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Volkswagen switched to MMSC

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Greater Noida: A huge change was noticed by Indian motor sport after Volkwagen walked out of the JK Tyre Racing Championship and joined the Madras Motor Sports Club (MMSC) which is supported by MRF tyres.

The German vehicle manufacturer said the switch was to synergise all their existing motor sport associations with the Chennai-based MRF.

“We, as a group, already have an association with MRF that is now going on for several years with the Skoda Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) programme, which is huge. In addition to that, MRF is also a racing tyre supplier for Volkswagen Racing UK,” Volkswagen Motorsport India head Sirish Vissa said.

Volkswagen Group and MRF have a working relationship outside India with factory-supported Skoda Fabias running on MRF rubber in the APRC. Czech automobile maker Skoda is a wholly owned subsidiary of Volkswagen.

“When we were looking at where we are going in the future with our motor sport activities, it made a lot more sense to draw on the synergies that exist like the existing relationship with MRF and sort of piggy bank on that and make something bigger out of it. That is the reason why we are going with MRF,” added the 43-year-old.

Vissa said that leaving JK Tyres was a big loss as they had developed a strong bond which lasted for six years. It was in 2010 that Volkswagen entered the Indian motor sports scene with the Polo R Cup, also adding the Vento Cup last year.

“JK have been a fantastic partner. Without them we wouldn’t have gotten the programme to where it is now. So definitely it is a big loss for us to walk away from this existing relationship. But at the same time we are trying to draw on the synergies that exist and are already working very closely with our new partners,” he added.

The one-make touring car series will this year be held at the Kari Motor Speedway (Coimbatore), Buddh International Circuit (Greater Noida) and the Madras Motor Race Track (Chennai).

Earlier, the championship winner of the Vento Cup would have moved on to the JK Tyre Racing Series which features FB02 cars, powered by 1.2 litre BMW bike engines. But now the winner will get a drive in the MRF Challenge Formula 1600 the victor of which will progress to the elite Formula 2000.

“Now the 2015 junior champion (Polo Cup) will get a Vento Cup drive this year, like before. The winner of the Vento Cup last year will get a 1600 drive. Essentially, there is not a night and day difference. Now, there is an additional progression path for the winner because if he wins the 1600 championship then he will automatically be given a drive in the 2-litre from MRF,” said the Bengaluru-born.

Significantly, the change in tyres is big in motor sports and, hence, will also affect the German car makers, who will have to adjust their Polos and Ventos to the new characteristics of the MRF Tyres.

“MRF tyres have different characteristics so we are re-working our entire suspension package for the car. So it will be dampers, new spring rates to get the handling the way we want it,” concluded Vissa.(IANS)(image: mashable.com)

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Satirical Weekly Charlie Hebdo Mocks Chancellor Angela Merkel in First German Edition, almost 2 Years after Islamist Militants attacked its top Editorial Staff in Paris

The magazine is known in France for ridiculing political and religious leaders

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The first issues of the German version of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo are for sale at a newsstand in Berlin, Dec. 1, 2016. VOA

The first German edition of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo hit the news stands on Thursday, with a front page lampooning Chancellor Angela Merkel, almost two years after Islamist militants attacked its top editorial staff in Paris.

The magazine also picked on another symbol of post-war German might — Europe’s biggest carmaker Volkswagen, still struggling to recover from its diesel emissions scandal.

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“VW backs Merkel,” reads the headline, with a picture showing a VW mechanic fixing 62-year-old Merkel on a hydraulic lift, saying: “A new exhaust pipe and you’ll run for another four years.”

Merkel announced last month she would stand for a fourth term in elections next year.

Launch posters showed Merkel sitting on the toilet reading the magazine, with the slogan: “Charlie Hebdo. It’s liberating.”

The magazine, known in France for ridiculing political and religious leaders, became a symbol for the freedom of expression after two militants broke into an editorial meeting at its Paris office in Jan. 2015 and killed 12 people.

The Islamists accused the magazine of blasphemy for printing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.

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Some German customers said they were buying the magazine as a gesture of solidarity.

“For me, this is more a feeling that I support this and I want it to continue now that it has just started,” said Tim Wuennemann.

An initial run of 200,000 will be printed in Germany — twice the circulation of the country’s current best-known satirical magazine, Titanic. Some of its contents will be original, some translated from the French.

The boundaries of satire were tested this year when Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan took legal action against German comedian Jan Boehmermann for broadcasting a satirical poem suggesting the president engaged in bestiality and watched child pornography. (VOA)