weekend would go but we’ll look forward to our next event and starting our season there.”

To keep up to date with Mike Young Motorsport (MYM), visit their Facebook page

Veiby Wants Revenge in Canberra

Ole Christian Veiby, Rally Canberra 2017Ole Christian Veiby is in Australia for the second round of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) this weekend. “I will be disappointed if I’m not fighting for the victory” he said.

The 20-year-old from the city of Kongsvinger in Norway made his debut as a works driver for Skoda Motorsport about a month ago. He finished second in the opening round of the APRC after being in the lead for most of the event. He lost his brakes – and the victory – with three stages to go.

“I’m very motivated to get my revenge after what happened in New Zealand. Without the technical problems, I would have won. The target is to win this weekend, and if I’m not fighting for the victory, I will be disappointed” said Ole Christian Veiby, who is accompanied by Stig Rune Skjærmoen in the co-driver’s seat.

Rally Canberra, which is also part of the Australian championship, includes 230 competitive kilometer, divided into 13 special stages. The event is the second round of the APRC.

“I think we have better odds to succeed this time. In New Zealand, everything was new, it was the debut for Skoda Motorsport and I drove with MRF tyres, something that was completely unknown to me. Now we know what we are capable of ” he said.

In the opening round, he was beaten by his Indian team-mate Gaurav Gill, and Ole predicts a new fight between the two of them.

“This event is new in the APRC championship and I think that is an advantage for me. That means that no one has previous experience” said the Skoda driver.

As a participant in the APRC, Ole has to get used to long flights and big time differences. He traveled from Norway in the direction of “down under” last Friday. After a stopover in Bangkok, he made it to Sydney 24 hours later.

“You get that it’s a long flight when you have to have a stopover in Bangkok” he said with a smile.

“However, the flight itself is no problem. Skoda Motorsport gets us a seat in business class so the flight is comfortable. After arriving in Australia on Saturday, we have been working out properly to get rid of the jet lag” said Ole, who will also do a test before Friday’s shakedown.

Source: Team Release