Jan 24, 2008 | NZPC

citroen motorsport

Just in time for the opening round of the 2008 World Rally Championship, which kicks off in Monte Carlo this weekend (24-27 January 2008), the Citroen Motorsport Team has launched a new web site for fans.

The site — www.citroen-wrc.com — contains a wealth of information and exclusive content, everything from videos and pictures to mobile phone ring tones of the Citroen C4 WRC in action, as well as a venue for fans of Citroen, Sebastien Loeb and the team to communicate with each other, as well as with the team.

By becoming a member of Citroen Team via web site, fans can also be provided with results live from events, bulletins and access to competitions, including the ultimate prize — a ride in a Citroen C4 WRC with four time World Champion, Sebastien Loeb!

Jan 24, 2008 | NZPC


Name: Toni

Age: 24

Occupation: I work for a foam company — all the motorcross boys get their foam from me for their foam pits

How did you get into that?
Basically, they offered me the job and it seemed pretty good at the time.

Because you’re involved in the motorcross scene?
Yeah, I’m Mikey’s (Mad Mike — cover car owner) girlfriend, so I go along and support him. I used to get into BMX, which Mikey also did when he was younger.

So you’re not too worried when he’s 50 feet in the air on a Thumpster?
No, I do get stressed out sometimes, but not so bad when it’s over foam.

So you’re into your rotaries as well?
Yeah, I’m definitely into rotaries and cars in general.

So what’s your favourite car then?
I’d have to say Mikey’s batty, otherwise! (laughs).

And apart from that?
RX-3 coupes definitely and Mikey’s old FURSTY 808 wagon

So have you owned any rotaries yourself?
Yeah, a 500SE Mercedes with a 13B turbo. It was too big for me though, so I had to downsize.

What do you do when you’re not working?
Ride bikes, shop and study.

What are you studying?
I work full-time and study business at nights at MIT.

So you can run your own foam pit company one day?
Yeah, and help manage Mikey’s sign writing company Create Graphics.

If there was one thing you could make legal, what would it be?
Definitely something to do with the car scene, as they’re taking the fun out of it at the moment with new laws, like the exhaust law.

What’s a perfect night out for you?
Something surprising and not planned, and going out with friends.

Sorry Mikey you gotta take her out on a date now: Something surprising, okay Mikey?

Have you got any plans to compete on BMX Bikes?
I just do it for fun and fitness and to give me something to do.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
Being in the 808 when Mikey hopped out during a skid at Skidfest and I was strapped inside.

Are you into speed or style?

Carbon or Chrome?

What’s your greatest ambition?
I want to keep educating myself and see how far I can go with things.

Model: Toni ††â€
Hair & Make Up: Evana Patterson
Styling: Amanda Carter @ Allure Promotions

Photos: Quinn Hamill

Blue & pink bikinis supplied by Teazeclothing.com
Lonsdale Mushroom shorts ($60) pink Paul Frank singlet ($40)
Grey Snow Lee Jeans ($165), pink bikini top from Beachbrasil.com

Get your own photoshoot by the professional team at Parkside. Click here to find out more.

Jan 23, 2008 | NZPC

porsche 997

Will it be Stuttgart’s finest, or will the electronic trickery of the Japanese supercar pummel the Porsche into submission?

Jan 23, 2008 | NZPC

pole position

Namco Networks today announced the worldwide release of Pole Position: Remix, now available for purchase and download from the iTunes Store (www.itunes.com) for play on iPod. Pole Position: Remix is based on Namco’s popular racing classic Pole Position II, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The iPod title includes completely new game play, graphics, soundtracks and an entirely new course exclusive to the iPod. Pole Position: Remix is available from iTunes for US$4.99 and can be played on the iPod nano with video, iPod classic and the fifth generation iPod.

In the game, players race to the finish line while avoiding explosive collisions with cars, billboards and other obstacles. Pole Position: Remix includes updated 3D versions of the four classic Pole Position II tracks and the brand new Misaki Point track available only on the iPod.

“Pole Position: Remix takes the classic game play of one of Namco’s most popular racing series and combines it with new themes, designs and more integrated game play,” said Scott Rubin, vice president of sales and marketing, Namco Networks. “The iPod Click Wheel is a perfect control pad for steering in a racing game and the device’s portability gives consumers access to this quality game experience anywhere, anytime.”

Each track in Pole Position: Remix can be played across four types of racing: practice, single race, grand prix and sudden death. Points are earned for the distance traveled and for passing enemy cars. If players race well they can unlock reversed or mirrored versions of the tracks and themes for tracks, cars and billboards, including those based on favorite Namco games such as PAC-MAN. Players can also choose to listen to their music library on their iPod while playing the game. Exclusive to the iPod, players can take advantage of Pole Position: Remix’s album art feature which randomly displays album art on roadside billboards from the player’s personal music collection. The feature will automatically display album art from the song that is currently playing as well as randomly pull album art from other songs in the player’s iPod.

Visit www.NamcoGames.com/PolePositionRemix for more information.

Jan 22, 2008 | NZPC


Rallye Monte Carlo heralds the return of the World Rally Championship with one of the most unpredictable events of the year. In its 76th running, this four day rally is a notoriously tricky combination of snow, ice and demanding routes which often produces some surprise results.

Crews will leave the service park in Valence, near the river Rhône in south-east France, for three of the four days of competition until the finish of Saturday’s stages, at which point the WRC contingent will decamp to a second service park location in Monaco, opposite the Automobile Club de Monaco headquarters.

The asphalt roads twist and flow through the breathtaking but notoriously tricky mountain stages of the region. A welcome inclusion of the Alpes Maritimes region on Sunday will see crews tackle the spectacular Col de Turini and finish the rally with a high-speed blast around the harbour section of the famed Monaco Grand Prix circuit.

The 365 kilometres of competition starts on Thursday evening with two night stages. There is no gentle start to the year: the opening stage is just shy of being the longest of the event at over 28 kilometres.

The weather in January in Monte Carlo will be typically cold, and this year the rally has been scheduled one week later in an attempt to ensure the snow that the rally just missed last season. In the first rally in which the teams will use the Pirelli championship control tyre, there will be three options: the DS soft slick tyre, the snow WX tyre without metal studs, and the WX tyre with studs that provide extra traction on icy sections.

The team’s driver lineup remains unchanged; Petter Solberg will commence his tenth season alongside co-driver Phil Mills in one of the most established pairings in the WRC. Rallye Monte Carlo will be the duo’s 122nd rally on the world stage together.

In the second Impreza will be Chris Atkinson and co-driver Stephane Prevot, who started together in Argentina last season. Spanish duo Xevi Pons and Xavier Amigo are missing from the entry list however, their negotiations with the team still ongoing.

The Subaru World Rally Team have entered two Impreza WRC2007s for Rallye Monte Carlo. Petter Solberg / Phil Mills will drive car number five and Chris Atkinson/ Stephane Prevot will be in car number six. Petter and Phil have competed on these roads seven times. Chris, on his second visit, had his best finish of fourth overall in 2007 courtesy of three stage wins.

Team Quotes

David Richards, Subaru World Rally Team Principal: “Monte Carlo Rally has often turned out to be a lottery, where the weather has thrown up some opportunistic and historic victories, and if we can snatch those chances, who knows? I wouldn’t be at all surprised if either of our drivers climbed the podium. It’s one of those events where anything can happen.”

Paul Howarth, Subaru World Rally Team operations director: “Monte Carlo is an event that is all about tyres. This year there will be a lot of snow and stages run in the dark, so consistency and optimizing the grip level on the changeable asphalt will be crucial to a good result. There are a lot of competitive drivers this season all bidding for top spots, so it will be a measure of pushing for pace without throwing it away in the opening round.”

Driver Quotes

Petter Solberg: “It is important to get into a rhythm straight away and settle into a pace you feel comfortable with. With no anti-deflation mousse you can’t take risks in the stages as a puncture could finish your rally. There will be a lot of snow I think and Monte is always tricky anyway so it won’t be easy, that’s for sure. It will be about who can make the most of their tyres and adapt to the conditions fastest, but if someone manages something special with them people will follow quickly.”

Chris Atkinson: “It’s going to be an interesting event for sure. It’s raining here in Monaco so I’m sure it’s snowing in the stages already. I’ve never done this event with a lot of snow so it’s new for me. Both times I’ve run this rally we’ve had good results, but I don’t underestimate how much of a challenge it is. Although the tyre choices aren’t wide because we only have one slick and a winter tyre, it’s going to be important when we choose to take each one, and we have to watch out for punctures. I’m definitely looking forward to starting the season again now though.”

Between The Rallies

For the Subaru World Rally Team drivers, the off-season was filled with a mixture of testing and media commitments, time with family and friends and preparations for this season. In early January, Petter and Chris took part in an asphalt tyre test near Lyon, France in preparation for Monte Carlo, followed shortly followed by two days in Sweden.

January also saw the return of Estonian Markko Martin to the Subaru World Rally Team in the role of official test driver. Martin, who won the Bettega Memorial Rally aboard a works-supplied and run WRC2007 in December 2007, will commence testing before the end of the month.

Jan 22, 2008 | NZPC

You know how it is, you’re in the lead, things are looking sweet, then suddenly you’re a tricycle.

Jan 21, 2008 | NZPC


Desperate to make the Nissan GT-R’s 3.3-second 0-100kph time lower, Mines has releases a number of performance upgrades and modifications for the new supercar.

Jan 21, 2008 | NZPC

Suzuki SX4

Following two test events in Corsica and Great Britain last year, the Suzuki World Rally Team now embarks on its first full season of world rallying with two new drivers: Toni Gardemeister from Finland and Per-Gunnar Andersson from Sweden, the reigning Junior Rally Champion with Suzuki.

The first of the 15 rounds that make up the 2008 World Rally Championship is the legendary Monte Carlo Rally, the oldest and most prestigious event of the series. Just like the roulette games played in the Principality’s famous casino, the outcome of the rally can be a lottery. Conditions can vary many times in the same stage, and it is not uncommon for a stage to start off in bright sunshine and end with snow and ice.

For the second consecutive year, the Monte Carlo Rally will start off in the town of Valence, in the Ardeche region of France, with two night stages on Thursday evening. The route takes in 12 more stages in the area on Friday and Saturday, before moving down to Monaco for four classic stages over the Col de Turini and a super special stage using part of Monaco’s famous Grand Prix circuit. The prize-giving ceremony will take place in front of Monaco’s Royal Palace on Sunday at 15:30 (CET).

As usual a wide range of conditions are expected on this year’s event, making Monte Carlo one of the most difficult rallies on the entire calendar. As well as varying weather, crews face a huge variety of road conditions: from bumpy, broken asphalt with reasonable grip to sheet ice like a skating rink. In total, the rally consists of 365.09 competitive kilometres.

Car news — Suzuki SX4 WRC n.11 (Gardemeister) and n.12 (Andersson):

This will actually be Suzuki’s seventh Monte Carlo rally, thanks to a successful Junior World Rally Championship campaign that resulted in two titles, but it is obviously the first time in the Principality with the all-new SX4 WRC.

The SX4 WRC sports a striking new white and yellow livery for 2008, and it has already racked up a number of testing kilometres in the region following a pre-Monte Carlo test at the end of last year with both drivers. Using the valuable experience gained from the two test events in 2007, the SX4  WRC features new differential and suspension settings for Monte Carlo, as well as a raft of other improvements under the skin.

Like all the other cars, the SX4 WRC will run on Pirelli’s all-new control tyres introduced for this year. These tyres are not permitted to have anti-deflation mousse, and only one type of tread pattern and compound is allowed per event, in order to reduce costs. However drivers are permitted to hand-cut the tyres to help disperse water or loose gravel, and for Monte Carlo a short stud can also be used if necessary, to find grip in icy conditions.

The entire Suzuki team is eagerly awaiting the unique challenge of Monte Carlo, and the whole 2008 season.

Driver news:

For the first time, the Suzuki World Rally Team will run two cars, as it will over the rest of the season. The 32 year-old Toni Gardemeister starts his ninth Monte Carlo Rally this year, and it is one of his favourite events. The Finn was on the podium as recently as 2006, and he has finished in the points on five occasions. His co-driver this year is Tomi Tuominen, who knows the SX4 WRC well after partnering Sebastian Lindholm on the Rally GB last year.

Gardemeister said: “It’s fantastic for me to be back in the World Championship with Suzuki, and if things go well for us in Monte Carlo I think we can come away with points. The car is still new, so we’re not going to be on the pace of the frontrunners yet, but the overall set-up and reliability is good.

The SX4 has a very compact wheelbase so it changes direction quickly, which will be very useful on the fast and twisty roads of Monte Carlo. This is always an unpredictable event, but I think that mixed conditions could actually work in our favour. I’m particularly looking forward to the Col de Turini stages on Sunday: these are unique stages and I’ve always had a very good feeling with them.”

For 27 year-old P-G Andersson, co-driven by Jonas Andersson, Monte Carlo will be his first-ever World Championship event in a World Rally Car. The young Swede has completed around 500 kilometres of testing with the SX4, so he still has to climb a steep learning curve. Nonetheless, the Monte Carlo Rally is not entirely new to him as he competed on the event in 2004 and 2005 with an Ignis Super 1600.

“I can’t wait to get started!”, said P-G. “Obviously getting to the finish and gaining more experience will be the priority for me. Going from a Super 1600 car to a World Rally Car is quite a big jump as everything happens so much quicker. It’s also important to get the pace notes right: there are some corners that you wouldn’t even bother noting in a Super 1600 car but in a World Rally Car you really feel them!”

Team news:

For the entire Suzuki team, the Monte Carlo rally opens a new chapter in the manufacturer’s prestigious history. New arrivals at the team this year include Shusuke Inagaki as technical director and Akira Kawada as team manager. Prior to the rally, the team will take part in this year’s official World Rally Championship launch on Sunday 20 January in Monte Carlo before the drivers start the recce.

Nobuhiro 'Monster’ Tajima, principal of the Suzuki World Rally Team, commented: “As we embark on our full first season, our goal is to make steady progress by taking one step at a time. Results are obviously important, but we cannot get ahead of ourselves either. In our debut year, it’s only natural to expect a few minor problems and we’re grateful to have a driver of the calibre of Toni Gardemeister to help us improve.”