Former F1 driver Kubica ready for full WRC season

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Former Formula One driver Robert Kubica is all set to enter his first full season in the World Rally Championship following a good off-season in which he has impressed team managing director Malcolm Wilson by being as dedicated and determined as ever.

Kubica made his F1 debut in 2006 and won one race with BMW in 2008 before moving to Renault for the 2010 season. After a single year with the Enstone-based team though, he suffered severe injuries whilst rallying that ended his F1 career. However, over the past few years, he has showed enormous resolve and determination to get back racing and win the WRC2 championship in 2013. For 2014, he will race with M-Sport in the World Rally Championship, and Wilson is delighted to have secured the Pole’s services.

“To be fair we were in the same situation about a month ago when we were really trying to get him into one of our cars then,” Wilson explained. “He then decided to take a different direction but ever since then we’ve always felt we wanted to get him into one of our cars. Again it was a very last minute decision but as you can imagine I’m delighted by the fact that we’ve got Robert. Already last weekend he made a great start to the season.”

Kubica won the opening round of the European Rally Championship, the Janner Rally in Austria, with relative ease, and he is now preparing to race at the Monte Carlo rally next weekend. Despite being in single seaters for most of his career and suffering a bad injury to his right hand, Wilson explained how Kubica has taken to rallying like a duck to water.

“He actually visited M-Sport about four years ago even before he had his accident,” Wilson said. “He’s always been very interested in our rallying. He’s got a really good understanding of the sport. But I think the thing that’s really shocked me is the amount of dedication and commitment that he puts into it.

“Just as an example, because of his restrictions with his arm, he’s been in the workshop, he was there until eleven o’clock two nights running with the engineers and designers trying to reconfigure the handbrake and the gear shaft mechanism. For Rally GB, he actually made his pace notes from video footage, which is something that doesn’t really happen.”

Kubica’s determination and dedication is still ever-present in his rallying, and he will be looking to take the fight to the more established rally drivers in 2014 with M-Sport. The Pole may never return to Formula One, but he has certainly found a new home in the World Rally Championship with the British team.

Video highlights from Stage 12 of Dakar Rally, 2 stages remain

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Thursday’s Stage 12 of the 40th Dakar Rally not only closed the overall standings gap in at least two classes (cars and trucks), two other classes (bikes and quads) failed to get going due to weather conditions.

The full video highlights of Stage 12 will air on NBCSN on Friday at 7 pm ET, but here are some of the highlights from Thursday’s action:

CARS

2018 Dakar Rally: Nasser Al-Attiyah wins Stage 12 of cars

BIKES

 Stage 12 cancelled due to weather conditions

 

TRUCKS

Ton van Genugten edged out Martin Kolomy in Stage of, while Federico Villagra and Eduard Nikolaev both faced an uphill battle to finish fourth and third respectively.

QUADS

Even though the Quads were also impacted by weather issues on Thursday, Ignacio Casale, the 2014 Dakar winner, continues to make his case for a second overall victory in the quads.