TOSHI THIRD IN RALLY DE FRANCE

Mon, 18/10/2010

Japanese driver Toshi Arai, in a Subaru WRX STI, finished third in the recent Round 8 of the FIA Production Car World Rally Championship (P-WRC), Rally de France.

The WRC event moved from its long-time base in Corsica to Alsace, in Eastern France, near the German border.

Along with Arai, the line-up of Subaru P-WRC drivers in this new-look rally was Anders Grondal (Norway), Gianluca Linari (Italy), Rui Wang (China), Nuno Barroso Pereira (Portugal) and David Weston Jr. (UK).

Taking part in his first P-WRC event at the age of 20, Weston drove for Uspenskiy Rally Tecnica, which substituted him for its regular driver Patrik Flodin, who missed this event.

As with Corsica, the rally was all tarmac, but rain before the start and a lot of gravel on the roads presented extremely slippery conditions and challenges for the crews.

Anders Grondal was running second on the first day, but was forced to retire when he got a puncture in both the front and rear left tyres on the last stage of Day Two, with only one spare in his car.

On the same day, Arai also suffered a puncture on the long stage and lost almost three and-a-half minutes changing tyres.

However, he moved up to third following Grondal's misfortune and kept the position until the end, finishing the rally on the podium. Restarting on Day Three, Grondal fought back to finish fifth and Rui Wang followed him in sixth.

Round 9, Rally of Great Britain, is from 11-14 November.

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