We learn to drive Skoda's IRC rally car with a WRC star

Rally cars: They look like the cars you see on the street, but that's pretty much where the similarity ends. We asked Andreas Mikkelsen to teach us to drive his Skoda Fabia S2000 to see how different they are...

The saying goes, "If you don't ask, you don't get," right? It took one slightly tipsy ask at the Skoda Citigo launch to see whether Skoda would be foolish enough to let me have a go in its internationally acclaimed Fabia S2000 rally car. It turns out: yes, we could have a play. Not only that, … Read more

Mini Motorsport WRC shares team launch event on Facebook and YouTube

Huge drifts and squealing tires (in the video below) marked the launch of the new Mini WRC Team at the Mini Plant in Oxford, England. Mini shared that launch on the Mini motorsport Web site, Facebook and YouTube.

Monday's event marked the official launch of the team that will compete in six rounds of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) with the Mini John Cooper Works WRC. Based on the Mini Countryman production model, the car is powered by the same 1.6-liter turbo engine used in Mini production vehicles.

The team's first chance at competition, with drivers … Read more

New WRC generation at the Paris Motor Show

The World Rally Car competition has made cars such as the Subaru STI and Mitsubishi Evo famous, but the race, and the competitors have changed substantially over the years. Some of the newest competitors, set for a 2011 season with revised rules, were on display at the Paris Motor Show.

Through 2010, the Ford Focus and Citroen C4 had been dominating this series of races over gravel and snow-covered roads, but the 2011 rules have made those cars ineligible, with engine displacement reduced to 1.6-liters. These changed rules are intended to make the series more affordable for teams.

As … Read more

Mini takes on the rally circuit

Expressing confidence in its new Countryman model, Mini announced today it would compete in selected 2011 World Rally Championship (WRC) races in preparation for running the entire 2012 season. Mini's new effort is aided by the fact that FIA, WRC's governing body, adopted new regulations limiting engine displacement to 1.6 liters.

Various Mini Cooper S models seem tailor-made for the new regulations, as they rely on a turbocharged direct injection 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. The missing link for WRC would have been four-wheel-drive, but Mini's new Countryman model, on which its rally car is based, comes … Read more

A look at World Rally Championship history

I hope you've enjoyed all of this week's video of amazing World Rally Championship racing. I thought a good way to close this series would be this tribute video dedicated to the history of WRC and how it's changed throughout the years--how the cars have changed, and it even includes historical data at the end detailing what cars have won the title and in which year. It's great for knowledge hounds as well as anybody who just wants to see some fine automobiles kickin' up dust and sliding on the asphalt.

Blast from the Past: 1979 World Rally Championship

So far this week we've enjoyed World Rally Championship video from the current millennium. I think it's time we took a look at some historic footage from WRC past, 1979 to be exact. As the Beatles would say, "It was 20 years ago today..." (Well, it wasn't 20 years to the date, but I try not to miss a chance to make a silly pop culture reference.)

This Web video appears to be taken from a television broadcast of WRC, with its outdated TV graphics showing the drivers and vehicles. Here we got everything from … Read more

Best of World Rally Championship - 2008

Earlier this week, I presented web video that contained highlights from the beginning of the current season of World Rally Championship. Since the current season is still underway, I thought instead I'd give you a great compilation of highlights from the 2008 season of WRC.

The footage was taken from many of the best rallies of 2008 such as Stagione Rally 2008, Rally Ciocchetto 2008, Ronde di Natale 2008, Apollo Tribute, and International Rally Cups from Rally del Taro 2008 and Rally degli Abeti 2008. Ten minutes of fast cars, twists and turns, and plenty of smoke and dust. … Read more

Rally Argentina 2009

As we are in the middle of the 2009 World Rally Championship series, today I present you with footage from the most recent WRC series, Rally Argentina, which took place in April 2009. The video begins with footage taken from a higher elevation, and about halfway through the vid you get a front row view from roadside as the cars whizz by and the dust flies from the gravel. Oh, and in case you're wondering...the winner of this series was Sebastian Loeb. Woo hoo!

This Week: World Rally Championship Racing

My blog theme last week dealt with videos featuring redneck cars and racing. This week my blog goes transcontinental by taking a look at World Rally Championship (WRC) and their many exciting races.

First, a little background info: WRC is organized by the FiA (The F?d?ration Internationale de l'Automobile), which is regarded as the official governing body for many racing events (especially in Europe). The FiA established World Rally Championship in 1973, and the series consists of 12 different three-day events at locations throughout Europe focusing on closed roads featuring varying types of road conditions and driving … Read more

Suzuki SX4 WRC compilation (video)

The thing I love the most about WRC rallying is that the vehicles often have the most humble beginnings. Case in point: The Suzuki SX4 WRC, which is based on the same platform as the unassuming Suzuki SX4 Sport we tested recently.

The SX4 WRC features a turbocharged 2-liter four-banger, an all-wheel-drive system, and a beefier suspension that can handle the abuses of off-road driving. It has, of course, lost the full interior--there's no SuzukiTRIP to guide you to your destination. In it's place you have an actual navigator in the passenger seat. There's also no stereo … Read more